In recent years, sustainability trends are becoming more prominent, rekindling interest in traditional grooming, like straight razor shaving, which gives a close shave and has a retro aesthetic that entices both younger and older generations of shavers. But are straight razors better at providing the best shave?
Discover the benefits of using straight razors and find out if they provide the smoothest and closest shave. Let's dive in and see if the tried and true methods of traditional straight razor shaving are truly the best.
- Why Are Men Returning To Straight Razors
- Benefits: Why Straight Razors Are A Cut Above The Rest
- How To Get The Best Straight Razor Shave
- What Makes A Good Straight Razor?
Why Are Men Returning To Straight Razors?
Straight razors have long been the primary shaving tool for shaving, with the first straight razor originating from ancient Egypt. But, with the introduction of safety razors and the birth of Gillette’s empire of disposable blades in the early 1900s, the popularity of straight razors began to decline.
In the 20th century, electric razors and other new tools became more popular, leading to even less use of the traditional single-edge razor.1 These tools were more convenient and easier to use, perfect for the quick turnabout of men’s lifestyles. And even though some people still use them, straight razors are not as popular as they used to be.
Today, straight razor shaving allows young people to connect with the past, embrace a simpler, more authentic way of life, reduce waste, and live more eco-friendly lifestyles. For veterans and older gentlemen, it is a way to reconnect with a time-honored tradition and embrace a more sustainable way of life.
Benefits: Why Straight Razors Are A Cut Above the Rest
If you constantly get razor burns and nicks, it's time to give up your multi-blade razor and embrace a more traditional and simpler way to shave. We've put together a list of the best reasons to answer why straight razors are better, such as their ability to give a close shave and help keep skin healthy even while shaving everyday.
Here’s what makes straight razors better than other razors:
- Straight razors have a single, sharp blade that can bevel on the skin to cut hair at a more acute angle, resulting in a closer shave in fewer passes.
- Using a straight razor reduces irritation and ingrown hairs by shaving smoothly and evenly with a single, sharp blade.
- A single-edge cut-throat razor is more cost-effective than disposable blade and cartridge razors because it lasts for decades and has blades you can resharpen.
- Straight razors are more environmentally friendly, requiring only occasional sharpening and maintenance.
- A straight razor signifies manliness and elegance, bringing back memories of the past.
- Straight razors give you more control over the blade's angle and pressure, making it less likely that you will cut or nick yourself.
- Straight razors are better for shaping facial hair because they are more precise and accurate than razors with more than one blade.
- A straight razor can be used to exfoliate the skin by gently scraping away dead skin cells. This can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and stop ingrown hairs.
- Using a straight razor to shave requires the right skills, which can help you get better at shaving. This improved technique can be applied to other types of razors, making you a better and more efficient shaver.
- Straight razor shaving can be calming and meditative, making for a good way to start the day.
Dermatologists say that people who shave with a straight razor have fewer ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and razor burn than those who use disposable razors.2 This is because using a straight razor is less likely to cause skin problems because it doesn't have a lot of blades that can cause irritation and the blade is sharp and needs less pressure to cut hair, which reduces the chance of cuts and nicks.
Also, the shaving soap used for wet shaving with a straight razor helps lubricate the skin, naturally reducing friction.3 The lather creates a barrier between the skin and the razor blade, making shaving more comfortable and less irritating while achieving the smoothest shave, especially for sensitive skin.
A straight razor provides a closer shave than a disposable razor and other razors because it has a sharper blade that can cut closer to the skin. The blade's sharpness allows it to slice through hair follicles more easily, resulting in a smoother and even shave. Not only that but a straight razor blade's shape or grind makes you easily bevel the blade's edge to your skin, resulting in a clean shave.
If you take care of your straight razor, it can last for decades. This makes it a good long-term investment. Unlike disposable razors, which need a new blade or cartridge replacement all the time, you only need to sharpen and maintain a straight razor every so often by honing or stropping its cutting edge.
Even though a straight razor can cost more at first than a disposable razor, it costs much less over time.4 Over ten years, the cost of using a straight razor is about $200, while the cost of using disposable razors can be as high as $2,000.
Straight razors are better for the environment than disposable razors since they don't need plastic handles or blades that end up in landfills. Instead, they are made to last forever and can be kept in good shape with a leather strop.
Using a straight razor also reduces the energy and materials that go into making disposable razors, cartridge razors, and even safety razors.5 They don't need much packaging, making them a more environmentally friendly way to care for yourself.
Straight razors look better than any cartridge razor and other modern tools because they are made traditionally and have a classic, vintage look. The intricate design and hand-made nature of a vintage razor give it a sense of nostalgia and authenticity that many modern razors lack.
Using vintage razors, like a straight edge, can also give you a product that lasts longer and is more durable than a modern razor, appealing to people who like to keep their things for a long time.
