Friday, October 16, 2015

From the Crash and Burn Department: Feathers Don't Fly for Me

After today's shave -- the second with the current Feather blade -- my Weishi-Dorco razor-comparison experiment has temporarily ground to a halt. The reason is the blade.

Yesterday's maiden shave with this latest Feather blade was a two-pass event, both with my mildest of mild razors, the Weishi 9306-F. The shave left my skin irritated and with a weeper on my chin. After stropping the first-use Feather on my oiled palm, I put it in the Dorco Prime razor ready for the next day's (today's) first pass. Then today after the initial pass with the Dorco Prime, the blade went back into the 9306 for the finishing pass.

I had hoped today's shave would be more face friendly due to several factors:
  • The blade might have become ever-so-slightly less sharp due to the minor wear and tear of the initial shave.
  • The blade might have become slightly more smooth due to the oiled-palm stropping that it received after its first use.
  • The first pass today was made with the Dorco Prime razor, which, though mild, is seemingly slightly more aggressive than its fraternal twin, the ultra-mild 9306, and this first pass might have knocked off just a bit more stubble, leaving less to be removed with the finishing, against-grain pass.
  • The finishing pass was made with the 9306, which is the mildest razor I own, and is usually a fine instrument for the second of two passes.
Unfortunately, none of these factors seemed to help enough. My shave this morning was a poor one, with much irritation, and several weepers.

To try to remediate my injured dermis, I went to the following lengths after today's shave:
  1. After the initial cool-water rinse, I applied alum to try to calm the skin and stop the minor bleeding of the weepers. The skin felt more calm, but the weepers continued to weep.
  2. So I applied styptic pencil to the wounds, which did dry them right up, but left my skin feeling uncomfortably stiff and tight.
  3. Then after cleaning my razors and blade, I applied a rub of witch hazel to my face and neck.
  4. Then after the witch hazel dried I applied a rub of my preferred after shave lotion, which is a nice smelling tea-tree mixture.
  5. Then after that dried, I rubbed on some strong-smelling Gillette after-shave gel -- the ubiquitous one in the blue plastic bottle.
  6. Then after that dried, I rubbed in some 3-in-1 moisturizing lotion, and I did this several times in the following hour.
After about two-and-a-half hours, things calmed down leaving only the slightest residual sense of irritation. However, this morning's proceedings convinced me to ditch from my rotation all the blades that I know will give me an uncomfortable shave. This includes Feather, Gillette Wilkinson Sword, Wilkinson Sword, Derby Extra, and Gillette 7 O'clock (black).

For tomorrow's shave, I took out one of my few remaining new Bluebird blades and put that into the c.1948 Gillette Tech. With that set up I will take a standard shave (single pass with grain), and then depending on how my face feels, I'll either stop with that, or take a final pass with the Bluebird in the 9306.

Happy shaving!

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