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Shaving with/against grain

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
In an effort to get the closest shave possible, I have occasionally shaved twice: first with the grain, then against the grain.  While this has sometimes resulted in my face being as smooth as a baby's bottom, more often it has resulted in a really nasty case of razor burn.  Has anyone had success with this method of shaving, or shaving against the grain in general, or is it just a really bad idea?
post #2 of 11
GQ addressed this in a "Personal Best" column a few years ago. As far as I can remember, they recommended coating the face with lots of hot water to soften the beard (or, if possible, shaving during/after a shower - it's the best) and then applying the shaving cream. Shave your face once with the grain, rinse with hot water, and then apply another coat of shaving cream. Shave this time against the grain and rinse with cold water to close the pores. When I have the time in the morning, that's what I do and it works really well in reducing the razor burn. I also use a Mach III (it's incredible). Good luck.
post #3 of 11
I am also guilty of this technique. It does result in a vicious case of razor burn, which led me to purchase Nivea. I tried a sample in a recent GQ issue and fell in love with the stuff... It's absolutely amazing. So I guess you could say I've "had success" with it. The Nivea really helps and if you get the Mild (not Sensitive), it has a nice little aroma. I swear I put the stuff on and go weak at the knees... alright, well, that's a little far but quite close to the truth.   I've never tried PConsultant's advice, but it sounds reasonable. The only thing preventing me would be time. Oh and I too use the Mach III. No other choice. It's awesome.
post #4 of 11
My suggestion if you're going to shave against the grain (which I do), is to re-apply your shaving gel...just a light coat before going against the grain. I've never had a problem w/this approach. Shave once with the grain, re-apply gel and shave against the grain. Good luck.
post #5 of 11
I do this everytime I shave and I am just so sick of watching Kyan on QE have a fit over it. I shave in the shower, which I highly recommend, I use one of those Mach 3 Turbo Jet Engine whatever they are called razors, and I use Jack Black beard lube. Works like a charm. The *only* time I get razor burn is if I try to go against the grain (down) on my neck. But my cheeks are fine and I actually don't need the second pass on my neck. b
post #6 of 11
And use a new razor as frequently as possible.
post #7 of 11
As someone who has really sensitive skin -I'm just a sensitive guy- who has tried all sorts of creams and razors, including a brush and straight razor, I've finally found the right shave for me.  Mach 3 (or Mach 3 Turbo) razor and Musgo Real shave cream.  Musgo is from Portugal, comes in a tube and a lil' dab will do ya.  No need for thick lather. One tube lasts for months and I buy 3-6 at a time.  Do a web search for the best price. I typically shave against the grain, water my face, lather again (no need to add more Musgo) and shave the residual "rough spots" going with or against the grain as the mood hits me. Net result: babies' but smooth and no razor burn.
post #8 of 11
What is this blanket prohibition against-the-grain shaving?. I mean, if it irritates your skin for any reason, don't do it, obviously; but if it doesn't, then what is the objection? With a heavy beard and soft skin, I'd never get a close shave without shaving against the grain (and I should mention I shave my head as well as my face). I keep my skin wet, reapply shaving (Noxzema) cream liberally and never experience irritation. I'm now sold on the Gillette (alas, soon to be Procter & Gamble) Mach3 Turbo blades (which are expensive but I get six shaves out of one), but even going back to my Trac II high-school days, shaving against the grain has never given me the slightest problem. (Mind you, I couldn't use a disposable razor shaving WITH the grain.) So, if shaving against the grain works for you, why worry about what the so-called experts may say?
post #9 of 11
Weird, why are some posts dated as 2002? Anyways, I agree with Etruscan: there isn't anything wrong with shaving against the grain so long as it doesn't irritate your skin. If it does irritate your skin, and going with the grain doesn't cut short enough, try going perpendicular to the grain. I would strongly advise against shaving twice. Every stroke of the razor is damaging to your skin. Just shave once, with as few strokes as possible, and rinse your blade often.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Weird, why are some posts dated as 2002?
LOL -- because the thread is three years old. I suppose I should weigh in as the author of the original post.  I shave against the grain after shaving with the grain only if I have at least two days worth of beard growth.  I shave in the shower and lather up using a badger-hair shaving brush before each pass.  The result is very rare razor burn.
post #11 of 11
I have taken up something that I haven't done for years - shaving after a sauna. I have a gym in my office building and I have started coming before work, then spending 5 minutes or so in the steam room and then shaving. it is fantastic.
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