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Shaving

ZekZek Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Lately I've been frustrated by my inability to get a decent shave. I have pretty light skin and dark-ish hair that grows quickly, so I get serious stubble real fast if I don't shave thoroughly every day. The issue is that if I go with the grain it doesn't do the job at all, but my skin is pretty sensitive so it gets irritated as hell if I go against. I have an especially hard time with my upper lip. Electric is a no-go, so I've been using a Mach 3(replacing the blade once a week).

My current method is to shave in the shower. I use shaving gel(King of Shaves), and use a handheld mirror to shave. The best compromise I've been able to reach is to shave sideways - once outwards, once inwards. The shave is almost as good as against the grain but the irritation is only marginally less. I'm sort of stumped here.

Anybody have some pointers for a close shave without irritation? I've looked up tips from various places but nothing really seems to work. Maybe I'm just destined to have facial hair.

Zek on
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Posts

  • beefbeef Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shave right when you get out of the shower, but pat your face/neck with a towel so the gel sticks to your skin like a paste. It shouldn't run. Then try and shave by applying as little pressure as possible.

    beef on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    May I ask why electric is a no go? I switched to electric last year and couldn't be happier and I have to shave every day.

    Shogun on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Stubble is hot. Just enjoy knowing that you have more testosterone than men with smaller testicular endowments.

    supabeast on
  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shogun wrote: »
    May I ask why electric is a no go? I switched to electric last year and couldn't be happier and I have to shave every day.
    Because I still had the same problem, and it wasn't that good a shave either. Also, shaving in the shower is a lot more convenient in the dorms since I'm usually up before my roommate and the bathrooms are often too humid for dry shaving.
    supabeast wrote: »
    Stubble is hot. Just enjoy knowing that you have more testosterone than men with smaller testicular endowments.
    One thing I've always wondered about is, how come some guys have like no visible facial hair whatsoever? I can understand if it didn't grow very fast but you'd think that it wouldn't shave any shorter, and mine is still visible immediately after shaving.

    Zek on
  • blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    AFAIK that's just based on the thickness and darkness of their facial hair. It's there, you just can't see it.

    Maybe try experimenting with a few different types of razor? I normally use a Schick disposable on my face because I've gotten the best results with it (the grey and aqua kind) - yes, better than more expensive ones, although I haven't specifically tried the Mach III. Last week the nearest drug store stopped carrying them, so I tried a very similar Gillette model. I ended up with the worst razorburn and bunch of nicks I've had in years. I tracked down a store that carried the other kind, and everything is fine now.

    blincoln on
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  • HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Some guys just suck at growing hair on their face.
    They're called Asians.
    Seriously though, I use a combination of an electric razor for trimming and a Mach3 Power (it vibrates... I don't really know why... I didn't buy it) for the actual shave. I can't shave newly grown stubble because it irritates me so badly and is such a pain in the ass. I also just shave when I need to (for special occasions, some outings, concerts, etc.) then let it grow out again. If I shave after it's trimmed then it doesn't bother me, but I just let newly grown stuff grow out until it's long enough to trim. Then, the Mach 3 works like a charm. I also try to shave after a shower.

    Hamju on
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  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Zek wrote: »
    supabeast wrote: »
    Stubble is hot. Just enjoy knowing that you have more testosterone than men with smaller testicular endowments.
    One thing I've always wondered about is, how come some guys have like no visible facial hair whatsoever? I can understand if it didn't grow very fast but you'd think that it wouldn't shave any shorter, and mine is still visible immediately after shaving.

    I've got pretty much the same problem as you. I Can't get a clean shave no matter how hard I try and I always get irritation. So I just rock the five o'clock shadow all the time. Girls love it.

    saltiness on
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  • CruixCruix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I have to agree with Hamju for the most part ..

    I'm in more or less the same situation, I have really thick facial hair and it's the most annoying thing to deal with. What I do now is I use a Gilette Fusion Power razer (that's the one with the little black in the back, and the Power vibrates). This razer really works better than any others I've used, after upgrading from a Mach 3 to a Mach 3 Pro to this.

    But yeah .. shaving every day still hurts. If I have to shave one day after another in a row, I use shaving cream for Extra Sensitive Skin, but when I can I let it grow out for one day and just shave every other day (and then use Moisturizing or whatever other kind of shaving cream).

