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Thread: Started DE shaving....must be doing it wrong.

  1. #11
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    I have been DE shaving for about 4 years now. I noticed early on that on certain parts of my face hairs grew in all directions. I now achieve BBS every shave by doing a 4 pass shave which catches all the wayward growth. N to S but only halfway down the neck, the rest of the neck S to N. Then ear to nose and ear to mid neck both sides, go to mid nose on the top lip from each side. 3rd pass nose to ear and mid neck to ear, this time on the top lip go from mid nose towards ear. For me that's it for the top lip. Finally 4th pass N to S from half way down the neck, S to N for rest of neck face and chin. That's me done it took me about a year to get there and fully understand how my beard grows in the different directions. As others have said find the right blade for you get the angle right and use NO pressure. One final tip that helped wait a couple of days before shaving get some cottonwool and rub over your beard when it sticks that gives you an indication of the ATG parts of your beard.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpete View Post
    Update to my original post:

    Using Merkur DE and astra premium blades.

    I am now 8 shaves in. I have been using the same Astra since shave #3. I think I have had some razor burn starting about 2 shaves ago. Not sure if that means a razor will last me only 3 shaves or not. Not sure. I will change the blade tomorrow.

    Several points:
    * I do get a close shave on all parts north of the chin-line with the exception of directly under the nostrils. I have contorted my face as much as humanly possible. I have not tried lifting my nose yet, but that will be tomorrow.
    * I am finding I need to make 4 passes, lathering each time. Pass #4 is fast, but necessary, at this point.
    * The hardest area to get smooth are the area covered if you placed two fingers under the jaw bone, and the under-ridge of the chin all the way around.
    * The neck seems to leave hairs randomly, which I try to keep passing over (lathering each time) to get. This is causing some burn.

    All-in-all I will continue to attempt to perfect this and figure it out. I do need a good post-shave routine, though. I will check other areas of this forum next.

    I love (and more importantly, my wife loves) the Taylor of old Bond Street Sandalwood. If I could find more of this smell (cologne, soap, etc), I would buy it.
    I usually get 3 shaves from one blade, though the brand does make a difference. Keep on trying different ones if you can, the more you sample the more you will know. Also, go back and try ones again as your skill improves. You may find one you didn't care for is now shaving well. Also, I find when the razor starts to pull, or I start to use a heavy hand cause I'm not getting close enough (usually this happens unconsciously so I need to pay attention) it is time to change the razor. If you think your razor is dull, don't have any reservations of changing it mid shave.

    I cannot help you with the under the nostril part as I have never shaved there, but the others advice sound good.

    4 passes is fine too. I find that some parts of my face (chin mostly) is much better with a fourth pass. As you shave more you may discover that what you thought was ATG is actually XTG or improved technique will bring you down to 3 passes.

    Under the jawline took me a while to get close and is still the area that I feel growing back the soonest. I improved there when I figured out ATG was from under the ear toward the chin. I actually do two XTG passes (one down then one up) and then the ATG. I'm lucky that it mostly grows one direction instead of in swirls.

    The neck deserves a light touch. I only do a WTG and ATG (up and down) there, not counting just under the jawline.

    All in all it is a worthwhile endeavor. When I all come together it is great! Until then every small improvement is a victory.

    rfm
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  3. #13
    Senior Member tedh75's Avatar
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    I do four passes as well now. North to south including the neck, left to right ear to ear and south to north on neck, right to left ear to ear (this feels like against the grain) and i try to incorporate some lateral movement on the neck(this is much easier with a due than a shavette and I would imagine a straight). Final pass is south to north everywhere except mustache(thats usually done by now) and any clean up areas. Still needs refining but then I haven't been at it that long. since I have developed a better a "feel" or "touch" if you will I usually have little to no irritation. Usually only if I get too aggressive with cleanup.

