Straight Razor Tips & Advice
Choosing the right straight razor can be a difficult decision. There are so many options with various features and given that these tools are built to last for years, making the right choice is very important. Enter our quick guide below that outlines the meat and potatoes of straight razor shaving with key tips to help you find the right tool for your needs.
Straight Razor 101
Using A Straight Razor
Straight razors are the pinnacle of manliness (or so we hear). There’s nothing more masculine than maneuvering a single blade across your face for a smooth shave. Straight razors take more time to master and come with a greater risk of nicks than their double-edge or safety razor counterparts. However, once mastered, straight razors can provide an incredibly close shave. The key is to keep the blade at a 30 degree angle, pull your skin tight with your free hand and maintain short strokes. Don’t be discouraged by the learning curve, stick with it and you’ll feel like a king, a smooth one at that, in no time.
Types of Straight Razors
Traditional: The typical razor people first think of. Traditional razors have one blade that is set in the razor and cannot be removed. Instead, the blade must be sharpened using a strop, which is a strap (often leather or canvas) that the blade is slid against against to refine. Since the process to create these razors is more tedious and the blades are much higher quality, traditional razors tend to be more expensive.
Shavette: These razors have the same basic design and appearance of a traditional razor, except they use disposable blades that are swapped out after a few shaves. These razors are easier to maintain since replacing the blade is a quick and simple process and the price is generally much lower. We offer a few shavette razors by Dovo on our site.
How To Use A Straight Razor
It’s one thing to have the right tool, but that’s like having a nice car without knowing how to drive. Here are the key tips for putting that razor into action and getting a smooth shave.
No Pressure: These razors are not designed to be bullied into the beard or skin. In fact, doing so will undoubtedly lead to bleeding or irritation. Instead, gently touch the razor to the face so that you can feel the blade, without apply additional pressure.
Change The Angle: Straight razors should move across the face at an angle of approximately 30 degrees. Shaving should commence slowly and carefully with short, light strokes in the direction of hair growth (with the grain).
Less Passes: Make it your goal to use no more than 2-3 passes over each area you shave. By making smaller, steadier passes you’ll reduce the risk of irritation. This becomes easier over time, as you adapt to using the straight razor.
Stretch The Skin: More so than with multi-blade cartridges, straight razors do their best work on skin that is held taut. So, when taking passes on the cheeks or neck, use that free hand to stretch these areas.
Stay Lubricated: Shaving oils, soaps, and gels help the razor to glide over the skin evenly. It also helps protect your skin from the blade. Being well lubricated during your shave will ensure your skin is irritation and nick free.
Rinse Often: Another benefit of this type of razor is that having two sides enables the user to flip the blade over before rinsing. That said, running the blade under water between major passes is recommended.
Why Go With A Safety Razor?
Here’s why you should make the leap to a Safety Razor.
Better Blades: Some cartridge razors are made of inferior steel. This means that they may dull quickly, pick up more bacteria and can cause more shaving mishaps. Straight razors are made of superior, single-source stainless steel. This is what helps a safety razor maintain its sharp edge and cut hair with minimal pressure.
Better For Your Skin: Contrary to the belief that more blades get any extra little hairs on the face, all you’re really doing is increasing your chances of having razor burn or ingrown hairs. A straight razor eliminates this because you’re just using one very sharp, well-angled blade. You only need to pass over an area 2-3 times, in short, light-handed strokes. Naturally, this reduces your chances of skin irritation!
Better For Your Wallet: Shavette replacement blades are more affordable than current multi-blade razors. Saving money is always cool, but shaving money while you also get a great product is even better. Sure, you have to pay more for the initial razor, but you’ll make your money back really quickly.
Better Access: In many cases, the blade’s slimmer design enables improved access and removal of hair in tough-to-reach areas like under the nose and neck crevices. A patchy shave is an amateur shave.
Still looking for more information on safety razors? Check out our frequently asked questions or reach out to our Grooming Experts. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and help guide you to better shaving.