Shaving against the grain stirs quite a debate among shaving enthusiasts in the world. Some say you should do it because it is the only way to get a closer shave. On the other hand, others say that you should never do it because it can irritate the skin and lead to ingrown hairs. This is uncomfortable and unsightly, especially when shaving facial hair.
Should you try shaving against the grain? It’s really up to your own personal preference. If you are going to shave against the hair growth, just make sure you do it right. If you shave with care, the downsides will become irrelevant.
Downsides to Shaving Against the Grain
If you take good care of your skin and have a good shaving routine, there are next to no downsides to shaving against the direction your hair grows. However, if you are shaving wrong, you could experience a variety of downsides. Shaving against the grain improperly can cause the following issues:
- Razor burn
- Skin irritation
- Ingrown hairs
- Plucking or tearing hairs out
With the proper routine, these are all completely avoidable. The problem most people face when it comes to shaving is not really knowing how. You have likely seen the commercials that claim the latest razors are sharper than ever and require fewer strokes than ever to shave with. Because of this, we think we just need a few simple down strokes with the grain, and we are good to go. However, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Shaving with your hair growth does not offer a close shave, and many people are not satisfied with that. This makes it well worth researching shaving techniques and learning how to against the direction your facial hair naturally grows.
Some people end up making the switch to straight edge razors because they offer the best shave. However, even if you stick with a regular wet razor, you should still learn how to properly shave against the grain. There are some simple steps you can take to avoid all of the above and get the best shave you’ve ever had while doing it.
Steps to Improve Your Shave
If you’re determined to get the closest facial hair shave of your life, you need to add some extra steps to your shaving routine. These steps will moisturize and soften your face, which protects it from becoming inflamed and irritated afterward. If your routine looks like the list below, you will see a significant improvement in your shaving experience.
1. Warm up your face before you shave
You can do this by using a hot towel, or you can just take a hot shower first. The heat will soften both your skin and your hair, making for a more comfortable shave.
2. Exfoliate your skin before shaving
You can use exfoliation scrub to do this, or a boar bristle shaving brush will also work. Exfoliating will make sure there isn’t any dead skin or grime around your facial hair because that can hinder the razor with each pass.
3. Practice the three pass shave
Using the three pass shave means that you shave with the grain first. Next, re-lather your shave gel or cream and go across the grain, and then re-lather a final time to shave against the grain. The most important aspect of this is that you shave WITH the grain first. It will take most of the stubble off, and it will set you up for an AGAINST the grain shave without any irritation.
4. Moisturize after the shave
Whether you have facial hair or not, moisturizing your face is extremely important. It keeps your skin from drying out or getting irritated. If you moisturize, you are much more likely to have soft, healthy skin even when you use a razor.
5. Always use a sharp razor
Don’t try to squeeze out a few extra shaves from your blade. Dull blades will not give you a close shave and require extra passes to make sure you get every hair. This will also make your skin more prone to irritation, so it is crucial to use a sharp blade every time. If you hate having to keep buying new razor blades and putting up with dull shaves, consider making the switch to a straight-edged razor. One blade lasts for life in most cases.
Shaving Against the Grain Can Be an Enjoyable Experience
Shaving doesn’t have to be a chore or a mundane task we have been born into. Instead, you can make it a comfortable and enjoyable past time. That is the mantra of this website. It is important to realize that certain “truths” about shaving with razors are actually “myths.” While some people will tell you that shaving against the grain is a mistake, you can give yourself a great shave with the proper steps.
Do you have a favorite method for shaving against the grain? Tell us all about it in the comments section.