Monday, November 3, 2014

The Best Shaving Advice that I Didn't Take, But Should Have

In my obsessive quest for the perfect shave -- that is, baby smooth everywhere with no irritation -- I am still fussing over shaving my most challenging real estate, which is just below my jaw line and my mid and lower neck.
Mantic59, a.k.a. the Sharpologist, a rock
star in the DE universe. He has both
a blog and a YouTube channel offering
valuable shaving information.

These areas are difficult due to a combination of small depressions in the skin surface within larger concave areas, skin that is thin and somewhat loose, hair-grain directions that change within relatively small distances, and hair-grain direction that is in patches growing horizontally or nearly so across my neck, which is the most challenging direction for me to shave in that area.

To shave these areas with my DE razor, I have to frequently change the contortion of my face and jaw as well as stretching the skin similarly to a person shaving with a straight razor. Additionally, to get a good, smooth shave in these trouble areas, I have to get shaving-stroke direction in combination with oblique-stroke angles just right.

A great bit of advice that I noted but didn't actually use at the beginning was from one of Mantic59's (a.k.a. the Sharpologist's) how-to videos. In one video (perhaps more), he recommends literally mapping on paper the direction of beard grain on one's face (and neck as applicable). This is excellent advice particularly if the grain varies greatly over one's beard as mine does. Had I used that bit of brilliant advice long ago, I probably wouldn't be fussing over my trouble areas these days.

As time has gone by I have paid much closer attention to the subtleties of grain direction in these trouble areas and am getting better at consistently dealing with them appropriately, but I would have been light years ahead if I had mapped my beard from day one as Mantic59 suggested.

So if you have trouble areas like I do, make sure you have a clear grain-direction map -- either on paper or, at least, clearly in mind.

Happy shaving!

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