When we talk about the characteristics of an ‘Alpha-Male,’ we often mention James Bond. In a movie-scene of Sky-Fall- James Bond shaves his beard with a straight razor showing the world how a shaving blade can separate the entire men’s regime from boys.
That scene is intimidating and Powerful, so does the shaving razor. It’s a luxury only a man can afford.
And you can savor this exhilaration at home if you are patient enough to learn the method. Collect all your focus now, and start following the procedure with me. I can promise you, at the end of this, you will surely know how to shave with a straight razor without hurting yourself.
Why A Straight Razor?
Now the question arises: why?
Why did anyone spend 15 minutes merely shaving facial hair with a straight razor?
Perhaps the answer lies in a little quote of an American Journalist named Hunter S. Thompson. He said-
“Anything That Gets Your Blood Racing Is Probably Worth Doing”
Yes, he is right. That close shaving experience is matched to none. The drag, the slides, the risks, everything in a straight razor shaving is compelling.
Benefits of a Straight Razor
A single quote can’t justify everything, and I understand that. Therefore, elaborating the view with reasoning for you.
Straight razor gives you a smooth leathery shave. If anyone touches your face after the shave, they will feel like you never had a beard in the first place. It’s like touching a baby’s butt.
As a result, it also reduces the hazards for the Environment. You can call this an eco-friendly razor.
Last but not the least; it does cherish the memory of our medieval forefathers, a cultural embodiment of our history. We can’t ignore that. It constantly reminds you how a real man lived life in those days.
How to Choose a Perfect Razor
Choosing the best razor is tricky but not complicated. Let’s see how-
Choose a Type
Cut-throat and Shavette, these are the two variations you can find in your local market. And the cutthroats have two types of blades, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Carbon steel is more efficient in this case.
Watch for Craftsmanship
Try to avoid blades that have alignment issues, because that declares the poor craftsmanship of that razor. Watch for unusual blade width in a razor. 5/8″ is the ideal width. Dovo Straight Razor and Le Grelot Red Stamina 5/8 are two best razor brands you can choose for a pleasant experience.
Parting the straight razor, the shaving process required several tools like; shaving cream/foam/gel, brush, blades if the razor type is Shavette, honing stone if the type is cutthroat, and after-shave moisturizer.
Shaving cream, shaving foam, or gel is a lubricant for softening the hair before shaving. To avoid after-shave skin rash or irritation, shaving liquids are the best. Better quality shaving gel mostly depends on budget, don’t be a miser in this case.
A brush is considered as the most practical and vital tool for straight razor shaving. Its bristles hydrate the shaving cream/gel from thickening. Lathering by a good quality brush elevates the shaving experience. Buy an excellent shaving brush from local shops, or right now, you can try Amazon.
Double edge razor blades made of Japanese stainless-steel are best for Shavette razor. Others like Viking’ blade and Parker’s double edge are quite effective too.
Any after-shave moisturizer will get it done, but Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm is one of the best.
Open-throat razor is more like a sword, and it can get dull over time. A dull razor blade will be a cactus spike lodging into your face. By Honing, you can restore the blade to its former position. Buy a honing whetstone with your suited budget but preserve the quality. Because a good class always grants comfort. Talking about the type, there are two variations available in the market, wood-whetstone, and ceramic-whetstone. An effective whetstone comes in a 4,000/8,000 grit combination. Here is an opportunity to find them at your local hardware store, if not go for online shopping.
How to Use the Straight razor
Please don’t lose concentration now, or you will miss the most important phase of this whole ritual. From now on, follow everything, memorize it, and keep all the distractions away if needed. Let’s begin-
Clean the Face
To avoid post-shaving irritation and acne, clean your face. Your normal shaving soap and warm water will do the job. If you used to shave after a hot shower, maintain the habit. That shower will get you the same results.
Apply Pre-shave Oil
You ever asked yourself why the barber applies a hot towel on your face every time before a shave. Perhaps it’s a quick trick to soften the skin and the beard. If you don’t have a luxurious streamer, just take a regular towel to soak it into hot water, rinse it, and apply it to your face. After that, rub on the pre-shaving oil, natural.
Lather with the Brush
Pour some saving liquid on the brush, soak it, and start lathering the face. The more you rub on the front, the more it washes. Try to massage in a stirring motion; it will give an excellent lather. Make a repeat stroke to make the lather even.
How to Hold the Razor
If you are an absolute beginner, this part is for you, so listen carefully to avoid any cut. As you are a novice, suggesting the necessary grip for you-
- Put the first three fingers, excluding the thumb on the back of the blade holder.
- Rest the ladies finger on the tang of that blade holder and
- Place the thumb on the belly of that blade holding steel, simple.
First, hold the straight razor at a 30° angle to avoid cuts. Then, choose a side of your face and drag the blade down towards your chin from a starting point. Before each stroke, hold the skin upward to tightening the surface and apply a short stroke to gain buttery finish. After each short stroke, bathe the blade in warm water and repeat the process on the other side of your face.
Second, hold the blade tight and lift it slightly before shaving the chin area. Give pressure in the middle of that blade and gently sway stroke on that chin or jawbone area. Raise your chin towards the ceiling a bit, before a chop and to achieve smooth shave slash twice on the same spot.
Third, with steady hands shear away two sides of the upper lip, and fold the lips in the mouth as if blowing a whistle. It provides extra leverage. Then replicate the procedure on the lower lips area. While doing the upper lips, you can hold the nose upward for extra spacing. Go over all the procedures for a shiny, velvety sensation.
After every shave, the stomas become sensitive, splash some cold water on the skin without delay to taut them. Now pour a small portion of after-shave on the palm and rub it on the surface. Don’t rub the skin too much; it may cause rash or minor irritation. The moisturizer also works as an antiseptic because it contains alcohol.
One last suggestion before ending the journey we begin. Until the next shave, keep the straight razor away from children and moisture.
Moisture can build trust on the blade; Make sure you rinse them with a dry cloth before storing.