Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Misuse of Buffing Strokes

I had a terrible shave on Tuesday. All my fault.

I had adjusted the holy-grail razor to have about a 30-degree blade angle and a slightly positive blade exposure (above the shave plane). Also, I had been having good results using buffing strokes for all three passes when using my mild-shaving Merkur 33 razor. So I was feeling rather confident and seeking the perfect shave, thinking that this combination of a more aggressive razor set up combined with a buffing technique would rule the day.

Long story short, I irritated the beejeebers out of my face, and also left patches (not spots) of weepers. All this required a styptic application, then a thorough alum-block rub, followed by some more styptic-pencil treatment, then my customary face rinse, Noxzema wash, and then balm and additional moisturizers -- both with added vitamin-E oil.

Further, on Wednesday's shave to minimize additional abuse on my face and neck, I took it really easy, and got a fine-looking shave, but not nearly as close feeling as I prefer. At least there wasn't a bit of irritation or blood. Yet even on Wednesday evening, one could still see residual irritated-looking patches that were damaged by Tuesday's shave.

Things are pretty much back to normal today. The body's powers of recuperation and regeneration are truly amazing.

But what did I learn?

I learned that I will limit overall buffing strokes to only those razors with negative blade exposure. That, I think, is the primary lesson.

As for the holy-grail razor in its current state of adjustment, I may shave today using it as a final-pass finishing razor (but not with buffing strokes). More to follow; stay tuned.

Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. I have a very extreme counterexample to the negative exposure theory, and a potential use for those not-so-great Chinese razors:
    Best neck shave ever!