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Thread: Noobie question about Safety Razors

  1. #11
    Senior Member Nonstickron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewK View Post
    The previous analogy is very appropriate in kind of an inappropriate way lol and made me think I should stop reading this thread before I went blind I used to use a Fusion, Nivea canned cream and aftershave for 'sensitive' skin and dealt with 5 alarm razor burn, bumps and complete hopelessness that I was doomed to shave that way forever. After switching to a double edge safety razor, getting some nice soaps, creams, pre shave oil, a quality brush, alum block, Thayers alcohol free witch hazel aftershave, shaving has been a complete joy and bumps and burn are gone forever!
    Yeah I have been using a fusion with either nivea or aveeno. Spraying my cologn on as aftershave. My biggest problem area is, I shave my head too, the back of my neck. Always get the worst razor burn there, like 10x worse than my throat.

    I have stuff coming in the mail and today after much discussion with my cousin he bought himself a Turkish horsehair brush, proraso cream and a Sword Classic DE. Pretty cool that we are both going to be trying all this stuff out at the same time. He's waiting on my report on the shavette yet before taking that step.

    He hates change in any way so its pretty cool that I got him to try this stuff too. :-)
    Last edited by Nonstickron; 04-18-2012 at 02:09 AM.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member AndrewK's Avatar
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    I've never shaved my head but my friend frequently does with a safety razor and he's coming by Friday so I'll ask him what he does in that area. The thing I could see if you're starting with an against the grain pass at the back of your head like going from back of neck straight up to top of head kind of thing then that could be why there's so much irritation. That would be starting off against the grain and very agressive. I know my skin can't take that. I'm not sure if that's the stroke you start with mind you but if it is, I would definitely try to go from top of head down to neck with the grain. Even though it may feel awkward at first it maybe be do-able with practice and help or even across the grain if with is too awkward.

    Lots of guys like to do a 3 pass shave. One with the grain, one across and one against. I simply do 2 with the grain. I'm happy with the end result and it's much gentler on my skin. I know if I go against the grain on my neck, my razor bumps/ingrown hairs come back so I just keep things simple. I remember my first 2 safety razor shaves lighting up my neck like a heat lamp. I had all the directions mapped to go with the grain but on the sides of my neck, it's swirled like crop circles and didn't know what to do. Initially I had been just continuing down from my cheeks north to south and luckily all it took was a reversal and going south to north up to the top of my jaw bone to fix that.

    I'll use cologne also. A spray chest, back and shirt and good to go. Thayers as an aftershave is subtle so cologne for me is the best way to get around using heavily scented aftershave balms or splashes with long ingredients lists full of chemicals on my face that could irritate while still smelling good.

    In general it's recommended to take things slow, remain comfortable when learning a new system and don't be afraid to go back to your old/more familiar system to finish. For example, I'm learning to shave with a straight now which has been a much steeper learning curve for me than the safety razor and remember times I started getting nervous/shaky hands so dropped back to my DE to finish off and it's been great doing it that way. Takes the pressure off myself, reduces frustration and this is all about bringing enjoyment back to shaving/having fun.

    I just wanted to add this link to one of Mantic59's vids that helped me in the beginning with blade angle and using just the weight of the razor for pressure. I go the opposite direction of the passes he does on his neck as it's smoother for me.
    Last edited by AndrewK; 04-18-2012 at 08:09 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Nonstickron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewK View Post
    I've never shaved my head but my friend frequently does with a safety razor and he's coming by Friday so I'll ask him what he does in that area. The thing I could see if you're starting with an against the grain pass at the back of your head like going from back of neck straight up to top of head kind of thing then that could be why there's so much irritation. That would be starting off against the grain and very agressive. I know my skin can't take that. I'm not sure if that's the stroke you start with mind you but if it is, I would definitely try to go from top of head down to neck with the grain. Even though it may feel awkward at first it maybe be do-able with practice and help or even across the grain if with is too awkward.
    Yeah, I've always just used the one pass on my head with a cartridge razor and get it really really smooth. Usualy that's ok as long as I use soap on my head in the shower. Doesn't work so good with shaving cream for some reason. I get cold press soap from a friend who sells it, really good stuff, but crazy what a difference that or a dull to new razor transition can make. Another problem I have with my head is they dull quickly when I shave my head often, but I keep using them due to the price they charge for them. So I'll be used to scraping away at my head with a dull one and put a new one one and forget to lighten up on the pressure. One thing I am most curious about with shaving the scalp, is pre-shaves. Do people who shave their heads use pre-shave on their whole head in addition to their face?

