What to consider when shaving against the grain

Shaving Against the Grain

What to consider when shaving against the grain

Safety Razor ShavingEvery man has that moment while shaving, of feeling the razor catch on some hairs as he accidentally drags the razor against his hair growth pattern, known as “the grain.” Shaving against the grain can be downright frightening, as images of cuts and ingrown hairs invade your imagination.

While many men debate whether shaving against the grain should ever occur, others frequently use this method to gain a closer shave. Properly managed, shaving against the grain can actually produce good results.

Cons of Shaving Against the Grain

Besides fear, there are downsides to shaving against hair growth. That is, there are downsides if you are not properly executing a good shave against the grain. So everything comes down to technique with “cons” being the side effect of improper method.

The results of a poorly performed against-the-grain shave include:

  • Razor burn
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Ripping of hair from the follicle
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin redness
  • Small cuts

Again, none of these problems occur if shaving against hair growth patterns is properly achieved.

Shaving against the grain

Steps for Shaving Against the Grain

If you are committed to gaining a closer shave by going against the grain, there are some steps to doing this properly. By following these simple guidelines, you will enjoy your best-ever shaving results. But follow the pointers to the letter, so you can avoid the ugly results of rushing the process.

  • Ensure your razor blades are sharp.
  • Warm your face. Before shaving, use a hot towel or simply take a hot shower. This will warm your face just like you have seen barbers doing on television or experienced in an old fashioned barber shop, yourself.
  • Exfoliate. If you are in the shower warming your face, use that time to exfoliate your skin. Use a simple exfoliation scrub.
  • Apply your favorite pre shave oil. Pre shave oil prepares the skin, hydrates it and softens hairs to prepare them for easier cutting by the razor.
  • Use a three-pass shave. A three-pass shave involves shaving with the grain for the first pass. Reapply shaving cream to the shaved areas and shave across hair growth patterns for the second pass. Lather one more time with shaving cream and shave against hair growth.
  • Apply after shave moisturizing gel or lotion.

So the keys of shaving against hair growth pattern include proper skin preparation, proper use of the three-pass shave, and using a sharp razor blade.

Regardless of whether you choose to shave using a safety razor, Fusion razor, Mach-3 or straight razor, you can shave against the grain. Just take it slowly, follow the steps and enjoy your closest shave ever.  Not quite comfortable with shaving against the grain yet?  Don’t worry, you can practice the best tips of shaving with the grain until you are comfortable.

Best Steps Needed To Get A Close Shave

Close Shave

Best Steps Needed To Get A Close Shave

Looking for a really close shave? Feeling too much stubble right after putting down the razor? Below are some tips for getting your best close shave:

Exfoliate Before Shaving

A great, close shave starts with exfoliation. This is because skin does not feel smooth unless you ensure it is actually smooth at the molecular level. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, leaving baby soft smoothness behind.

There are several ways to exfoliate before shaving. Using a facial scrub can buff away old cells, dirt and oil that hold whiskers down and restrict your razor’s performance. Shaving also exfoliates dead skin cells away. But for a great shave exfoliate first so your razor can do what it is meant to do for whiskers.

Edwin Jagger Shaving Brush - Ebony Best Badger - 1EJ876
The EJ 1EJ876 will prepare you for closest shave

Prepare Well for Your Shave to Prevent Razor Bumps

To get a great shave without razor bumps, prepare for your shave properly. Wash and exfoliate your face and thoroughly hydrate your facial hair with warm water. Spend three minutes applying nicely warmed water to your face to most fully hydrate the hair.

Next, apply a quality shave gel like BAUME.BE Pre Shave Gel. This gel is designed to help the razor properly glide over skin’s surface. It also softens hair and prevents cuts and abrasions. The gel helps hair hold the hydration you just applied, before shaving cream is applied.

Apply an Ample Amount of Quality Shaving Cream

Edwin Jagger Shaving Cream Bowl Sandalwood SCSWUse a badger bristle shaving brush like the Simpsons Berkeley 46 Pure Badger to create a foamy lather from quality shaving cream.

While you prepare to start your shave, fill your sink with hot water. As the sink fills allow the badger bristle shaving brush to soak in the sink so the bristles may absorb warm water. After allowing all excess water to run off the the bristles, dance your badger bristle shaving brush around the surface of shaving cream like Mr. Taylor’s Shaving Cream Bowl by Taylor of Old Bond Street. Use circular motions to create a rich, frothy foam. Apply the foam to your face that has been exfoliated, hydrated and prepared using pre-shave gel.

Use an Advanced Razor for Your Best Shave

The best shave starts with the skin and hair preparatory process. Clearly, however, a quality razor is also an important part of the close shave equation. If you like the convenience of disposable blades, an Edwin Jagger Fusion Razor can provide the convenience of a close shave using a multi-blade disposable with the elegance and experience of a beautifully designed razor.

Shave in the Right Order

To get the closest shave where it counts, save the most aggressively growing areas for last. Start shaving on your cheeks, jawline and neck. Allow extra time for the shaving gel to soak into hair around your mouth by saving that part of your shave for last. This will allow the gel to work its magic on the coarse hairs around this area, making them easier to cut and enabling a close shave.

Derby Safety Razors
Derby Safety Razors Provides One of the Closest Shave

Keep Your Blades Sharp

Most men who use disposable blades use them too long and don’t ever achieve the closest shave. Change blades when you feel any discomfort, tugging or dragging. Inspect your blades before shaving to ensure they appear in good condition. Use them for the amount of time recommended on the label and replace according to those specifications. Even more importantly, do not share your razor. Each person in the household should have their own personal razor.

