Friday, February 6, 2015

The Interesting Third Pass

Normally with any blade from my inventory in my Merkur 33 razor head, I can take the first two passes (with grain and across grain) of any shave without any remarkable event. No irritation to speak of, no wounds.

After two passes, the shave is normally close enough to call good. It's just that it isn't all that rewarding to the hand, and, of course, later in the day, the shave begins to get a bit ragged.

It's almost always the third pass in which things get interesting.

The third pass is, for me, when irritation might begin to be evident. And wounds will typically occur when going for that completely-smooth outcome shaving against the grain.

As you may know from my previous articles, I've gone to a finishing razor and blade combination for the third pass to try to optimize the result: minimizing flaws and maximizing smoothness.

Thursday, yesterday, after a good-but-not-perfect shave, it occurred to me that maybe it's not just gear that may make the difference; perhaps my third-pass shave prep can be tweaked to improve that third-pass outcome. I remembered my by-gone use of shave oil under my lather.

Perhaps it's time to return to that extra step only preceding the ultimate pass to see if it helps with that problematic step.

So on Friday, today, I will pull out (or have pulled out -- sometimes I write these articles in advance of publication date), one of my pre-shave-oil bottles, and rub some of that on before I go for the gold in the third pass. I will also again use the Personna-red blade in the Slim, which I will keep set on three to compare to Thursday's shave.

At the very least, I'll be reporting the results in my weekly shave summary on Saturday -- that is, if I don't write a separate article on the matter.

Happy shaving!

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