The straight razor shave is that of precision and skill. It is a shave that requires practice, and focus. Learning how to shave with a straight razor is definitely not for every man, but it can be for any man.
As a woman, I understand the focus and following of why men shave with a straight razor. A man’s face is what a woman first notices. (Well, unless you’re at the beach or pool).
So let’s get down to the basics of straight razor shaving.
- A straight razor that is shave ready
- Shaving soap/cream (to a lather)
- Shaving brush (the most recommended is a badger hair)
- A leather strop
It is important that you make sure your skin is shave ready. Yes, gentlemen there is a lot of prep when it comes to a straight razor shave!
Before you begin make sure that you have all the tools at your fingertips for easy use and better focus. Get a cup or a bowl ready with steaming hot water and allow your brush to soak in it.
While your brush is soaking you need to open up the pores of your skin on your face, thus allowing your facial hair to soften. (Facial hair is notoriously coarser than all other hair on your body). To do this run a towel under hot water and apply it to your face until the towel cools. This can be repeated if necessary, or desired.
Immediately after removing the towel apply the shaving soap/cream in a circular motion to your face. Make sure a thick layer of lather is applied.
While the shaving soap/cream is on your face, strop your razor one last time. You want to use a leather strop running the blade along it. I recommend that you do somewhere between 30 and 60 passes in a fast motion with light pressure for optimum results.
If your face is no longer moist make sure you reapply the shaving soap/cream (so blade is not getting caught or skipping due to the soap drying).
After you have re-lathered, if necessary, stretch the area of skin you are shaving so it is tight and then apply the straight razor at a 20-degree angle. For each pass you will start with short strokes moving on to long ones. For optimum results I recommend that you do three passes, but it is not necessary if time is a factor.
For the first pass you will always start with the growth direction of your facial hair.
For the second pass re-apply the shaving soap/cream and go sideways with the grain of your face. (Obviously there will be areas of your face and neck that this will not be possible, therefore skip this pass for these areas).
The third and final pass is the most dangerous and you should be very careful when completing it. For this final step you are going to go against the grain of your facial hair (yes, up). (Be especially careful around your nose, ears, etc.).
The Post Shave
After you have completed all three passes you are done. Rinse your face off with cold water (versus the hot) to close up your pores.
These are the basics of a straight razor shave. Remember guys just like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “I don’t kiss on the mouth its too personal,” your face is the most personal part of your body to a woman. The more time and attention you give to your face, the more attractive and appealing you become. Trust me!
One final note, once you have mastered the straight razor shave. Teach the woman in your life. Because lets face it; there is nothing sexier than having your woman getting exactly what she wants.