Why should I shave with the grain?

Every article about shaving I’ve ever read says that one is supposed to shave with the grain of the beard, but they never give a reason.

I always start my shave with the grain, but I find I have to go back over the area against the grain to get all of it. So what is the reason for recommending shaving with the grain?

Shaving with the grain cuts down on irritation and ingrown hairs.

YMMV. I always shave “against the grain” and never have any irritation issues. Going the other direction just doesn’t yield satisfactory results.

I haven’t had any problems in that regard

Do other shavers agree that going against the grain gives a closer shave?

True. As a girl, I must shave my legs against the grain or we’ll be there all day with no appreciable results. However, I observe the hubby shaving both with and against the grain, and he claims less irritation “with” than “against.”

I shave every which way, feeling that it gives me a closer shave.

I’ve been shaving my head with a razor blade every other day for the past 10 months or so. I go against the grain and I haven’t had any ingrown hair or irritation problems at all. The only issues I’ve had was with small nicks if I try to rush. I think going against the grain while in a hurry tends to increase the chance that I’ll end up digging the blade into my skin a bit and nick myself. If I’m careful and take my time though, I don’t have any problems at all.

I always ask this so it doesn’t have much to do with you. Why do you want the closest shave possible? I have thick hair all around and I have to shave every day. A simple disposable razor and shaving with the grain everywhere but my chin works admirably. The entire process takes less than 90 seconds a day.

We get a lot of fancy or unconventional shaving questions here frequently and I can’t for the life of me understand where they are coming from or why those issues are coming up at all. I always suspect that lots of guys jus have no idea how to shave (not directed at you specifically).

I go against the grain, and have no problems. Using a decent razor, a brush, and lots of water help.

I generally do a first pass with the grain quickly, and then a careful pass against the grain. This takes quick care of my heavy beard, and causes no problems.

Depending on how much growth I have, I will start off by going with the grain until it is down to a 5 o’clock shadow level, then I will switch to going against the grain because it definitely produces a far closer shave. If I have more than stubble, starting off going against the grain can be a bit painful, which is why I start off going with it until it’s down to a level where going against it is relatively comfortable.

But yes, going against the grain is definitely the way to a close shave. I do get bothered with irritating sometimes, but the results are worth it. Especially with a Fusion Power – the “micro-pulses” (really, just vibration) really smooth things out so you hardly feel a thing and I find you don’t have to exert as much force as with a regular straight razor.

Simple. If I give myself a nice, close, shave, I have five o’clock shadow. If I shave with the grain, by about noon it looks as if I haven’t shaved at all. So I try to maximize the time between shaves with a close shave, because it’s not really my favorite activity. (I’d forego it altogether, but beard-trimming is just as bad, and for some reason untrammeled facial hair growth makes one look threateningly insane.)

I do with the grain all over my face, then against the grain to get a little closer shave, and finish with a quick pass with the grain. I found that this helped the blades last longer than if I started against the grain.

Due to the relative light color of my facial hair, I can get away with shaving every other day and still look clean enough for social niceness so long as I shave “right” the first time. Otherwise, if I don’t shave on the second day, I spend the afternoon looking like a sasquatch with mange.

I’m sort of like Mindfield I guess- have to start out going with the grain but if I stop there, 15 minutes later I’ll look like I haven’t shaved since yesterday. This is frowned on here at work. So I follow up with an against the grain pass, and in certain areas (like under my jaw line on the right side), I have to go in pretty much every direction. The follicles down there don’t know which end is up, apparently.

If I shave Friday morning then not again until Monday morning, I need something like this to finish the job.

Agreed. With the grain, then against it, then 90° left-to-right, then 90° right-to-left, then a couple of 45° swipes.

That’s just for the neck. Which is ample reason to leave the beard and moustache as they are, unshaved. I’d be spending a lot more time and a lot more money on the process otherwise.

What I find works the best for me is a shave with or across the grain (depending on what part of my face I am shaving) a rinse with hot water, fresh lather and against the grain.
Otherwise my beard is like McNew’s.
And before anyone else brings it up, yes the razor and shaving cream make a difference.

I’m surprised so many guys here have no problem shaving against the grain. If I shave against the grain, my face (and even more so my neck) will be red, irritated, and be exfoliated to such a degree, that if I shave the next day I will bleed through my skin without really nicking myself. I go crosswise across my face to get something in between and on my neck I go strictly with the grain. I’m a pretty hairy and thick bearded guy, and this leaves me pretty smooth throughout the day.

I always shave against the grain and get good results with no problems. I also know this is not the acceptable method but it works for me.

Once long ago when I lived in Singapore I decided to go to a local barber for a haircut and decided to have a shave too. He shaved me in all different directions and I ended up with the best shave ever, so some experts don’t obey the rules either.

Here’s one guide to shaving.

I’ve found using normal shaving gel/foam makes my razors deteriorate more quickly than using my softener of choice - hair conditioner :eek: .
I can also see where I’ve been and where I need to go more clearly. I’ve not found a problem which way I shave, but always start against the grain to get the process started off. Then again my skin is quite thick and oily so isn’t as prone to nicks and cuts as some peoples’.

How smooth are his legs?