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How Did the Three Pass Shave Originate? One or Two Passes Were Standard Historically.

I completely agree with that.


My definition as well.



Also my definition.

One pass, touch-up and done. While razors and blades might be part of the "hobby" aspect. Spending time in front of a mirror shaving is definitely not a hobby of mine.

Another aspect is the term "wet shaving". What an oxymoron! It used to simply be referred to as "shaving". Except with electric razors, all shaving was wet shaving.

As such, I shave...
I completely agree
 
The OP's question was, where did the 3 pass originate. I am not sure we will ever know the answer, but my guess would be that it likely originated here on B&B or YouTube. And as other have noted many do a 3 pass shave because they can and it found its way into being an unofficial Gold Standard for a proper shave. But let's keep it in perspective. My father grew up in the Depression and he was a no nonsense guy. One pass with touch ups and out the door to work. He had a family to feed and the mood of post-Depression was work hard, raise a family, rebuild a country. We modern guys who are having fun with a cool hobby with tons of hardware and software have time on our hands to do multiple passes, because we can. And the mood of our time is different.
I think this is truly one of those YMMV things.
I have done 3 pass shaves and I dont quite get the magic. For me it is similar to shoveling the driveway in a snowstorm. It doesnt take long before the stubble is making its presence known again.
And if you want a BBS shave it depends on the type of razor you use and your beard type. For me I do a one pass with touch ups and I am good to go. If I get a BBS then it's a bonus, but I dont fuss too much over that. A straight razor is a different tool: I have often said if you need more than one pass to get a BBS the you are doing some wrong. A properly honed and stropped SR is the ultimate adjustable razor. It is simply the nature of the tool.
Interesting thread. I have enjoyed reading the many different views.
 
The OP's question was, where did the 3 pass originate. I am not sure we will ever know the answer, but my guess would be that it likely originated here on B&B or YouTube. And as other have noted many do a 3 pass shave because they can and it found its way into being an unofficial Gold Standard for a proper shave. But let's keep it in perspective. My father grew up in the Depression and he was a no nonsense guy. One pass with touch ups and out the door to work. He had a family to feed and the mood of post-Depression was work hard, raise a family, rebuild a country. We modern guys who are having fun with a cool hobby with tons of hardware and software have time on our hands to do multiple passes, because we can. And the mood of our time is different.
I think this is truly one of those YMMV things.
I have done 3 pass shaves and I dont quite get the magic. For me it is similar to shoveling the driveway in a snowstorm. It doesnt take long before the stubble is making its presence known again.
And if you want a BBS shave it depends on the type of razor you use and your beard type. For me I do a one pass with touch ups and I am good to go. If I get a BBS then it's a bonus, but I dont fuss too much over that. A straight razor is a different tool: I have often said if you need more than one pass to get a BBS the you are doing some wrong. A properly honed and stropped SR is the ultimate adjustable razor. It is simply the nature of the tool.
Interesting thread. I have enjoyed reading the many different views.
I agree totally, also vendors love it too, more passes equals more money on soaps and creams which in the end more money for them. I can’t however get bbs with a one pass straight razor shave without doing touch ups, my hats off to all who can.
 
When I started wet shaving I started 3 passes for the first time. Over the years I discovered it gave me irritation so I went down to 2 pass and eventually 1 pass (with touch up). I even electric shave sometimes for variety. I am a shave enthusiast except for the straight (I am just too chicken).

If I could I would shave 3 passes because I love shaving. I applaud the dudes who can. Aces!

(I wish I knew what my dad shaved with and how, but I'll never know as he passed in 1973.)
 
I think re-lathering a spot for a touch-up is a natural progression from/addition to buffing.

From which there is a natural extension to re-lathering and shaving the whole face as an expression of fastidiousness and luxury. I don't recall being taught this much.

And once you get to 1 plus 1 more time for extra style and grace, N plus 1 is always an exercise in induction away.

I think it arises organically and is being independently discovered here and there, now and then, all around-- and we talk about such things here.
 
My observation is that 3pass-shave is somewhat standardized over shave-utility shops, YT channels and promoters, as "fool proof" method. If you make 3 passes in "would fit all" directions, you'd end up in a clean shave (and use more products of course), so I've found that it is common to read about it circa 2010 more or less (I might be wrong).

