How To Shave Against The Grain | Gillette
Should i shave against the grain?
Shaving against the direction of hair growth might be the fastest way to a closer shave. Unfortunately, however, it's also your 'short cut' route to razor burn, damaged hair follicles and ingrown hairs.
The reason for this is simple: hair grows in all directions, especially around the neck, and when you drag a razor against its natural direction you effectively pull the hair back on itself. Its a bit like a skier twanging a marker flag with his pole as he descends a slope. Bad technique makes you the Eddie the Eagle of the shaving world.
Okay, Ill hold my hands up and admit that shaving against the grain repeatedly will cut the hair closer, simply because youre forcing it upwards slightly on your initial approach, but the downsides negate any real benefits. I would much rather sacrifice the slightly closer shave in return for no razor bumps, burn or irritation.
So, how do you make sure you go with the grain? Firstly, its worth doing what all master barbers do. Spend a minute examining your stubble to see which way its growing and then come up with your plan of attack based on this (a magnifying shaving mirror can help). You can also use your fingertips (youll know if youre pushing against the grain because it feels like you're stroking a dogs fur the wrong way).
To avoid accidentally going against the changing directions of growth always use short, gentle strokes, letting the razor glide over your skin without applying too much pressure. Trust me, you might not necessarily get a closer shave but you most certainly will get a more comfortable one.
B&Q Reversible Extending Shaving Mirror, £12.98 fromdiy.com
An inexpensive, double-sided shaving mirror with a magnifying side and a regular one. Attaches to the wall and folds away too. Perfect for helping you see where youre shaving.
Grooming Eds top tipUse your fingertips to check if youve missed any bits its easier to feel for patches of hair when the skins wet.
Video: 10 TERRIBLE Grooming Tips You Need To IGNORE!
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