How do you shave (your face)??

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Abstract, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    I just read somewhere that American (I'm assuming all of North America) men generally don't know how to shave their face properly. Read something about it being a lost art.

    Anyway, I taught myself how to shave, since I didn't really talk to my dad after I was 12 or so. I started shaving at 12, didn't know why I kept cutting myself, learned, and kept on going from there. How do you shave? Most people just learn it on their own, but I wanna hear how you do it.

    Do you all shave against the grain (ie: up) like I do? I can't really seem to shave close enough to the skin unless I shave up on the neck, my chin, and even the bit under my nose. I always do it like this, but it doesn't sound "proper." It works well, but I hear its not right.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    kinda funny topic.

    to me, the key is to shave after a shower - you get a much nicer shave after your face's been wet.

    i usually use electric but once in a while, i bother using a razor. using sharp razor is crucial - this is one area where paying more for a good set of blades really pay off. disposables aren't very good, in general. (of course, if you can shave with a straight blade, more power to you...)

    i know "beauty" types argue against going against the grain, but like you said, i never get a very close shave going with the grain. if i get a shave at a barber, they shave against the grain too...
  3. jimsowden macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
    I started shaving recently. All physics point to shaving against the grain giving a closer cut, but i switched to with the grain and havn't looked back. It depends on how thick the hair is, and what your face is used to.
  4. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    i always shave after a shower too, it gives a better shave, lifts hair and opens pours. Gives a closer shave. Cos my beard is dark and thick, i always use a razor, never an electric, i look like an idiot if i use one. Then i shave once with the grain, reapply shave gel, and once again against the grain. I would either do that or only with the grain if i were you. But i don't recommend only against the grain. whenever i've done it, it makes it grow funny an makes it painful.
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I always shave with a razor. I haven't used an electric since 1988. How/what direction you shave is different for everyone, and different for parts of your face.

    For me, I can go with/against the grain everywhere on my face except around my mouth and chin. I have a lot of problems with ingrown hairs and sensitive skin. For those areas, if I don't go with the grain, I'll have what looks like pimples a day later. As others have attested to, shaving AFTER a shower is key. I also find that if I lather up with shaving gel and leave it on for a few minutes before I shave, it further softens my facial hair and makes it even easier to get a close shave.

    Edit: I've been an avid user of the Mach3 since it came out. It always gives me a close shave with a minimum of nicks. No razor burn either.
  6. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    I'm lazy and just use a Norelco. But always after a shower. 1-2 minutes and I am done.
  7. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003


    Sometime just the mustache and when the rest of my face looks ugly :p then I remove all along the hair, but if I go to a meeting, a very special one ;) then against the hair... I will look 3-4 years younger :cool: ...
  8. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Electric's just can't handle neck hair. I tried the Mach 3. It sucks...always left me with razor burn. I've found I like th disposable Schick's the best... toss em after a couple of uses and are cheaper then Mach 3 cartridges. As for shaving against the grain--- NEVER do that. The fewer number of strokes the better. Avoids razor burn and nicks. :)
  9. aloofman macrumors 68020


    Dec 17, 2002
    I usually use an electric, but I sometimes have to skip a day because it's still hard on my face. My neck has hairs that seem to go in different directions, so even when I go with the grain on most hairs, some are still against the grain. I've tried many, many variations that would enable me to shave every morning, but if I don't skip a day or two each week, then the irritation never goes away.

    I often use a blade once a week when I need a close shave. The Sensor 3 is a pretty good blade, not nearly as many nicks as in the past. And the others are right about taking a shower first. It's the moisture that helps lift the hairs away from the skin and reduce ingrown hairs. And I agree with the other suggestion about leaving the shave gel on for a few minutes first. It helps soften the skin even more.

    I use an aloe gel afterward to reduce irritation. I pretty much only use aftershaves for fragrance, and even then only on certain occasions. I find the alcohol in them completely inappropriate for newly-shaved skin.
  10. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    i shave down my upper lip, and up everywhere else... i know it's against the grain, but it's the only way to get it good and close. I think the blanket rule "always shave with the grain" is wrong, it's different for everybody. I'm unique in that I don't shave with shaving cream, i do it in the shower with just water... it's a habit i picked up before i dropped out of college, it's fast and simple.

    Mach 3 is by far my favorite, so long as the blade is sharp, i never get razor burn, even without cream. The biggest problem I see with guys is that they don't replace the blade often enough... the blades will dull and warp after just a few days, i usually swap weekly or more.

    Not a huge fan of electric, just because it leaves so much behind. But i haven't tried any of the newer ones on the market, and the convenience factor would definitely make me buy one... i could shave in my car :D

    I wish there was a way to test out electric razors before you decide on one...

  11. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2004
    Me, I shower after I shave as it's the only way to get all of the blood off. My beard grows in all directions so I can't help but shave against the grain, and more often than not I end up bleeding like a stuck pig. Gotta get me an electric doodad; just really worried about packing one in my hand luggage after watching Fight Club.
  12. agreenster macrumors 68000


    Dec 6, 2001
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    I just switched to electric and I love it. I used to be an avid "in-the-shower, with grain-first, then second lather against grain" type shaver. I got a super close shave, no irritation, and the water always helped to keep things soft. Problem was, however, I would shave so close that I'd get ingrown hairs all the time.

