shaving downward

I tend to just do one downward pass (two if I'm using a very mild razor) and maybe a few touch ups and call it done. I don't always get an especially close shave but it's more than socially acceptable. I am wondering how common this was... especially back in the day of single-blade shaving?

I have heard about shaving with the grain but in some places the grain on my face isn't so obvious, so I find that method confusing.
 
I don't have any real proof but I suspect this was pretty common, especially in the days of carbon blades. Those blades are a little rough even for a WTG pass. I couldn't imagine trying to do ATG with most of them. Also, if you look at older brushes, they tend to be smaller. 18 or 20 mm seems like those were pretty common sizes and those would be better for a one pass shave.
 
From anecdotes, it was very common. I'm pretty sure my father usually did a one-pass shave, although he would go ATG or XTG in some areas if it was quickest and easiest to do so.
 
I remember my grandpas would shave quickly, I don't ever remember them doing more than one pass. However, the shaves did not last all day- if they had an important event to go in the evening, they would shave again before going.
 

Raven Koenes

Contributor
That's part of the reason the Gillete Slide was developed (shaving diagonally while keeping the head horizontal). It's slightly more efficient. They also used to pull remaining lather over spots for quick touch ups.
 
I occasional go against the grain when I'm touching up. Otherwise my passes are a mix of WIG and XTG. My normal shave is North to South on face, S to N on neck for pass one. If I do a second pass it's N to S on face again, but S to N on neck. Touch up is whatever it takes...but I rarely do more than two passes
 
Serendipitously enough, I got an old Rubberset horse hair brush, never used, off the 'Bay today. It really is small, maybe an 18mm knot, and very straight (it doesn't even fit well on my brush stand). I lathered it up on some C&E Almond. I can tell it's a decent brush, it's not fine hairs like you get on some cheap horse hair brushes where they just tangle in no time, but it's definitely a one pass shaver.
 
I agree with the consensus: 1 pass plus touch up was likely the rule for most guys back in the day. If they wanted a close shave my guess is that most men would go to a barber.
 

Raven Koenes

Contributor
I agree with the consensus: 1 pass plus touch up was likely the rule for most guys back in the day. If they wanted a close shave my guess is that most men would go to a barber.
I remember my dad would shave on his way to work. He didn't spend much time on it. Not any more than one would with a cart. When he got home he had a five o'clock shadow. He definitely was not doing a three pass shave. When I started with DE's in the 1970's, I was a teen and one pass was more than sufficient. I was shaving peach fuzz.
 
I have no idea how they did it back in the day because my father used an electric from the day I was born and likely well before. These days, though, I hear many guys who do 3 full passes plus some touch up, cover all three, WTG, XTG and ATG. And lots of people map their beards so they know exactly how the blade is cutting the hair on any portion of their face. I'm guilty of this.
 
I have been experimenting with an Astra in a Tech. One pass yields a decent socially acceptable shave with no irritation (even using an alcohol splash). But 2 passes using Method Shaving form 2 in the second pass is a bit too much for my face, with some tugging, even if it is significantly closer (almost BBS).

My impression so far is that Shicks are more effective for a quick shave. I'm going to have to scrounge up my Derby blades and see if that doesn't make a difference.

My dad always kept a Braun in his drawer at work. And I carried one in my backpack, too. I was always in such a hurry that I would usually miss a few places, no time for touch ups. So I have been reverting to that, just calling it quits after one pass with a blade.
 
I have been experimenting with an Astra in a Tech. One pass yields a decent socially acceptable shave with no irritation (even using an alcohol splash). But 2 passes using Method Shaving form 2 in the second pass is a bit too much for my face, with some tugging, even if it is significantly closer (almost BBS).

My impression so far is that Shicks are more effective for a quick shave. I'm going to have to scrounge up my Derby blades and see if that doesn't make a difference.

My dad always kept a Braun in his drawer at work. And I carried one in my backpack, too. I was always in such a hurry that I would usually miss a few places, no time for touch ups. So I have been reverting to that, just calling it quits after one pass with a blade.
I would recommend a Feather blade in your Tech, as it is a very mild razor and will respond well with a very sharp blade.
 
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