I know you're supposed to shave with the grain, but I just can't get a close shave that way. Is it possible to get a comfortable shave against the grain?
It's true that shaving against the grain will most likely get you the tightest shave, but not everyone’s face is durable enough to do so. If you think your face is up to it, prep with a warm, damp towel or a splash of warm water, and lather up so the hair will be softer and easier to cut, your skin will stay moisturized, and the blade will glide smoothly. Then take short, quick strokes in order to keep the razor’s pressure steady against your skin.
If you have pain, red spots, blood or irritation, stop. There are a few other things you can try in lieu of shaving against the grain. For example, after shaving with the grain, re-lather and shave from side to side, going across your beard growth. You can also try taking diagonal strokes going up. -- As told to Caroline Kinneberg
Garrett Pike trained in shaving under Martial Vivot. He now works as a barber for Vivot’s salon for men (MartialVivot.com) in New York City.
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