Discussion in 'General Shaving' started by dave79, Friday September 1, 2017.
@dave79 - it's a Simpson's Case - pure badger. cheers - I.
Just had a look, it's a 'Vulfix Old Original pure bristle' you sent me. It has a really nice faux ivory handle! Will use this next time
Ah - fair enough - that was the wrong one I sent. I hope you enjoy it none the less. In fairness they do look a bit similar. Both are equally good starting brushes. Yours - I.
I know the feeling mate, I lathered with a Semogue 20102 on SotD recently
Great Pif BTW.
You're a credit to TSR, no, to the niche world of traditional shaving (doffs imaginary cap).
Lucky Tiger Vanishing Cream
calms a shaving rash for me, have to search the house for it though, daughter uses it for spots, son uses it for rashes, wife uses it too.
Noxzema fulfils that role in our home ... just another of those old time, well proven standbys. Nothing glam or exciting, just good at what they do.
Interesting that you have 'tried everything' and ended up back on cartridges. I've had a few shaves now with the WS Classic DE & Astra SP blade. Perhaps I need to give it longer but I'm not convinced the shave is any better or the irritation any less than the 3 blade carts I've used for years.
Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not wanting to go back to the Fusion 5 bladers given the irritation and ingrowers I suffered, but I'm not sure what to do. I can stick with the WS Protectors I'm familiar with, try a Mach 3 (is there much difference between those?), try a 2 blader like the Sensor Excel or keep at it with the DE. Supermarket nearby does Sensor Excel blades but not the razor handle itself as I guess it's somewhat outdated and they'd rather sell extortionate 4 for £15 Fusion blade 'systems'! Will definitely stay away from disposables from what I've read about them.
The only thing I DO like about the Fusion is the Flexball, it really does feel easy to manoeuvre and seems to get a lot of hairs. It's a shame there isn't the option to get that handle and put a 2/3 blade cart on it. Are the Sensor & Mach 3 handles fixed or is there a forward & back pivot like on the WS Protector handles?
Am definitely sticking with cream & brush though, no more canned crap!
Arrrrgh! Nothing seems to be helping my irritation. Getting to the point where I'm sick of trying different things out. I bought a Sensor Excel really just to try out a 2 blader as that's virtually the only type I hadn't tried yet. Still got the burn and the handle is puny and feels like you're picking up a piece of paper. I also recently got a WS Hydro 3, which seems ok but the goo strip seems a bit overkill given you've already got lather all over your face anyway.
In other news I got rid of my Fusion and WS Hydro 5 so I have totally banished 5 blade carts from my arsenal.
So currently down to 4 razors:
WS Protector (3 blade cart)
WS Hydro (3 blade cart)
Gillette Sensor Excel (2 blade cart)
And WS Classic DE with Astra SP blades
Maybe part of the problem has been having a few shaves with each and swapping. Perhaps I should stick with one for a few weeks and see how I go. Curious about Mach 3 especially with all the aftermarket handles you can get. Way cheaper than the insanely priced Fusions but still £8 for a 4 pack. Are Gillette carts really good enough to justify the price over what WS offers? Interesting that WS offer the Hydro in 3 AND 5 blade options, but Gillette won't go under 5 for the Fusion. The flexball handle thing would be great with a 3 blade cart
Ingrowers are way less since stopping using the Fusion and I'm getting good at lathering now. Is there a possibility that the brush you use can aggravate your skin?
Been moisturising every night, using ASB right after shaving & trying to put Aloe Vera gel on once a day. If I put it on too often it flakes later in the day which is annoying!
Hi Dave, yes, I do believe a ' softer ' well bloomed brush can be easier on the skin than a harder one. For me the best breakthrough I got in easing skin irritation was some years ago when I discovered glycerine soaps. Whilst they didn't provide the same density of lather as ' conventional ' soaps I found that the slickness and moisturising qualities suited my skin very well. Nowadays with so many of the artisan makers using glycerine and allantoin in their products I find their soaps ease many of my skin probs. However if I experience any outbreaks I still go back to glycerine soaps. I do feel you may do better by picking one razor and standing by it for a month or so to give your face a chance to settle down to its' characteristics and also let your muscle memory bed in to using it ... with no pressure. Don't give up m8.
If you want to continue with carts and eventually move on to DEs, Feather make a two bladed cart on which you can lock the head. Having a non-swivel head may help you learn to shave without applying pressure, essential when you move over to DE.
It sounds like you are applying too much pressure, you shouldn't be pressing onto the skin at all. Also don't try any against the grain passes.
If you have tried almost all variations of DE and cart and they all give you lots of irritation then I still think you are pressing too hard.
It won't be an instant fix, you need to learn how to shave with a DE, after a few weeks you should be there. Try and keep to the same kit, it sounds like you are trying one setup then changing when it doesn't improve.
My best advice is put up with some crap shaves for a few weeks by not trying to get smooth skin, leave a day or two between shaves (or longer if you can) I think your skin needs time to repair itself.
And of course how is your lather?
No Against the grain passes
Don't try for a perfect smooth shave (no one will notice if you miss some bits)
PS what cream are you using?
