How To Shave With a Straight Razor – Detailed Guide
Straight razors are legend manual shaving tools; they were very popular in 1950’s but up to now men still use them. I have reviewed different shaving tools on Yosaki, but I just can’t compare them with a straight razor, because it’s a onetime purchase, no maintenance or blade replacement, all you need to do is to keep it sharp all the time and the other good thing about them is that you can travel with it in your pockets. However, straight razors can be disastrous if you use them wrongly, so you should always follow these instructions and learn how to shave with them.
- Preparation:- In this preparation stage, you have to gather up all the tools you need for this process. These will include a straight razor, shaving bowl / mug to help you melt shaving soap, badger shaving brush to help you lather up, aftershave to calm down your skin after shaving and at the same time kill germs. May be the other thing you should not forget is to prepare the place you will be shaving from, because a straight razor is very good at leaving mess on the skin / floor, so if you don’t want to get bothered by that mess, put old news papers on the floor or shave while in the shower and make sure water is switched on as you shave, this will prevent clogging of the shower because each hair you cut is washed away by water on instant.
- Wash your face: – This is a basic step which I assume you know of, but still I will not take it for granted because first time shavers might have no idea about this. You need to wash your face with warm water (not hot because it will burn your face), use a clean face towel to wash your face, this will open up skin pores and at the same time lift and soften your beards making it very easy for you to shave.
- Warm up shaving soap:- I’m sure many you will use shaving soap to leather up that beard before shaving. However, shaving soap is always solid, so there is no way you can use it when it’s solid. So get a good shaving bowl with a wide width and standard depth and warm up that shaving soap. These shaving bowls / mugs differ in style, some are stainless steel, wooden, ceramic. The best bowl is a ceramic one because it stores heat for a longer time, so your shaving soap will remain soluble for quite a long time. On the other hand, stainless steel shaving bowls heat up so fast but at the same time, they lose that heat so fast, meaning you will always be warming it up which is a waste of time. You can warm up that mug / bowl using hot water / an electric warmer, but don’t apply lather up when the foam is too hot, let it cool down.
- Lather up:- You need to use a very good badger shaving brush to leather up those beards. Badger brushes have very soft bristles which are tender on skin and they hold enough water for a longer period. Once your shaving soap melts down, it will be ready for use, so put that shaving brush in the bowl and make sure it grabs enough foam and then apply it on your beards gently. Make sure the all beard is covered with lather and let the lather sit on the beard for a few minutes before shaving. This practice softens the beards and the skin making it very easy to shave with that straight razor.
- Stretch your skin:- Straight razors are very sharp, these are manual shaving tools so they can’t adjust to different facial contours. Men who have aged are characterized with very soft skin so if you plan to use this sharp shaving tool you have to stretch your facial skin with one hand and shave with another hand. When you stretch your skin, it will become flat so that straight razor will maneuver over the skin smoothly reducing chances of cutting yourself.
- Start Shaving:- Now that your beard with lathered up very well, the skin is also stretched to avoid nicks and cuts, go ahead and shave off that thick course beard. I’m 100% sure you will get a clean close shave, but avoid using too much pressure when shaving because you might end cutting deep into your skin. May be the other thing you should not forget about is to clean / sterilize your straight razor before shaving, this will kill germs and save you from getting any skin infections.
- Rinse off shaving cream:- After getting a real clean close shave, you have to rinse off that shaving soap from your face. But this time you will use cold water because it will close off all skin pores and prevent germs from entering your skin. After doing so, dry your face with a very clean cotton face towel.
- Apply aftershave:- This should be applied when the face is dry, use the right aftershave, one which does not contain alcohol. It will kill all bacteria found on your face, calm down the skin which has been shaved and prevent you from getting razor bumps.