Shaving with a straight razor provides some benefits over shaving with a standard safety razor. You may be thinking about changing the way you shave but are intimidated by this unfamiliar shaving method.
Making the switch to a straight razor can be intimidating, but there are easy steps you can follow to make the transition a smooth one.
Assemble the Right Equipment
Before you can even think about lathering up your face and getting your shave on, you need to ensure that you have everything that you need to have a safe, hassle-free straight razor shave. You will need a variety of equipment to get the perfect shave:
Straight Razor – There are different types of razors with different kinds of blades to choose from. You can choose a straight razor that allows you to replace the blade periodically or a razor with a fixed blade.
Fixed blade razors must be sharpened a few times a year to maintain their sharpness.
You can choose a round or square pointed blade for your razor. Round razors are recommended for new users, as the rounded point can’t cut you.
Square pointed blades should be used once you have gotten comfortable. The square point allows you to use the end of the blade for small areas that require precision.
Shaving Brush – You need a shaving brush that can be used to lather up your shaving soap and that will be able to apply the shaving foam to your face evenly.
Brushes made from animal fur, from boars to badgers, tend to be higher quality and last longer. However, you can use synthetic brushes, which tend to be less expensive but deteriorate more quickly.
Mug Shaving Soap – Mug shaving soap is mixed in water and stirred with your shaving brush until it starts to foam.
A Mug – The mug is needed to mix your shaving soap and should be wider than the diameter of your shaving brush.
A Leather Strop – The strop is used to remove built-up residue that accumulates on your razor to prevent your shave from being uneven or difficult.
Strop Your Blade
Before each shave, you must strop your blade to ensure the best shave. A strop is a long strip of leather that usually can be hung. Strop your razor by passing it over the leather ten times on each side.
Stropping evens out indentation that may have formed in your razor and removes residue. Use light pressure and run the blade across the strop, alternating sides.
Prep Your Face Properly – To get the best shave possible, you need to prepare your face for a shave before you begin. Take a hot shower before you start, or wet a towel with hot water and wrap it around the area you want to shave for five minutes. Wet your face and lather up. For best results let the lather sit for a few minutes before beginning.
Shave Slowly, With the Proper Technique
To begin, press the razor flush against your skin and rotate the blade until it is at a 30-degree angle relative to your face. If you angle the blade more than 30-degrees, you risk nasty cuts and damage.
Use very, very light pressure and stroke with the grain of your hair. A second stroke that moves across the grain and a third that is against the grain guarantees an extremely close shave.
Just like anything else, shaving with a straight razor takes practice and time to master. You will find that as you use your straight razor to shave each day, you will improve your technique and the process will become more comfortable.
Before you know it, you will be shaving with your straight razor like a pro.