Shave with the grain – the best way to get a blemish-free aftershave. Regardless of the widespread advocate against shaving with the grain, some men buck popular trends and stick to against the grain shaving– we admire their fearlessness though.
Although some persons still prefer to shave against the strain because of the close shave they get, it often comes with ingrown hairs and razor burns. However, shaving with the grain may be slow and not as thorough as going against the grain. However, shaving with the grain is the safest way to shave without leaving unappealing bumps all over your face. So, if you’re not quite sure you could handle a shave against the grain without the aftershave irritation, you had better go with the grain.
Shave With The Grain – What you should Know
If you’re convinced –and agreed to go with the grain – here are some things you should know before you begin your shave.
- Find your grain
- Do some prep work to avoid skin irritations – regardless of your preferred shave direction.
- Multiple passes on particular areas could cause irritations – prevent it.
Find Your grain
In shaving, the natural direction of your hair growth is referred to as your grain. So, as soon as you decide your shaving direction, find out the course of your hair growth.
How do you find out your hair growth pattern?
Simple – pass your palm slowly over your stubble in different directions. When you come across a seeming high resistant area, that’s your hand going against the grain. When less resistant, that’s with the grain direction.
When shaving against the grain, chances of ingrown hairs and other skin irritation is likely. According to a publication in the International Journal of Trichology, people with curly hairs are more susceptible to ingrown hairs aftershave as the hair tends to curl right into the skin.
Prepare Your Face
Congrats on your first task – Now it’s assumed you know the direction of your hair growth – A.K.A grain. Let’s help you prepare your face for a shave. First, use lukewarm water to wash your face. This helps to open your pores and drive out bacteria that could cause irritation.
Then, get rid of the dead skin cells – exfoliate. Scrub your skin gently with a sponge or towel. This helps prevent debris and dead cells from clogging your razor blades. However, avoid excessive exfoliation – twice weekly is ideal.
Smoothen the Skin
Your prep work doesn’t end with exfoliating. Rub pre-shave ointment to reduce difficulty in cutting. Most importantly, the oil helps hydrate your skin and prevent the blades from tugging your hair and damaging your skin.
While personal preference differs, unscented shave oils remain most recommended to reduce aftershave issues. Also, you can use these unscented products with other grooming or facial care product without causing any ‘scent clash.’
Now, shave with lather or a moisturizing gel with nourishing and soothing ingredients such as cucumber extracts and Aloe Vera. Cucumber is believed to offer a calming effect on skin irritation and, as well, reduce swellings.
Use Double Edge Safety Razor
The worse thing that can happen to your grooming session is an old and dull blade. Such blades may tug on your hairs and distribute bacteria. This, in turn, births ugly and discomforting razor burn that causes redness and swellings.
So, before you put the razor to your beards, ensure it is clean and sharp. Also, single blade safety razors– unlike multi-blades are primarily thought to reduce the chances of irritation.
Take it slowly –and go with the grain
Guide your razor gently as you save with the grain. Use short – yet fluid – strokes. After a stroke –or two – place your blade beneath the faucet to remove excess shave gel and hairs stuck on the blade.
Do not press hard against your skin while shaving. If you still feel some roughness on some part of your skin, add some more lather and gently pass the razor over that area. Remember multiple passes on one spot could increase the chances of irritation. So, allow your skin be, after the second pass.
Rinse- then moisturize
Finally – wash your face and apply a moisturizer. During shaving, your skin would most likely lose some natural oil and leave it dried.
An excellent moisturizer would do to your aftershave-skin what a glass of water would do for your body when dehydrating. It nourishes your skin. Keeps it hydrated. And nourishes it after moisture loss. You may opt for moisturizers with SPF, as they protect your skin without blocking your pores.
Recommended: Shave with or Against the Grain
It is widely believed that a clean shave is achieved only when you go against the grain – this isn’t entirely true. You can get a perfect close shave with the grain and avoid possible irritation of your skin.
Don’t rush your shave. It could mean waking up five minutes earlier to be in time. Ensure you follow the steps accordingly. In the end, you’ll reward yourself with an extremely smooth face – no bumps. No irritations.