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Ingrowns, passes, skin condition, and all that

Matt

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Another discoveries on my way to a perfect shave. Recently I decided to strongly force myself not to go over the same place repeatedly during a pass. A simple logic - if there's some lather, go there, if there's not, it means the edge has already been there, so that's a no-no. A bit hard for me at the beginning, as really like to have a BBS shave and I was keeping trying to go there too fast (apparently). Yeah I know, that's been said and written many times before... :blush:

So, what are the results and conclusions? My skin feels a lot better, even after three, or (call it crazy!) four passes. Alum sting dropped noticeably, but I never suffered from razor burn, anyway. What's most important, is that what has haunted me forever seems to be going away. Skin condition after 24-48 hours. It was, more or less often getting itchy, some ingrowns were appearing from time to time. Now these effects are mostly gone, and yay, BBS is so nicer!

Quite a while ago I observed that there's something like a very thin layer of epidermis forming on my neck after a shave, which I suspected was causing all these things. Somehow I stumbled on my DE thread where Robin recommended
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as a cure for ingrowns. The description says: "Its keratoreducing and emollient actions (...) prepare the hair to shaving, and make its grown easier." Well, keratoreducing action does not affect the hair, but definitely the skin. It all adds up now - too much pressure, or too many passes irritate skin, which in turn (probably more sensitive like mine has more tendency to behave like this) grows more cells that block follicles - and there you have ingrowns and other unpleasant effects.

Light passes, no repeating and keratoreducing action of some cosmetics - these will be my key words for a while from now.

regards,
Matt
 
G

Guest

For me, less stretching, and zero pressure did the trick. In combination with very short strokes. The latter having been recommended to me by a retired barber who said that most men with strong beard growth (and dark hair) responded very well to this techniques, whereas he could shave most blonds with long, sweeping strokes.

As for Avène Dermo-K: Best thing since sliced bread. Yes, there are many such products in the market, but Avène is a high quality product line. My wife and I use quite a few of their products despite their sometimes staggering prices, not least because they are extremely efficient. I have a tube of Dermo-K that is almost three years old and still half full. I only use it to fight ingrowns when they begin, and they are gone within less than 6 hours on average. Simply good stuff.

Regards,
Robin
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Well Short strokes ,low pressure,low angle that's my shave method years ago.
keratoreducing: Kerato is a Greek word ,means horn.Keratin is the substance that hardens the nails, and the hairs. So keratoredusing is the keratin reduction , probably the beards grow softer .
Best regards
Emmanuel
 
G

Guest

Actually, the horn layer of the skin itself is softened so that the whiskers either don't get trapped there in the first place, or can break through instead of growing underneath the skin. As I said, works for me like a dream even if the hair has already grown in.

That said, the method described by Emmanuel doesn't cause ingrowns for me...
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Matt, I started w/ straights while I had very bumpy skin. They weren't in-growns, but certainly as annoying. The disposable multi-blade could only mow off the tops, leaving the task of cleaning up the blood. The str8 was a big improvement - particularly after finally experiencing edges that had some smoothness. By accident, I started doing a one pass shave, often combining wtg with xtg. I would usually stroke a section more than once, but the idea was to get a presentable shave and hopefully have enough stubble in the evening on which to test edges. 'Partial success on the objective. The single pass got close enough that there still wasn't stubble to test with, and the unexpected success was that the bumps disappeared. I don't know why, but my skin looks and feels alot better. Shaves are more pleasant.

I suspect you'll have some positive affect from trying the single pass, though your face/skin will respond with different results. I'm very pleased w/ how it worked for me. I don't use any particular cosmetic or lotion - just the regular lather. I follow w/ cheap witch hazel splash (grocery store variety), then just aloe vera gel with about the same amount of a quality hand lotion for moisture.

Perhaps you can update this post if any results appear for you with your current efforts.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Well, a single pass will never do it for me, I guess. My growth is definitely on a coarser side of the scale. Even the pass on my neck just below the jawline, which - due to the growth direction from chin to ears - goes XTG (I can't make it how to do WTG, or ATG there without cutting myself), remains really stubbly. A second pass makes things better, but not perfect, either. Also - I'd probably need some mental training on that first, I love to get it ultra smooth! :D

I'll try going XTG everywhere during the first pass, then ATG where possible on the second. That will make it definitely easier on the skin.

I was trying the very short strokes approach, but that made me go over the same places too often - maybe they were way too short? :)

regards,
Matt [small]Gary? How's your shave video? :][/small]
 

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
It`s quite interresting with the difference between dark and blond people...I`m blond and have a weak facial hair growth. I use long,quite fast and firm strokes...There are the usual problem areas in need of two,three passes but otherwise I only do a single pass.

