Someone very important once said, "the excellence with which a man shaves will tell you a lot about that man." Wise words to take to heart, and we want to set you up for excellence as you discover the art of wetshaving.
Every man is unique and so is his beard, which means the shaving method will be individualized. These three shaving methods while similar at the core will provide much different results for different people. Let's take a closer look.
Shaving With the Grain
This method is exactly how it sounds: shaving with your razor in the same direction as the natural hair growth of your beard. The advantage to shaving with the grain is it reduces the risk of resulting razor burn or skin irritation from your shave. The down side is that shaving with the grain doesn't always give you those extremely close and refreshing shaves you envision, especially if you were gifted with a behemoth of a beard.
If you're unsure of which direction your hair growths, check out our informative blog How to Map Your Beard Grain and then come back to finish.
Shaving Against the Grain
When shaving against the grain, the first step is to always exercise caution. Shaving against the grain tends to pull the hair follicle up and away from the skin, which runs an increased chance of razor burn or skin irritation being left behind. We recommend shaving against the grain only in the areas of your face where there is stubble left over from your few passes with the grain.
Of course, many men have coarse, thick beards that seem to only get that close shave against the grain. If this isn't your first rodeo, then you know your face and what it can handle. If you are a newbie, take your time and experiment.
Shaving Across the Grain
Across the grain refers to using horizontal strokes instead of vertical ones on your face. This is a great way to get a closer shave if shaving with the grain isn't cutting it, while still naturally guarding you from irritation or cuts, unlike shaving against the grain. Not only that, this method also makes shaving in difficult, sensitive areas much more convenient, for example under your nose, neck and the ever tricky jawline.
We've had some great feedback from many customers who use across the grain, specifically on their neck to get that closer shave without the nicks or irritation.
We recommend two pass shaving for best results when shaving with the Single Edge. The first pass being with the grain and the second being with or across, depending on your beard. If possible, avoid shaving against the grain. No shave should look alike and the experimentation phase is all a part of the fun process of getting to know you're unique beard.
Go forth and shave. Got comments or questions? Drop them below.