How to Use a Straight Razor for Shaving
There is an art to shaving with a straight razor. It requires patience and time. Before learning how to use a straight razor, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with a few techniques. This guide will enlighten you with a list of needed equipment and how to select a razor. Other information within this guide includes beard preparation skills, shaving and practices for the closest shave.
How to Use a Straight Razor For Shaving
There are five essential tools that are used for a straight shave. Each tool is very important. They include a straight razor, hone, leather strop, shaving brush and shaving cream. It is important to purchase a good quality razor for an optimum shave.
- Straight Razor (size 5/8)
- Leather Strop
- Shaving Brush
- Shaving Cream
Selecting a Straight Razor
It is very important to choose a good quality straight razor. A quality razor will help produce the ultimate shaving experience. After a razor has been obtained, it must be honed before use.
Stropping a New Straight Razor
A new straight razor should be stropped correctly before it is used. Stropping a new blade is not the same as honing. Honing a straight razor’s blade with a whetstone eliminates any metal from the blade’s edge that is not in alignment. Stropping aligns the blade without the removal of metal from the blade. The strop may be hanged or on a paddle that is hand held.
To begin stropping the new blade, hang your strop securely at one end. Leather side up, hold the strop at the bottom and pull tightly with one hand. This will prevent the blade from developing a dull or rounded edge.
Hold the razor by the shank with your opposite hand. Place the blade on the strop further from you. Stroke the blade towards you with the blade facing away from you. Next stroke the blade away from you with the straight razor’s blade facing you. Repeat with the blade away from you and stroke the blade towards you. It is important for the heel of the straight razor to be ahead of the razor’s point and to strop the razor. Strop each side slowly 16-22 times.
How a Straight Razor is Held
To hold a straight razor correctly, place your first three fingers on the blade’s back. Place your smallest finger on the tang of the blade. Your thumb rests on the blade’s side near the center. This will help to control the straight razor efficiently.
Shaving With a Straight Razor
Soften the beard with a hot towel and apply shaving cream. If a shaving brush is being used, it is important to soak the brush in hot water for a few minutes. Use your fingers to draw the skin upward and shave in a downward motion to clear half of the cheek on the right side of the face.
In a downward motion, shave downward to clear slightly more than half of the right cheek. Then, continue to shave the next half of the right cheek. To shave under the right side of jaw, draw the skin tight beneath the jaw. Then shave the jaw in a downward motion. To shave the left cheek, repeat the steps that where applied for the right.
Sometimes, it is easier to get your beard shaved by a professional, in such cases, you may consider a beauty school salon. These salons are cheap, and the students carrying out the shaves do it under the watchful eye of their experienced instructors.