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Thread: Question about a close shave

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    Default Question about a close shave

    Hey everyone,
    I have been shaving with a straight razor for about a year now and something has been bothering me.

    When I shave with a "store razor" (big name brand) I tend to get a very close shave.
    Maaaaybe it is because I go over the same areas several times in different directions.

    When I use a straight razor - I seem to have places where I have "stubble" is the only word I can come up with.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Maybe not going in the right direction?
    Maybe being scared of killing myself with this sharp blade in those areas?
    Maybe my razor is not stropped right?

    I have no clue.

    Anyone else have this happen and figured it out?

    Thanks,

    Jamie

  2. #2
    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    I have some days when i dont get as smooth a shave as id like. But the main thing to learn is to get a comfortable shave. When you can shave and have no discomfort and the skin feels good then dont worry about that little spot you might not have made baby butt smooth. Can you see the stubble left? If no then Dont worry about it and be happy you got a comfortable shave. After a couple years of shaving with a pro honed razors you will find that one day your getting the perfect shave, but this takes time, effort in learning the directions to shave on each part of your face and the razor needs to be right.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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    NZ's okayest dad 1997 Grazor's Avatar
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    It is a learned skill with many variables.
    Incorrect stropping can degrade your edge in a few swipes. A good soap and prep do make a difference, as does skin stretching and pulling weird faces at the mirror to flatten out those hard to get to places. Don't expect instant results.
    No shame in finishing with a cart, but those multi blades give me mad irritation.
    You could send your razor out for a refresh to one of the honemeisters here, then you would have a reference to what shave ready really means.
    Don't be scared of the blade, respect the blade...
    Into this house we're born, into this world we're thrown ~ Jim Morrison

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    Senior Member Longhaultanker's Avatar
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    Assuming equipment is in good, correct condition, your answer is: patienice, practice, observation, correction, pressure, angle, stretching, lather, etc., etc. I’m 2.5 years in and still learning.
    A little advice: Don't impede an 80,000 lbs. 18 wheeler tanker carrying hazardous chemicals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhaultanker View Post
    Assuming equipment is in good, correct condition, your answer is: patienice, practice, observation, correction, pressure, angle, stretching, lather, etc., etc. I’m 2.5 years in and still learning.
    This is the best part about shaving with a SR. You can always learn more and get better. One way to not get 'bored'. ��
    BobH, tintin, outback and 3 others like this.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    My shaves were hit and miss for the first while. I soon learned that pushing for that BBS smooth shave risks irritation. I started using a straight seeking a comfortable and close shave. Perfection is not a requirement for me. That being said it got consistently better for about two years, I still get aha moments but they are not very frequent. For me the key was to study the direction of growth of my beard and then experiment a little with the order of shave direction in an attempt to get a clean and comfortable shave in fewer passes. With that is wet lather, a sharp edge, low angle, no pressure and good skin stretching and holding. There are areas on my face, that after a shave I can feel that the shave is not perfect. There are only two people including myself that touch my face. No one else can tell my shave is not 100% smooth, and I am ok with that.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Senior Member criswilson10's Avatar
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    If it is always the same spots that have stubble, then you may want to let it grow for a day or two so that you can see if there is a grain direction change at those spots. Analyze the situation and see if you are just coming at the hairs from the wrong direction.

    If it is random places every time then it is technique. I was still spotty with my technique after a year and probably around a year and half before I could consistently get a BBS every day.
    Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead - Charles Bukowski

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    Jamie

    I suspect the answer to your question is in your original post. When you shave with a store razor you shave multiple passes in multiple directions. You need to do something similar with a straight razor. You can map the grain of your beard and then try to shave three passes: first with the grain, then across the grain, and finally against the grain. However, you can achieve similar results by shaving north to south, east to west and finally south to north. On the more difficult areas (typically the chin and jawline), you might even need a 4th cleanup pass, perhaps west to east. In some areas, you might need to use a very short, repeated buffing action.

    Have you learned how to shave equally well with both hands? Personally, I shave north to south with the hand corresponding to that side of my face, but I find that when shaving in other directions, it is easier to shave with the opposite hand. Doing this requires learning multiple ways to securely grip the razor. .

    Also remember that one of the advantages of a modern cartridge razor is that it pivots automatically to keep the blade at the proper angle for shaving. With a straight razor, you have to adjust the shaving angle manually.

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    Senior Member KsStraightShaver's Avatar
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    Iím not saying everyone is wrong just pointing out that everyone gave advice without getting the full story.
    And I quote ď when I shave with a store razor (Big name brand) I tend to get a very close shave. Maaaaybe itís because I go over the same areas several times in different directions.Ē
    Well this may be the case especially if youíre only doing a single pass one direction with your straight something you didnít mention that being said it should go something like this with, across, against the grain or you could try just against single pass so that you donít get irritation like others mentioned you want to be comfortable with doing multiple passes so you donít get irritation

  12. #10
    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    Just think. Multiple passes with a plastic razor that has 3 to 7 blades in it. Now, how many passes does that add up to compared to using a straight? Bunches!
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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