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Thread: Noobie in trouble!

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    Default Noobie in trouble!

    I must be going wrong somewhere along the line with using the safety razor, and i'm not sure what it is. Firstly, I wash my face with hot water for 5 minutes and then I use the proraso pre-shave cream, and then hot water again for a few minutes. I then lather the soap up until I have small peaks on the brush, and lather my face for 1 minute. Next I shave with the grain all over (trying to keep a 30 degree angle), and then washing the soap off and re-lather. I then go from my ear in wards across the face, and do the same on the neck etc. I might then go outwards towards my ear. The last pass is against the grain (by this stage the brush bristle irritate my skin a little), should I shave against the grain? If I don't then I still have loads of stubble left. And looking at my face now I can see what looks like stubble, but running my finger of it and it feels smooth. I'm at a bit of a loss :| Is it just the case i'm unlucky enough to have dark hair that still shows ?

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    Couple of things to think about as well as try. Remember you need to use light pressure and it sounds like you need to stretch your skin more.

    It takes time to get proficient with a DE or a straight and as your technique gets better so will your shaves. From the sound of your post I would be inclined to think your not stretching your skin effectively. From The SRP WIKI "Stretching the skin with the direction of the hair growth, causes the whiskers to lay down more. Stretching the skin against the direction of the hair growth, causes the whiskers to stand up more." This makes a huge difference shaving with any type of razor.

    Also angles are more of a guide with time you will learn the right angle for each area of your face, and what works for your particular beard pattern. Don't go crazy with angles as this can be dangerous but in time you will learn to feel if your at the right angle during your stroke.

    If it where me I would learn to get a good 2 pass shave before I went to the three pass. Learn how to use angels and stretch the skin with a two pass shave, when you get to the point of no irritation from a two pass shave then go ahead and add in the third pass. Of course thats just my feelings.

    One other items with a DE is the blades themselves, there are many different blades and some work better for some then others. You may need to find a blade that feels right for your beard.


    Take your time and enjoy the shaves in time you will get that DFS you are searching for.
    alb1981 likes this.

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    Senior Member Nuntits's Avatar
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    What is your skin type? Perhaps you are over doing the hot water and lather a bit. I personally love prorasso pre shave, but I do find that the menthol will burn my face and irritate if I use it more than once in my shave routine. The excessive time spent washing your face in hot water could be a cause for irritation as well, I don't think washing any part of your body for 5 minutes is any good for your skin. 1 minute of working in lather into your face also seems long to me. I personally had an issue where I gave
    My entire face a chemical burn from over working the lather into my face. Do not push the bristles too hard into your face, just enough pressure to open the bristles and release the lather is what I find best. And lastly is pressure and skin stretching. Lightest pressure possible will bring the best results. If you feel you have to fight the razor through the stubble it's time to change blades or re-assess your angle of approach. Like aircoder said, there are a lot of factors at play here. But firstly I would limit the hot water usage and lather to a minimum.
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    Easily distracted by sharp objects alb1981's Avatar
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    +1 to the hot water. Try a cold shave. I have a very stubborn and ingrown hair prone beard with sensitive skin. When I was learning to use a straight and DE I had loads of issues with stubble. Try using ice cold, or as cold as you can, water. It tends to stand that stubble up. Also I read in an old barbers manual (there is a link on here somewhere) that a splash of Bay Rum can help stand whiskers up and strip off their oil making them supposedly easier to cut. YMMV but thats what I would do. Oh ya and really pay attention to stretching your skin. Also you may want to do a beard map so you can make a better plan of attack.

    Good luck and have fun !!

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    Thanks guys!If I limit it to a 2 pass shave its going to look like I have not shaved, but will give that a go. I may have over exaggerated the hot water time but use it as thats what everyone suggests, will try less tomorrow and abit of cold water too. My skin is super sensitive, with very suborn stubble from the Greek side of my family! I have some Derby blades that I have yet to try so they will be next.

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    Light pressure and correct angle are everything with a safety razor and as others have said, try stretching and if you have an adjustable razor step it up one click more aggressive. Also as others have said your pre shave prep might be overly aggressive, try wash and rinse with hot water and a hot towel for a minute or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AledJ View Post
    If I don't then I still have loads of stubble left. And looking at my face now I can see what looks like stubble, but running my finger of it and it feels smooth. I'm at a bit of a loss :| Is it just the case i'm unlucky enough to have dark hair that still shows ?
    Does "what looks like stubble, but [...] feels smooth" look the same right after the shave or 20-30 minutes after the shave?

