Some people just love doing things the old-fashioned way. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! In fact, sometimes the old-fashioned ways are the best. From a shaving context, straight razors (also known as cut throat razors) have numerous benefits over modern double-edge razors. Some of the most notable benefits include:
Top 4 Benefits Of Shaving With A Straight Razor
- It’s cheaper in the long-term: You don’t need to buy a new cut-throat razor often as is the case with modern razors which require frequent replacements. Once you make the initial investment, you can forget about buying a new straight razor for years.
- Reduces risks of irritation and getting in-growing hairs: Modern shaving razors shave through a process called hysteresis which increases risks of getting in-grown hairs because the process involves pulling the hair first before cutting it. Straight razors don’t pull hair which is why they reduce risks of irritation and in-grown hairs.
- Its easy: Cut throat shaving is easier than most people think. If you follow the steps below and learn the proper technique, you won’t have a problem shaving with a straight razor.
- It’s better for the environment: Most modern shaving razors are made of non-recyclable materials not forgetting you have to buy and dispose several modern shaving razors a month. Cut throat razors are made of metal and they don’t have to be disposed for years. Clearly, they are better for the environment.
Having looked at some of the main reasons why you should consider shaving with a straight razor, let’s get into the details of how to do it. It’s important to note that many men shy away from straight razors because they don’t know how to use them safely. Not anymore! Below is a step-by-step guide on how to shave with a straight razor.
Step-By-Step Guide To Shave With A Straight Razor – 3 Step Process
Step 1: Invest in a high quality razor
The first step towards learning how to shave with a straight razor is investing in a great straight razor. It’s important to note that the popularity of straight razors today has resulted in many substandard straight razor brands. You must therefore be careful when buying a straight razor. It’s better to stick to recognized straight razor brands although they tend to be more expensive because they are usually high quality. Such razors also come ready (sharpened) and/or with replaceable blades.
Step 2: Prepare your face
Before the actual cut throat shaving, you need to prep your face to enjoy your experience and get the best outcome. It’s highly advisable to shave after taking a shower to ensure your beard is soft. You can achieve the same outcome by using a hot towel or washing your face with warm water. All in all, your beard must be soft before you consider shaving with a straight razor to avoid cuts and allow a smooth shave.
Once your beard is soft, proceed by applying shaving cream. Again, you should use high quality shaving cream to avoid skin irritation. You can use a badger hair brush to apply the shaving cream. Application should be in a circular motion until you form a rich lather. Allow a few minutes for the lather to soak and then wipe the lather away and re-apply making sure that you cover your face but keep a rather thin layer to ensure you see exactly what you will be doing when you start shaving.
Step 3: Shave
Before you attempt to shave with a straight razor it is crucial to learn the proper technique. It is also important for you to know the direction your beard grows. It is highly recommendable to seek the advice of a skilled/professional barber so that you learn how to shave with a straight razor firsthand. Nevertheless, any beginner can do it on their own by following the instructions below carefully.
6 Steps To Achieve A Clean Shave With A Straight Razor
Start by rubbing your hands over your beard to determine the direction your beard grows. Your beard grows in the direction with the least resistance. Typical hair grows sideways on the neck and downwards on the cheeks. The simply technique above should however help you determine the direction of growth accurately. One you have determined the direction of growth, you can start shaving.
Start shaving by holding the cut throat razor with your writing hand while placing your thumb on the bottom of the metal part that is between the razor’s pivot pin and blade (the shank). Your middle, ring and index fingers should be on top of the shank. Your small finger should rest on the tang (the little piece which sticks past the pivot pin). The razor’s scale or handle should stick up between the ring and pinkie fingers.
Next, rest the blade on your shaving area making a 30 degree angle. Use a very light touch keep the blade moving constantly to ensure it doesn’t dig into your skin and cut you. You should also avoid moving the blade sideways as much as possible as this is the number one cause of straight razor cuts.
You should also stretch your skin using your free hand to ensure it is tight when you shave. Doing this guarantees a smooth shave free of cuts. Shaving continuously using long strokes also reduces risks of cuts which usually occur when the blade stops moving repeatedly. When you follow these tips to the letter, you shouldn’t have any problem shaving with a straight razor.
When you finish the first pass, you should re-lather and then shave again (this time against the grain) to get a perfect outcome. Rinse your face thoroughly with warm water and finish by splashing cool water to close your pores. Apply a high quality aftershave balm to soothe your skin. If you use a proper shaving technique, you don’t have to worry about irritation and cuts. Your outcome will also be perfect!
Remember to clean, dry, oil and store your razor perfectly to protect the blade from rust and moisture damage. You should also clean and dry your badger hair brush.