    Also: If you skip a day, generally, I find that going against the grain hurts less. When I've skipped a day or two, I shave down, and then up (against the grain), and then to the side and that seems to be the closest shave I ever get.

    Sorry I can't be of more help!

    Cruix on
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  • ED!ED! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Use a debilitating gel. I have sensitive skin too, and using the gel/cream (think NAIR) will allow you to get rid of the hair, w/o worrying about razor bumps. The stuff I use is very effective. . .and after using it, and watching the bumps around my neck heal - Ive been able to shave again, and not irritate the skin again. Just a suggestion.

    ED! on
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  • KhaczorKhaczor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    In the past, I was always one of the guys who stood by disposables and Gillete shaving creams. Reading this article opened my eyes and I am never going back.

    Warning: Long article but worth it.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/

    Khaczor on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Khaczor wrote: »
    In the past, I was always one of the guys who stood by disposables and Gillete shaving creams. Reading this article opened my eyes and I am never going back.

    Warning: Long article but worth it.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/


    I need to find one of these barbers I think I may be missing an integral part of a man's experience that has been phased out over the years.

    Shogun on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    A hot shave at a real barbershop will rock your world. It doesn't sound like a big deal, so just believe me.

    The best advice is probably to just keep trying different shaving gels, until you find one that treats your skin well. If you have extremely sensitive skin, maybe ask your doctor? I bet they can help you out more.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    I also have very sensitive skin. For years i tried all sorts of combinations of creams and blades. so far the best i have found is Zirh shave gel and the gilette fusion power blades. I can only shave once a week because of how sensitive my skin is. more than once a week and my face just bleeds. Thankfully my growth isnt terrible fast.

    before i shower i wet my face well with warm water and then apply the gel. i let it sit on my face for a minute to let it soften the hair. i then go with the grain for the first pass then against for the second. the vibration of the blade helps with the thicker hair without pulling. a couple of years now and i have very little irritation and a face like a baby's ass.

    the zirh stuff may be harder to find and it may seem expensive but it doesnt take much and ends up lasting a while.

    sorry for the lack of capitalization. i am on a pocket pc and feeling lazy.

    KMFurDM on
  • DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I had a similar problem. I swear by this now, as it is more a lotion than shave gel. Allows me to finally shave against the grain without irritation.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/KIEHLS-Ultimate-Shaveless-Brush-Cream_W0QQitemZ280085849722QQihZ018QQcategoryZ31763QQcmdZViewItem

    Daemonion on
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Gillette Fusion, or whatever, is good. 5 blades and it's a cool orange colour. It really does cut pretty damn well.

    I also find shaving immediately after a bath works wonders, bit impractical every morning though (especially as I prefer showers).

    corcorigan on
    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • contagious_dcontagious_d Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    OK, I am going to waste some valuable midterm-studying time here. I read a tip in a similar thread on here about a year ago which totally changed the quality of my shave forever. I don't know it this is common knowledge and I am just dumb or what, but if you use hot water first, pat off, apply shave gel, and then use cold water when you are doing the actual shaving, it is just amazing. Oh, as for razors and gunk, I like the Schick Quattro Titanium, that new Gillette shave gel in the fancy orange can, and the Gillette skin renewal aftershave gel, which is the only aftershave that I have ever tried which has any effect other than making you smell ugly.

    contagious_d on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Badger hair brush and a really good shave cream (i.e. one that costs £10-15) makes a world of difference.

    Rook on
  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Khaczor wrote: »
    In the past, I was always one of the guys who stood by disposables and Gillete shaving creams. Reading this article opened my eyes and I am never going back.

    Warning: Long article but worth it.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/

    This article has changed my life, now I am dead-set on finding either a DE or cutthroat razor. I normally wear a mustache and goatee, I have used Mach 3s and Mach 3 Turbos up until I lost my job, I used disposables for a while, and now I just don't shave (the new job I start in a couple of weeks doesn't require it).

    I may just grow a mighty beard, and then after a few paychecks check out some of the older razors and creams mentioned in the article.

    Einhander on
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Wow. That linked article made shaving sound amazing. I must try this method.

    Casual Eddy on
  • IncendiusIncendius Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Stay away from shitty shaving gels in squirt-cans - get a tub and a brush; my skin has been in much better condition since I did.

