#1
Greetings Gents,

I've always struggled with razor burn on my neck (directly on Adam's Apple as well as to left and right of it), but have not found relief despite my efforts. I shave every other day due to the neck irritation and razor burn. My usual routine is as such:
  • Post shower, morning shave
  • TOBS pre shave gel, proraso, or another preshave product
  • Shave cream or soft soap w Plisson synthetic (add glycerine for additional slickness)
  • Merkur 34c with Personna Lab Blues
  • Let lather sit on face for 1-2 min before first pass
  • WTG, XGT, and either a second XGT pass or AGT (but never on neck)
  • Gentle stretch on bottom of neck
  • Cold water rinse
  • Splash of witch hazel
  • A HQ aftershave balm
I've tried periods of cold water shaves, pre-shave hot towel treatments, and other techniques; unfortunately, my neck has more razor burn then when I used a multi blade cartridge. I've watched a myriad of videos and read articles, but just haven't cracked the code. I'm almost sure it's technique, but it's frustrating as I don't rush and use little to no pressure. I did grain mapping, modified my technique and still get bumps. 

I don't want to go back to cartridges, but I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Any advice would help. Thanks!
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#2

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Welcome to DFS. Smile

For now, try all of the techniques you are using but do only one WTG pass, no more. Your shave may not be as close but, for now, you want to see what works for you. Good luck.
#3
How long have you been wet shaving? I had the same issues in the same locations. In fact, two months in I was ready to give up and go back to the electric razor. I am now achieving irritation free shaves. I added Nivea SS to my shave routine and was using only derby blades. It finally cleared up, but I feel it can mostly be attributed to lighter pressure and better technique through practice. I don't know if that's more advice or encouragement, but hang in there, it can be done. There are a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people on here who can help. We will get you squared away.
#4
I would also try different blades if you haven't yet. Most blades work fine for me on most of my face, but only a handful feel comfortable on my neck.

You might also try shaving before you shower. I wash and do a quick towel soak before then shower after. It really seems to help me.
Head Shaver
#5
(07-21-2015, 01:28 AM)The Great Davenport Wrote: Greetings Gents,

I've always struggled with razor burn on my neck (directly on Adam's Apple as well as to left and right of it), but have not found relief despite my efforts. I shave every other day due to the neck irritation and razor burn. My usual routine is as such:
  • Post shower, morning shave
  • TOBS pre shave gel, proraso, or another preshave product
  • Shave cream or soft soap w Plisson synthetic (add glycerine for additional slickness)
  • Merkur 34c with Personna Lab Blues
  • Let lather sit on face for 1-2 min before first pass
  • WTG, XGT, and either a second XGT pass or AGT (but never on neck)
  • Gentle stretch on bottom of neck
  • Cold water rinse
  • Splash of witch hazel
  • A HQ aftershave balm
I've tried periods of cold water shaves, pre-shave hot towel treatments, and other techniques; unfortunately, my neck has more razor burn then when I used a multi blade cartridge. I've watched a myriad of videos and read articles, but just haven't cracked the code. I'm almost sure it's technique, but it's frustrating as I don't rush and use little to no pressure. I did grain mapping, modified my technique and still get bumps. 

I don't want to go back to cartridges, but I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Any advice would help. Thanks!

Hang in there dude...

So my initial thoughts....I tend to agree with Dslack3.  When I first started I would still have minor razor burn from time to time.  I also came to find that this was from poor technique.  After I cleaned my technique up and switched to smoother blades (Personna Lab Blues and Feathers) I get great smooth shaves 5 days a week.  I also think you may be putting too much on your face during your routine.  All the products you listed are well respected in this community, but I have very sensitive skin when it comes to chemicals and I have had to minimize my routine.  Here it is:

Post Shower, wash my face last and do not dry it off after exit
PAA Moisturizing Pre Shave Butter Balm
Lather a good all natural soap (artisan such as PAA, Dr Jons, etc.)
Shave with a light pressure BUT correct blade angle....(Most new shavers correct for poor angle with more pressure...focus on angle and grain not pressure.)
cold rinse followed by alum block then pat dry
rub on some PAA post shave balm (Scentless)

I also try not to touch my face more than I have to throughout the day.  If you wear collard shirts and ties for work it can cause irritation too.

I also got better(closer, less irritating) shaves after I switched to a slant razor....but I would focus on your technique FIRST, before you go carving your face up with a slant

Just my opinion.  Hope it helps.
#6

Merchant
Los Angeles
Welcome to the forum!

I'll echo others in saying that it is your lack of experience, but there are few things you can try to lessen the pain while you become more skilled with each shave.

Try this prep: If you usually shave in the morning, use a quality moisturizer on your face the night before. When you get up, don't take shower and get your face all soft. Instead, thoroughly wash your face, lather up and wash it of again, then lather and shave. Don't dismiss this as "not normal", it may not be normal routine to some, but it might help you.

