If you have wondered whether you should be shaving with or against the grain, it may interest you to know that there are suggestions available online. There are some general guidelines that you can check out. Each person has unique factors that can be considered in order to determine whether your shaving techniques are doing the best job for your pattern of facial hair growth.
The location of your desired shaving area is important. When you want to achieve a sharp edge to a beard or sideburns, for example, you may want to use the shaving tool in a different direction than you would use it on the broader expanses of your face. Hair in different parts of your face may have a different density, texture or health, so this can affect the aftershave look.
Many men find that going against the grain of hair will give them a closer shave, thus reducing the frequency of grooming tasks related to facial hair. This can be proven statistically. However, the problem in this close cutting is that by opposing the growth pattern, the hair is often cut off below the surface of the skin. These hairs will then often not emerge from the skin during the next growth cycle. The hair is blunted and becomes ingrown.
A survey of professional barbers reveals that most of them use an initial stroke with the grain of the hair. This is followed by a stroke sideways of the original. Professionals do not typically use a stroke against the grain, because they do not want customers with ingrown hairs or resulting skin irritations and imperfections.
Some of the decisions made on which way to cut will depend on whether or not the right tools are used. There are some companies today that claim their beautifully designed razors can be used in either direction. If the blades are very sharp and the correct angle against the skin can be achieved, this statement will stand up under scrutiny. It is true, however that a blade that pulls the hair in order to cut below the surface of the skin is likely to cause problems with the regrowth of that same hair.
The discussion about whether you should be shaving with or against the grain is ongoing. The answer for you personally should depend on factors such as the location of the facial hair, its texture, density and how close you want the shave to be. Good skin care before and after the shave is also critical to the results that are achieved.