Humans first started shaving 60,000 years ago during the Stone Age. Men would use sharpened obsidian and clam shells to shave their beards. Sounds painful doesn’t it?
Today we have the straight razor — a tool that if used correctly, makes shaving a painless and comfortable experience. Shaving with a straight razor allows you to shave closer to the skin and reduces your chances of razor burn since its only one blade that’s passing along the skin.
In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about shaving with a straight razor.
How To Shave With A Straight Razor
Preparing Your Skin
Before you pick up your razor, you’ll need to soften up your hair and skin. You can do this by jumping in the shower right before you shave, the warm water from the shower will soften your hair and skin, helping the razor glide freely.
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time for the shower, apply a pre-shave oil (if you have it), then lather a good quality shaving cream across the skin and massage the shaving cream into your skin with small circles.
Inspecting Your Razor Blade
Before applying the sharp blade to your sensitive skin, its important to check your razor blade for rust, chips, dents, or any other imperfections. The slightest error in the blade could leave you with cuts or extremely painful razor burn.
When you start shaving, its important to first shave in the direction the hair grows. This is called shaving with the grain. Since facial hair does not all grow in the same direction, you’ll need to know which direction the hair grows on MOST people.
After shaving with the grain, you can shave again, this time going against the grain to ensure you’ve performed a close shave. This will help keep that 5 o’clock shadow from showing up later in your day.
A few key tips to remember while shaving with a straight razor:
- Shave slowly — if you rush you could cut yourself.
- Rinse the shaving cream off of your blade frequently.
- Make sure to avoid blemishes — only shave over smooth skin.
- Stretch the skin while you shave.
- If your skin dries out, reapply warm water.
The blade should be tilted at an angle, and should never be pressed against the face, the blade is sharp enough to cut the hair without added pressure.
After you’ve finished your shave, and you’ve checked your skin for any missed hairs, it’ll be time to moisturize the skin. This is arguably the most important step in the shaving process.
Moisturizing the skin with a moisturizer or an aftershave will keep you from experiencing razor burn. Apply your aftershave or moisturizer across all areas that were shaved over and massage this into your skin using small circles.
Some people even prefer to splash their face with cold water after their shave to tighten up their pores and eliminate any irritation on the skin.
Finding The Right Straight Razor
There are two options when it comes to shopping for a straight razor. You can either buy a razor that uses disposable blades, or you can buy a reusable straight razor blade.
The reusable straight razor blade will be more expensive. You’ll also have to purchase blade oil, and a strop to keep your reusable blade sharp. This type of blade is not for everyone since it takes a lot more time out of your day to ensure a clean and comfortable shave.
The disposable blades work like a charm, you’ll never have to worry about keeping the blade oiled and sharp. If the blade gets dull, just throw it out and place a new blade into the razor handle.
Purchase your straight razor from our friends over at West Coast Shaving. Their razors are reasonably priced and have many shaving accessories for you to choose from that will add to your shaving experience.
Shaving with a straight razor is very beneficial as it allows you to shave closer to the skin and avoids razor burn better than most of the other razors on the market. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to shave with this great tool, your skin will thank you for the rest of your life.