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Shaving grain direction and shaving against grain? help me out
10-15-2014, 01:49 PM
Post: #1
Shaving grain direction and shaving against grain? help me out
There is something I am not clear on shaving grain direction, what is shaving against grain? or what is this darn thing about shaving grain?? I ask cause I will get some bumps and in grown hairs after shaving. There is a lot of info on electric razors in the forum since I was last here but I am not ready yet to be dumping big money on one of those. Razor and shave gel is all I want to have for now.
Here I was thinking shaving was easy enough and now I read this grain and that grain in some replies but I have no idea what is this hole thing about shaving against the grain. Can any one here dumb it down a bit? Jay
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10-15-2014, 03:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: Shaving grain direction and shaving against grain? help me out
Yeah I know it can sound confusing. Most guys naturally get it right when it comes to shaving with the grain and most have found with experience that shaving against the grain gets an even closer shave (specially with lower quality razors).

The hair on everyone's face grows in a certain direction. The sideburns usually grow downwards, as an example. The best way to know the grain (direction) of your facial hair is to grow a short beard, just something a bit longer than stubble. Right there you will be able to see how each of the facial hair strands is directed. Most of the time the shaving grain direction is downwards, so simply perform downward strokes with the razor.

If you are prone to ingrown hairs and skin irritation, then make sure that you always shave in the direction that the hair grows. This will greatly reduce irritation experienced post-shave and help to keep your skin healthy. Although this is not the way to get the closest shave, it is the way to reduce the ingrown hairs which is a notorious issue with black guys. Closer isn't always better.

If you want the closest shave you can get with a manual razor, then first shave with the gain and then shave against the grain. But again this will risk ingrown hairs and razor bumps. The best way would be to get a high quality razor that gets you a super close shave by just shaving with the grain (and not against it). That's why it's so important for guys to use high quality shaving tools especially if they experience any skin problems from the razor.

If you haven't already, have a look at the wet shaving guide for the wet shaving method that will ensure a smooth and close shave. It simply takes sufficient experience to develop enough skill to shave your face without getting any irritation and while getting a really close shave with the grain direction.

Everyone has seen the commercials for razors that guarantee the closest shave. We were joking about it in another thread actually. Unfortunately for people who suffer from razor bumps and the likes, a closer shave does not always equate to smoother skin. When facial hair is shaved extremely short (against grain), it can lead to ingrown hair infections. This occurs when the hair grows into the skin instead of out of it after being shaved. This mostly-harmless problem can, however, lead to mini-infections in the hair follicle which result in raised bumps and redness. What can you do to prevent this? Shave as you normally would (with the grain), but don't do anything that would cause the stubble to be shaved irregularly, like pushing down hard on the razor.

Make sure you give time for the shaving gel to lubricate and soften the hair strands. Don't just apply the gel and shave. Give it about thirty to sixty seconds after apply the gel and before starting to shave with the razor. And just to finish off, use a good aftershave. Have a look at this aftershave list for a list of good aftershaves. No matter whether your shaving with the grain or against it, use an aftershave to keep the skin moisturized, healed and hygienic.
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10-17-2014, 08:16 AM
Post: #3
RE: Shaving grain direction and shaving against grain? help me out
I have to agree with the tip to grow your beard. When you do that you will see how your hair grows in its direction. It mostly grows down for me except the soul patch area and below that too in the chin.

The mustache hairs grow sideways but also down. Kinda like an angle but its convenience is to shave down instead of angled in the mustache.
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