    Incendius on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    I've been using a Mach 3 and Gillette shaving foam (not gel), which works good enough, but I've been wanting to try a proper brush since I hear it's the shit. Color me interested in the links in this thread. :^:

    Foam on a can is way better than gel on a can, IMO.

    Echo on
  • PussumPussum Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Here is what I do to get a close shave when I need it. Now I have excema really bad so my skin gets irritated to the extreme quite easily so I can understand where you are coming from. I find that if I shave right out of the shower it helps or if I soak a rag in hot water and press it to my face for a bit it gets my skin all nice and workable and softens up the hairs. After that I take my Mach 3 and go with the grain completely. I wash all the shaving cream residue of my face and again soak the rag and press it to my face for a minute or so. Then I take a bit more cream, not a lot because I have already chopped of most of the hair, and apply a nice, but thin, coat over my face and slowly go against the grain. That usually does the job. Don't expect it not to irritate your face though because you have to remember you are dragging a sharp blade against your sensitive skin so no matter what you do there is going to be a bit of irritation. Top that off with the shaving cream drying out your face as you go and it is going to itch for a bit. But once you are done going against the grain wash your face really good and put some shave cream on it. I find that the irritation isn't as harsh and goes away rather quickly. On top of that the shave last for more than just 8 hours.

    Pussum on
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  • MishraMishra Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    From a previous shaving thread, I've since decided to stick with the Billy Jealousy products which don't need a brush, also I change baldes every three days, expensive, but that gives you an idea how thick my beard is:

    have a nice thick mediterranian beard. Back in the day I'd shave about once every 3 days to avoid bleeding all over and I'd never get a good shave. Of course once I joined the military it was every day, and boy was it messy. I've had good luck with a Mach 3 and Art of Shaving products. I use their oil, shaving soap and aftershave. they sell trial packs that some with a badger hair brush for $40(a really good deal thier brushes are usually like $200). I've recently tried stuff by Billy Jealousy as well and find that it's pretty darned good as well. The key is let the lather work its way into your beard and soften it (say for like a minute). Then shave. I usually do one pass with the grain then one against trying not to cover the same area multiple times. This minimizes the amount of skin I lose. Just rinse your razor between strokes. It'll take about a month for your skin to get used to it and for you to get really close shaves.

    The difference between the good shaving creams and the stuff you buy at the local supermarket is how it treats your skin. Most aerosols dry your skin out and moisture is your friend. The whole point of the lather is to allow water to seep into the hairs and soften them. Just my suggestions, it may not work for you but I've gotten compliments from past girlfriends on how smooth a shave I can get.

    Mishra on
    "Give a man a fire, he's warm for the night. Set a man on fire he's warm for the rest of his life."
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  • JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Daemonion wrote: »
    I had a similar problem. I swear by this now, as it is more a lotion than shave gel. Allows me to finally shave against the grain without irritation.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/KIEHLS-Ultimate-Shaveless-Brush-Cream_W0QQitemZ280085849722QQihZ018QQcategoryZ31763QQcmdZViewItem

    I'm surprised you linked the article and not the author's excellent blog as well.

    For those not in the shaving know:

    www.shaveblog.com

    Not too much going on the last few months as the dude has covered just about all there is to write about wet shaving, from razors to brushes to balms, so it's best to start from the beginning. Some products are no longer available, but the big ones like Trumper, Nancy Boy, Taylor's, and Truefitt & Hill, are just as popular as ever.

    JWFokker on
  • skippydumptruckskippydumptruck begin again Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    Badger hair brush and a really good shave cream (i.e. one that costs £10-15) makes a world of difference.

    This is true. Also, get a safety razor. I use a Merkur HD.

    It's hard to get down at first (because let's face it, most of us never learned how to shave. We learned to press a multi-bladed thing against our face, never having to deal with changing angles or learning about pressure).

    Once you learn how to use it, though, you end up with much less irritation, because you do 1 pass of the razor with each lather, and 3-4 passes on your face with each shave. Compare that to the Mach 3 -- each time you scrape that across your face, you're doing 3 passes (3 razors), and you've probably done 9 by the time you're done.

