How To Shave With A Straight Razor
Do not shave with a straight razor! I repeat! You do not know how to shave with a straight razor when you are very tired. You may not have the concentration needed to wield the sharp knife!
I have been wet shaving for almost a year now. Started with a double edge safety razor. I immersed myself in this great shaving experience. I thought I finally found my great shaving setup until I was introduced to a straight razor.
Thanks to the shaving community and James, I am so much in love with straight razor shaving.
I Miss My Straight Razor
For the last couple of months, I have been experimenting my own handcrafted shaving soap. I always use a safety razor to check its performance. Never tried it with a straight razor. So my straight razor just sitting there in the corner for more weeks than it should.
I miss it. I miss how smooth the straight razor shave is. I decided that I have to shave with my beloved straight razor.
The Worst Cut Ever
Yes. You read that right. I experienced the worst cut ever. This is how it happened.
I had a 4 days growth. I kind of lazy. I thought I might grow a beard. I was drawn to the beauty of the beard. I am not that afraid of beard anymore. What? Yes. I was afraid of a man with a beard, especially Santa Claus. LOL. I was afraid that I might yank the beard.
I usually shave after work. I took the shower and prepared all the gears. I grabbed my beautifully crafted shaving soap, my boar shaving brush, and my beloved straight razor.
This was tired that taking control of my body. I never use the straight razor during weekday (night) shaving. I prefer to use the straight razor on Saturday morning.
There I was. Standing in front of the mirror and face lathering. My soap was building a great lather. I spread the lather evenly onto my facial hair. Ready to take action!
I carefully place the straight razor onto my face and started shaving. OUCH!
I pressed the razor onto my skin. Blood was drawn immediately. I did not expect it at all. Especially at the beginning of the shaving session. I usually drew blood when I tried to get a BBS. That was an inch long cut.
What Went Wrong
First and foremost is I was so tired. I was in automatic mode. That was why my muscle memory kicked in. It had been trained for the last couple of weeks to use a safety razor. I needed to reactivate straight razor memory to my muscle. The best way to do it is to have an alert mind.
Secondly, I forgot that my shaving soap is a “thirsty” soap. It needs more water to make a slick lather. I made a rather dry lather and the razor stuck on the stubble. It really lacked the glideness.
Thirdly, Because my straight razor stuck on the stubble, I unconsciously put a slight pressure. That’s a big NO-NO when you wet shave. Not when you are using a safety razor and especially not when you are using a straight razor.
Fourthly, I was tired. Wait. Didn’t I mention that already? Well. I should’ve postponed the shaving session but my wife insisted me to have a clean face. I just went along with the idea.
First Aid Kit
After washing what was left of my lather, I grabbed my alum block and applied it to the cut. The blood didn’t stop immediately. It was because I have a rather big cut.
I had to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. The aftershave stung a lot when it hit the open wound. That was when I realized I had to put on Betadine. Just to help sterilize the wound and prevent infection.
How To Shave With A Straight Razor
Will I still be shaving with a straight razor? 100% yes. I love my straight razor and the result it gives. I want you to learn from my mistakes. So, this is how to shave with a straight razor:
- Make sure you wash your face clean.
- Apply hot towel to loosen the facial hair.
- Re-apply the hot towel.
- Build a wet lather. Make sure it is slick.
- Be wide awake!
- Apply the lather.
- Please! Wake Up!
- Stretch your skin and start shaving with the grain with NO PRESSURE.
- Re-apply the lather.
- Stretch your skin and start shaving across the grain with NO PRESSURE.
- Wash up and apply alum and aftershave.
I only recommend you to do 2 passes when you are using a straight razor. But if you need to, please do the against the grain pass to get the final BBS shave. You may risk a razor burn, though.
Where Can I Buy A Straight Razor
I hope my experience up there makes you jump up and down with excitements. I have to try a straight razor! So I can draw blood!!
In all seriousness, you should try and get a straight razor.
There are tons of places where you can buy a straight razor. I will list some of them.
The first recommendation is The Art of Shaving.
They have some of the great lists of Straight Razor. Their straight razors come from Thiers Issard of France. Thiers Issard is one of the well-known straight razors. You can’t go wrong with this brand. Browse them here. They have a Free Shipping Sitewide – No Minimum.
Check their marketplace for things to buy or trade.
The third recommendation is Amazon.
Well… you can find almost anything from Amazon. A straight razor is definitely there.
Search the top brands that are available there:
The fourth recommendation is to go to straight razor artisans.
I hope this article doesn’t hinder you from using a straight razor. Yes, I am still in my learning curve. I made mistakes. But I still love my straight razor. It is the best shaving tool I have. I still want to buy some more. Maybe 3 more to be exact. So I can easily rotate them during shaving.
You can read my first time shaving with a straight razor to know how afraid I was.
What do you think? Will you try a straight razor? It is fun, you know?