The Straight Razor, meanwhile, is The Bomb. There are no angles that a straight razor can’t handle when one is shaving.
Published by Naked Armor
When my brother-in-law saw me struggling to give myself the closest possible shave and recommended straight razor shaving, I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d actually need.
You see I am a no-frills kind of guy and anything that requires something more than just unwrapping it from its package, is something I’d think twice before using.
He saw me hesitate and offered to bring it over and let me use it for a week. He also sent me a link to an article about wet shaving tips for men.
You know what, the tips turned out to be a lifesaver. I was shocked with how close the shave gets and I have never wanted to go back. Not until I followed these tips did I realize what I was missing. It opened up a whole new world of wet shaving for me. So naturally, I had to share it with you guys. Here are ten tips to make sure your wet shaving experience rocks.
You will really feel like a classy gentleman with a straight razor in your hands. In addition to making you feel like a Spartan warrior, straight razor shaving gets the job done as quickly as possible.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
Tip 1: Use the Right Razor
I know how much we love the disposable cartridge for its convenience and no-frills approach to shaving. But there are certain things that disposables can’t really do, even if their marketing hype says otherwise.
The Straight Razor, meanwhile, is The Bomb. It delivers a smooth and close shave because you can control its very sharp blade to cut really close to the skin with minor irritations even if you shave everyday. There are no angles that a straight razor can’t handle when one is shaving.
It is also versatile; it can cleanly shave off your stubble but it’s also perfect for trimming and defining sharp beard lines. Now I understand why wet shaving enthusiasts still prefer it as the ultimate tool for shaving.
Tip 2: Prep Your Face
For someone who’s accustomed to dry shaving with a disposable, prepping one’s face is a tedious thing that I usually like to skip over. Especially on a Monday morning. But little did I know that a hot moist towel can make the shaving experience easier and comfortable.
In wet shaving, the hot water makes the stubbles manageable and the skin pliable so that they doesn’t resist the razor blade when it begins shaving your chin. A pre-shave beard oil will also do wonders for your skin as it will moisturize the skin follicles while also lifting the beard hairs away from the skin. This reduces the chances of skin irritation since shaving will become smoother.
Tip 3: Use an All Natural Shaving Soap for the Lather
Use a real shaving soap for lathering, not a bathing soap. A shaving soap is different from a bath soap in that it has more glycerin which prevents water loss and hydrates the skin. It also gives out a thicker lather that lasts long enough for you to finish shaving.
Organically made shaving soaps provide the best results as these often come with natural essential oils that provide additional beneficial effects to your skin and beard. The best ones on the market are the thrice-milled shaving soaps because they have a creamy density that allows it to mix evenly and produce an even more luxurious lather.
Tip 4: Strop the Blade
Always strop the razor before you start to shave. Regular stropping makes razor blades sharper and last longer. When the blade is very sharp, you will have an easy time shaving your hair off your chin. The Superior Shave has a tutorial video on stroping to get you started.
Tip 5: Map the Shave
Since your chin is covered full of lather, draw an outline of the portions you want to shave using your finger. If you plan to shave it all off, you can still use the outline to shave in stages. Shaving it area by area will ensure that you will not leave out any spot.
Mapping your progress out in the lather like a chalkboard will make the shaving experience easier for you especially if you are still a newbie. It will lessen the incidence of accidental cuts and razor burn brought about by frequent shaving passes.
Tip 6: Be Still During Shaving
Brian Cornwell has an excellent suggestion: listen to the blade. It’s like a meditative ritual. When one shaves, one should withdraw one’s self from the noisy world and focus on the blade as it glides through your mug, shaving off your whisker. As Cornwell noted, over time you will learn to recognize the sound that the razor blade makes when it shaves off the facial hair at a wrong angle.
Tip 7: Be Gentle With the Blade
Easy must be the hand that wields the blade. A high quality straight razor is balanced enough so that it can shave easily without requiring a heavy grip on the handle. When you let the razor’s weight do the job of shaving, you would be less likely to accidentally cut yourself.
Besides, a straight razor blade is very sharp. It will easily slice through a hair strand at the least amount of pressure.
Tip 8: Don’t Rest the Blade on your Face
Which goes without saying really. With a blade that sharp, you don’t really want that near your face any more than necessary.
After each pass, always rinse the razor blade with running water. Not only is it hygienic since it will wash off the dead skin cells and bacteria off the blade, but it will also keep the razor blade clean for its next pass over your mug.
Tip 9: Put on an Aftershave
Never underestimate the importance of putting on an aftershave. The aftershave has an astringent action that kills off the remaining skin bacteria that can cause acne. It also closes the skin pores or the accidental cuts and nicks that you might have gotten during the shaving.
Some aftershave concoctions also contain other natural oil essentials which have additional health benefits to make your skin glow and feel fresh. Pick the aftershave that best works for your type of skin or go for an all-natural toners that works best as astringents and aftershaves, like witch hazel and tea tree oil.
Tip 10: Clean Up
Always remember to clean up after every shaving. And by that, I don’t mean the bathroom sink. Clean your straight razor blade by rinsing it again and wiping it dry with a clean towel. If you haven’t stropped it before you began shaving, now is the time to strop it before storing it.
Always store it away from moisture. Preferably keep it around room temperature in a dark, dry place. At Naked Armor, they always sell their straight razors with a leather case that one can use to protect the blades. They also have a straight razor stand that one can rack their razor on. This keeps them off any wet surface, while allowing them to be exposed to a consistent airflow.
These tips are such awesome pieces of advices that I can’t believe it took me this long to get introduced to a straight razor. Thanks to my brother-in-law, now I know there are more things to a shaving life than dry shaving with a disposable.
It’s true what they say: once you’ve gone straight, you can’t go back. I know I won’t.