    My understanding (and personal experience) is that the use of warmth (water, towel...) makes your facial hair more visible, more out, more exposed... (I'm not sure how to say it); which is of course one objective: so that you can shave even closer. But then, as your face cools (with cold water and with time), your facial hair get less visible, less out, less exposed...

    So that what may look like a so-so shave right after finishing the shave, may actually be a really good-looking shave 20-30 minutes after...


    I think my point is that: if you only care about looking closely shaved (for work for example), then, even now at your skill level, you may not need to do so many passes... In my case, when I started, I was doing 5 passes a shave, because I wanted to look perfectly shaved at the end of the shave. But soon after I realized, I could go with only 1 or 2 passes, and look perfectly shaved when I arrive at work...


    cheers
    Last edited by christophe; 05-07-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by christophe View Post
    Does "what looks like stubble, but [...] feels smooth" look the same right after the shave or 20-30 minutes after the shave?

    My understanding (and personal experience) is that the use of warmth (water, towel...) makes your facial hair more visible, more out, more exposed... (I'm not sure how to say it); which is of course one objective: so that you can shave even closer. But then, as your face cools (with cold water and with time), your facial hair get less visible, less out, less exposed...

    So that what may look like a so-so shave right after finishing the shave, may actually be a really good-looking shave 20-30 minutes after...


    I think my point is that: if you only care about looking closely shaved (for work for example), then, even now at your skill level, you may not need to do so many passes... In my case, when I started, I was doing 5 passes a shave, because I wanted to look perfectly shaved at the end of the shave. But soon after I realized, I could go with only 1 or 2 passes, and look perfectly shaved when I arrive at work...


    cheers

    I understand what your saying you hit the nail on the head! Looked at my face a few moments ago using a 8x mirror, and it does not look as bad as I thought it did. Although I have some what looks like stubble where I normal don't. The good thing about today's shave is I had two small nicks, which is an improvement over the nasty nick I had yesterday.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AledJ View Post
    I must be going wrong somewhere along the line with using the safety razor, and i'm not sure what it is. Firstly, I wash my face with hot water for 5 minutes and then I use the proraso pre-shave cream, and then hot water again for a few minutes. I then lather the soap up until I have small peaks on the brush, and lather my face for 1 minute. Next I shave with the grain all over (trying to keep a 30 degree angle), and then washing the soap off and re-lather. I then go from my ear in wards across the face, and do the same on the neck etc. I might then go outwards towards my ear. The last pass is against the grain (by this stage the brush bristle irritate my skin a little), should I shave against the grain? If I don't then I still have loads of stubble left. And looking at my face now I can see what looks like stubble, but running my finger of it and it feels smooth. I'm at a bit of a loss :| Is it just the case i'm unlucky enough to have dark hair that still shows ?
    Does not sound like trouble to me.
    Whiskers grow from deep down in the skin. If you have light
    skin and dark whiskers a shadow is normal. In 40 years your
    whiskers will be white like mine so this will not be an issue forever.

    Or get a good tan... the sun bleaches hair and browns skin.

    I would lighten up on the hot water wash and shave prep.
    Hot water causes skin to swell and get thicker. Think wrinkled
    pruned fingers after swimming or soaking for a while.

    There are two parts -- skin, whiskers.
    You want to soak the whiskers to soften them but
    not over soak the skin. But they are joined... so it
    is a timing and balancing act.

    Try a quick 20 second face lather followed by a good rinse
    with cold/cool water. For the next 1-3 min build a thick
    and deluxe lather in a bowl. Then paint that lather on
    your face and shave. For me I like my skin to almost dry
    then I lather. The base of the whiskers dry slowest (I think)
    so the skin drys while the whiskers soften. I said 1-3 min
    so try 1 then 2 then three min and see what works.

    First pass will nick whiskers if it does not chop them off.
    A second lather will continue to soften whiskers for a second
    pass.

    You are not alone.... this is why the multiple blade monsters
    are so popular. But those monsters are the cause of discomfort
    for some of us.

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    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    If you have thick, dark whiskers and fair skin, there will be a shadow. Unless you've used other shaving methods and had better results, I doubt that it is anything you are doing wrong. Plenty of guys have a light shadow (myself included), even when well shaved. That said, you could *try* a sharper blade, a second ATG pass, etc and see if it helps a bit. Also, try a softer brush (sounds like you are using boar, which I personally like, but which isn't as soft as a horse or a higher end synthetic or badger) Some guys get brush burn from scritchy brushes.

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