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Straight Razor Shaving
11-17-2014, 12:12 PM
Post: #1
Straight Razor Shaving
I returned home from holiday yesterday to find my new shaving gear waiting for me. I've been mulling over using a straight razor for a few months now and decided to make the plunge. The equipment and consumables I purchased are…
  • Straight Razor
  • Strop
  • Badger Hair Brush
  • Pre-Shave Cream
  • Shaving Cream
  • Styptic Pencil

I tried it out last night on a couple days growth and must admit I was a little nervous. I could envision a long gash on my cheek or neck from a wrong move. Nothing went seriously wrong though and I only had to address one nick with the styptic pencil. It was obvious I shaved, but it was not nearly as close as I had wanted.

Today I had my hand at it again and was more confident in what I was doing. I also watched a video beforehand on proper stropping technique and applied what I learned to my blade. The shave came out much closer this time, even better than I get with my cartridge razor. I had a couple nicks again, but nothing major, a quick dab with the pencil took care of things. I'm quite excited and am sure as time goes on I'll become much more competent.

Any others out there that use a straight razor as their preferred shaving method?
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11-18-2014, 08:33 AM
Post: #2
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
Today was my 3rd shave with the straight razor. It's much more time consuming at this point, but very relaxing as well. I didn't have any visible nicks today but could tell I came close in a couple spots.

There are several ways to hold the razor depending on the location and side of the face you're shaving and the learning curve is certainly steeper than using a cartridge razor. All of the videos I watched mention that it will take a decent period of time to become proficient, one person even stating about 100 shaves to really get it down. I'm really glad I made the move to a straight razor.
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11-18-2014, 12:28 PM
Post: #3
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
That is one cool setup you got!
Safety razor all the way but with this forum i am getting more and more curious about straight razor shaving. Last I looked they weren't expensive so i may get some similar setup to yours.

Did you get that dreaded fear of slicing your neck when working on the neck area?
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11-18-2014, 02:06 PM
Post: #4
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 12:28 PM)Lordius Wrote:  That is one cool setup you got!
Safety razor all the way but with this forum i am getting more and more curious about straight razor shaving. Last I looked they weren't expensive so i may get some similar setup to yours.

Did you get that dreaded fear of slicing your neck when working on the neck area?

Thanks. It's a fair investment to start as both a decent razor and a strop are necessary. You could get away with shaving cream from a can, but using a cream or bar with a brush really adds to the experience and comfort of the shave. But, once you have your gear, you won't need to buy much else other than a honing stone at some point. A good razor will last a lifetime…no more cartridges or blades to buy. I picked up a decent starter razor, but once I get good and have the extra cash I'm going to get a real nice one.

I was a bit nervous at first, but other than a nick, you're not really going to cause any major damage unless you slide the razor sideways. As long as you keep the blade at the right angle and moving in the right direction and don't apply pressure, you shouldn't risk any major cuts. There are some good videos on YT and some dedicated sites out there that will walk you through it. Those are the resources I used.
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11-18-2014, 02:15 PM
Post: #5
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 02:06 PM)Unshorn Wrote:  
(11-18-2014 12:28 PM)Lordius Wrote:  That is one cool setup you got!
Safety razor all the way but with this forum i am getting more and more curious about straight razor shaving. Last I looked they weren't expensive so i may get some similar setup to yours.

Did you get that dreaded fear of slicing your neck when working on the neck area?

Thanks. It's a fair investment to start as both a decent razor and a strop are necessary. You could get away with shaving cream from a can, but using a cream or bar with a brush really adds to the experience and comfort of the shave.

Yes this is my question if it is ok with you to answer. I also read this in the wet shaving tutorial in the forum. So for the straight razor it is no good to use the shaving gel in can? You know the cheap ones. Is it better in your opinion to create the foam with the brush and apply? I read in the forum this is because of the natural oils of the soap etc so can you tell me your opinion please?

Greetings from Spain!
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11-18-2014, 02:58 PM
Post: #6
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 02:15 PM)JaimeSpain Wrote:  Yes this is my question if it is ok with you to answer. I also read this in the wet shaving tutorial in the forum. So for the straight razor it is no good to use the shaving gel in can? You know the cheap ones. Is it better in your opinion to create the foam with the brush and apply? I read in the forum this is because of the natural oils of the soap etc so can you tell me your opinion please?

Greetings from Spain!

