Against the grain?

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Kevinwine85, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Kevinwine85

    Kevinwine85 Active Member

    I have a question gents,
    Should you always shave against the grain as well?
    Or is it possible that some skin types just cant handle it? The reason that I ask is because it seems that I can never do a pass against the grain without blood somewhere? Any thoughts, opinions or help is appreciated.
  2. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I find with and two against the grain as a good shave. Going against can cause irritation and the smoothness gained doesn't last as long.
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  3. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    You should do what you like best, not what someone on a forums says. Personally, I always shave against the grain, but it does not mean you need to do it. It is up to you to decide. I have a cousin with curly hair and he is not able to go against the grain because he gets ingrown hair if the shave is too close. In his case the hair is the limiting factor not a bleeding skin.

    I might be wrong, but I think a bleeding skin is mostly because of some lacks in technique, and later it might be possible for you to revisit an against the grain pass if you would decide to do so. Also to consider: even though it might sound strange, a sharper blade might cause less blood, but it is mostly because of the gain in precision when there is less resistance to cut.
  4. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    there are people who cannot shave against the grain no matter what..nothing is cut in are the best teacher what works for you..
  5. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    I always achieved my best BBS shaves when I finished with some ATG buffing. HOWEVER...this takes some experience and an extremely shallow angle. The moment you begin to "scrape" rather than "slice"...blood ensues. (This, of course, goes for every pass, but ATG passes especially).
    Start with just your cheeks. Neck and upper lip can be problematic. (Upper lip is my nemesis). Lastly, RIDE THE CAP!
  6. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    It depends. Some people do an ATG pass, and others think it's too much.

    There is no right or wrong here.

    Edit: I always do an ATG pass, except on my upper lip.
  7. BigMike

    BigMike Well-Known Member

    I always do a 3 pass shave, first WTG, next ATG, and finally XTG. No cuts, no irritation, and BBS everytime.
    You ceetainly don't have to shave ATG, of course. But you asked if some skin types would preclude it. I'd say no, though it might be easier for some than others.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  8. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    I can't go ATG when edging up my beard. I can however buff going ATG above my ears, but I need I very light touch. It's all personal. I usually just go over my head once, then do touchups.
  9. mvd

    mvd Well-Known Member

    Agreed with do your own thing. I can do against on my cheeks but not on the neck.
  10. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    It's all about hair reduction, reducing more hair with each pass. If you haven't already, try including a XTG pass before going ATG or multiple WTG passes.

    I think someone mentioned altering the angle for the ATG pass? That makes sense, especially if you're drawing blood. The pass might not yield the hair reduction you're looking for, but drawing blood could mean some mechanical issue with your technique -- angle, pressure, etc.

    Or it could just be ATG is not in the cards for you? Your skin, hair coarseness and growth patterns are uniquely yours, so ultimately, get the best, most comfortable shave that works for you.
  11. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Almost 100 percent of my shaves is ATG.
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  12. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    I didn't read Face Mapping. Apologies if I missed it. Knowing which way your beard grows makes the difference on W & ATG.

    I tend to do a 3 pass. WTG means N to S on my cheeks, but S to N on my neck. ATG goes opposite - S to N above my jaw line, and N to S below to my shirt line. I follow up with XTG in a Gillette Slide motion that mimics the action of a slant razor. This pattern is specific to my beard with lots of trial and error. It also doesn't get every little bit of stubble so I may include a 4th pass of buffing or targeted reduction if I'm chasing that baby.
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  13. GatorJoe

    GatorJoe Well-Known Member

    I’ve never shaved ATG and really don’t intend to. I started DE wet shaving to remedy in-grown hairs and BBS is not my goal. I actually like close enough shaves so I can do it again tomorrow comfortably. Just my opinion.
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  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    As long as I have visited shaving forums (since 2012?) there has been an obsession with "BBS", "ATG shaving", and "face mapping". Before that, I only cared whether my face felt good directly after the shave, and at the end of the day.

    I fell in that trap for a while as well, using a "prep routine", XTG, RXTG (seriously), and ATG passes (lingo). Nowadays I am back at where I started many years ago; quick face wash, one pass down and one pass upwards, except for two spots on my neck. My face still feels good, and it's a lot simpler that way ;)

    Don't get me wrong; understanding the direction of your beard growth is very useful for getting a good shave. But all of the mumbo jumbo around the "shaving ritual" is a bit much for my taste. After all, it's just shaving, not rocket science.

    "Do what feels good, and stop doing what doesn't" is still the most important lesson, I guess.
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  15. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    i tend to do a wtg and a combination type pass. the wtg takes most of it ,and the combo pass takes whats left.. with minor pick ups/buffing by feel..i get comfortable dfs shaves without issue.. i don t as a rule chase bbs ,but once in a while is nice..
  16. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

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  17. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    Whatever works for you, I just do one pass and touchups myself. I don't understand the whole obsession with BBS either. The entire reason multi blade razors were created was to get a closer shave. This whole "reduction" theory, imo, is new. Chances are our fathers and grandfathers did one pass, that's why some preferred SEs or Injectors, they were touted as shaving closer. Granted DE blades were thicker back then, so like today it all comes down to preference.

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
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  18. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    I use two passes, with the grain and against the grain, as my father taught me. But I'm old enough to have learned on DE razors when multi-blade carts were not yet a twinkle in Gillette's eye. When I was a small boy I used to watch my uncles shave, one with a straight, and they used multiple passes, too. So it's not a new concept. And the point of each pass is to remove more hair, it may be called "reduction" now, but the concept is also not new, it's just a word to describe what going on.

    If you think about multi-blade razors, it seems like perhaps they were developed to give you the same close shave in one pass that would take multiple passes with a single blade; that lifting and cutting and recutting and recutting action.

    It wasn't until about 12 years ago, when I started back into DE shaving, that I heard of the concept of XTG, so I have no idea how long that's been around. I don't use it and no one in my family did so I had no way to learn it earlier. I did try it when I first learned of it, but I feel I get where I want with just two passes. If you get where you want with one pass, great. It is your shave.
  19. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    How does this not result in ingrown hairs? I have curly hair which is susceptible to becoming ingrown, at least on the back of my neck. That's also why I shy away from "aggressive" razors. I always thought people back in those days just did one pass, I never witnesses anyone wet shave IRL.

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  20. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    I think that is a problem with the multi-blade razors as they lift the hair (or so they proclaim) and cut the hair below the skin, which can result in ingrown hairs -- or so I've read, never experienced it myself.

    But if you're getting ingrown hairs, or an uncomfortable shave when shaving too close, then adjust your shave to what's comfortable for you. There is no rule for how many passes your shave must be. Just enjoy your shave. There are many times, if I'm in a hurry, when I'll just do a single pass.

    The only point I was trying to make is multi-pass shaves have been around for a while -- it's not a recent development that grew out of the resurgence of "traditional shaving."

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