Torbs
 

clovis

Well-Known Member
Here's a small contribution to the ongoing research. I was dark - almost like Desperate Dan - and I used to get quite red on the throat no matter what when I was younger and using a cartridge. Now I'm grey (still stubbly!) and use long strokes WTG, short shallow strokes XTG, and need to make a few passes over the jaw line to get really smooth. I usually finish off with a tiny amount of olive oil followed by cologne which seems to work for me as I now have no skin problems.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
I need to vent, I've just had the most horrible shave since a long time. I tried the two passes approach, XTG for a start. 2,5 days old growth, around 1mm or more, skin should be all ok. I took a nice old near wedge to try on this occasion, fresh edge, unicot, so that couldn't be wrong. Fucking hell, the resistance was so hard I had to apply more pressure and after first pass I was already so irritated (both mentally and physically, lol), that I was close to slicing my throat with anger. I'd just finish right after this, but the result was totally unbearable, so I was forced to do another as-light-as-possible pass. I could feel sting just when I was stretching with the alum on my fingers. Now my face burns, I had red bumps on my neck and I know I can forget about shaving for the next three days or more. There's no damn bloody shortcut for me, than careful, slow, light passes, gradual reduction, nada. And I should stop about dreaming about a quick shave ever. Goddamn piece of shit, I hate my face, this is what you get when you're a fake redhead, sensible complexion and awfully hard growth, d'oh!!!

Man, I'd grow beard, but I did once, and couldn't stand the itching. Several more occasions like this and I'll go wax my face, I swear.

And the stupid autologin doesn't work for Chrome either.

angry, hot-faced Matt
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
You are having about the same couple weeks of problems as I have been! I am blonde/now white haired, and..It takes about three passes to clean my face. A buddy is swarthy and looks like a gangster after 15 minutes with any other type of razor and..a one pass straight shave works for him.

A thought, With cooler weather and very low humidity, the skin reacts differently and requires a better pre-shave preparation..It has really helped me to hot towel moisturize more.
~Richard
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Robin.Matt
I had bought a tube Avene Dermo k four years ago from my neighboring pharmacy. Has consumed the half of the tube and because is mentioned by you here i wanted to buy one more as spare.
So ..... listen the f-----g French removed this product definitely from their production.
Even i speak their language ,i never understood the french mentality ( Sorry my friend Laurent).
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Emmanuel,

I think french men are so perfect that they don't have skin problems. So this kind of product met no market:D

Regards

Laurent
 

Karl

Active Member
Hi All,

Ingrown hairs are the very reason I started using a straight razor.
These are my observations:

If you have a moody shave think about what you done the shave before not the shave you've just had.
If you did not hydrate your beard properly the hairs will be cut leaving a sharp end which will be more easily trapped under the skin. This will result in sore bumps etc. after the next shave.

Use a sharp smooth single blade preferably a straight razor because the edge is stropped each time. Multiple blades can cause drag and are only really good for one shave.

Exfoliate between shaves. This will remove dead skin and debris that will prevent hairs surfacing.

Keep your skin hydrated particularly in winter months. Hairs get trapped more easily in dry skin.

Shaving atg too often.

Leaving it too long between shaves. Thick dark curly hair will curl back towards the skin causing irritation and razor bump.

If yo feel a stinging sensation lathering up for a second pass you may be sensitive to the soap/cream you are using. Leaving your skin inflamed and prone to ingrowns.

Alumblock and Witch Hazel are astringents which are great for preventing infection.

Its easy to spot an ingrown after a shave. It's worth getting a pair of Tweezerman ingrown hair tweezers to remove it so that it can't get infected.

Really the best way is to only shave wtg not holding the skin too taut but we all like a super smooth shave and I've found that following these methods will stop ingrowns from becoming a problem.


I've been left with scars (which are barely visible now) from ingrowns. It has been a problem from the first strand of beard growth when I was a teen. I just thought they were spots then. It seems that if you have thick, dark curly hair then you will be in for it. It can put you in such a bad mood :mad:

I hope that the things I learnt in my battle with them which I eventually won will be of use to others.

All the best,

Karl
 
G

Guest

Thanks, Karl, that summarises the problem - and potential solutions - thoroughly. One thing I would add: If the hair has grown in already, do not pull it out, but use a specialised product that is antiseptic and softens the skin so that the hair can eventually break through the skin. If you pull out an infested hair, there is a credible risk of the subcutaneous wound left in the follicle getting seriously infested (cf weeks of pain, and eventually scars).

Best regards,
Robin
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Matt said:
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Hi Matt,

I thought I'd share my neck technique, since I have experienced what you describe. Half of my neck hair grows sideways, tight to the skin and draws skin with it. This combination results in blood if I do not think about what I am doing every time. But a straight has been the best I have ever used for this.

What I do is stretch like hell in both directions with my fingers, using my head tilted back, and shave between my fingers. Forget about pulling the hair up, I need to make the skin like a drum. Then I do a pronounced backward scything stroke, more or less across the grain, in a way. I move the blade slightly in a arch with the main scythe movement in the direction with the growth. (I guess it can be called heel first)

This is the only way I can shave my neck without massive irritation. My goal is no irritation, but I often wind up with BBS. If I forget, hours of pain...
Hope that made sense...:)

regards,
Torolf
 
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