My personal experience is that 1st pass knocks down pretty much 85%. Depending on razors used, even more. For some I've got, even the 2nd pass is totally unnecessary unless I decide not to waste lather. Still, with higher-in-quality products, you can easily go with N-passes without consequences but how much of whiskers you really take off in 5th touch-up?

Guess that the truth lays in promoting DE shaving as "safer than straights" and to make it more enjoyable and comfortable, decrease in razors efficiency (or aggression, if you like) ended up having less efficient razor that you can (and must) wield 3-4-5x over your face, not be irritated and somehow still achieve similar result as with 1 or 2 "normal" passes.
 
I grew up watching my dad shave in the '50s. He was a "one-and-done" guy, and, like many men of his generation, was not inclined to pamper himself.

Me, I take one mighty pass against the grain, then re-lather to touch up my chin and jaw line. Guess you could call me a "one-and-a-half-and-done" guy.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Me, I take one mighty pass against the grain, then re-lather to touch up my chin and jaw line. Guess you could call me a "one-and-a-half-and-done" guy.

That’s my ideal and I’m working my way towards a 12.5% success rate.

Didn’t you incorporate WTG passes here and there over the past two years or did my brain clunk out again?
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
I keep trying to escape all-ATG all-the-time, but the hair barely gets touched WTG and XTG.

Thanks, @Whilliam !

You don’t mind if I copy using a conditioner with dimethicone as a pre-shave some time, do you?
 
I don't think I was influenced by YouTube since the primary channel that I watch has always been Kensurfs, that was my intro to wet shaving and he does two passes usually if I'm not mistaken
I enjoy his videos. I think I remember him saying in one of them that he when he’s doing a shave video he only does two passes but when he’s not doing one he’ll do three passes
 
In my experience watching Youtube, I've noticed that several of the well known wet shavers, only do 2-pass shaves. I have always believed that the reason they do this, is because they know full well, a 3rd pass (ATG) if not done well, could lead to irritation, nicks, weepers. And those don't look good on camera, they don't wanna scare people, or seem any less credible then they are on teachings of wet shaving, so they skip the 3rd pass.

But since I love having a BBS shave, that always requires 3 passes for me to get there. Having said that however, I do find it interesting how some razors shave so efficiently, I can get to nearly BBS after the first
WTG passes, but only few razors will do that. The razors that do, could technically get you to a BBS in maybe 2-passes. But I am a perfectionist with OCD, and 3-passes gets it done for sure lol.

Single WTG passes back in the 20th century might have passed for a job, or perhaps early day military service, like WW2 period in the 40's. But these days, you aint fooling any CO in the military doing a single WTG pass, and I doubt a boss would accept you for a white collar job doing only a WTG single pass either.

I will say, I have found the modern day Covid trend of having un-kept beards quite disturbing. Just about everybody on Youtube took up that trend too, and its just pure lazyness. Plus another factor to consider is, if you absolutely have to have a beard, trim it up proper, have proper defining lines like a barber would do. Do just let it grow its own way and do nothing, thats like have a birds nest on your face.
 
I've noticed that several of the well known wet shavers, only do 2-pass shaves
I would bet that the number of passes, and everything else, is carefully chosen to maximise views and advertising revenue. Plus of course the video sponsors - the good folks at Garbage Shav.... sorry Global Shave Club don't want their cheaply made yet overpriced Chinese knock offs to seem inefficient, perhaps that is also why they appear clean shaven before they start. Incredibly, some YouTube shavers even have their own merchandise - brushes, mugs, t-shirts - honestly who buys this? 😆
 
In my experience watching Youtube, I've noticed that several of the well known wet shavers, only do 2-pass shaves. I have always believed that the reason they do this, is because they know full well, a 3rd pass (ATG) if not done well, could lead to irritation, nicks, weepers. And those don't look good on camera, they don't wanna scare people, or seem any less credible then they are on teachings of wet shaving, so they skip the 3rd pass.

