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Thread: Major burn after first straight razor shave at Barber

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    Default Major burn after first straight razor shave at Barber

    Hi All,

    I have been interested in a straight razor shave for a long time, so I decided to get my first one at the barber's to make sure it was done properly. For the most part the shave went fine but during the shave i felt a bit of irritiation on the left side of my neck. After I got the after shave and cold towel, I did not feel anything until the next day when my wife noticed redness on my face and I felt that my skin had become very sentistivie . The situation got even worst the next day.

    So my quetion is , did the barber do something wrong or would it be normal for me to get a burn with my first shave? I must say that I predominately use an electric shaver , I know what you are thinking but I occasionaly do a wet shave with a cardrige shaver and this has never been a problem before. My skin is not that sensitive and I find it curios that only one part of my skin showed the reaction.

    I have now become a little worried to do a switch, so I appreciate any feedback on this matter.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Hones/Honing/Master Barber avatar1999's Avatar
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    Was it only on your neck that you got the irritation?

    The neck is very sensitive (I even had trouble with it when I used a cartridge) but now that I've been shaving with a straight for a while, my neck isn't irritated at all.

    Not sure the barber did anything "wrong" but maybe he used a little to much pressure on the neck area to get it smooth.

    I don't push for BBS on my neck, it would irritate my skin if I did. It's smooth when I run my hands over it, except when I rub ATG. That's when I can feel some stubble. It's good enough for me, My neck doesn't like me going ATG with the razor

    How did he do as far as stretching your skin as he shaved you? Could you tell?

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    Texas Guy from Missouri LarryAndro's Avatar
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    Barbers have to use disposable straight razor blades by law, and I suspect that is what was used by your barber. (Some barbers, I've heard, will use a true straight brought to them by the customer.) These disposable straight razor blades are extremely sharp. Whether they are sharper than the edge right off the hones of an expert honemeister, I'll leave for others to argue. But, definitely these disposables are sharper than the blades we SRPers use day in and day out.

    If you have been on SRP long, you know there is a controversy whether a blade can be too sharp. I belong to the camp that thinks blades can be too sharp for the optimal shave.

    In your case, with an extremely sharp blade, in that sensitive location, I am not surprised at all that you developed razor burn. And, I would not be surprised at all if your neck tolerated a less sharp straight razor blade quite well.

    Less sharp, but still quite sharp. Shave ready sharp.

    Don't be afraid to try straights.
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Hard to say but he might have put more pressure on that area. Also if he was using a disposable blade razor as he should have been they are as a rule not as smooth as a true straight properly honed is.

    Not talking about Feather disposable straight blades but the more common Personna such as I used to use shaving customers in the tattoo shop. They ain't worth a damn for a face shave IME. Believe me, if it was bad we wouldn't all be here talking about how much we love shaving with them. Welcome to SRP.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Yes, the barber made a big mistake somewhere. Don't worry about it. Just keep in mind that there is a big learning curve, even for a barber.

    There isn't much point in the discussion but the most likely problem was that he failed to use an oil of some sort with a disposable straight blade. A real blade doesn't need a facial oil application, but a disposable requires it. They are wickedly aggressive because they are not made for an "open" straight edge. The blades are made for Double Edge (DE) razors.

    Another possibility is that he went hog wild against the grain (ATG) and created his own irritation. Since it was on your face he probably didn't really care.

    A regular straight razor, in your own hands, with your own experience, will not cause these problems; if you know what you are doing with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by avatar1999 View Post
    Was it only on your neck that you got the irritation?

    The neck is very sensitive (I even had trouble with it when I used a cartridge) but now that I've been shaving with a straight for a while, my neck isn't irritated at all.

    Not sure the barber did anything "wrong" but maybe he used a little to much pressure on the neck area to get it smooth.

    I don't push for BBS on my neck, it would irritate my skin if I did. It's smooth when I run my hands over it, except when I rub ATG. That's when I can feel some stubble. It's good enough for me, My neck doesn't like me going ATG with the razor

    How did he do as far as stretching your skin as he shaved you? Could you tell?
    I just got the irritation on the left side of my neck ONLY. He defintely went against the grain since my beard is quite thick so with the grain alone won't do the trick, but just not sure why it would just affect that section.

    I think he was streching the skin somewhat.

    Anyway I did not expect this kind of irritation that's why I went to a barber.

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    From what I gather most people think it's the disposable blade that did it. I am just a little perplexed why it would affect only one side of the neck though. it was quite a disappointing experience since they charged a lot for the shave which took 45 minutes . I just expected the smoothest shave ever.

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    all your razor are belong to us red96ta's Avatar
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    It sounds like he may have been using too much pressure on the blade and giving your some of that irritation.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaviar View Post
    Hi All,

    I have been interested in a straight razor shave for a long time, so I decided to get my first one at the barber's
    .....
    when my wife noticed redness on my face and I felt that my skin had become very sentistivie . The situation got even worst the next day.

    So my quetion is , did the barber do something wrong or would it be normal for me to get a burn with my first shave? I must say that I predominately use an electric shaver , I know what you are thinking but I occasionaly do a wet shave with a cardrige shaver and this has never been a problem before. My skin is not that sensitive and I find it curios that only one part of my skin showed the reaction.

    I have now become a little worried to do a switch, so I appreciate any feedback on this matter.

    Cheers.
    Switching from or to an electric can give you a rash.
    Plain and simple switching takes a while to adjust.

    The skin does seem to change and adapt to the method
    and products.

    My guess is that the part of your neck that developed a
    rash is different. One side of my neck grows up and
    the other side grows down with some swirled bits to complicate
    any transition...

    To ease into the switch get some wet saving soap or cream
    a boar brush and spend five bucks on a dozen BiC single edge tossables.
    They are the yellow ones for Sensitive skin. SKIP the double, triple
    and quad tossables.

    Start with a systematic north south shave (normally with the grain).
    Follow with a light one time touch up to catch the omissions. BBS
    is not the goal. If your face flairs up red skip shaving that bit for
    a day.

    Give each tossable no more than three days of use and
    about half way through the bag add some cross the grain
    and rare against the grain touch ups. Half way through
    the bag (12/bag) you can try for more days per blade and
    even try for a BBS a couple times.

    In a month you will have practiced pre-shave, lathering
    and post shave. Try Nivea Sensitive Post shave balm *works
    well for me*.

    A one bag of 12 should take you past one month and should
    let you discover if WET shaving is a good or bad thing for you.

    Then go back to the barber, or graduate to better wet shaving tools: str8, DE,
    better brush different soaps different shave creams.

    I am a FAN of wet shaving with a sharp blade, any blade.

  10. #10
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    The big issue is that in the past barbers gave shaves as an everyday part of their duties and if you wanted the the best shave of your life you went to a barber. These days barbers aren't really trained in straight use and if they decide to use a disposable type and offer shaves those unlucky customers who come into their shop will be the guinea pigs. Based on what I've seen on this forum the chances of getting a good shave from a barber is about the same as hitting it big in the lottery.
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