    Lastly, the Nancy Boy shaving cream mentioned above is the shit. It's tested on boyfriends, not animals, so you know it's good :D

    skippydumptruck on
  • variantvariant Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Anyone seen Walk The Line? The dude who plays Cash, watch him in that movie, how in the hell does any grown man(thats not asian) have such a fking perfect shave? Did he get it laser'd off or something?

    variant on
  • FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    variant wrote: »
    Anyone seen Walk The Line? The dude who plays Cash, watch him in that movie, how in the hell does any grown man(thats not asian) have such a fking perfect shave? Did he get it laser'd off or something?

    Makeup, I imagine.

    I've been wet shaving for almost a year now and I absolutely love it. I got a low end badger brush and some soap first and kept shaving with a Mach 3, but after a bit I got this beastly beast. A straight needs more upkeep than a safety razor (you've gotta strop it and keep it oiled), but you feel awesome using it. Plus, if I'm ever attacked by ninjas while shaving, I'll be able to defend myself. emot-haw.gif

    Someone mentioned creams, I've tried a few but my favorite is the Kiss My Face Moisture shave stuff. Lathers up very thick and keeps my skin moist.

    Fats on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I just electric it at night before I go to bed, and sleep off the irritation. I suppose if I considered stubble a problem or if I had a girlfriend I might try to find the cleanest way to do it in the morning. As it is, my only directive is to keep my stubble from getting so long I need to trim it off.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • KyanilisKyanilis Bellevue, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The thing with electrics (which I now use) is that it takes awhile for your face to adjust to it. When I first bought mine it wasn't exactly the best, but now it gets just as close. Now, I've never had a problem with shaving though, being for the longest time I just didn't grow much facial hair (I was around 20 before I actually started to need to even shave every other day, which was nice, being in the military and all), however, I used to dry shave all the time (mostly for lack of time) and yes, there'd be razor burn, but I've maybe cut myself twice EVER.

    Anyhow, the point is, I switched to electric and after awhile not only could I get the same close shave I always got, but hey, no irritation. My only advice is try a few of the gels/methods/everything else suggested, in all likelyhood something will work for ya.

    Kyanilis on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I tend to shave with only a Mach 3 somethingorother (the blue one) and water - partly because I'm lazy and partly because I'm too cheap to buy shaving cream - but admittedly my skin is decidedly awful. The thing I found most useful about the above article was the 'hot water to soften hair and cold water to close pores' method. Usually I shave By filling a sink with warm water, soaking my face, dipping the razor in the water and dragging north to south, flicking the razor in the water after every stroke. This is probably dulling my blades a lot quicker than it needs to, as I quickly find that one stroke of the razor goes about an inch at most before it gets clogged with hair (I typically shave once a week, and by that time it's full-beard status).

    This thread has spurred me into trying a brush and a new razor, though. I'm thinking of the Mach 3 Turbo Power Suffix Name Extension simply because I'm used to the way the razor works and they're easy to buy cartridges for, but can anyone recommend something better or steer me clear if I'm about to make a bad decision?

    Willeth on
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  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Also, props if you can actually use a "hand-powered" razor at all. IMHO it takes too long, it's too tedious, and far far too easy to injure yourself. I never could figure out how to shave my chin without cutting it before I switched to electric.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • skippydumptruckskippydumptruck begin again Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Willeth wrote: »
    This thread has spurred me into trying a brush and a new razor, though. I'm thinking of the Mach 3 Turbo Power Suffix Name Extension simply because I'm used to the way the razor works and they're easy to buy cartridges for, but can anyone recommend something better or steer me clear if I'm about to make a bad decision?

    I think a safety razor is a good choice, but only if you're willing to shave every day or every other day. If you let the stubble get too long, it becomes more difficult. If you're going to get a brush, just do some research -- nice ones can run in the hundreds, and you really don't need to spend that much to get a quality brush. I think mine cost $50, and it should be good for 10 years or so.

    And with the brush, look into a nice cream. They run $10-30 each, but you have to keep in mind that they last much longer than a regular can of cream, and they work well with the brush method (plus they smell nice).
    Also, props if you can actually use a "hand-powered" razor at all. IMHO it takes too long, it's too tedious, and far far too easy to injure yourself. I never could figure out how to shave my chin without cutting it before I switched to electric.

    I hate shaving, but I've found that using a slower, more studied method actually helps me enjoy it more -- it's kind of like pampering yourself to slather some good-smelling cream on your face with a nice brush. It takes twice as long as a mach 3 style shave, but I don't hate it as much, if that makes sense. Brush + nice cream + nice razor = more of a luxury for me.

