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Thread: Can't avoid the irritation

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    Senior Member animalwithin's Avatar
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    Default Can't avoid the irritation

    I love wet shaving, whether it be with a SE, DE, or a straight razor.

    But for the life of me I can't escape the horrible ordeal of the hair growing back a few days later. What usually follows is the next two days after a shave, as the hair grows back, it pierces the skin which causes a multitude of small, red bumps that are INCREDIBLY uncomfortable and make it seem that I have some sort of skin disorder.

    This does not subside until the hair has grown past the skin and pretty much doesn't allow me to shave for at least four days.

    Razor burn and areas where I went too hard definitely make it worse and if I take great care to shave slowly it helps. Shaving only with the grain also helps but there are always areas that cause me significant irritation, most specifically the neck and areas around my mouth.

    I've accepted the fact that I must have sensitive skin on my face as well as thick facial hair but surely there must be something I can do to help? Shaving every four - five days isn't exactly ideal but it's what I've had to live with.

    Any thoughts/recommendations are welcome.

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    Senior Member basil's Avatar
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    I would say that maybe your razor isn’t sharp enough, but it happens no matter if you use a straight or a de. Just to be on the safe side try to use a fresher blade or touch up your razor if you do notice it happens less when your using a sharp edge.

    My other thought is that perhaps your lather isn’t softening up your beard properly, so a preshave soak to soften your beard or a preshave oil might help.

    The only other thing I could suggest is using an different after shave or maybe witchhazel. The witch hazel helped me with some irritated skin I used to get after shaves.
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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    No, the hair does not pierce the skin. The follicles are there and the hair grows through them out onto the skin. No matter what method you use the hair is cut level with the skin or barely beneath it.

    You are either having an issue with the blade on the skin or your technique giving you irritation. Of course it's possible you have a skin issue and in that case you probably need to see an M.D however that would be a very rare condition.

    My guess is you have sensitive skin and you need to watch you technique in shaving as well as your preshave routine.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth JP5's Avatar
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    I have to shave WTG or I get serious AS burn and/or irritation. Reducing pressure helped, but I still have to shave WTG to avoid redness or the tiny nicks where you don't see blood for a bit. If I ever pursue a baby butt smooth shave I always pay for it.
    I'm planning to try some different blades and maybe some preshave products to see if they are of any help. I can relate to your problem though. I love the traditional shave process, but I have trouble getting the results I want.
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    I have a tough beard and sensitive skin, like a lot of us who got into wet shaving. I've found that I get a different kind of irritation depending on what my technique problem was. If it's normal irritation (red, super sensitive and sometimes painful skin), it's usually because I used too much pressure. I also get an irritation like what you described, when I've used the wrong angle (usually when trying out a new safety razor). So I would recommend paying very close attention to your shaving angle, no matter what kind of blade you're using.

    In both situations, I found that a very thorough preshave routine significantly reduces any potential irritation. It adds to the total shaving time, for sure, but is well worth it. I also use witch hazel as an aftershave, which helps a lot. If I know I've had a rough shave, I also use alum.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You might want to google razor bumps to see if that is what you are suffering through. That is all I can think of.

    Bbo
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Does it happen with all soaps or after shave treatments. It might be a reaction to something you are using. Stick with one soap for a week and finish with witch hazel. If you still get rash use a different soap for the week. Really don't have a definite answer for you.
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    Senior Member tintin's Avatar
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    Well, I occasionally experience the same thing and have always assumed it was from too much pressure and/or a not sharp enough blade. There is such a thing as a ingrown hair where a hair grows back into the skin. I would try watching the grain direction, and less pressure plus making sure your blade is as sharp as can be (or a different DE blade if you haven't tried that. ( Maybe you'll have to settle for a CCS or DFS instead of BBS)
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    Senior Member jfk742's Avatar
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    Are you going against the grain? Once I stopped trying for a bbs shave most my problems cleared up.

    Now, if it’s ingrown hairs that’s a totally different animal. You need to “train” the hairs to grow more perpendicular to the skin. I had a terrible problem with my neck and in grown hairs. The only solution I found was to pick them with a tooth pick and then try and fold the hair the opposite direction I wanted it to grow. It took a month or two and one of those mirrors with the one magnified side to spot them but ever since it’s been almost a non issue. Every once in a while one tries to burrow itself in but it’s much more manageable as it’s only one at a time when it does happen. My technique is to kind of flick the bump until the hair starts coming through the skin, it’s painful and gross but the pay off worth it.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    How long have you been traditional shaving.

    Your skin may not be tempered, yet.

    Your problem, is what I went through with cartridges, in my beginning years if shaving.

    Once I went to using a straight, it got less and less, to the point it doesn't happen anymore. Now I do get a prickly beard from time to time, but that's usually from using the wrong angle, for me.
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