Since I started using a straight razor my life has completely changed. I feel so much more confident and masculine, and the girls love it!
- Sam (24)
Did you know that women shave more than men? And most of them use a safety razor. Even more shocking, when straight razors were first introduced, they promised to be so safe a baby could use them. You can set yourself apart by using a straight razor, which gives a smoother shave and costs less. A straight razor has been used throughout history by men to keep their faces cleanly shaven and is a clear sign of a man. Not only does it provide a clean shave, it also allows for precision in intricate facial grooming. Classic shaving requires skill and bravery. Do you have what it takes?
Using a straight razor can be daunting and you are bound to get a few cuts while learning how to master one. But if that puts you off, you are no man. A man does not quiver in his boots at the face of potential injuries but jumps right in and welcomes the scars.
Two things are important to note when shaving: how to hold the razor, and the direction and angle of the blade.
You hold the blade at a 30 degree angle, following the grain. Do not move sideways, as this will cut your skin. If you hold the blade too flat to your cheek, the hair will not be cut and if you have a too big angle, the hairs will not get cut but you might.
The first strokes are always with the grain (following the direction of hair growth) but you can shave against the grain afterwards for a closer shave. This can cause more irritation.
In the images below you can see how to hold your straight razor and the general direction of hair growth on your face.
The first narrow-bladed folding straight razors were manufactured in 1680 but men used non-folding straight razors or sharp objects like knives since long before. Straight razors have been the most common form of shaving before the 20th century and remained common in many countries until the 1950s.
However, when safety razors came on the market, especially the double-edged safety razor with replaceable blades, the straight razors lessened drastically in popularity. Men chose the easy shave which they could easily do at home without the need for care or sharpening of blades, even though a safety razor costs more over time.
It doesn't take much to get started, you just need to purchase a few things. Most of these can be bought from a local farmacie or grocery store, or you can look online for a local retailer. The basic starter kit contains the following items:
To continue shaving and take care of your razor, you will also need:
When looking for these items, there are a few things to keep in mind. First is that you need quality items. A flimsy razor won't last long and can be difficult to use. The hone needs to be good as well. The simple stones used to sharpen pocket knives and kitchen knives just won't do. You need a hone designed for straight razors, otherwise the blade won't be sharp and smooth enough to use on your face. Lastly, you must absolutely use a strop after you sharpened the blade, otherwise the ragged edge will damage your skin. For the strop, better quality is also very important. A cheap strop will not make the blade as smooth as a good one and the smoother, the better. A hanging strop is the most common.
Good luck shaving like a man! Try it today and feel the difference.