I had heard about this safety razor hype or rather common sense in going back to the old methods. So I read through the article on here and excitedly purchased a merkur classic, a badger brush, some proraso and some merkur blades in the hope it would get me started in having pain free shaves.
First shave-I followed the tutorial on youtube from this website on how to get the technique down. I lathered up, apply generously across my whole face and proceeded to carefully wield my weapon cutting smoothly. All was going well until I reached the tricky 'chin' section. Again I carefully using very short strokes proceeded to cut the hair and then.....stuck. The razor would no longer cut and it got wedged. I was only able to cut the coarse chin hair using multiple passes and even that caused some pain and much anguish from the user.
Second Shave-Much better than last time technique is coming on very well and I felt more comfortable with the blade. All was going much better until the dreaded hair on my chin. The blade got jammed and stuck just like my mac 3, the problem I have always had.
I have come to the conclusion the blade is just not sharp enough, I have very sparse facial hair but what I do have is like steel wool. I did not even come close to cutting myself (using a safety razor isn't dangerous at all unlike the impression I got). I need something that will go through the hair without pulling at all, the less force I have to use to get it through the better.
Also I struggled with razor burn, any tips?
Thanks to all that reply!
I still consider myself fairly new on the learning curve, since I just started with a safety razor 2 weeks ago. The chin gives me a bit of a challenge, but it doesn't sound like to the extent that you're having.
The only issues I've had with razor burn have been when my face either wasn't wet enough, or I kept working at a particular spot without re-lathering.
Good luck, man. I'm sure you'll get some more tips here before long.
It could be a razor issue -- those Merkurs are just okay. This is where it's at: http://www.amazon.com/Feather-Razor-Blades-Hi-stainless-Double/dp/B...
100 blades, $30. Doesn't get better!
It could be a razor issue
You mean a blade issue. Nothing wrong with his razor.
On the rare occasion I don't use my straight (when I'm in a big hurry or have been drinking) I use a Merkur 37C with a Feather blade.
The better your technique gets, the more effective your shaving will be. So don't give up yet. The skin around your chin is a little bit looser than elsewhere on your face so make sure you use your fingers to pull apart the skin making it flatter, tighter, and exposing more hair. Try taking a hot shower prior to shaving, this will soften the hair and lather the cream into your face using your brush for atleast 2 minutes. This will further soften the chin hair making it easier to cut. Finally for razor burn you can use a pre-shave oil and get a good post shave moisturizor. I use Everyman Jack post-shave lotion. It works very well for me.
My tips would be- don't use any pressure and make sure you are holding the razor at an angle where the blade is just touching the skin. If you haven't found it yet, check out the "real shaving" group for lots of tips and recommendations for products.
I'd avoid that group since it is pretty much just a spammer who posts there. The "Wet Shaving (No Spam) group is active. You're welcome to join there if you like.
It's not spam anymore, Jon. The offending member was kicked out.
On razor burn.
One thing to know is that using the safety razor can be a bit hard on the skin. I usually only do two passes daily. If I'm out on a date or some special occasion I will do another 1 or 2 but I'll pay for it the next day as you scrape a bit of skin off as you go.
I use a good skin tonic such a witchhazel to reduce infections and a face moisturizer such as American Crew Shave to replenish my face oils and keep my skin happy.