Backwash Shaving: Tips and Tricks


Growing up, we were taught to always shave with the grain rather than against it. We were told that shaving against the grain can irritate the skin and lead to minor cuts, pimples, ingrown hairs, etc. However, most of the time, these unwanted diseases are simply the result of a lack of vigilance or sufficient knowledge to shave properly against the grain.

One of the most frequently asked topics about shaving is whether to use the ATG (against the grain) or WTG (with the grain) technique. While shaving against the grain (in the direction of your hair growth) can help you avoid irritation, it can also prevent you from getting the close or smooth shave you desire.

Let’s find out some of the shaving tips below.

Get your grooming kit.

Before starting the process, you need to make sure that all the equipment you need is in an easily accessible place.

Your kit should consist of a cleanser, a bottle of pre-shave oil, shaving cream or gel or shaving foam, a sturdy shaving brush, a set of suitable razors, a aftershave cream and an alum bar or styptic pencil in case you need to stop the bleeding. Also, to point out the obvious, set up your mirror at face level and keep a washcloth and running water nearby.

Find out how to create the perfect grooming kit.

grooming kit for men
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Find your grain

The natural growth direction of your hair is called the “grain”. Knowing the direction of hair growth to shave properly in the direction of the hair is one of the first shaving tips. You can quickly identify which direction your hair will grow by running your fingers in different ways over your stubble. The grain meets the least resistance, but moving against the grain meets the greatest resistance.

Prepare your face

  • It’s time to get ready to shave once you know which way your hair grows.
  • To open the pores of the face without drying out your skin, wash it first with lukewarm water.
  • Use a gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells from your face. This will reduce the likelihood of dead skin cells and debris clogging your shaver.
  • Avoid over-exfoliating your face; for most guys, twice a week is enough.

a man washes his face
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How to shave?

Whether you should shave against or in the direction of hair growth is an ongoing point of controversy. The benefit of contra-shaving is that you shave closer, but some claim it will leave you in excruciating agony or, at the very least, irritated and razor burnt. Here is some tips on how to try shaving against the grain and why you should.

Have you ever wondered how some people shave so perfectly and smoothly?lily? Well, simply shaving against the grain might be the secret. A much closer shave is almost always achieved by shaving against the grain rather than with it. Being careful is the key to shaving against the tide without discomfort or pain. As you might be used to, you can’t just apply shaving cream and start playing.

  • Shave away from the grain

You may be wondering what shaving tips you can follow to be careful enough. First you need to prepare your skin. Take a hot shower (or use a hot towel) before you shave to soften your beard hair and make trimming easier. Follow with a shave gel, like our Rosemary Tea Shave Gel.

Shave gels aim to moisturize and coat your skin with a barrier. Countercurrent shaving requires shaving gel, which is especially important for sensitive skin. However you decide to shave, using the right razor can make or break a shave. Men who want a close shave with minimal irritation are often advised to use safety razors.

Click here for more – Shaving foam vs shaving cream vs shaving gel.

It takes practice to master the contrarian shave, especially if it’s your first time using a safety razor. The “three pass approach” is the technique most frequently used when shaving against the current. You can begin your first pass, a typical gritty shave, after applying your initial shaving cream.

Apply more shaving cream after the first pass and make a second pass in the direction of your hair growth. Apply shaving cream and shave in the direction of the grain for the third and final pass. Each time you use this technique, you will get a close shave. The three pass strategy may take some practice to perfect, but once you’ve done it, it comes naturally.

a man who shaves
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Steps Involved in Backlash Shaving

1. Check the direction of hair growth

First you need to identify the grain direction to get away from the grain. How do you do this? Although the direction of facial hair development varies depending on the location, it is not difficult to identify them.

When you feel resistance rubbing your fingers over the parts of your face you just shaved, it moves away from the grain. Therefore, you’ll know how to shave upwards in that exact spot if rubbing your palm tilts your head upwards and notice how brittle rather than silky the hairs are.

forest essentials shaving cream
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2. Determine your method and razor

Shaving in the direction of the grain first, then shaving against it, is often the preferred technique for people who want a closer finish. Shaving against the flow irritates the skin more when you go to the same place several times. However, if you reapply shaving foam and make sure to use short strokes, there should be no problem.

You probably already shave back and forth in parts of your face since facial hair grows differently. So, another shaving tip is to use a razor designed for sensitive skin if the skin is sensitive or you’re worried about irritation.

Razor by LetsShave
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3. Configure your skin

The following shaving tip it’s making sure your face is soft and well hydrated. The ideal way to do this is to shave immediately after taking a hot shower, but you can also try holding on for a while, placing a flannel or hot towel over your face.

This is beneficial for every shaving experience. The hair should be as soft as possible if you intend to shave against the grain. Before you begin, you should at least exfoliate, wash your face properly, and saturate your shaving area in lukewarm water.

Face scrub by Ustraa
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4. Shaving

You’ve probably already developed a shaving method. However, we have a few other tips if you want to go against the norm and get a close finish.

Barbers who promote contrarian shaving frequently use a three-pass technique. They start by shaving in the direction of the grain, lathering and doing a second pass in the direction of the grain. And at the end, just before you shave against the current, put on the third layer of foam or gel.

Work with the different directions of the grain while maintaining a steady rhythm. Top up frequently with foam or gel, and don’t forget to rinse your blades frequently. As you inspect the result, remember that you can always stop if your skin becomes irritated.

5. It’s aftershave time

Since shaving involves rubbing a sharp object across your face, you may end up with tiny cuts and inflammations that can be harmful if left untreated. It also makes you more vulnerable to bacterial infestations.

Aftershave application is crucial as it contains antibacterial, antiseptic, soothing and healing formulations. You can choose from three types of aftershave: balm, lotion and gel.

Aftershave lotion by Old Spice
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To conclude

Shaving is essential if a man wants to look presentable. First, prep your skin by cleansing it with a light facial cleanser and applying pre-shave oil. Then use shaving cream, gel or foam to make sure your blade glides through your hair. While spreading the mousse, pull your hair away from your skin for best results.

When it’s finally time to shave, move in the direction of the hair growth to ensure you go deep without damaging your skin. Follow with a good rinse with cold water to close your pores. And dry your face, do not rub. Finally, don’t miss the benefits of aftershave. It will protect, heal and calm your skin.

What does your shaving ritual look like? Are there any others shaving tips would you like to share with us? We would like to know!


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