    You've gotten a lot of good advice about angle, pressure and technique(watch the videos) so I won't get into that. I just suggest(and you may already be doing this) that you make sure you are shaving in a quiet environment with no distractions. I find it really seems to help if you can hear the razor on your face. It will sound different with different angles. Listen for that "burnt toast sound" that we talk about. Keep at it and you will continue to progress as you have already. One day you will probably find it all just seems to "work". Maybe even take a day off and then come back to it. That seemed to help me

    Good luck and great shaving!
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  4. #14
    Senior Member deepweeds's Avatar
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    On lifting the nose: I really pull that sucker right up there. I use the pinkie finger, with my palm toward my face. Helps a lot with that mustache area.
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    Keep your pivot dry!

  5. #15
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    I was originally very heavy handed when doing the fools pass for the first time, now I have no trouble with my nose!
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  6. #16
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    I have used a DE for 2.25 years and found that the blades are what can make or break the shave!! Like most have said get yourself a sample pack you'll know what one is for you right out of the gate!!!
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    Aaron

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    another Update:

    I am 18 or 19 shaves in now. I change the razor every two shaves. Most days, I make 5 passes. Today, I made 4. I love the whole process, and I am not addicted.

    I want this to work. However, I still have a few issues.

    Here is my procedure:
    I wash with face soap first. Then wet hot and apply lather and get busy. I generally go WTG, XTG (east and west), ATG, then pass #5, just a pickup pass and a XTG for the neck, lightly with the TOBS sandlewood still left on my brush. On my neck, I can go ATG, but XTG is what gives me razor burn, so I tread lightly on that pass. I will attempt to attach a pic. My wife says the face is really smooth. She can feel hair under the ridge of the jawline left behind and a few stragglers on the neck. After shaving, I rinse with cold water, as I do not have an alum bar. not sure if I need one, since i have never cut myself with this razor...yet. I apply TOBS balm, then TOBS cologne. done.

    On a different note, I have my son (20yrs old) on board. He has just a few chin whiskers at this point and opted to go directly to the straight razor. I figured he doesnt have much hair at this point, so now is a great time to learn the curves of his face, etc. He also seems to like the process and he says it makes him feel and smell 'like a man"

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  8. #18
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    5-passes?
    I'm happy with just one-pass most days (sometimes I'll do two if I think I missed a spot: i'll redo the whole face). But I'm hardly a perfectionist with regards to shaving since I have to do it daily - I figure if I missed the hair today: I'll get it tomorrow.

    I have two long-handled DE razors and, while I liked it at first since it's closer to a Cartridge razor, I now find the shorter handle to be easier at maneuvering under my chin. Most of the spots I missed, earlier on, I think back on could be related to angle. Be mindful of the razor's angle of attack when under the chin and see how it aligns with your cheeks.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member kevinred's Avatar
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    Great things are sure improving!

    5 passes is a lot, but hair reduction is better than going straight ATG, so if you are not irritated it's good. It's good that you are changing blades over early. Once you get to the place that you are happy with the shave and the results are repeatable most days then try and see how long the blade will last you while giving you smoothness with no nicks, cuts, weepers, or irritation. The time a blade lasts is different for us all. Mine last tops 3 shaves but I throw after 2 before the edge dulls. Thats how I get perfect shaves everyday.

    I found the technique I use on a video by GeoFatboy, that may help you, it s the way I shave with a DE and it leaves me with no irritation at all. it's also quick. Notice his stroke size, thats important.





    I also love TOBS Sandalwood its a great smell, I have some of the cologne on now as I type. Have you tried the Proraso green range. I love their green pre shave cream applied before the shaving cream, great effect on the skin. Proraso is IMHO as good as TOBS if not slightly better (If thats at all possible) and it cheap too.

    Hope this has been of some help

    Enjoy
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    It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness

  10. #20
    Senior Member tedh75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikedLemon View Post
    5-passes?
    I'm happy with just one-pass most days (sometimes I'll do two if I think I missed a spot: i'll redo the whole face).
    I do 4 and could probably skip the 2nd pass. But I like an excuse to lather up and shave again. I'll bet I'm not the only one.
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