If you don’t have shaving supplies yet to kick off your wet shaving journey, you may want to consider how choosing the perfect men’s shaving kit might be just what you are looking for.

Easy Steps To Finding Yourself The Best Shaving Razor

Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond DE3D14BL

Easy Steps To Finding Yourself The Best Shaving Razor

For the best shave, a safety razor is a great wet shave choice. But using a safety razor takes time and practice for a close, smooth shave. There are keys to selecting your own best shaving razor, particularly if you are going for the classic shave a safety razor provides. But when you find your perfect fit and adapt to this method, the match will be one you cherish forever.

A Safety Razor, Considered the Best Shaving Razor By Many

When selecting a safety razor as your own best shaving razor you will need to pay attention to several attributes of available choices.

best shaving razorEdge: Single or Double?
Single-edge safety razors are less common than double. Only one side of the razorhead will have an exposed blade. For most safety razors, you are able to flip the razor around during shaving to use two blades for greater convenience. Quite simply, single edge safety razors are not as often considered the best shaving razor for a wet shave and few, if any, manufacturers produce them today.  Single edge razors used to be very popular in the early part of the century but has been almost diminished by the double edge razors.

Double edge safety razors have two identical sides with the blade exposed. This allows you to spend half as much time rinsing your razor during your shaving routine.

Edwin Jagger Safety Razor DE87BL
Edwin Jagger Safety Razor DE87BL

Quality counts for a wet shave. The best shaving razor that will last for years is going to come at a price. But for the number of years you will enjoy using your razor, it is usually well worth the price. Safety razors are often handed down from father to son, as they have been for generations.

A good starter safety razor may be the Edwin Jagger Faux Ivory Safety Razor DE87BL, whereas a keepsake may be one like the gold plated Merkur Futur Safety Razor.

There are two primary types of razorheads: adjustable and stable. An adjustable safety razor head allows you to determine the setting of the blade. Razor blade angle and exposure are two ways that razorheads may adjust. An adjustable safety razor example is the polished chrome Merkur Futur Safety Razor. A non-adjustable safety razor is the Edwin Jagger Safety Razor R35611SR.

Your best shaving razor will be one that fits nicely and comfortably in your hand, allowing you to grip it as you need to for your best possible shave. Safety razor handles can vary in grip width, handle length, weight and materials.

Most safety razors are maintained in the same manner. This usually consists of rinse and air dry. You do want to ensure your safety razor is from a recognized brand, so you can rely on it properly holding the blade when it counts for many years to come.


Blades are a variable you will need to decide for yourself. Blades are available in varied thickness and sharpness. It is better to practice for several weeks using less sharp blades, before graduating to the more refined ones.

The True History of After Shave Lotion

After Shave Lotion

The True History of After Shave Lotion

We all remember those days as children when our fathers or grandfathers stood at the mirror using a safety razor, swishing the razor in the sink full of steamy water. We also remember the part of the shaving routine when dad or grandad would pull the Old Spice or other brand out of the medicine cabinet, dashing after shave lotion into one palm, rubbing hands together and then smacking or dabbing onto his face. That scent would linger for an hour or more after he left for work and his car or truck carried the fragrance forever.

BAUME.BE Aftershave BalmTimes have changed. Shaving has changed. But no shaving routine is complete without application of a great post shave lotion. Just like men have been doing for centuries, you always end your shave with after shave lotion.

After shave lotion first became popular as a means of preventing infection. Razors of old were not sharp like today’s blades. So shaving was more laborious and heavy-handed. Many cuts and nicks were expected, when going in for a shave.Such cuts could easily become inflamed and infected because of unsanitary conditions of those times when no one knew about bacteria and sterilization. A bad shave could do more than cut you. It could actually result in a fatal infection.

As being clean-shaven became fashionable, barbers realized they needed to help take care of cuts using antiseptic at the end of shaves. They also wanted to provide extra attention to their customers in order to keep those men coming back to the barber shop.

After Shave LotionRoman barbers applied plaster with therapeutic ingredients on it to the face. This soothed the skin. The therapeutic qualities came from a spider web soaked in oil and vinegar. The vinegar’s acidity burned bacteria away while the oil moisturized. Just imagine, though, how these men smelled after their shave.

Hungarians started experimenting with lotions, fragrances and aromatic waters. Those methods took hold and spread across Europe and into America. By 1770, no barber shave was complete without post shave lotion. Jean-Jacques Perret was responsible for teaching many men how to give themselves the perfect shave through his book, “The Art of Learning to Shave Oneself.” In that book he touted use of after shave colognes.

Today’s After Shave

Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Aftershave Gel - SandalwoodToday’s after shave includes antiseptic for prevention of infection or inflammation. This antiseptic is stearate citrate, isopropyl alcohol or denature alcohol. The antiseptic also closes pores to prevent pimples. Witch hazel is also a good anti-inflammatory astringent, as used in Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury After Shave Gel.

A second component of today’s after shave is moisturizing oil. This oil keeps the skin hydrated and smooths its surface. Some skin moisturizers in after shave also nourish the skin, using ingredients such as olive oil. Edwin Jagger After Shave with Aloe Vera is a great choice for its moisturizing properties.

The third primary ingredient of after shave is fragrance. Obviously, fragrance is for vanity reasons and does not provide other benefits beyond the senses. One popular scent of after shave is Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Eaton College After Shave.

As history evolves and we find different methods of wet shaving, it is important to consider different shaving kits that have all mens essentials including pre and post shave solutions in addition to the most professional beauty tools used by many artists today.