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How many shaving passes do you do?

Richard
Birmingham, AL

 

I generally only require two passes: with the grain and against the grain. First, I wear a goatee, so I do not shave a portion of my face. Second, I shave almost every morning, including the weekends, my stubble never gets very long. And finally, my beard growth does not make me susceptible to ingrown hairs so I am fortunate that cutting against the grain has never caused me any discomfort.

Most traditional wet shavers follow a basic three-pass technique for a proper shave. The goal of each pass is to incrementally reduce the length of the beard a bit at a time so that the shave is comfortable and free of irritation. By starting with the direction of the beard growth (referred to as "with the grain"), you can cut the hair when it is at its longest length without pulling uncomfortably. The next pass is done across the grain to get the stubble down to its shortest length while still avoiding pulling trying to shave too much off at once. For those that want to the smoothest shave possible, a final pass against the grain allows the blade to cut directly at the skin level leaving the face perfectly smooth and feeling no stubble at all. Some men with sensitive skin or that are prone to ingrown hair may avoid the third pass cutting against the grain because it can cause complications when the beard starts to grow back. In addition, many professional barbers also discourage men from shaving against the grain because it may be unnecessary for a presentable shave and too harsh on the skin for those prone to irritation. Although three passes are considered the standard approach, most men modify their routine based on their own beard density and skin sensitivity to find what works best for them.

 

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