Generally, shaving does not promote hair growth. The idea that shaving against the grain promotes hair growth likely comes from the belief that the first time you shave, you will experience an increase in hair re-growth. This is generally because each strand of hair typically has a different length and thickness, which results in varying lengths of re-growth. This means that when you shave against the grain, you are essentially removing hair that has not yet stopped growing.
When you shave it is important to use a clean, sharp blade. Dull blades pull instead of cut hair, which can make shaving problematic for people who have thick or coarse hair that is particularly resistant to cutting.
Determining the direction of hair growth by shaving in different directions, such as up and down or across until the desired hair length is achieved. It is important not to shave continuously in one direction because this can lead to ingrown hairs and inflammation, which can delay hair growth. Instead, alternate shaving in different directions for a smoother shave.
The Uniform Medical Code of Federal Regulations states that “shaving against the grain” is not an approved method of determining the direction of hair growth when performing electrolysis. The UMCF asserts that this is simply because the hair growth is not uniform.
The UMCF also suggests that if you are learning about electrolysis, it would be wise to learn proper techniques for testing hair direction before making any serious mistakes with clients or patients.
The most important thing to remember about shaving against the grain is that it will not promote hair re-growth. The technique is widely considered an effective method of hair removal, but only because it removes hair that has not yet stopped growing.
Benefits of Shaving Against the Grain
- Shaving against the grain provides a closer shave than shaving with the grain.
- Shaving against the grain can provide a smooth, clean finish that is perfect for those who enjoy shaving and prefer to maintain their hair’s natural direction.
- This technique is most effective for people who shave regularly but may be counterproductive in some hair care regimens.
- The only way to promote hair growth is through patience and time. While shaving will not result in faster re-growth, it is an effective way to remove unwanted hair.
The Drawbacks of Shaving Against the Grain
Shaving against the grain can cause skin irritation and bumps for some people, but this usually decreases over time as people adjust their shaving technique to accommodate for the increased resistance.
Shaving against the grain is not recommended for people who have sensitive skin, because it can cause irritation. This is especially true with thicker hair that is more resistant to cutting.
Which Direction Should You Shave Your Face?
To determine the direction of your hair growth, first, wash and exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells.
Then, bend over and allow your face and neck to hang freely. The first place you should shave is at the top of your neck. Take care to stretch the skin in that area to avoid cutting or nicking yourself while shaving.
Then, look at the area that you just shaved and compare it to other areas on your face and neck that have not yet been shaved.
The direction of hair growth is the same as the direction in which your hair curls as it hangs freely (after removing dead skin cells). For those whose hair grows downward, shave with the grain. For those whose hair grows upward, shave against the grain.
Does Shaving Against the Grain Cause Ingrown Hairs?
The potential for ingrown hairs is the same regardless of whether you shave with or against the grain.
If you are prone to irritation, then shaving against the grain might be helpful in preventing it.
Some people believe that shaving against the grain can help prevent ingrown hairs by giving hair a blunt tip rather than a sharp, pointed one.
How to shave against the grain without a Razor Burn?
The best way to shave against the grain and prevent razor burn is by first lubricating your skin with a shaving gel. Then, use an electric shaver that has rotating blades for a closer shave.
If you are using a conventional razor, then start at the top of your neck and work down as you stretch the skin tight with one hand.
Rinse the blade of your razor often with warm water. This will help you remove all skin cells that might clog the blades and lead to irritation or razor burn.
Shave in long, smooth strokes rather than short, quick ones. Shaving against the grain involves more effort and takes longer than shaving with the grain; it is always best to be as efficient as possible with this method.
In general, shaving against the grain means you should shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Shaving your beard and mustache against the grain involves more time and effort than simply shaving with the grain. However, it does not promote re-growth, so keep that in mind when deciding if your facial hair needs to be shaved with or against the grain.
Conclusion & Final Words
Shaving against the grain is a technique that many men use when shaving, but it can be counterproductive for certain hair and skin types. If you’re prone to irritation and razor burn, then shaving in the direction of your hair growth is recommended.
For people with sensitive skin who enjoy shaving regularly, they should shave with grain. If you shaving against the grain causes skin irritation, then it might be time to change the way you shave and try switching back to shaving with the grain.
As always, remember that each person’s hair and skin is different; ask around for recommendations from family and friends before settling on a routine that works best for your hair and skin type.