I'm new to this so what I'm going to say is primarily from reading rather than experience. Although I can say I notice a difference between canned and brush lathered shaving cream, and it does leave my face feeling supple and moisturized rather than dried out.

The 2 biggest differences I've read between canned and self lathered creams are…
  • Canned shaving cream has a lot of ingredients that aren't exactly good for our skin. The chemicals that propel it from the can, gelatinize it, color it, cause foaming, etc, are absent from shaving soaps. The ingredient list is smaller and there are many organic options available if that suits you. Rather than extra chemicals, the soaps have more natural moisturizing components and rely on the individual to whip the soap into a lather.
  • Using a shaving soap and good brush allows you to massage the cream into your face, surrounding each individual hair. This gentle massage lubricates and prepares the skin allowing the blade to more easily pass over it. The whiskers benefit by becoming much more supple and ready to be cut rather than tugged from the face.

The ecological impact of straight razor shaving with bar soap cannot be denied either. There are no blades or cartridges to dispose of and no empty shaving cream cans going to the landfill. Your straight razor will last a lifetime, and the small amount of paper or cardboard that your soap comes in is much less waste than an aerosol can.

So those are some of the differences I'm aware of, I'm sure there are more. I certainly notice the difference on my facial skin. It's 1650 here right now and my shave is far closer now than at the same time of day when I've used a cartridge razor. It feels smooth too, not dried out.

As a side, I love Spain. I was stationed in Rota for 2 years in the early 90's. What a beautiful country that's so rich with history. I was completely taken by the cuisine and learned to cook while I was there. I had a friend in town that gave me access to a kitchen after my trips to the open markets. I miss going out in the evening for drinks and tapas. I can do that here, but it's just not the same.
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11-18-2014, 03:10 PM
Post: #7
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 02:58 PM)Unshorn Wrote:  I'm new to this so what I'm going to say is primarily from reading rather than experience. Although I can say I notice a difference between canned and brush lathered shaving cream, and it does leave my face feeling supple and moisturized rather than dried out.

The 2 biggest differences I've read between canned and self lathered creams are…
  • Canned shaving cream has a lot of ingredients that aren't exactly good for our skin. The chemicals that propel it from the can, gelatinize it, color it, cause foaming, etc, are absent from shaving soaps. The ingredient list is smaller and there are many organic options available if that suits you. Rather than extra chemicals, the soaps have more natural moisturizing components and rely on the individual to whip the soap into a lather.
  • Using a shaving soap and good brush allows you to massage the cream into your face, surrounding each individual hair. This gentle massage lubricates and prepares the skin allowing the blade to more easily pass over it. The whiskers benefit by becoming much more supple and ready to be cut rather than tugged from the face.

The ecological impact of straight razor shaving with bar soap cannot be denied either. There are no blades or cartridges to dispose of and no empty shaving cream cans going to the landfill. Your straight razor will last a lifetime, and the small amount of paper or cardboard that your soap comes in is much less waste than an aerosol can.

So those are some of the differences I'm aware of, I'm sure there are more. I certainly notice the difference on my facial skin. It's 1650 here right now and my shave is far closer now than at the same time of day when I've used a cartridge razor. It feels smooth too, not dried out.

As a side, I love Spain. I was stationed in Rota for 2 years in the early 90's. What a beautiful country that's so rich with history. I was completely taken by the cuisine and learned to cook while I was there. I had a friend in town that gave me access to a kitchen after my trips to the open markets. I miss going out in the evening for drinks and tapas. I can do that here, but it's just not the same.

That's some pretty good advice and it's great to see another straight razor shaver!

Would you be able to post some pictures of your kit whenever you have some spare time? Something about a good old fashioned wet shaving kit Smile
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11-18-2014, 05:08 PM
Post: #8
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 03:10 PM)Sunset Wrote:  That's some pretty good advice and it's great to see another straight razor shaver!

Would you be able to post some pictures of your kit whenever you have some spare time? Something about a good old fashioned wet shaving kit Smile

Sure thing! Here's a shot of my gear minus the cup. Right now the cup doubles duty holding morning tea. I've got a dedicated cup picked out for Christmas.

In front is an Escali badger hair brush and Gold Dollar Shave Ready razor. Behind them are Proraso pre-shave cream, Pinaud Clubman after shave lotion, Gentleman Jon alum block, and Tierra Mia Organics shaving soap. The strop in the back is from the Premier Strop Company.

I have a Clubman styptic pencil also, but the alum block came yesterday and does the same thing, as well as works as an all over face conditioner after the shave.