    I bought some Udderly Smooth cream today to use as a pre-shave, and a 100% cocoa butter stick to give a try as well. I'm really not used to putting lotions on...I normally hate them. But then my skin is usually so dry that I have face dandruff...lol. People tell me I have a milk mustache sometimes, and its just dry flaky skin. But at the same time, it will be very oily a couple hours after I get out of the shower. So the feeling I associate with being clean is actually my skin screaming for moisture. lol In fact I shave my head because when I dont I get terrible itchy dandruff, despite having a VERY oily scalp.

  4. #14
    Senior Member AndrewK's Avatar
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    So I asked my buddy and he was calling his cartridge disposables a 'safety razor' so that threw me off lol. He said some brands would razor burn him and one day his wife came home with some that he really liked that didn't do that anymore. Some no name brand 2 blade ones he said. Trying different things out is a great way to come up with a system that works.

    I think you're on the right path using a moisturizer as it sounds like your body was trying to compensate but to excess. I like to use whatever is dermatologically approved and non-comedogenic(non-acnegenic is the 'new' term I guess). That just means it shouldn't clog pores. Where I live Cetaphil is readily available and fits the criteria. It may take your skin some time to adjust to being moisturized and for the oil level to balance out but couldn't imagine that taking more than a week. I use the Cetaphil sparingly and a little seems to go a long way. The pump bottle it comes in is annoying because it's hard to do only like an eight of a pump lol so it's easy to overdo it.

  5. #15
    Senior Member TucoRamirez's Avatar
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    If you get a quality razor such as an Edwin Jagger DE89 series paired with a quality blade (not a fan of Merkur blades) the shave quality will be much better than a cartridge.

  6. #16
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Not to denigrate what TucoRamirez has said, but blades are very much an individual thing. Some people love one brand and others hate that same brand. Find the one (or the selection) that suits you as an individual.


    Mick
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    There is no comparison. 'Nuff said.

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    Ordinary Average Guy richkev's Avatar
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    You've probably already started shaving with your DE, by now. I would just like to add to what others are telling you. I would definitely get a blade sampler. I know it sounds a bit silly, at first (I mean a razor is a razor, right?). But, now that I have been shaving with a DE for a while, I have started to appreciate the difference in the feel of the blades. And, what I think is the greatest blade on earth, may be something you absolutely hate. I have also found that I can get certain blades to last much longer than others. And, don't let price fool you. Many of the higher priced razors did not work, for me. Anyway, enjoy the new hobby. I was fairly nervous, at first, but quickly found that shaving with a DE had a short learning curve. The only advice I can really give? Let the blade do the work and do not use much pressure. Later.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Nonstickron's Avatar
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    Nope, still waiting on the package. Hoping its not lost in the mail. lol

    Thanks for all the tips. I definitely want to get a blade sampler at some point. I'm probably not going to try shaving my head with it right away. I'm used to being pretty rough with the cartridge razors on my scalp, I got to where I can shave my whole head in about 10 minutes...and using them upwards of 15-20 times (one pass) before chucking them. I'm going to have to make myself slow way down and be way gentler.

  10. #20
    Senior Member maddafinga's Avatar
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    I shave my face with a straight and my head with a de. I tried the straight on my head as well twice and both times I got half finished and my thick hair had dulled the blade so badly it wasn't useable anymore. Gonna send both our for honing now. I still use about 2 de blades per shave, but I'm only using cheap Dorco ones, I haven't bought a sampler pack of blades.

    I've found that using the de for my head doesn't take appreciably longer than the cartridge razor did really, just more strokes, more carefully. It'll take you a few shaves to get the right technique down for using the de, you just will have to use them differently, than you're used to. Slowing down a little isn't a bad thing, just change your perspective as little, that's all.

    I run the clippers with no guard over my head, then shower. I wash my head hair with shampoo twice at least, scrubbing my head well each time. Then I put conditioner in and let it soak while I finish showering, rinsing it off last. I lather my whole face and head, then shave my face with the straight. Two passes is all usually. Then I re-lather my head and start with the de. I've tried it with and with out udder cream, several different pre shave oils and just lather, and I can't tell any difference at all like I can on my face. So I use just lather with no pre shave product on my head. I do like to use the udder cream as a post shave on my head though. It keeps my scalp from getting too oily or too dry.

    Hope all that helped in some little way.
    Last edited by maddafinga; 05-04-2012 at 08:56 PM.

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