Okay, every time I shave, I nick myself.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Sometimes it's a small nick, other times it seems like I hit an artery.  At first I thought it was because I was shaving before I showered, so I started shaving after a shower, or at least making sure my face was moist with warm water.  Didn't help.  Then I thought, maybe it's because I'm using a 5 blade razor, so I change to a single blade disposable razor, at first I had some luck, then it started happening again.  Then I thought, perhaps I'm shaving too quickly, so I slowed down.  Still happens.

What am I doing wrong?

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i think your technique probably sucks.

i go with grain first pass, against second pass. I'm careful. Apply right pressure.  Take my time.

Also using a brush to apply the proraso type cream has been great, with a simple disposable.

I shave against and then with.  I'll try changing it up.  Also - proraso cream?  I've been using standard Barbasol.  Maybe I need a change there.  Where can I find this cream?

Always go with the grain first. And don’t try against the grain until your with-the-grain shaves are consistently cut free.

I find I cut myself only when I accidentally move the razor perpendicular to the handle: make sure you move it only parallel to the handle.

One thing that may help with this is holding the razor by the very end of the handle. This makes it harder to accidentally slide the razor sideways, and it also helps ensure you are using a very light pressure against the skin.

Sounds like you need to revise your mindset toward shaving.  The goal should not be "beard removal" but "gradual beard reduction". As already said, ALWAYS go with the grain first pass.  For a second pass try going across the grain. If you still aren't as smooth as you'd like, go across the grain in the other direction.  Re-lather between each pass with a good quality cream like Proraso. It may help to lather up and let the lather sit on your face for a few minutes before you start shaving. That will allow the cream to soften up your whiskers, which makes shaving easier.

Also, you may want to check out safety razors.  They can be had for around $30 new and the blades are far cheaper than those cartridges.

A light touch. A really light touch. I've noticed barbers who use a straight razor hold a razor like they're holding the wings of a butterfly - lightly, between two fingers. More pressure doesn't provide a closer shave, it just skins you.

I've had better luck with shave creams like Proraso and shaving soaps than with shaving foam like Barbasol.

 

Skin Prep.  There's two schools of thought on the whole before/after shower thing: shaving prior to your shower leaves the natural oils on your face helping to lubricate the skin, shaving after your shower softens the beard making it more supple.  You could try before using a hot towel which will soften the beard and leave the oils on your face, try a lather heater, try shaving soap/brush and hot water.  Shaving brushes are nice as they lift the beard when applying a lather.

Shaving.  Shave with the growth on your first pass.  Across the growth for your second pass.  Generally that means from the top down, then from the nose towards the ears, but study your own beard.  Start at the sideburns, down your cheek, stop at the jawline, neck, soul patch, mustache.  Jawline takes its own pass after everything else, from ear to chin, light pressure.  Start on your cheeks because they're the least delicate/intricate area, they'll withstand a dull blade and break in a new one, it also gives you a little warmup practice.

Stripper Tips.  Use a new blade every time you shave.  After your second pass, lather up again and make a third against the grain.  Pull the skin tight as you pass the razor across.  Apply baby oil after to discourage ingrown hair.

First Aid.  Get a styptic pen.

Is your blade sharp enough? If you're shaving with a blunt razor, you're liable to cut yourself from exerting too much pressure on a razor that can't do the job you want anyway, because it's not sharp enough. And when that happens...SLICE! 

Your beard-prep seems pretty good. But you need to look into HOW you shave, but also what you shave with. Those five-blade vibrating dildos are terrible for your face. They shave it like you're carving up a roast. Use a single-edge razor and shave slowly, with a sharp blade. Always go with the direction which you're most comfortable with, first. 

As others have said, don't try and rip the beard right off with the first try. Do it in stages. 

Use a LIGHT TOUCH. If you're pressing your razor AT ALL...you're pressing it too much already. Far too much. A razor is meant to SHAVE. Not SLICE. You're not trying to cut your throat. So you don't need any pressure for that. 

True, about the blades. Razor blades are the subject of first-year business school courses. How can a company grab its share of a saturated market? Can shaving truly get better, or can the blade manufacturers -

1) convince you they improve it, because five blades has just GOT to be better than one, or

2) sell you on a greater "shaving experience"? Clearly - Victor's shaving experience sucks.

Those five-blade razors are overkill. And if I'm going to have an "experience," I'd rather have the single-blade experience of a WWII doughboy than a five-blade skinning."experience."a single disposable blade than a five-blade skinning.

(Practical question, Victor - how often do you change your blade? Four shaves is about the max out of any blade.)

Consider DE razors, watch Mantic59 or Geofatboy videos on Youtube.  It's a learning process and Youtube will help.  

You definitely need to shave after the shower.  The shower will be part of the prep.  You can even put tome hair conditioner on your face while in the shower.  make sure you make a nice lather.  there are some nice 'traditional' creams out there like Musgo Real.  Body Shop Macca Root is a nice contemporary cream.  I shave with a straight razor almost every day and never nick myself.  Even if you stick with the disposables, if you check out straightrazorplace.com you'll find a LOT of shave prep info.

It may be that you have 'bumpy' skin.  In that case, I'm guessing a really, really light touch is needed, even with a disposable.  If I were you I'd dump the disposables and go for either a DE or a straight.  Also, get in to pre-shave prep in a big way.  Proraso pre-shave cream is really good; apply that after applying hot water then apply your lather on top.  I used to use it every shave and it really helped me when I was a beginner with a straight....

It sounds to me you need to get in to soaps and creams and dump the ready made stuff, but that's just my opinion.

BTW, it's with then against (WTG, ATG) or WTG and across (XTG) and then against.  I normally do WTG then ATG.  I don't know anyone who does ATG then WTG

Grow a beard. Problem solved.

At the risk of being called a blasphemer - how about a good electric? If for no other reason, they tend to toughen the skin a bit. If you returned to the blade shave in four or six months, you might find yourself bleeding less.

 

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