How to use a straight razor
Posted: Dec 20, 2018
A straight razor will give you the best shave you can ever get. There is no other type of razor that can come even close to giving you the same result. Using a straight razor for the first time can however be rather scary. You are shaving with a very sharp knife after all, and it seems very easy to cut yourself. A straight razor is sharp enough to cause serious injury but he risk of cutting yourself is a lot lower then you might think. It is easy to use a straight razor and it will not take long until you feel completely comfortable using it.
Prepare the straight razor
The first thing you should do is to prepare the straight razor. You do this by dragging the razor knife against a leather shaving strop. The strop removes small imperfections and increases the sharpness of the blade. Depending on the quality of your razor you might not have to this before every shave, but I recommend you do so regardless. It will help keep your razor in perfect condition and expand its lifespan.
A leather strop has two sides. One smooth and one a little rougher. You will be using the smooth side. The rougher side is used when the smooth side is insufficient. If you take good care of your razor then you will almost never have to use the rough side.
Tensen the leather strap and lay the razor on its side with the back facing away from you. Move the razor away from you along the strop. You do not need to apply any pressure. The weight of the blade is enough. Repeat this process 10 times on each side
Verify that the blade is sharp enough. If not, run it a few more times along the strop and see if that did the trick.
Prepare the room
Make sure that there are no children or animal in the room. Make sure that any adult in the room knows that you are shaving using a straight razor. I prefer to make sure I am alone. Pets and children might push you if they are in the room. This can be very dangerous while shaving using a straight razor.
Prepare your face
Wash your face using room temperature water. Do not use cold or hot water. Make sure that the temperature is pleasant. Once you have washed your face you should apply a shaving foam or shaving soap on the areas you are going to shave. I prefer using a shaving brush to apply a shaving soap but you can use a canned foam if you prefer. Do what you feel most comfortable doing.
Shave your face
You are now ready to shave. I recommend that you start by shaving the sideburns. This is the easiest part of your face to shave and will give you some valuable experience before you try to shave other parts of the face. I shaved my sideburns four times before I tried shaving my entire face.
Start by stretching your skin. Your skin needs to be stretched to make sure that you do not nick yourself. Place your straight razor against the skin at a 30-degree angle. Drag the razor in small smooth movements. Do not press the razor against the skin. No pressure at all is needed. Simply let the blade caress your face. Pressing the blade against your face will cause nicks and cuts. Do not try to remove all beard in a single movement. You will need to shave each part several times to remove all beard.
It does not matter if you shave with or against the hair but many men prefer to first do two movements with the hair and then one or two against the grain. They feel this gives the best shave.
Finance professional who likes writing about finance and pets.