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  1. #1
    Member undertakingyou's Avatar
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    Default Bad Neck Razor Burn

    So I have tried a bunch of different methods. Not only do I NOT get a great shave on the neck, but I also get some big nasty burn all over my neck when ever I shave.

    I have tried stretching about every way I can get my hand to go. I have stropped a second time right before shaving the neck. I have tried all sorts of pressure variation. If I use absolutely no pressure the blade skitters around.

    Long and the short, I can't shave my neck without burn. Bad burn. It looks like my neck has severe bleeding acne and people don't talk about it because they are afraid of hurting my feelings. It looks really bad and doesn't feel good to boot.

    Any pointers on how to avoid this?

  2. #2
    WORKSHOP:SOTD:CUSTOMS Maximilian's Avatar
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    Let me ask you this first.

    Before using a straight razor, did you also get razor burn from using your DE, Fusion or any other shaving tool you might have used?
    Do you have acne on your neck?
    Do you give your neck enough time to heal from the razor burn between your next shave?
    What is your beard type? coarse, normal, barbed wire,...
    Are we talking razor burn when shaving WTG only?
    Do you go over the same spot over and over again?
    I'm sure you prep well with lots of water soaking, good quality soap or cream,...

    Many questions but there's many variables involved and we need to slowly eliminate the ones that do not apply.
    Max Sprecher
    straight razor aficionado

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    Senior Member Vashaver's Avatar
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    Is your razor sharp "enough" I know this may sound stupid but a razor that will shave dont always meen it should shave. A rough honed blade or some micro chiped blades will pull like hell . Max about coverd it... when I started with a straight I used way to much angle(and dull) and had burn the first time or two. I use the least amount of angle that shaves close......follow the path of least resistance and make sure its still cutting the hair close. Some say the thickness of the spine off your skin wich is about right for me too. If the razor is on-time is should need little to No pressure and give a smooth shave. If you have high spots there coming off.
    Last edited by Vashaver; 04-20-2009 at 04:38 AM.

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    Member undertakingyou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximilian View Post
    Let me ask you this first.

    Before using a straight razor, did you also get razor burn from using your DE, Fusion or any other shaving tool you might have used?
    No, no problem with razor burn at all with Mach III or my DE.
    Do you have acne on your neck?
    No. And it isn't just because the razor shaved it off. I really don't.
    Do you give your neck enough time to heal from the razor burn between your next shave?
    I go a day between shaves usually. But really I don't have the burn fully healed no.
    What is your beard type? coarse, normal, barbed wire,...
    As I don't feel up other people to check I am not 100% sure. My barber says I have a full course beard. I'll go with that: full course beard.
    Are we talking razor burn when shaving WTG only?
    Do you go over the same spot over and over again?
    It is whether I just do one pass or several. Either WTG or ATG, doesn't seem to matter. I followed Jolly's shaving video today and did 4 passes over the neck to get a decently smooth neck shave. No hair, but tons of burn.
    I'm sure you prep well with lots of water soaking, good quality soap or cream,...
    I have an assortment of creams and soaps that seem like they are good quality. Some from gentlemens quarterly, others from Burt's Bees brand, and my main soap is a home made soap I got of the net, but the ingredient list looks good. I usually make an uberlather with plenty of glycerin and water. And I shave after I shower and wash my face with a glycerin based facial cleansor. Then I put a rag with hot water over my face and neck just prior to lathering up.

    As another side note I don't really get burn anyplace else, maybe a little on occasion on my upper lip when I go ATG. Just my neck gets it no matter what. The razor cuts good. That is one of the first things I checked. I got a shave ready razor from Lee here on the forums. It cuts good.
    Last edited by undertakingyou; 04-20-2009 at 04:56 AM.

  5. #5
    WORKSHOP:SOTD:CUSTOMS Maximilian's Avatar
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    If it's not the blade then it's technique.

    Razor burn which we all know is an irritation to the skin which is usually caused by a blunt blade or improper technique. Dry shaving, to much pressure, shaving to quickly,... are also amongst the culprits but we eliminated those through your answers.

    4 passes is way to much for the neck.

    I personally never do more than 2 or 3 passes for the neck. And then it's just BBS. But if you say you had to do 4 passes to get a decently smooth neck shave, sorry, then it's your technique or blade.

    Give your neck a few days to heal. if you don't heal you'll end up with razor bumps.

    Try with another razor. See what it says. That's going to be the only way for you to know, really. And we have to be sure it's a properly honed blade too.