Keep us posted Wink
Seva the Soap Schmoozer
www.soapsmooth.com
#7
Stop trying to soften the beard. You are more than likely cutting the coarser hairs lengthwise instead of crosswise. Your follicles get plenty of hydration from the shower. Since most people take hot showers I would suggest a cold water rinse on your face and neck before starting your shave.

If these things have been done, then change blades. But be more drastic about it and give a SE a try. No matter what I did I couldn't get a good shave with a flimsy DE blade. So it isn't always technique. If you feel like your technique is good then it may be time to try something significantly different.
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
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#8

Merchant
Central Maine
TGD, you said the magic word... cartridges. I know EXACTLY what you're doing wrong and how to cure it. The cure however begins and ends with prevention and it's all in your hands, quite literally. Grasshopper, we can teach you.

First, razor burn is by getting a too close shave. What happens is that you remove too many layers of skin cells exposing the underlying living nerve ends. That's what razor burn is. It lasts for a few hours until the nerve ends die back.

OK, how it's happening... You come to traditional wet blade shaving from cartridges. That was the key to me knowing what's going on. Cartridges must have pressure in order to work. They require it and won't work without it. Blade shaving requires just the opposite. Trust me on this. You need to use almost no pressure during the shave. Safety razors work best without pressure. Look in the mirror and pay attention to your skin. If it's indenting under the razor even the slightest you're using too much pressure. You may need to lean way over to get close enough to see it. We describe this as using only the weight of the razor, or using "no pressure" and we mean it. Fight what you did to make cartridges work. That's what's causing your razor burn. When you finally realize you're using pressure and can conquer that the bladed razor will work fine. Too many of the wrong sort of passes wil make it even worse. Back off and make one pass until you learn what you're doing.

When we write about technique that's one of the things that's included. Another critical part of technique is really good lather, and don't think you must shave to practice making lather. You can practice lather making in your hand. Then rinse it down the drain and make it again. IMO, it's just wrong to practice making lather to shave with. That lather should be the perfect sort and not practice lather. You want to make mistakes when you don't have a shave in the offing. You don't mention what soap. If it's good soap you shouldn't need to add anything for great lather. If it's substandard ask how to make the good stuff. Maybe your water is at fault. But we need to know more to help with that. Some soaps are known to be easy to lather and some are just junk even for those of us with experience.

But coming to blade shaving from cartridges I would be willing to bet all of Andrews pay checks for the next year that it's too much pressure at fault and the number of passes making it worse. :-)

True story, those of you who know me just move on, you've heard it before. I have abuddy who I converted to blade shaving. I got him a Merkur razor on line and he happily went home and began to shave. I'd ask him from time to time how it was going and he'd lie to me and tell me that it was going OK, but... and then he'd tell me of a problem and I'd tell him to use less pressure and when he thought he was using less pressure use half of that pressure. This went on for months with the same scenario playing out many times. Then one Sunday he called me and told me, "When you mean use no pressure that's what you really mean, don't you!?". "Yup", I told him. Then he proceeded to tell me how he decided to do what I'd been telling him for months as a last resort before chucking it all in*, and that he got the best shave in his life, how it was counterintuitive to use less pressure for a great shave, yada, yada.

*when in doubt do what you've been told for months. :-)

So I tell you now to use less pressure. Far less pressure. Then use half again less pressure, and continue to use half again less pressure every time you shave. You need to unlearn what cartridges told you to use and you need to send that signal to the hands. So when I first began this post telling you that you had the answer in your hands that's exactly what I meant.

Oh, and don't forget to learn how to make great lather. It's a critical skill for a truly great shave. Never use substandard lather; unless of course you want problems during the shave.

If you want to move into more aggressive razors, and I'm suggesting nothing as there is no "natural progression" into more aggressive razors, but if you do decide you need a more aggressive razor everything you learned will be required to use them. So develop perfect technique now and use any razor you want to in the future. Or not. It's totally up to you; it's your skin that's in the game. The nice thing is that perfect technique now will lead to great shaves whether you move to more aggressive razors or not.

Other than not knowing what soap you're using I didn't see any glaring problems with gear.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
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#9

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
As always, nicely stated, Brian.

Ultimately, the learning process is well worth the final result and Brian gives a great head start in his explanation.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#10
I can only really echo what the other guys are saying here. It sounds like your gear is fine but it may just be trying to shake the well worn style embedded in your technique from using cartridges for so long. 
I'd try different blades and possibly razors, I don't own a 34c but I started out like many others with an EJ DE89 and despite it's "mild" reputation i made a bit of a mess of my face with it until I acclimatised to the different style of hardware. It may seem a bit premature to some but if you were to go with a single edge razor they can be had very cheaply on ebay and the thicker blades do ( I feel, anyway ) get through tougher stubble easier so less strokes, less irritation. Good luck.
Will


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