I'd agree with the above sentiments, don't push for ATG (if I do I suffer the consequences, so I don't bother), try and limit yourself to as few a number of passes as possible (again I opt for 2 and that suits me just fine), focus on getting your lather nice and slick and shiny, don't use any pressure. This last statement is what I struggled with most starting off. Now I make a conscious effort to glide the razor delicately wherever I'm shaving, be it neck, cheeks etc... Sometimes I barely feel the blade cutting the pressure is that light, but my likelihood for irritation has significantly reduced.
As Boab says above, don't try for a perfectly smooth shave - if you miss a couple spots you're more likely to shave them smooth next time! As for the brush, you could have allergies which may contribute unfavourably, if you're using a boar or badger. Further to this, badger and boar tend to be a tougher hair than synthetics which are becoming all the rage with some users (I find them exceptionally easy to maintain and use); soaking them before use and breaking them in help give you a softer platform to work with. I agree with your sentiments of sticking with the 2-blade or DE razor, they'll be somewhat less likely to tug on hair versus greater number of blades so should help prevent ingrowns.
Good luck and remember, no pressure!
Thanks guys, will try & answer questions from last few posts. . .
I'm using a Vulfix Old Original pure badger brush kindly given to me by @Digimonkey and Gentlemans Face Care Club cream. I am happy enough with the lather I'm getting. I'm making sure it's not watery, i.e. mixing it til the tiny bubbles are gone and it's pretty slick & shiny. I doubt it's an allergy to the brush / cream as I had irritation before I tried the DE & other cart razors I picked up recently. Probably thanks to 4 months or so of Fusion usage.
I'm trying not to do any more than 2 passes and most certainly avoiding ATG based on past attempts. I guess the idea of a cart is to get everything in one pass right? If I am doing a partial 2nd pass (neck only really) with a cart then I guess that's 6 blades across my face! It is my neck area solely that is the nightmare. It looks horrific right after shaving and not great the rest of the time either. Could take a photo but not sure I'd want to subject you to it! I am trying not to apply too much pressure anyway but will make a more concerted effort not to apply any.
I'm shaving every other day. I don't think I could wait til the 3rd day. This is when I'll end up so annoyed that I'll be scratching my stubble & maybe plucking out particularly annoying hairs here and there. Obviously this is not good and I might as well be having a proper shave!
Regarding the option of a locked head cart handle, I always presumed that the swivel heads were supposed to HELP, not hinder, for areas such as the neck. Or are they just another marketing gimmick as clearly DE handles don't swivel? Amazed at the sheer amount of 3, 4 & 5 blade carts in store shelves if they're not good for your skin. They must sell !
Thanks for all the advice
To make the swivel work a certain amount of pressure must be asserted, not a habit you want to get into, especially if you eventually want to get into DE or even SE shaving.
Also, ask your chemist if they would recommend using a hydrocortisone cream to help clear up your irritated neck.
If your neck is really that bad, then leave it a week mate. It only itches when it's dry apparently, moisturiser or beard oil might get you through that stage and your neck will thank you for it. Try some sudocream from the chemist if you can't go without shaving.
Exactly this or Cetraben I’ve found works well and not just because my name is nestled at the end there. giving it some time can definitely work wonders!
The WS classic although cheap isn't the easiest razor to get along with so I'd stick with the sensor. Bare in mind carts with all their inbuilt gizmos are meant to deskill you and traditional shaving has to be learned as well as practiced. As mentioned don't go for the perfect shave just a couple of WTG passes to get you into the swing of things. Necks are usually troublesome and can take quite a while to learn so go easy on yourself, no irritation is your aim atm not ultra smooth with added raw.
The Wilkinson classic was my cheap travel razor for years and I quite like the build quality, but I have long replaced it with a Dorco PL-602, which is lighter and looks a little flimsy, but is an astonishingly good razor: https://sharpologist.com/2016/01/dorco-pl-602.html
Then there is the highly personal matter of razor blades - there is no such thing as “the best” blade (just forget the hype about certain brands), only blades that suit you. You may have to try a dozen brands or so, but don’t start that process before you have the basic technique down - that’ll take some weeks of daily shaving.
So I binned the Sensor Excel, really disappointed with it after a handful of shaves, never had so many cuts and nicks (like, around 10 a time) and I've used carts for years. Was very careful & applied barely any pressure too, even though I felt I needed to as the handle was so damn light!
So after a few with the faithful old WS Protector, I've decided to stick with the DE (WS Classic) for a month and see how it goes. Just had a good go using no pressure & taking my time. There seemed to be noticeably less irritation immediately afterwards but I felt a rather intense burning sensation a couple of mins later right before putting the ASB on (Real Shaving Co).
Is that normal? I really was very gentle with the razor so it wasn't like I was hacking at my face! I was trying to take off just the cream and not push down at all (in the same way that a golfer with a ball in the bunker DOESN'T hit the ball, but takes the sand an inch behind it). I splashed plenty of cold water on my face right after shaving, but how do you stop that burning? It seemed to die down a bit after the ASB went on but not go totally for a little while. Does Witch Hazel help with that or is it a different thing altogether?
At least I'm sticking with one razor now which should help. If it goes well I'll consider upgrading to a heavier and sexier handle, as long as I don't fall too far into the rabbit hole!