Using a straight razor to shave gives you more control than you can get with a modern razor. Moving and changing the angle and pressure with just one blade is easier for a closer, more thorough shave. You don't have to worry about the multiple blades or pivoting heads getting in the way or causing irritation.6
The sharpness and points of a straight razor blade let you shave precisely, even in hard-to-reach places like under the nose or around the sideburns. That is why a straight razor's single blade is more accurate and precise than razors with multiple blades, which can be hard to move in tight spaces.
The sharp edge of a straight razor and the closeness of its shave makes it ideal for exfoliating the skin and removing dead cells. The resulting glow reveals smoother, younger-looking skin.7 Thus, regular exfoliation is crucial for men to keep their skin healthy, as it lessens the look of fine lines and wrinkles and keeps their hair from growing in the wrong direction.
Shaving with a straight razor is more complicated than using a safety razor at first, but with practice, you'll develop more control and precision in your shaving and help improve your overall shaving skills. With this, your ability to shave will improve with any razor you use, not just the one you just learned how to use correctly.
Also, research says straight shaving improves cognitive function, memory, and coordination.8 It offers learning opportunities and can be meditative, reducing stress and boosting the immune system, making it an excellent daily routine.
Wet shaving with a straight razor is a ritual that can give you a sense of structure, control, and consistency in your daily life. This can help you get into good habits, make it easier to make decisions, and give you more confidence and drive. Since it is soothing and meditative, straight razor shaving can also help reduce stress and anxiety and give you a sense of relaxation and renewal.
Overall, wet shaving with a straight razor can make shaving better and help you be more productive and feel better about yourself.
How To Get The Best Straight Razor Shave
Getting a good straight razor shave requires practice and patience, but the results can be well worth the effort. Here are some steps to help you achieve the best possible straight razor shave:
- Wash your face with warm water or take a hot shower and a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, or dead skin cells. Then, apply a pre-shave oil or cream to soften your beard and protect your skin from the blade.
- Strop your razor using a leather strop to sharpen the blade and remove any burrs or nicks. This will help ensure a clean and smooth shave.
- Use a shaving brush to create a lather using a high-quality shaving soap or cream and apply it to your face in circular motions.
- Hold the razor firmly with your dominant hand, using your other hand to stretch the skin taut in the area you are shaving. Read our article to learn how to grip a straight razor properly.
- Shave with the grain or by following your beard's hair growth, using short, light strokes. Don't apply too much pressure to avoid skin irritation and nicks.
- Shave against the grain if there are any remaining stubbles. Only do this as needed.
- After each pass, rinse the blade with warm water to remove hair or shaving cream.
- Rinse face with cold water and apply aftershave to soothe irritations.
Remember to follow these steps carefully and patiently. The sharpness and quality of your straight razor alone cannot give you the best shave if your technique is wrong. Maintaining your razor properly is essential by regularly honing every 3-6 months and stropping it before every shave. With practice and proper maintenance, you can achieve a satisfying, smoother shave with a straight razor.
What Makes A Good Straight Razor?
Having the right tools and the best straight razors can make a significant difference in shaving. That's why an excellent and high-quality straight razor should be made of high-quality steel, be well-balanced, have a comfortable grip, and have the right amount of flexibility. The Meliant Straight Razor Kit meets all these criteria and more, making it the perfect choice for new and experienced shavers.
The Meliant Straight Razor Kit from Naked Armor is the best way to get a high-quality shave that is also comfortable. The razor features a well-balanced Japanese stainless steel blade renowned for its sharpness, durability, and wear resistance. It has a full hollow grind that conforms to the face and neck contours, ensuring a close and comfortable shave without the risk of cuts or nicks. The comfortable Olive wood scales provide a secure grip for precise control and a smooth shaving experience.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced shaver, Naked Armor's Meliant Straight Razor Kit is the perfect choice for a premium and enjoyable shaving experience.
- Is Shaving With A Straight Razor Better? Grown Man Shave. https://grownmanshave.com/blogs/grown-man-shave-society-articles/is-shaving-with-a-straight-razor-better
- J. Weiss. Smooth Shave Tips: Australian Dermatologist Reveals The Shaving Step Every Man Forgets. Dmarge. https://www.dmarge.com/smooth-shave-tips
- A. Castro. The Benefits of Using Shaving Soap Over Cream. Be Good Earth. https://begoodearth.com/blogs/how-to-guide-for-safety-razors/the-benefits-of-using-shaving-soap-over-cream
- D. Petruzzi. Average price of the leading razor brands in the United States in 2019 (in U.S. dollars). Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1058955/average-price-of-leading-us-razor-brands/
- SJ Team. 9 Zero Waste Razors S(H)Aving The Earth. Sustainable Jungle. https://www.sustainablejungle.com/zero-waste/zero-waste-razor/
- Why One Blade Is Better Than Five. Supply Co. https://supply.co/blogs/journal/why-1-blade-is-better-than-5
- Is Shaving a Good Way to Exfoliate? Via Buff. https://www.viabuff.com/is-shaving-a-good-way-to-exfoliate/
- Shaving Can Draw Male Adults Away from Feelings of Depression. NRCHMH. https://www.nrchmh.org/shaving-can-draw-male-adults-away-from-feelings-of-depression.html