My Experiment with a 2 Pass Safety Razor Shave

For years we have recommended a three pass safety razor shave for men who want a close shave.
This involves shaving with the grain, across the grain then against the grain in that order. While this delivers close shaves, repeatedly doing three passes over time can in some cases lead to skin irritation. I generally shave 6 times weekly giving my skin a rest on Sundays. I always use a sharp blade, my technique is good and I always generate a rich protective lather from a quality soap or cream. Yet sometimes my skin can feel raw and irritated.

I recently read a blog where the blogger had started to shave in two passes, skipping the first pass with the grain and shaving across the grain and against the grain only. He reported zero post-shave skin irritation, great results and less time spent at the sink. I decided three weeks ago to test this two pass shave. 


During the three week trial, I used our own brand Executive Shaving Citrus Kiss Shaving and Personna Blades, on alternate days I used a Merkur 34c and a Muhle Rocca. The 34c is a mild shaving razor while the Rocca is a step in terms of closeness. I didn’t use a pre-shave oil or soap. The blade was changed after 4 shaves.

I have to say I am now a two-pass convert, it may not be for everyone but it certainly works for me. My daily shave now takes me around 8 minutes from start to finish and the results have been a very close daily shave with no post-shave irritation. I have modified my routine slightly, I still shave with the grain on my neck for the first pass, I then shave across the grain on my face, I then apply some lather under my problem area jawline where the bristles grow in multiple directions and shave there across the grain this takes me seconds. I then shave against the grain on my neck and face.

The first pass across the grain seems to deliver exactly the same results as two passes with and across the grain did for me previously.
This 2.5 pass shave works exceptionally well for me, I suspect that it will only work for others if they also use a quality shaving cream and blades.
I can honestly say that during the three-week experiment my skin has never felt better whether I used the mild Merkur 34c or the closer shaving Muhle Rocca.

I am well aware that some guys will mention that you should never shave across the grain on a first pass as that may lead to ingrown hairs. However as long as the blade is sharp and the user isn’t applying too much pressure when shaving I personally don’t think ingrown hairs will result from a two pass, across the grain and against the grain shave.
Give it a try, what have you got to lose?

Written by Brian Mulreany
Sales Director at The Executive Shaving Company
If you have any questions, please get in touch:
info@executive-shaving.co.uk
T: 0141 880 3040 (0041 880 3040)
www.executive-shaving.co.uk