Finding the grain

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by tommy290, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. I'm new to the wetshaving phenomenon. Received a DE razor and badger brush for Christmas and ordered shaving cream for myself. The brush is apparently still in the mail, but I can't wait to get started. After years of abuse at the hands of my Mach III, I'm hoping that the new tools will give me some relief.

    However, I have a very basic question that I haven't found an answer to. How do you actually determine the grain of your beard? I see where people talk about going with the grain, across it, against it. But I don't know how to actually figure it out. Do you just shave different ways and see what happens? Can you see it? It looks to me like everything grows the same way. What should I be looking/feeling for?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. going with or across or against...just means the direction yer blade goes against yer skin to take off yer face hairs..keep pressure as light as you can though..try palm stropping..I get upto 5 complete shaves with only 1 of my blades.....
  3. I had to let my beard grow for a couple of days to get some decent length and see which way the hairs actually grow. With just a "shadow" I couldn't tell which way the hair grew other than just out. I was quite surprised with how many different ways the hair on my neck grows.

    I could feel some of the direction just rubbing my hands on my face, but letting it grow out for a couple of days and then getting close to the bathroom mirror gave me the best view.
  4. 1st time u down
    2nd time and on shaves..go up..then it gets technical a little by crossing the grain...but this is later in time ;-)
  5. I find I get good results shaving in the same direction(s) as I did for many years with my cartridge razor, just slower with shorter strokes. In the beginning keep short notes as to what works and what doesn't, so you know what to keep and what to change. The biggest learning curve will be blade angle and lather. It may take a few weeks to begin to get the shaves you're used to getting with the cartridge. Just relax and enjoy the experience.
  6. When posts refer to the grain of your beard, it is mostly referring to the direction of the beard growth. Where do the ends of the beard hairs point when the grow out. Let the beard grow out a couple days, you'll be able to see it better. if it all grows the same way, you might be one of the luckiest people on the planet when it comes to shaving. You are mostly looking at what direction your facial hair is growing. It will feel scruffy because, well it's your beard. Other than that it doesn't really 'feel' like anything.

    There is a thread around here that describes a beard map... that might make more sense to you.. now to find that thread...
  7. After about 24 hours you should be able to feel the grain with your fingers. Rubbing in one direction will feel relatively smooth while the opposite will feel more like sandpaper. I suppose if your hair grows more straight out it may be harder to tell...
  8. Let it grow out a couple of days ( depending on how fast ya growth is :blink: ) the get a cotton ball and run it around your face.

    Where it catches and leaves cotton is against the grain.

    Hope this helps.
  9. There's some good advice up there for you already, so I won't get too redundant on you. Grain is simply the direction your hair 'points'. If on your sideburns your hair points to the floor when long enough to lay naturally, then shaving from top to bottom is with the grain (WTG), bottom to top is against the grain (ATG), and shaving either toward or away from your ear would be across the grain (XTG).

    I believe the other guys up there told you plenty of ways to figure out which way yours grows, so I'll leave that alone.

    Welcome to B&B, man! Have a look at the wiki when you get a chance. There is a TON of useful information over there. Enjoy the journey!
  10. JPM


    +1. I had to grow it out for 2 days to really see which direction it was growing. Unfortunately on my neck, it is several different directions. :w00t:
  11. To all the above especially the cotton ball idea !!!
    Happy Shaves:thumbup1:
  12. I believe you can find a description in Mantic's videos. The video shows several and how to make one for yourself (kinda).

    +1 on the breakdown of directions
  13. Great advice about the cotton ball. Welcome to B&B!
  14. Welcome. It's definitely much easier letting your stubble grow a bit before to help you figure out which way(s) it grows. I was suprised how many variations I get...especially on my neck. Cartridges let you be a lot more random than DEs do. But it's definitely worth the effort :thumbsup:
  15. I just spent time over a few days (and actually, probably many days since) just casually rubbing the hair and working out the direction.

    Now the difficulty is dexterity; getting the razor on the right angles!


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