But since I love having a BBS shave, that always requires 3 passes for me to get there. Having said that however, I do find it interesting how some razors shave so efficiently, I can get to nearly BBS after the first
WTG passes, but only few razors will do that. The razors that do, could technically get you to a BBS in maybe 2-passes. But I am a perfectionist with OCD, and 3-passes gets it done for sure lol.

Single WTG passes back in the 20th century might have passed for a job, or perhaps early day military service, like WW2 period in the 40's. But these days, you aint fooling any CO in the military doing a single WTG pass, and I doubt a boss would accept you for a white collar job doing only a WTG single pass either.

I will say, I have found the modern day Covid trend of having un-kept beards quite disturbing. Just about everybody on Youtube took up that trend too, and its just pure lazyness. Plus another factor to consider is, if you absolutely have to have a beard, trim it up proper, have proper defining lines like a barber would do. Do just let it grow its own way and do nothing, thats like have a birds nest on your face.
In my experience watching Youtube, I've noticed that several of the well known wet shavers, only do 2-pass shaves. I have always believed that the reason they do this, is because they know full well, a 3rd pass (ATG) if not done well, could lead to irritation, nicks, weepers. And those don't look good on camera, they don't wanna scare people, or seem any less credible then they are on teachings of wet shaving, so they skip the 3rd pass.

But since I love having a BBS shave, that always requires 3 passes for me to get there. Having said that however, I do find it interesting how some razors shave so efficiently, I can get to nearly BBS after the first
WTG passes, but only few razors will do that. The razors that do, could technically get you to a BBS in maybe 2-passes. But I am a perfectionist with OCD, and 3-passes gets it done for sure lol.

Single WTG passes back in the 20th century might have passed for a job, or perhaps early day military service, like WW2 period in the 40's. But these days, you aint fooling any CO in the military doing a single WTG pass, and I doubt a boss would accept you for a white collar job doing only a WTG single pass either.

I will say, I have found the modern day Covid trend of having un-kept beards quite disturbing. Just about everybody on Youtube took up that trend too, and its just pure lazyness. Plus another factor to consider is, if you absolutely have to have a beard, trim it up proper, have proper defining lines like a barber would do. Do just let it grow its own way and do nothing, thats like have a birds nest on your face.
I think if you shaved with a one pass shave with any type of blade it would be fine for going to work everyday. Why would a boss check for bbs, just my opinion
 
I would bet that the number of passes, and everything else, is carefully chosen to maximise views and advertising revenue. Plus of course the video sponsors - the good folks at Garbage Shav.... sorry Global Shave Club don't want their cheaply made yet overpriced Chinese knock offs to seem inefficient, perhaps that is also why they appear clean shaven before they start. Incredibly, some YouTube shavers even have their own merchandise - brushes, mugs, t-shirts - honestly who buys this? 😆
It’s all about selling products and making money pure and simple
 
I enjoy his videos. I think I remember him saying in one of them that he when he’s doing a shave video he only does two passes but when he’s not doing one he’ll do three passes
I thought it was the opposite, I thought I remembered him saying that he usually does two passes in his videos, but in his normal shaves he just does one pass. Could certainly be wrong though, I could see the reasoning behind either way.
 
I thought it was the opposite, I thought I remembered him saying that he usually does two passes in his videos, but in his normal shaves he just does one pass. Could certainly be wrong though, I could see the reasoning behind either way.
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the video that I referenced. I think I remember him saying the reason he does two passes in the videos is to shorten the length of the video a little bit but they still average about 15 minutes or so. A little longer if he’s doing an unboxing of a new product
 
I started down the single-blade shaving path before I joined B&B using Leisureguy's book and I remember it advocating a four-pass shave (N-S, E-W, W-E, S-N). My face definitely couldn't tolerate that every day and then beard mapping became a thing, so I dropped down to a three-pass shave (WTG, XTG, and ATG). Then I realized two passes (WTG and either XTG or ATG depending on mood) was plenty good enough if I had a decent blade and good technique. I have had some razors and blades where one pass really did 99% of the job and a touch-up pass kept me clean for a couple of days.

TL;DR It all depends and your mileage may vary. Do what you like and what works for you; it's just shaving.
 
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