Straight razors these days have more
From the Egyptians to the English, there’s a lot of tradition and technique that was developed in the pursuit of a close and luxurious shave.
In these modern times, straight razors have improved in terms of design. As today’s razors evolved to have slimmer profiles and weigh lighter, new techniques were also developed to take advantage of the qualities provided by the contemporary design.
If you’re a newbie to wet shaving, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t care for these shaving techniques. Heck, it’s hard enough to learn how to hold the straight razor and maintain the 30-degree shaving angle.
But if you’ve mastered the basics and you’ve been shaving for years now, there’s a certain delight towards mastering the advanced techniques in shaving. Like any shaving professional, the goal is always to get better in the use of the straight razor. So here are some of the techniques that you may not know about but are worth mastering in order to take your shaving to the next level.
LATHER MAPPING TECHNIQUE
If you’re shaving long enough, chances are you’ve probably memorized the contours of your face so that you won’t need any guide where to shave first. But for those who still like the assurance of guideposts, this technique is actually helpful. Shaving newbies would do well to take note of this.
Basically, all you need to do is to put lather on your face. Using your finger, trace a map to outline small areas on your cheeks and neck. This allows you to shave your face portion by portion so you can pace yourself. Remember, the slower you shave the better it is for your skin.
Other versions of this technique utilize mapping for identifying the grain. Figuring out what direction the facial hair grows is essential so that you know how to shave along the grain. It makes for an easier and comfortable shave and lessens razor burns and bumps for those with sensitive skin.
Lather mapping technique is putting lather on your face and using it to outline small areas on your face allowing you to shave portion by portion
When doing this to identify the grain direction, map it out before applying lather. Feel your stubble with your fingers to identify which direction the facial hair is growing. It may be growing upward, downward, or in a diagonal/horizontal direction. Once you’ve identified it, apply lather on your face and then map out these sections.
Remember, you want to take this one small section at a time so do the following process for one area, then move on to another section, and do it all over again.
14 STROKE SHAVE TECHNIQUE
If you want to level up your shave technique, then there’s no better way than taking a page from the teaching manual at the barber school (short of going to barber school, that is).
This 14 Stroke Shave Technique is actually what students in barber school learn about. In this technique, one learns the correct angle of cutting the beard. There are four fundamental positions and strokes that a student learns and this technique covers all of them.
The reason why it’s called 14 is because it refers to the fourteen sections of your face. Basically, one is mapping the face into 14 sections in the order of shaving and in what strokes should be used for each section.
The long and short of it is this: this is the way barbers do it. If you want to have a clean and close shave that is similar to the one you’re getting at your local barber shop, this technique will show you how.
14 stroke shave technique is mapping your face into 14 sections in the order of shaving and in what strokes
Photo by: www.deoveritas.com
BLADE BUFFING TECHNIQUE
Shaving professionals like this technique because it is one of the most effective in getting a smooth shave.
Essentially, blade buffing is scrubbing the razor in short strokes on your facial hair. It’s an indirect way of shaving against the grain which can be used on stubborn rough patches on your beard. It also works on angular areas of the face, like the chin, where the uneven contour can cause the blade to tug hairs.
While there isn’t as much risk for nicks on this technique, there is a great possibility of significant irritation and razor burn without adequate protection. You’ll need an equal parts of slick and protective lather for this one. Try to not buff over the same area too much. Use the lightest pressure possible, and perhaps avoid areas like underneath the ears and the sides of the neck where the hair might grow in a swirling pattern.
One may have awesome shaving techniques but that skill will only be as useful as the quality of your blade. If you’ve got a lousy razor, no amount of techniques will keep you from getting razor burn or cuts.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
Sometimes, even shaving pros like to show off. This technique is actually one of the coolest in that it allows you to shave a “J” shaped path.
This technique is best used in areas near the jaw or underneath the ear. When J hooking from the sideburns, align the head of the razor along the sideburn and then pivot toward the nose. Always remember that only one end of the razor head should be pivoting while the other end should be fixed.
If this looks confusing, and hard (it kinda is), check out Mantic59’s video to see how to do it properly.
GILLETTE SLIDE TECHNIQUE
This technique is meant to be used with a safety razor. Gillette featured this extensively in its ads during the 50’s and 60’s. This basically refers to shaving using strokes crossing the cheek, instead of the usual up to down motion. Basically, one holds the safety razor parallel with the jawline and then shave from the ear to the corner of the mouth.
This technique can also be achieved by a slant razor by using a “slicing”, rather than chopping approach to the hair. However, you must be very careful with this technique, as swiping with too horizontal an angle could result in a very nasty cut. This is best used for areas with tricky growth. Others who have tried this say that this also works best when shaving coarse hair.
Gillette slide technique uses a safety razor and refers to shaving using strokes crossing the check instead of the up & down motion
Photo by: www.gut-rasiert.de
LOOKING FOR A QUALITY RAZOR?
Of course, one may have awesome shaving techniques but that skill will only be as useful as the quality of your blade.
If you’ve got a lousy razor, no amount of techniques will keep you from getting razor burn or cuts.
Here at Naked Armor, our blades are made from high quality Japanese steel. Why Japanese, you say? It’s because they really know how to make blades, given their centuries old tradition of samurai sword-making.
But what’s even more awesome with a Naked Armor blade is its unique design. It’s in between a full hollow and half hollow grind which makes it versatile for any kind of hair texture and type. What better way to master these techniques than with a versatile blade that will perform beyond your expectations.
Want to know more? Check out our site for more awesome razors and info.
Naked Armor's straight razors has a unique blade design making it versatile for any kind of hair