|A one-pass, with-grain shave is really|
a standard shave.
Of course, to optimize my single pass, I used slow oblique strokes and an anti-raking stroke pattern.
The other so-called standard shave, the oft-referred-to standard three-pass shave is what I might call a path to the gold standard. A gold-standard shave is baby smooth or nearly so. Additionally, to be a gold-standard shave, it should be wound free and low irritation.
|Baby smooth is the gold standard,|
and this usually requires multiple passes.
Today I supplemented my standard shave with a few extra clean-up strokes against the grain under my jaw line. This is an area in which it's difficult to get a close shave in a single with-grain pass. So some re-lathering there and a few additional strokes against the grain can quickly smooth out this problematic area.
My lower neck, which is an area that some men don't have to shave because their beard doesn't extend that low, could also benefit from clean-up strokes after a standard shave, but that is the most sensitive area of my beard, is easily injured with wounds or irritation, and today was deserving of minimal insult to recover from previous day's shaves. So I left it alone after my single-pass standard shave.
Yet, if I take a standard shave, which I have done for most of my adult life using twin-bladed cartridge razors, I can still get an adequate shave that will look good for the early part of the day, and will look good enough for the later part of the day. This is also true for my standard shaves with a double-edge razor.
I should probably also add that for some men (like me), it's virtually impossible to get a truly baby-smooth shave with a single-bladed instrument. There are areas of my beard where the hair is coarse and with a grain at such an angle that to shave it baby smooth would produce unacceptable wounds and irritation. The only way that I can get baby smooth in those areas is to rely on the hysteresis of the multi-bladed cartridge. The problem with that is that I then begin to accumulate ingrown hairs. So I prefer to stay with the old-school razor, and accept a nearly-gold-standard outcome.
Where my beard is more manageable -- that is, where the grain angle is not so extreme, it's pretty easy to shave baby smooth every day with my trusty double-edge razors.