    In the interest of full disclosure, though, I'm also partially won over by the old-timey nature of the process.

    skippydumptruck on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    It's precisely because I don't shave every other day that I'm thinking of sticking with the Mach 3. Usually if it's amazingly long I'll use my hair clippers without the guard to shorten it, and whip the rest off with the Gilette. Thanks, though.

    Willeth on
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  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Just some general tips from experience.

    All the above mentioned advice involving a 'wet' shave is fantastic and I would recommend it myself

    I use a merkur HD and a Straight Razor when I have somewhere important to be, and I find that a lot of people, when shaving have a few misconceptions and general things that they miss or do incorrectly while shaving, and they are as follows;

    Not closing your pores after your shave. This can be done by tossing some cooler water on your face or with a decent moisturizer. If you suffer for irritation then get something with aloe or a general irritation appeaser.

    Shaving 'with the grain' but not really shaving 'with the grain.' Shaving with the grain does not mean shaving in just down strokes. For instance, my beard grain is down and then towards the chin, so my strokes have an angled arc to them.

    Not going both ways. First, go with the grain, reapply lather and then go against the grain. If your skin is sensitive, then go across the grain.

    Making your skin tight in the region in which the razor is going to pass. This can be done by pulling the skin. It brings the hairs in that region to a standing position and further opens the pores. The tricky regions, like the upper lip and chin can be stretched without the use of your hands; just make funny faces.

    Take your time! Enjoy your warm bathroom and the ambient steam and moisture and the manly ritual which is shaving!

    Don't press your razor. A lot of irritation is directly due to pressure too much pressure on the razor. A good blade should be able to give you a close shave with barely any weight. Pressing the razor heightens your risk of cutting yourself and allows the hairs to lie in odd ways due to the dimple made by the razor pressing.


    But, of these, the most important is to close your pores, most of the bumps develop because the skin is not given a chance to coat itself with your standard oils and has a hard time in the temperature variations you will encounter in your day to day.

    Uncle Long on
  • JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    TheLong wrote: »

    Making your skin tight in the region in which the razor is going to pass. This can be done by pulling the skin. It brings the hairs in that region to a standing position and further opens the pores. The tricky regions, like the upper lip and chin can be stretched without the use of your hands; just make funny faces.

    I'm going to take issue with this. If you pull the skin tight, certainly you'll get a closer shave, but when the skin relaxes, hairs get can get pulled back under the surface and create the potential for ingrown hairs. With DE and straight razors, you should only pull the skin to create a flat surface, not to get the hairs to stand up.

    JWFokker on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The way my facial hair grows is very weird. Under my chin, whether it's the right or left side of my face, it still grows left to right. Is this usual?

    Willeth on
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  • skippydumptruckskippydumptruck begin again Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Willeth wrote: »
    The way my facial hair grows is very weird. Under my chin, whether it's the right or left side of my face, it still grows left to right. Is this usual?

    I think most people have funky growth patterns. The hair on my face all grows down, as does the hair on the underside of my chin and the top part of my neck. The hair at the bottom of my neck grows up and toward my ears (like, diagonal). Just shave with the grain.

    skippydumptruck on
  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    JWFokker wrote: »
    I'm going to take issue with this. If you pull the skin tight, certainly you'll get a closer shave, but when the skin relaxes, hairs get can get pulled back under the surface and create the potential for ingrown hairs. With DE and straight razors, you should only pull the skin to create a flat surface, not to get the hairs to stand up.
    Jeez, how tight do you pull your skin? Maybe I should have worded that differently... valid point.

    Uncle Long on
  • Captain AwesomeftwCaptain Awesomeftw Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Man, I can't even grow a decent pair of sideburns.

    You can all die in a fire.

    Oh, uhh, help/advice: I like gillette fusion. Get the electric one, but buy the non-electric refills because they're the exact same damn thing, but in a different color, and five bucks cheaper.

    Captain Awesomeftw on
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  • JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Man, I can't even grow a decent pair of sideburns.

    You can all die in a fire.

    Oh, uhh, help/advice: I like gillette fusion. Get the electric one, but buy the non-electric refills because they're the exact same damn thing, but in a different color, and five bucks cheaper.

    Don't even bother with the Fusion. If you have to use a cartridge razor, use a Mach 3 or Sensor Excel 2. More blades does in no way equal better.

    JWFokker on
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