Since razors have gotten so expensive and somewhat complicated a lot of men are turning to good old-fashioned straight razors. Once they get used to it a lot of guys end up preferring a straight razor. But if you didn’t grow up at the turn of the last century learning to shave in front of a mirror, learning how to use a straight razor can be a little daunting. Learn how to achieve the ultimate shave.
Keep your razor sharp
First, you need to make sure your razor is sharp. Just like with a modern razor you don’t want the blade to be dull because that will just lead to irritated skin. Using a leather strop or a wet stone will keep your straight razor sharp and ready to use.
When you start to shave, make sure you open your pores so you can shave your hair easily and you have wet skin. Shaving right after you shower is perfect. You can also put a hot, damp washcloth against your skin and leave it there until it cools down.
Along with a nice sharp straight razor, you’ll also need a shaving brush for applying your shaving cream in circular strokes over your skin. The brush and the circular motion will help to lift up the hairs.
Get your shaving cream
Before applying the shaving cream to the shaving brush and then to your face, soak the brush in some hot water to soften the bristles. Once the bristles are nice and soft, squeeze out the bristles to they’re damp but not soaked. Now you’re ready to mix up your shaving cream.
You can use shaving cream or gel in a can, but you won't get as good a shave as with the old-fashioned cream or shave soap. Using the old-fashioned shaving cream or soap to work up a good lather is part of the experience of using a straight razor, so why cheat yourself? We recommend our own Gentlemen’s Shaving Cream which offers a whipped lather for a great shave. Featuring argan and sandalwood oils to condition your beard, minimizing irritation and redness of your skin. Rich in glycerin and an array of plant extracts, our shaving cream leaves your face smooth and moisturized. Check out some of our other premium grooming products. If you have a long beard or mustache style, be sure to check out our beard conditioner.
The most important thing to remember when using a straight razor is to shave in the direction of the hair growth. This might be opposite to how you normally shave with a modern razor but it is important to adjust to it. Shave in the opposite direction of the hair growth and you’re more likely to get razor burn and ingrown hairs as well as cut yourself.
Now that you know to shave in the direction of your hair growth you also need to remember to shave at a 30-degree angle. To get a nice smooth shave you need to be careful to use the correct angle, otherwise, you’ll either not cut the hair or you’ll cut yourself or both. You also need to pull your skin a little taut as you shave to provide a flat surface area for the blade.
Shaving with a straight razor takes a little more patience and a little more care than a modern razor since you don’t have little wires protecting your skin from the blade. Use slow smooth strokes and with a little practice, you should be good to go.