    We should be down to 2 variables. Now it's just a matter of eliminating one.
    Max Sprecher
    straight razor aficionado

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximilian View Post
    If it's not the blade then it's technique.

    Razor burn which we all know is an irritation to the skin which is usually caused by a blunt blade or improper technique. Dry shaving, to much pressure, shaving to quickly,... are also amongst the culprits but we eliminated those through your answers.

    4 passes is way to much for the neck.

    I personally never do more than 2 or 3 passes for the neck. And then it's just BBS. But if you say you had to do 4 passes to get a decently smooth neck shave, sorry, then it's your technique or blade.

    Give your neck a few days to heal. if you don't heal you'll end up with razor bumps.

    Try with another razor. See what it says. That's going to be the only way for you to know, really. And we have to be sure it's a properly honed blade too.

    We should be down to 2 variables. Now it's just a matter of eliminating one.
    Excellent advice! Listen to this man.

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    ^ agreed.

    My money is on angle.

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    I also agree, provided that you have carefully inspected the direction of your beard growth and that your first WTG pass truly is WTG. For some guys a WTG pass on the neck is a South-North pass, but I assume you've been shaving for a while undertaking. Anyhow, you might try it and that would only be a third variable.

    X

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    I've been battling irritation on my neck as well. I would always get it with mach 3, fusion, DE, etc. I actually get it much less with a straight, but anyway, here's a few tips I've learned that have been working for me lately.

    First of all, what is your post shave routine? A good way to battle/squash any minor irritation you may get is to do a cold water splash, followed by alum block, let that sit for a minute or so, then cold water splash followed by some witch hazel (thayer's is great). This combination will just about eliminate minor irritation and will help more serious irritation a little also (but definitely not completely eliminate it).

    A key thing to battling irritation is that you have to let whatever burn you ever get heal completely before shaving again. IME, if you don't, it will take forever to heal no matter how gentle/proper you shave it. From what I've found, even 'proper' technique that would otherwise not cause irritation will cause irritation if there was already irritation there. Probably more a case of opening up the old burn, but still, you definitely need to let your face heal. For my face and mild irritation, this usually means taking one day off. For yours, or depending on how bad the irritation is, it could take longer. If you absolutely must shave, do only a WTG pass and no other neck work for a few days. This should also help to clear it up, but for me, this way takes longer than just taking a day off.

    No matter which passes you do, WTG, XTG, ATG, etc, use SUPER light pressure. For me, I can use a good deal of pressure on my cheeks/chin/etc if I want to and not getting any bad razor burn. It takes much more for me to burn those areas than with my neck. If I use even a little bit of pressure on my neck, I tend to get some irritation.

    Let me take a second to explain what I mean by light pressure. Enough to keep the blade on the skin, but not so much that you are actually starting to press and deform your skin inward if you know what I mean. When you do this, you are also changing your cutting angle unknowingly.

    My direction of growth on my neck is mostly horizontal from throat centerline to ear side (which is convenient, because I basically can't shave directly ATG, or at least I can't figure out how it would be possible, but that's neither here nor there). After 3 months, I'm still figuring out the best way to shave my neck with a straight. My neck finds it much harsher to shave north to south first, so I'm finding that my best bet for no irritation is to do my first pass south to north, and my second pass an extra light north to south pass.

    Another key thing is to NOT go over the same area (same pass, after the lather is gone, etc) over and over - once maybe twice if you use a very light touch. If you do more, you are inviting irritation. This is hard to come to terms with, because it will mean shaves that aren't as close as you might like, until you start to dial in your technique. But you have to do it. A not-as-close shave will not only look better than a close but irritated face, but it also will not require you to take a few days off to let it heal...

    Your basic strategy here should be to let it heal completely, then take it very very easy on your neck. Tolerate some not-as-close neck shaves as you start to push your neck harder and harder to see what it can truly take. As soon as you get some irritation, let it heal, and try at it again. Your technique will begin to improve, and you'll be able to get much closer shaves in much less passes, with a nice light touch, without irritation

    A final thought... I've definitely also found that a sharp blade will make your light touch much easier. If you're blade is dull(ing) and you find that it takes a good amount of pressure to get it to cut the hair on your neck relatively close, then you may need to touch it up and get it really sharp. The sharper it is, though, the easier it is to both avoid or to get irritation. IME, with a very sharp blade, a very light touch gets a nice close shave with no irritation, and a bit of pressure makes irritation easier than with a dull blade.

    Good luck!

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    Max and pqrage: All right. I will give a couple days to let my neck completely heal and I will give it a go again with the advice you have here. I'll report back later

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