1 Stunning Straight Razor Shaving

straight razor shave

If you really enjoyed the old fashion straight razor shaving at Executive Barber Shop, here is some pointers for you to do it at home.

If you’re patient enough to learn the process, and confident enough to wield such a top-shelf blade. You may need a few attempts before doing it perfectly, but like we said: It’s a labored process.

Barbering tools for straight razor shaving
tools used for straight razor shaving at executive barbershop Gaslamp

Before You Begin Straight Razor Shaving

Keep in mind here: a straight razor shaving takes time. Like, way more time than a cartridge or electric shave—15 minutes, at least.

If you are not willing to dedicate the time and effort to learn how to shave with this blade, then you probably shouldn’t use it.

Most men should be fine to use a straight razor, even those with sensitive skin. So long as you prepare the skin, work slowly through each step, and condition it after each shave, you shouldn’t experience any irritation.

Select your blade:

You want to consider the blade weight that best suits you. The weight of the blade will determine the pressure necessary for shaving.  A lighter weight will need more pressure than a heavier one.  The best way to gauge this is to hold various blades. If you end up picking a lighter one, you may need to apply more pressure than a heavier one.

Either way, approach your first strokes with light pressure, to test the tool.

The Process

Straight-razor shaving differ slightly from the otherwise standard guidelines.

For any shave, you need to soften the skin and open the pores before using a straight razor. If it’s your first time with a straight razor, then you certainly need to prepare the skin properly to avoid serious burn. Take a hot shower, which will soften the hairs for a better and smoother shave.

Then apply a pre-shave oil to condition the skin, followed by a shave gel-cream.

The Hold
Holding the razor at 30-degree angle from the face.  If you hold the razor too flat it will tear the stubble. And if held too steep, it will cut the skin.  Keep the grip firm, adjusting as necessary for the different parts of the face, like the upper lip and chin. The real key is to pull the skin taut with your other hand and applying gentle pressure with the blade. This will prevent you from cutting the face.

The blade is sharp; trust that it’ll do its job.

The First Strokes
Choose one side of the face, and start at the sideburn, moving downward. Take the first stroke at a downward slant, from the top of the cheek near the ear.

The stroke should be short and even and move without jerks or chopping. Rinse the blade After each short stroke in hot water and continue.

The Chin and Upper Lip
Lift the razor slightly as you approach the chin, and use the middle of the blade. Never begin a fresh stroke on a prominent part of your face, such as the chin or jawbone.  Begin a little away from these places, and work over them with gentle strokes.   You can approach the two sides of the upper lip as you would the cheeks, with short, steady strokes. Pull the opposite side of the lip taut to flatten the skin.

The Lower Lip and Neck
Practice adjusting your mouth so that the skin of your lower lip is widened and tightened. Take the first strokes from the corner of your mouth, across the skin to the center of your chin. You can then shave any remaining hairs with short upward strokes; start from the top of the chin, and let the razor follow the contours beneath your lips.   Be especially careful on the neck, to avoid cuts and to minimize irritation.  Keep your strokes short and steady.

It’s likely you will have to do a second pass, spot checking for any missed patches. But, remember to re-lather your face with shaving cream or gel, after a hot splash of water on the skin. Never take a stroke without shaving cream to cushion and protect the skin.

Immediately after shaving, splash some cold water on the skin to tighten the pores. Apply a post-shave balm or moisturizer to the skin, patting it in instead of massaging it. Any rubbing might cause irritation.

DYO or Barber Shop

If you are scared to do it yourself, come to Executive barbershop Gaslamp and just enjoy, relax and let Derrick do the job.