A straight razor has been used for centuries to help men shave their facial and neck hair. This popular method of shaving is used most often today by professional barbers, but any man can use a straight razor at home. In order for this kind of razor to work properly, it must be regularly maintained to not only be safe to use but also so it will provide a close shave.
Straight Razor Maintenance
Each time you use a straight razor, you should immediately wash it off with cold water and thoroughly dry it before putting it away. This helps keep the blade clean and prevents rusting and other damage.
You can also purchase special oil that you can apply every now and then to keep the razor working smoothly. The oil also protects the steel that straight razor blades are made of.
Over time, your blade may become dull. It should be carefully sharpened using something called a strop. This is a leather strap specially made for sharpening razors.
Stropping, or sharpening your blade on a leather whet is a craft that takes time to learn. If you are uncertain as to how to sharpen it, there may be barbers in your area willing to show you the proper way to do this. If you do not sharpen your blade correctly, it can warp and cause dangerous cuts when shaving. Store your straight razor in a cool, dry place when not in use and monitor its sharpness.
How to Use a Straight Razor
Most men will attest that straight razors provide the best, closest shave available. But knowing how to shave with these blades properly is a skilled art that takes practice.
- Prep your skin before the shave by placing a hot towel over your face for a few minutes. This will open the pores and soften the hair, making it easier to get a close shave.
- Apply a high quality shaving lather to your face in the areas where you plan to shave. It's recommended you let the shaving lather sit on your face for about five minutes before shaving.
- As you use the straight razor, make sure you pull your facial skin tight as you go along. Try to apply the blade to your skin at a twenty degree angle. Imagine the blade is practically sitting on your face in the same direction as you go, and do not apply too much pressure. A high quality blade like Dovo straight razors should be sharp enough to make the shave go very smoothly.
- Pass the blade over your face approximately three times to ensure you've gotten all the hair and that your skin is smooth.
- Wash your face thoroughly and enjoy your new fresh shave.