If you are looking for the best shave of your life, look no further than the straight razor. While it might sound like an intimidating transition, it is a luxurious experience that every man, or woman, should indulge in at least once. That's right, you can also modify these steps to learn how to shave your legs with a straight or safety razor. Not only is it more environmentally friendly and cost-conscious, but it is a rather meditative process. Before we delve any further, you need to know that this is not a time-saving transition. The straight razor comes with a learning curve and if you aren't willing to dedicate the time and effort to re-learning how to shave with this tool, then we recommend you don't take the leap. But if you are, then keep on reading to learn how to master shaving with a straight razor in seven steps.
1. Prepping Your Skin
This should already be part of your shaving regime, but we're going to break it down nonetheless. You need to ensure your skin has been properly prepped before beginning to shave. Jump in a hot shower or give your face a quick wash to soften your skin and open your pores. This will help you avoid serious razor-burn and painful ingrown hairs. Then apply pre-shave oil to condition the skin and follow with shaving gel or cream. Invest in quality products that will hydrate and nourish your skin in addition to helping you get a closer shave. We also recommend using a shaving brush in order to form a thick and rich shaving lather for a closer shave. You can read more about skin prep here.
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2. Practice Your Hold
With a straight razor, it's all about perfecting your grip. Holding your razor flat against your face will tear your stubble but shaving at too steep of an angle will cause nasty cuts. The trick is to use a 30-degree angle and keep the skin pulled taut with one hand, or by stretching your neck, while the other hand applies gentle pressure with the blade. While you need to keep a firm grip on the razor, you should be adjusting pressure around sensitive areas of your face, like your upper lip and chin. Remember, as long as your blade is sufficiently sharp it will do its job.
3. The First Stroke
Never begin shaving on a prominent part of your face. Instead, choose one side of your face and start at the sideburn. Remember to pull your skin taut while you work over this area and toward your cheeks with gentle, short strokes. Use a downward motion and be sure to apply consistent pressure throughout. After each stroke, rinse the blade in hot water before continuing.
4. The Chin and Upper Lip
Approach your chin and upper lip the same way you would with your cheeks — with short, steady strokes in a downward slant. But this time, use the middle of the blade rather than the end and lift the razor slightly as you approach your chin. To flatten the skin on either side of your upper lip, pull the opposite side taut. For a nice, close shave at the center of your lips hold your nose up slightly.
5. The Neck and Lower Lip
Start by adjusting your mouth so that the skin of your lower lip is widened and tightened, then shave from the corner of your mouth to the center of your chin. For any remaining hairs, use short upward strokes from the top of the chin to the contours beneath your lips. Perhaps the most daunting part of shaving with a straight razor is the neck. To avoid pulling a Sweeney Todd, follow the grain of the hair in the neck. This pattern will differ from person to person dependent on hair growth so pay close attention, and keep your strokes short and steady.
6. Rinse and Repeat
Once you are done, rinse your face with hot water and re-lather for a second round. This is to check for any missed patches. You might be tempted to quickly go over any stray hairs without shaving cream but resist the urge! It is important to cushion and protect your skin before shaving.
7. Post-Shave Skincare
To avoid a breakout, you need to tighten your pores immediately after shaving. Splash some cold water on your skin and apply a post-shave balm, tonic, and moisturizer to soothe your face. Pro Tip: Avoid irritation by patting instead of massaging.
Not Ready for a Straight Razor?
But interested in a more luxurious and sustainable shave? Upgrade from your disposable razor to a safety razor for an easy, close and cost-effective shave. Shop our Canadian-designed collection of safety razors + shaving sets in Calgary, Alberta. We also ship worldwide — get free shipping in North America when you spend $100.00 or more.
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