Classic Shaving – Is One Pass Enough?

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To be honest, this post doesn’t need to he size of the epic novel War & Peace. Nor does it need to be as descriptive as Webster’s Dictionary! It does however, need a little explanation.

To all my fellow traditional shavers out there…here we go! So the question is, when you are shaving using a traditional method – Is one pass enough? Let’s explore that a little deeper.


What Is A Pass?

In simple terms, a pass is when you have dragged that blade of yours across a sea of never-ending stubble and rich, creamy lather. Once you have removed all the shaving soap you just applied…that’s a pass!

What Is Classic Or Traditional Shaving?

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Beginning over a century ago and now coming back into fashion in a huge way (because it’s just better…no favouritism here!)  😉 Classic or traditional shaving is a term loosely used for those distinguished (or not so distinguished) gents, who wield a straight razor or safety razor (which use a replaceable single blade).

How Many Passes Should I Do?

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Jump onto any one of the hundreds of youtube videos or web sites out there and you’ll see men lathering up and shaving not once…but sometimes 3 or 4 times!

Generally speaking, your first pass will not sufficiently remove all of your stubble. Classic shaving is seen more as a gradual reduction of whiskers with each pass, rather than their clean removal in one go…but that may not be the case for every gent.

The number of passes each bloke decides to subject his face to, is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a number of variables that can determine whether your first pass…will be your last!

  • Shaving Frequency
  • Shaving Technique
  • Beard Thickness
  • Razor Type
  • Blade Condition
  • Type Of Work
  • Special Occasion

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Let’s have a closer look at these factors that may contribute to the number of passes you need to perform.

Shaving Frequency

If you find yourself shaving daily, you might find one pass is more than adequate for you to look presentable. If however you only need to shave every two to three days,  it’s more than likely 2, 3 or even 4 passes might be required.

Shaving Technique

Believe it or not, the more experience you have, or even the direction in which you glide the blade around your face, may influence the number of passes you need.

Beard Thickness

If your beard growth is quite light or sparse, it’s very possible one pass of your blade will be fine. Men with heavier beards will need more.

Razor Type

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Some razors shave a lot more aggressively than others, this may contribute to the number of passes you need.

Blade Condition

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Sharp, good quality razor blades will remove hair far more efficiently than a dull blade. So, regular changing of your blade will not only give you a more comfortable shave, but possibly even requiring you to perform fewer passes.

Type Of Work

Your employment may very well dictate whether you need to be baby butt smooth or not. If you need or like that really silky smooth finish on your visage, multiple passes will be a must.

If however your look doesn’t need to be so refined, one pass might be just fine.

Special Occasion

If you have a special day coming up and want the cleanest look possible,  once again, a number of passes will be needed for that clean, crisp look.

How Many Passes Do I Do?

As I sit here writing this, I’ve got a good three day growth happening, so I’ll be grabbing my razor shortly! For me personally, unless I have a special occasion requiring an extremely close shave, I find two passes just fine. However, everyone is different (which is a great thing), with many various circumstances dictating your shaving regimen.

How many passes do you do? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Time to get your shave on! 😉

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