I tried everything to include the image, but the site won't let me due to low post count. I'll post it later when I'm over 50 posts. Sorry about that.
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11-19-2014, 07:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
I was off today and skipped my morning shave. I just completed my 4th straight razor shave this evening in case I feel I don't have enough time in the morning. I don't want to feel rushed with a razor to my neck.

Things went more smoothly this time and as such went more quickly. After doing my first round with the grain on my cheeks and against the grain on my neck, I lathered back up and shaved across the grain on the cheeks, and with the grain on the neck. I ended up with a much closer shave. It feels great. And no nicks that needed tending to this time.

There are 3 ways to shave and you can do just one, normally with the grain, and be done, or follow up with a 2nd or 3rd pass if so desired. The 3 ways to run the blade are…
  • With The Grain (WTG)
  • Across The Grain (XTG)
  • Against The Grain (ATG)

A single pass is certainly sufficient and on par with or better than the shave I get with a cartridge. However, if you want an even closer shave or are just having fun with it, a combination of passes in different directions is an option. And you would of course lather up fresh for each new direction of passes once the prior has been completed.
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11-23-2014, 07:38 PM
Post: #10
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
I'm a few more shaves into it and getting a lot more comfortable. I'm really glad I made the switch. I'm already eying better razors since I know this is the way I want to continue. I'm also going to order some honing stones to keep the razors in top shape.

I was talking to a friend at work today and he said he's been considering moving to a safety razor. I extolled the benefits of SR shaving, but also encouraged the use of a safety razor if that's what he's interested in. I think either one is a better option than cartridge, electric, or disposable razors, all of which I'm quite familiar with.
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11-23-2014, 08:34 PM
Post: #11
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-18-2014 03:10 PM)Sunset Wrote:  That's some pretty good advice and it's great to see another straight razor shaver!

Would you be able to post some pictures of your kit whenever you have some spare time? Something about a good old fashioned wet shaving kit Smile

I'm unable to edit post #8 in this thread to add the image, so I've copied the text from that post to coincide with the image.

In front is an Escali badger hair brush and Gold Dollar Shave Ready razor. Behind them are Proraso pre-shave cream, Pinaud Clubman after shave lotion, Gentleman Jon alum block, and Tierra Mia Organics shaving soap. The strop in the back is from the Premier Strop Company.

I have a Clubman styptic pencil also, but the alum block came yesterday and does the same thing, as well as works as an all over face conditioner after the shave.

[Image: ShavingGear.jpg]
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11-25-2014, 05:07 PM (This post was last modified: 11-25-2014 05:08 PM by Unshorn.)
Post: #12
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
I've been using the straight razor exclusively for about a week and a half now and I can say that for the first time in my life, I look forward to shaving. It's a pampering session that results in the smoothest, most comfortable shave I've ever experienced. I love it.

I've been ordering up my Christmas presents (my wife prefers it this way), and it's all shave related. I'm getting a higher quality razor, a handmade scuttle, another type of soap, a couple different aftershaves, and a glass Barbicide Jar with Barbicide. Tell me that won't look awesome on the counter as well as keeping everything funk free. Cool
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03-19-2015, 08:37 PM
Post: #13
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
(11-17-2014 12:12 PM)Unshorn Wrote:  I returned home from holiday yesterday to find my new shaving gear waiting for me. I've been mulling over using a straight razor for a few months now and decided to make the plunge. The equipment and consumables I purchased are…
  • Straight Razor
  • Strop
  • Badger Hair Brush
  • Pre-Shave Cream
  • Shaving Cream
  • Styptic Pencil


Any others out there that use a straight razor as their preferred shaving method?


Either straight razor or a shavette are my own personal favorites. I use DE Safety Razors when I have to, but I don't like them as much. They're harder to keep clean than a Straight Razor. And, the shavette is amazing, but, does take some practice.

Keep at it. Watch a video or two, or, ten, on proper straight razor techniques, especially for the throat, you don't want to cut yourself and bleed to death by hitting the wrong blood vessel.
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12-18-2015, 07:25 AM
Post: #14
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
This post brought me back to my childhood. My grandpa had all that staff for shaving. Still remember his Solingen straight razor...
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10-07-2016, 11:08 AM
Post: #15
RE: Straight Razor Shaving
I also use a shavete now. Dovo. Yes, it really takes a lot of time to learn how to handle it right, but this technique also brings me back some good old memories of my grandpa
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