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07-03-2012, 05:02 PM #1
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- Oct 2010
- Houston, TX
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Wile I know this is a very subjective topic, I would like to hear some experience regarding shaving with, across, and against the grain. Specifically, what portions of your face do you personally shave across and/or against the grain. Again, I know this is subjective according to shaving style, preference, hair growth patterns, and skin sensitivity (just to name a couple patterns), so I'm specifically NOT asking to hear "do what works best for you", because I'm already in the process of experimenting with that. I've been shaving with a straight for a couple of years, but up until 6-9 months ago I was strictly a neck shaver. I'm fairly confident with my ability to shave with the grain (not saying there's no room for improvement, just that most improvement from here out will probably be through experience rather than learning technique). So, as I grow (and cut down growth) I just want some experience from other dudes. ThanksHAD plays dirty. It lead me to straight razors, not the other way around.
07-03-2012, 05:27 PM #2
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- Jul 2010
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My face is a pain in the a$$ to be brutally honest... I do 2 passes. I can shave in under 7 mins for two passes, butI have to be concentrating as I have to stretch all sorts of ways.
I come down from my sideburns, pull on my cheek and go behind my ears laterally, then move to under my chin goin str8 down the ways and diagonally down either side under my massive square jaw :| I then go to my moustache area and flow down round my mouth and chin which has the topography of a piece of popcorn :|
My second pass consists of ATG on each cheek so I can go XTG on the moustache area and x/atg on my sideburns.
All thats left is to pull the skin directly under my ear, pull it in the direction away from my nose and sweep the whole area above and below my jawline (ATG) - not in the same movement
I then go XTG under the chin and sides which is horizontal strokes under my chin.
I dont do ATG for my chin, moustache or neck areas, I could but I have extremely tough growth in these areas and I can get close enough to BBS in these areas from doing a hybrid a/xtg stroke.
Its a pain in the a$$, and I'm always working in different ways to make it easier for me
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07-03-2012, 05:36 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
- Newburgh, Indiana
- Thanked 71 Times in 64 Posts
The best way to describe my beard growth is probably a swoop down and out. Directly below the chin goes straight down, but the sides flare out.
... Is any of this making sense?
The cheeks and sideburns are practically straight down as well, the flare out starts at the jaw line. I guess the best way to visually describe the pattern is like two "J" s, mirrored together.
My standard approach is a single pass WTG, Top of the "J" down and swoop out. Cheek to jaw line, jaw line to inner neck, inner neck to outer neck. The second pass is XTG, side burn to lips, bottom to top on sides of neck. If I do the third pass (weddings, funerals, parties) it is ATG, jaw line to cheek, bottom center of neck to chin, sides of neck to center.
I keep in facial hair, just incase someone asks, "but what about the upper lip?" it is occupied, I actually keep in a full beard most of the year, etching it out, very stylishly I might say, with a straight.
I hope this helped in some way. If not, well at least you all know a bit more about me than you did before.
JackofDiamondsIt's just corn syrup... Warm, blood flavored, corn syrup ...
07-03-2012, 05:50 PM #4
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- Sep 2009
- SE Oklahoma/NE Texas
- Thanked 1,252 Times in 1,026 Posts
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My entire face and neck gets a 3 pass shave.
1st pass: straight down.
2nd pass: atg on the sideburns, sideburns to middle of the face both sides, diagonal towards the chin on the neck.
3rd pass: straight up except for the mustache area, which is xtg with a slight upward motion.
I will sometimes (time permitting) re-lather and run my fingers over my face to ensure I mowed it all down & if need be touch up atg.
This is my same routine if I am using a DE as well, I just adjust the settings with each pass, from more aggressive to less aggressive.
07-03-2012, 06:28 PM #5
Here's another way to think about it. After 50 years of DE's and safety razors my technique was second nature and hardly given any thought during the shave. Starting straights all of a sudden I found myself trying to figure out my beard growth patterns and which stroke to use. Then, one day I was in a hurry and picked up a safety razor and took off. All of a sudden I realized I was going with, against and across the grain, all in the correct places without thinking about it, it was second nature. Go back and shave with your DE and don't over think it and I suspect you'll identify where you need to use "which stroke" because it will be just naturally already learned from your time on DE's, etc.. Of course you'll have to learn how to get that stroke, in that place, with a straight, but you'll know which direction works best. Best of luck!!
07-03-2012, 06:29 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
- West Midlands, UK
- Thanked 64 Times in 52 Posts
Here's what I do - these diagrams are what I see in the mirror.
First (mostly) WTG pass, all with right (dominant) hand. (The sections marked '~' are pulled up or down and treated as the neighbouring sections above/below):
Second (attempted) ATG pass. Blue = right hand, orange = left hand.
Touch-up pass (sometimes all right-hand, sometimes same pattern of right and left as the ATG pass.) I've drawn these arrows curved because I try to do a scything/windscreen-wiper type move.
Here's what I think my hair growth directions are. The hardest part is the lowest section of the neck, where the hair grows sideways, flat to the skin, and in a hollow.
07-04-2012, 01:24 AM #7
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- Oct 2008
- Thanked 1,189 Times in 989 Posts
For sections of my face that are impractical to shave WTG or ATG (ex- my neck, where the whiskers grow sideways towards my ears) I use two XTG passes, in opposite directions, which provides as close to BBS as I want to get on any given day of the week.
Also, if you haven't seen this pic check it out; it is extrememly useful for mastering the multi-pass shave....
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07-04-2012, 02:15 AM #8
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- New England
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I do a single pass XTG. I shave daily and my beard grows slowly so there is never much to shave off. My skin is abrasion sensitive so one pass keeps the burn away with the closest possible shave. If I am in a real hurry(seldom) I can do an acceptable WTG in a couple of minutes.
07-04-2012, 03:41 AM #9
- Join Date
- May 2011
- Mount Torrens, South Australia
- Thanked 454 Times in 398 Posts
+1 on the low angle indicated for a ATG pass as shown in that diagram above...
I most often (when I do do a ATG pass) go ATG on my neck, jawline and lower cheeks, though lately I've been going all the way up to my upper cheeks. I don't really do a XTG pass. If I have a third go at it it's a touch up of the troublesome hairs on my neck that grow E to W.
07-04-2012, 04:26 AM #10
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Tanunda, Australia
- Thanked 22 Times in 20 Posts
I have only tried shaving with a full three pass shave two times now. I'm not gonna even try for a while now. my last attempt resulted in the worst razor burn I have ever experienced (did get the closest to BBS I have ever gotten though). Just going to work on getting the best shaves I can with one or two passes (WTG & XTG) untill i can get my technique up to scratch. ATG has proved to be a little ambitious for my exp lvl.
I go straight down on my side burns. Straight down on my chin and then hug my jaw line from my chin going out to my ear on each side. I have not worked out how to tackle my neck for the swooping areas as they are also in the hollow of my neck and I just cant bent my arms enough to stretch the skin enough to an area on my neck flat enough to shave while still being able to see what I am doing lol. So I simple go straight down. I also go straight down for my top lip. On the second pass, I try to go XTG, I start on my upper cheek and go straight across to my ear each side. I then go down on a slightly less than 45 degree angle towards my chin to go across the jawline area and then mostly just straight down on my neck again. The against the grain pass on my neck does not seem to be too much of an issue, just leaves me with the annoying line on my jaw line where you can see the shadow of not BBS growth from then on up.
This usually leaves me pretty happy, not BBS all over but is in some places.
need to keep experimenting on ways to tackle the directions and keep on learning