    Now, I use electric which doesnt get nearly as close, but I havent had one ingrown since. That's the deal-maker for me.
  13. superninjagoat macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2004
    Apex, N.C
    Cut 'n lift, baby!

    Norelco has been my savior. I used to only shave every second to third day, less my face look like a plucked chicken -- so many bumps. I'd used one of those microscreen things, but it bit me. I bled for an hour. I said I'd never use an electric again, but my wife got me one. Not wanting to be mean, I used it. Never been cut, and I can shave twice a day if I want to.
  14. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    I use gel and shave with the grain.
    Use gel and shave against the grain.

    This method has proved to give me the closest shave I can possible get.....while showering eliminates the occasional cuts and burns. I only use electric razors if I need a quick trim of my facial hair so that it's not too out of hand (but those definitely do not give me a close shave).
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Used to shave after a shower, but I switched to in the shower, for several reasons:

    • my face is nice and moist
    • it's way easy to rinse
    • if there are any nicks, the bleeding's stopped by the time I'm done
    • no mess to clean up around the sink
    And I shave up, against the grain.
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I completely second this.. I too haven't tried an electric in 15+ years, I imagine they've gotten slightly more sophisticated by now :)
  17. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

    May 1, 2003
    I shave in the shower, with no lather, with no mirror, and against the grain.

    I hate electrics, they don't get close at all.
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I also shave in the shower, with no lather or mirror. I get my face wet first thing, then shave at the end - works best for me. Saves time over separate shower/shave, and makes for a cleaner sink.

    I shave against the grain below the jaw line, and with it above - i.e., I always shave towards my jaw line.
  19. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I have a beard, but I shave my neck and my cheeks above the beard. On the cheeks I shave against the grain, and also on the sides of my neck, but directly beneath my mouth I have to shave across the grain because otherwise I cut myself every time around there.
  20. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    I shave against the grain, in the shower, with soap and hot water. Oh, I don't shave my face... I shave my legs and arm pits :p Armpits are tricky because the hair grows in 4 different directions :rolleyes: Who's bright idea was that?
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I rather surprised no one has weighed in with the obligatory "I'm so tough, I shave with a piece of broken glass over a puddle in an alley" post yet..
  22. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I too taught myself how to shave at the age of around 13. I'll normally remove the bulk of facial hair by following the grain initially, then follow by going against the grain to get a really close shave. Been wet shaving for the past 7 years but this month decided to switch to an electric cause we start our hospital rotations this oct and i'll need to be respectable each morning(normally just shave every three to four days). This could be done with a razor but it's time consuming and blades are VERY expensive here in Ireland. I bought the phillishave 8894. So far i'm really pleased with it cos it gives a shave thats almost as close as my mach3 and it also has a Li-ion battery that gives 100 min cordless shaving time. Also has a very cool polyLED display
  23. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    the key with electrics I've found is you need to shave every single day. I tend to go a few days and get "scruffy" looking, so by the time I come back to shave with the electric, it doesn't do as good a job. your face needs to adjust to an electric a bit, and they don't work well with longer hair in my experience. Sometimes I use the electric to get most of it, and then quickly do a few strokes with a blade to get the strays on the neck that are hard to get because they go in every whcih direction and around the throat is just hard to get them all.

    When I let it get too long, I'll use a regular blade, preferably a mach 3. They really are the best I've tried. I alway go with the grain first to get rid of the longer stuff, then against to get the close shave. Shaving purely against the grain leads to a lot of cuts. I used to use a blade exclusively, but my skin is kind of sensitive and I break out and get razor burn from blades, so I use my electric most of the time. I'm thinking of getting a new electric. mine is OK, but I dind't want to spend a lot of money, so I went for price/performance and I'm starting to think maybe performance is more important and I should lean in that direction.

    For those electric users, do you prefer the rotary kind or the traditional kind. I used a traditional kind right now. I tried a rotary a long time ago and it kind of hurt, but I probably had let it get too long then.
  24. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    Just for yellow :p

    You guys are all wimps. I rip rusting beer cans apart, then use the edges to shave, with a pool of mercury from a broken thermometer as my mirror.

    hehe.. always fun. I actually just do basically the exact same thing as jsw.
  25. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well yeah, I shave in the shower as well, against the grain. But why are several people saying things like, "NEVER shave against the grain," or, "If you shave against the grain, make sure you shave with the grain as well"?? What's so bad about shaving against the grain?

    Shaving in the shower obviously has it's benefits, but I heard that its not actually the best way of getting a close shave. If you check your face in 30 minutes, you'll find that it wasn't as close as before. Its because when your face is wet, it absorbs moisture and puffs up a bit. Then you shave. When the puffing goes down, uncut hair is exposed.

    Interesting to see all the variations and beliefs about shaving there are. :)

    I didn't notice until now that my facial hair grows down, and not "in all different directions". If it grows downwards, do I shave with the grain or against? Why not shave against the grain, and what does an "ingrown hair" look like?

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