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Essentially new to DE shaving & been doing this for a month every other day (electric b/w as growth is relatively quick & noticeable so daily required – bristles are tough/hard I think & skin is sensitive after a DE shave so not able to do daily) Have a Gillette Slim, used on No 3 setting (very forgiving of mistakes), Astra SP blades, Proraso Sandlewood Cream. I have real difficulty in shaving below the bottom lip (above the chin) area for XTG (east to west & visa versa). Attempting this by contorting/pulling down the chin & then trying not to cut the bottom lip (& top lip) & not nick or cause razor burn is proving to be a real challenge (previous Weber Bulldog razor attempts were a bleeder here on WTG – discovered a month ago it has 2 wavy blade lines one side & one wave on the other). While I have not managed to cut the lip, razor burn (light) has occurred on a few occasions & I am not able to shave this area in combination with the chin at the same time as sensitivity of skin & shape does not allow this. Apart from trying to shave ATG, which I am reluctant to do because this area with the top lip & chin contain the toughest bristles, any suggestions?

Marko likes this post
(08-04-2020, 06:02 AM)chainsaw Wrote: ...any suggestions?

Stop striving for a "perfect" shave that is the mythical BBS. Do not be lured into believing that your face has to be "glass" smooth or else your shave is an utter failure. Stop groping your face post-shave as there will always be some hair remaining no matter how many times you go over it and by doing so you risk irritation and ingrown hairs. 

It's easy to be swept up by the "drama" of a few shavers incessantly boasting of how they get daily "dolphin smooth" shaves using their beryllium alloyed silver sputtered razor that cost over $400 and that can be purchased only after waiting longer than for a newborn.  Rolleyes

Hone your technique and try the Slim at "5". Finally, use this tool:

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Super Moderator
Dolphin smooth Big Grin , thanks BPman I hadn't heard that one before.  I concur that if you start chasing that perfect smooth shave you will find yourself irritated, nicked, weepers and just uncomfortable.  Like a lot of things shaving is about knowing when to stop.  

That said, the whole lip and mouth area is a bit of a special case when it comes to the with/across/against the grain shaving and I wouldn't get too fussed about doing all three passes.  I generally find that in my first pass (wtg) I'll do left side then right side leaving the entire central "swath" undone for last.  By that I mean the entire upper lip to the corners of my mouth straight down to the bottom of the neck area.  I'll then reapply some lather to the area going a little wider, then wtg the upper lip and sides down to the jaw line, then I'll do atg for the semi-circular part immediately below the bottom lip. I never do a wtg pass on that part because of the challenges of placing the razor  to start at the uppermost part where whisker transitions to lip.  Its too hard not to cause some kind of damage there.  Then I just do wtg on the rest of the chin and neck.  That chin /below lower lip area is an exception to the next passes too, on the XTG pass I do a left to right across the chin lower lip and on the ATG pass I'll do a right to left pass on the same area.  With the exception of the small area just below the lower lip I never do an ATG pass on the rest of my chin or my upper lip.  Again, for me I find the risk of nicks and weepers in that area on an ATG pass too high.  I will do an ATG pass on the area just out board of my chin that I'll run up into XGT on the upper lip.  That area which would be part of the old style droopy moustache is just like steel wire and I don't even try for a BBS there because its impossible and I will cause damage trying - trust me, I've tried. Big Grin  

Sorry if this sounds complicated but it actually isn't.  You'll find as you do this more that certain areas of your face require special attention because of the coarseness and dirtection of the whisker growth.  Like the whorl under the chin area that actually requires a diagonal XTG stroke rather than a straight perpendicular pass.  

Good luck and remember to relax and just enjoy the process rather than get stressed about the perfect shave.

chainsaw likes this post
Apologies for the late reply here, based in OZ.

BPman - loved the return to reality reply you gave here, nice sense of humour, though feeling a little deflated :-( . I can imagine there will be a bit of controversy generated by others if they view this, & quite a bit of disappointment for those new to this activity.

Thanks also for the link, a nice check list program that may prompt a course of action that one may not have considered or forgotten.

Going to take a while before I can work up the courage to try the Slim at 5. Even though I indicated earlier that at 3 it is forgiving of mistakes there is all ways in the back of my mind this DE shaving thing is only a small movement away from some unwanted blood & pain if I get it wrong. 

Marko - Thanks for the detailed reply, & I do pretty much understand what you are describing regarding your technique. That area under my bottom lip to the chin is by far the most difficult area for me, the rest is a breeze in comparison, disregarding trying to get any type of BBS result. I find myself holding my breath & tensing up when doing it, which is crazy, & have to deliberately relax all the muscles in my body. And to be quite honest I doubt I would ever achieve a BBS finish to my neck area (a potential other subject I was going to get into later - but not now :-) as it would require more ATG passes than I am willing to give for a maximum 3 pass session. I take to long as it is for shaving 3 passes.

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Super Moderator
I completely understand your nervousness. I was the same way when I started out. I didn’t even attempt a three pass shave for almost a year. I also found that rubbing an alum block on my face before final rinse and post shave application helped soothe the irritation caused by my developing technique. It will come in time and you will gradually relax although it is important to always pay attention. I think in the early stages your best to focus on a light touch and smoothness. Nerves can sometimes lead to hesitation and lack of smoothness so relax and enjoy the process. You could also experiment with various blades to see what works best for you in your razor on the setting you like.

BPman likes this post
Thanks again for your input Marko, really appreciate it. I actually was thinking about trying other blades & might try a sample type pack. I have some 'Feathers', but think maybe that should be for another time when I have got my technique down more consistently, they seem to have a reputation for being used only when you are more experienced.

I will say that one aspect I really enjoy about DE shaving is the 'rasping' sound it makes when cutting the hair. The Weber was fantastic for the sound it produced (not so much the Slim, but am concentrating so much that may miss hearing it), but as said, the blade is not held straight in it (wave issues) , so a no go for shaving. Will have to find out what type of grit number sharpening stone needed to level the blade ridges in the bottom plate so that I can use it again.

New Brunswick, Canada
(This post was last modified: 08-24-2020, 02:14 AM by John Rose. Edited 2 times in total.)
(08-04-2020, 02:39 PM)BPman Wrote:
(08-04-2020, 06:02 AM)chainsaw Wrote: ...any suggestions?

Stop striving for a "perfect" shave that is the mythical BBS. Do not be lured into believing that your face has to be "glass" smooth or else your shave is an utter failure. Stop groping your face post-shave as there will always be some hair remaining no matter how many times you go over it and by doing so you risk irritation and ingrown hairs. 
Related to that is I call "Ghost Stubble".

It shows up mostly on my neck on either side of my windpipe and adam's apple, and just under my bottom lip.
I would be doing many touchup passes XTG, and ATG. When I rub it with my fingertips it feels like remaining stubble, especially ATG. So I go over it again, with seemingly no change. Eventually I'd give up and proceed with the post-shave routine. It never happens in places like my cheeks.

Twenty minutes later, after my skin has dried, I'd rub the troublesome spots and find that they are perfectly smooth.  
Confused2 Where did the stubborn stubble go? It's like it just vanished into thin air.
It never really existed and was removed with the first 2-3 passes.

Fortunately I don't get ingrown hairs and there's not much irritation when I overdo it, BUT if I've loaded a brand-new blade, I'm more likely to get weepers between my lower lip and chin than at any other spot.

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