You've probably heard that to get the closest shave you have to shave against the grain. We're going to show you how to get a close shave with the grain. While shaving against the grain may be a quicker route it also makes you acceptable to more issues like razor bumps.
Have you ever had razor bumps or ingrown hairs after shaving when the hairs are growing back? If you've been going against the grain you're likely your own worse enemy. You can avoid a large majority of issues from shaving by just shaving with the grain.
We'll show you some techniques that will help you get a shave that's just as close as going against the grain but without all the issues!
What's Needed for this Tutorial:
You will need to have a basic wet shaving and safety razor set to achieve the best shave possible. If you've never used a safety razor before you may not be certain as to why you'll want to get one. I'll explain in more detail about each item and the overall reason why you should consider wet shaving.
If you're unable to get a safety razor or don't have one you can use the razor you have now but the additional blades and set up is not the ideal set up. However, you'll still be able to follow our techniques to get a better shave.
Safety Razor - A safety razor allows you to get the best shave by giving you total control. You have a lot more precision in your shave and each pass only runs one razor over your skin. The single razor actually outperforms all modern multi-blade razors we're marketed today.
Shaving Mug - You can replace the shaving mug with a regular bowl or coffee mug if you don't have one or don't want to buy one. You'll use the mug to mix your shaving cream and get the desired level of lather you want to shave with.
Shaving Brush - You should have a shaving brush. The brush helps mix your shaving cream and is used to apply the cream on your face. You'll need to reapply shaving cream 2 or 3 times to get the closest shave going with the grain.
Shaving Cream - A good quality shaving cream can make a difference. A good shaving cream will help your safety razor glide over the skin and moisturizes at the same time. It's almost as important as the razor you use.
Why Wet Shave with a Safety Razor?
There's a couple reasons we choose a safety razor over any of today's cartridge razors. With a safety razor you have more control because it only has one blade. Cartridge razors come with 3 or more blades and each pass runs all the blades across your skin.
Safety razors are also cost efficient. Once you own the razor, brush, mug, and stand your only cost from there after is for shaving cream and the replacement blades.
How much do you spend on replacement blades for your cartridge razor? Safety razor blades go for around $10 for 100 blades. It's hundreds of dollars of savings each and every year.
When you begin digging down into the details and comparison of the two types of shaving it becomes very apparent why safety razors are the best route.
How to Get a Close Shave with the Grain
You can get a close shave with the grain with our steps below. It does take a little more effort but it's completely worth it. You'll avoid ingrown hairs and other issues that come from shaving against the grain.
Step 1) Preparation
Don't neglect the preparation process. It's one of the most important steps in the entire shaving process. Here's the key factors in preparation.
Shave right after taking a warm shower. The steam and heat loosens your hair follicles and relaxes the skin making ideal shaving conditions. The next thing you want to do before shaving is exfoliate.
Exfoliating before shaving helps removes dead skin cells and expose shorter hairs. Exposing the shorter hairs will be important to avoid ingrown hairs. It also helps you get a closer shave.
Step 2) With the Grain (WTG)
Look your facial hair over and pay attention to the growth pattern. Your facial hair might not grow in the same direction as someone else. This is the direction you will want to shave in.
Your first two passes should be shaving with the grain. Make sure to rinse your blade after each stroke and do two complete shaves going with the grain. Re-lather lightly after the first complete shave.
Step 3) Cross the Grain (XTG)
Your final pass should be going across the grain. Simply shave at an angle from the direction of growth. The across the grain shave is key to getting a close shave with the grain.
Remember to rinse your blade between each stroke so it's clean for the next pass. Continue shaving across the grain until you've shaven your entire face. You may require a final fourth pass going across the grain.
Once you get use to shaving across the grain it should become your final third pass to complete your shave.
Don't Forget the Finishing Touch
Try and make the following a habit. You should do this after every shave session.
Start by always finishing your shave with a cold water rinse. Clean your face with cold water to remove left over shaving cream residue. The cold water closes up your pores and helps prevent shave rash and skin irritation.
The last thing to do is clean off your razor. Clean it with alcohol to kill bacteria and make sure your blade is ready to go for the next session. Store it in a dry location and not in the shower.
Before You Go!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and go get a close shave with the grain. Getting a close shave is always important and you don't have to shave against the grain to accomplish it. It's important to avoid the risk of ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought of the tutorial.