You’ve heard all the hype surrounding straight razors and finally decided to see if it was true. Perfect, because Royal Shave is here to make sure you get the exact information you need for the perfect shave. Never fear if you’re a beginner, we’ve put together the complete guide to how to get the closest, comfiest, smoothest shave.
Why Should you Shave with a Straight Razor
If you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, wet shaving with a straight razor is the way to go. Once you have purchased a quality straight razor and leather strop, you can say goodbye to constantly shopping for cartridges. So in addition to having the smoothest shave of your life, you are lessening your carbon footprint. Grooming with a straight razor also gives you liberty to be more precise with your style. Whether you rock a clean shaven look or an impressive beard,a straight razor can handle it. Let’s also not pretend that holding a potentially lethal weapon across your throat makes you feel like a complete badass. Shaving with a straight razor gives you extra cool points.
Give Yourself Enough Time
It may seem like common sense, but the number one thing to remember during your first shaving is to give yourself enough time. Rushing with a straight razor is never a good idea, especially if you are just starting out. Not only will you have a poor shave, but that blade is likely to not treat you kindly for speeding through. Be sure to schedule ample time to execute a more leisurely shave and enjoy the process. The joy of using a straight razor lies in the mindfulness it takes to do it properly. Start off your experience right by taking a long hot shower or using a warm towel on your skin to soften the follicles. To make the experience even more luxurious, apply a pre-shave oil to the skin afterwards to maximize hydration. A quality pre-shave oil like Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil contains ten essential oils that moisturize, heal and condition the skin and soften the hair prior to shaving.
The first step is to choose a shaving cream that is formulated with natural oils that are good for your skin. It may be tempting, but do not choose shaving foams that come in can because they are actually detrimental in the long term for your skin. Opt for a product like Royal Shave Premium Shaving Cream that contains glycerin for hydrating glide and coconut acid to gently cleanse the skin. Take your shaving brush and soften it in warm water. If you don’t have a brush yet, Royal Shave has a quality selection of shaving brushes to choose from. Create a lather by working a small amount of shaving cream in your shaving bowl with your brush and slowly add water until you have a smooth paste. Once the consistency is right, brush the lather onto your face in circular movements and make sure you cover the area evenly.
Although how one holds a blade can be subjective, there is a good general way that you should consider. Firmly grasp the Shank of your razor between the thumb on the underside and two or three fingers resting on the back. Your pinky finger should be resting on the Tang and most importantly, your hand should feel comfortable. The next important thing is to get the angle right. Hold the blade at about 3-degrees to your skin and adjust as needed when you move it around your face. While you want to hold your blade firmly, do not apply much pressure when shaving. Unlike safety razors, here you let the weight of the blade do the work. Use your opposite hand to stretch your cheek upward as necessary to create a smoother shave with fewer nicks and cuts. When shaving smaller areas like your top lip, stretch your mouth downward or use your tongue to stretch the area for a smoother area. Be sure to rinse your razor between each stroke so the pathway is visually clear.
Jaw and Neck Area
To shave your jaw and neck area, lift your head to stretch the skin properly. Then use short downward strokes, being sure to shave with the grain. Take it easier here and go slower, don’t forget that you are holding a blade up against your windpipe.
Rinsing and Applying Aftershave
Congratulations! You’ve completed a shave with (hopefully) minimal damage. Now it is time to rinse your face with cold water and pat dry with a clean towel. After drying your face, apply your aftershave of choice. If you have sensitive skin and don’t want to experience the burn try an After Shaving balm or milk. A product like Dr. Harris Aftershave Milk, is formulated as a post shave balm that calms the skin and limits razor burn. It also contains a mild antiseptic to prevent any infections from nicks or cuts.
Take Care of That Razor
Regardless of what material your razor is made of, it is important to take proper care of it to ensure it has a long lasting life. Be sure to never leave your razor wet or soapy. Dry it properly with a towel before storing it away from the damp air.