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How To Get Started Using A Straight Razor (Jeremy Hood)

How To Get Started Using A Straight Razor (Jeremy Hood) by Charles Sledge

This is a guest post by Jeremy Hood who is an accountant by day and a blogger in his free time at BestMensShaver.com​ He writes about all different kinds of shavers as well as shaving tips and beard care advice. Today Jeremy is going to talk about a more traditional style of shaving that many have gotten away from.

Ready to give a straight razor a try so you can show all of your buddies how manly you are?

Shaving with a straight razor can leave a bloody mess if you don’t know what you are doing. However, it can also give you one of the most satisfying shaves.

Think barbershop treatment on a daily basis in your home!

Keep reading to see if you have what it takes to use a single blade or if you should just run back to the safety of your multi-blade cartridge razor.

Prep Your Face

You need to set yourself up for success by preparing your face for the shave. Of course, when you switch to wet shaving there is a little more of a time commitment in the morning.

You should start by taking a hot shower and washing your face. As your skin absorbs the water it swells slightly and becomes more malleable.

This helps the razor slide over your skin easier resulting in fewer nicks. It will also help reduce skin irritation if you suffer from razor bumps.

This is because you won’t be able to cut your hair under the skin like a multi-blade cartridge razor. With those, the first blade or two pulls up on your hair while the remaining blades cut the hair, often times below the skin surface.

Leaving you with a super sharp hair the might curl back into the skin. Resulting razor bumps.

Washing your face will also help you get a better shave. Removing any excess oil and dirt will help keep the razor clear and free of gunk that might cause the razor to skip around on your face.

This will result in a more efficient shave.

Shaving Cream

While you can continue to use your typical aerosol shaving cream, many guys look for more natural shaving creams or soaps that you whip yourself with a shaving brush.

They give you more control on the richness of the lather so you can give yourself more lubrication for the razor.

If you decide to go this route, you can soak your shaving brush in hot water while you are in the shower so it will be ready to go when you get out.

Whipping your own lather only takes about 60 seconds (more time commitment, I know) You can either whip this up in a bowl or mug you have lying around your house or straight on your face.

The hairs on your brush also exfoliate your skin, removing any dead skin cells to clear the way for your blade. They also lift the beard hairs up making them easier to cut.

If you are concerned about irritation, some guys even use a pre-shave oil underneath their shaving cream. This just provides even more lubrication.

Choose Your Instrument

If you are just starting out you may want to invest in a shavette that uses disposable razor blades. This will significantly reduce your investment in equipment which is nice in case you decide you don’t like it.

When you buy a fixed blade straight razor, one they can be costly and two, they require much more maintenance than any other type of razor.

You will also have to buy whetstones and strops to keep your razor sharp and aligned. With a shavette, you can simply toss the old blade and insert a new one.

Of course, the quality on a fixed blade razor will be much higher, but for learning a shavette is completely fine.

Some guys end up sticking with the shavette. There are also several brands and varieties of razor blades so you can have fun trying them all out. They are cheap and you can often find variety packs online.

Do Your Homework

There are several forums and videos online that can help you learn the technique. It really is not as hard as it may seem.

However, it is a skill that will need to be learned so just try to have patience. Will you cut yourself? Probably.

But you will survive and each time you nick yourself will just be experience that you can learn from so that you won’t do it again.

Let’s face nicks happen, regardless of what type of razor you are using.

YouTube can be a great resource here, especially if you are a visual learner. You can read and read all you want but there is something about seeing some use a blade in action that will really teach you the right angle.

Start Shaving

The best way to learn a new skill is to just do it. So, while you should read some tutorials and watch some videos, don’t spend days doing research.

Just start shaving! Take your time and go slow in the beginning and you will be fine.

Remember to use slow and short strokes. As you begin shaving, your blade will hold shaving cream, cut hair and gunk. Try to rinse this off regularly when you are learning.

This will prevent the razor from “jumping” around on your skin.

Always shave the grain, that is the direction in which your beard hair grows. As you get your technique down you may try a second pass against the grain if you desire a closer shave.

However, keeping the razor going with the grain will also help prevent razor burn and nicks.

Finally, enjoy it. Wet shaving enthusiast simply enjoy the ritual of their morning shave. As you get comfortable shaving you may find yourself looking forward to the shave instead of thinking of it as a chore.

You may even find yourself collecting all kinds of razors, brushes, soaps and blades. Every man’s beard and skin type are different so you may need to try a few different combinations out to find your perfect shave.

Conclusion

So, do you have what it takes? Probably, the question is, do you have the time in the morning to invest in this quality shave.

If you still aren’t convinced it may be worth checking out a double edge safety razor. This will still be better than using the multi-blade cartridge razors.

Not to mention one of the best parts about wet shaving, it’s cheap! After you have your equipment the disposable razor blades can be as low as $.10!

Enjoyed the post? Wish to write one of your own? Check out the form here and let me know. I’m always looking to promote good sites to my readers.

Charles Sledge

  • Old Goat

    I started using a razor about 10 years ago. It does take more time, but the baby skin smooth shave is worth it. I don’t use it every time, but I do use it on special occasions when the closeness will be appreciated 🐈🔨

    • Cool, have one stored away somewhere will have to bust it out and give it a go.

  • Aaron

    Hi Charles, thanks for the post! What tips would you suggest for beard care after shaving?

    • No idea, don’t have a beard. Might want to try well built style or masculine style that seems up their alley.

    • Hey Aaron, there are many products available to condition your beard like oils or balms. However, if you want something simple, you can put a little coconut oil in it.