Although it might feel good and precise to shave against the grain (hair is cut off very close to the skin shaving this way), it is not the ideal way to remove hair with a razor. Shaving against the grain increases your risk of razor burn, bumps, and other skin irritations.
Why is shaving against the grain harmful?
When you shave against the grain, you pull your hair away from the skin before you slice through it. Because hair grows naturally in all directions (especially around the neck) when you cut against its natural direction you ultimately pull hair back on itself. This might make it a closer shave, but it can cause major irritation such as swelling and redness. It can also damage hair follicles and cause ingrown hairs.
Tips to go with the grain
It is still possible to get a close, clean shave when you go WITH the grain. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get there.
- Investigate: Do as the barbers do and investigate your hair and how it’s growing. Simply rubbing your hand across stubble can easily identify hair growth direction. Using a magnifying mirror can help with this. Once you establish your hair growth patterns, you can come up with the best technique for your shave.
- Prep: Before you shave wash your face and prep the skin. Warm water opens up the pores. Using a scrub such as HeadShed can help exfoliate soften the facial hair. Lubricated shaving cream is essential to help the razor slide smoothly across your skin. The Special lubricants in HeadSlick Shaving Cream allow blades to glide effortlessly along the skin. HeadSlick is water-soluble, so blades rinse easily.
- Technique: Use gentle and short strokes when shaving with little pressure. This prevents you from going against the grain accidentally.
- Razor: Using a high-quality razor can help significantly. Use a razor that is specially designed for a close shave. HeadBlade’s MOTO or ATX razors’ unique designs allow the razor blade to pivot up and down (following the contours of your face and head). Headblade utilizes new multi-blade technology that has a flow-through design.
- Post Shave: Shaving (regardless of your technique or products) can be irritating to the skin. Taking care of your skin AFTER you shave is just as important. Using an aftershave can add moisture back into the skin. Suppress irritation and redness before it starts. ClearHead helps prevent ingrown hairs and eradicates the ones you do have. ClearHead features Green Tea Extract and Zinc PCA which naturally inhibits oiliness.