Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Against the grain

Shaving_HERO_2.jpg

Q: Can you provide a definitive answer to that ever-present shaving problem of whether you should shave with the grain on the neck or against it? I've heard so many different answers, one person even suggested shaving sideways because he was so confused by it. Would your answer differ at all for chaps who suffer from ingrown hairs on their neck? Thanks.

Simon

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

A: Hi Simon,

Couldn’t agree more: there’s so much contradictory information out there, it can get really confusing. The rule of thumb is to always shave with the grain on the first pass. If that doesn’t get you the closeness you want, re-lather over the area (can’t stress that bit enough) and then try going against the grain or, yes, even sideways.

If you let your beard grow for a couple of days and take a look in the mirror, you’ll notice that the grain grows in all kinds of different directions – downwards, upwards, to the side. Most guys discover that the hairs tend to grow 'upwards' the further down the neck they look. This, of course, makes the area prone to all kinds of irritation, including ingrown hairs.

Some guys have a weird crop circle-type patterns that require shaving in a clockwise pattern. Everyone is different. Study your beard growth and always attempt to shave with the grain, whichever way it is going on that particular area of your face.

As for the ingrown hair issue, shaving with the grain will definitely help. Have a click round the other Q&As to find a topical solution for the ingrown hairs you have already.

Find Ahmed on theexfoliator.com

Related

Eyebrows_HERO.jpg

Bushy brows

Sweaty_HERO.jpg

Problematic Pits

103743535.jpg

A close shave

More

The winners of the ShortList Grooming Awards with House of Fraser

And the winners are...

31 May 2017

The 11 best moisturisers for men

Because your face deserves better

by Sam Diss
30 May 2017

A guy’s guide to skincare - by a girl who just really wants to help

Just a girl, standing in front of a bunch of guys, trying to make them moisturise twice a day

by Lauren O'Neill
15 May 2017

Supermodel Paul Sculfor tells us how to be the perfect catch

Tips from a man who knows better than anyone

20 Mar 2017

Meet the judges for the 2017 ShortList Grooming Awards

We're back with the best new products for 2017

17 Mar 2017

5 of the biggest men's hair trends for 2017

You're not actually going to get a six-pack, so settle for a slick new haircut instead

by Jamie Carson
03 Jan 2017

8 express grooming treatments for the discerning yet curious man

When you want to look good but just don't have the time

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016

Manscaping; what is it, how to do it and how short is TOO short

After a lifetime of assuming that all guys went au naturale, Josh Burt realised that everything he knew was wrong

by Josh Burt
13 Dec 2016

Trim your pubic hair? Science claims you’ve probably got an STD

You're 80% more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016