How to use a straight razor
Straight razors or Shavettes Razors are common in households around the world. What is commercialized is either high powered razors with multiple blades and multi-function or a powerless razor but still multi-functioned. However, there is a razor that was used in the past and is now becoming more popular in this modern society. It is being used quite often in high-end barber shops and in homes. This razor is called a straight razor or a shavette. Shavettes are folding blades with some having disposable blades. These razors are simple and easy to use. No electricity needed and just one simple blade. When using a shavette, you will have a clean smooth shaving, the blade gliding across your skin effortlessly.
However the blade of this razor is generally extremely sharp and if you don’t have a tight grip on the blade and handle, the razor and fold automatically and cut you. Most people have stated that they have cut themselves with straight razors. You must learn how to use this razor for best results. Once you master the art of the straight razor shaving, you will be able to get a far smoother than you can get from any other modern shaving method.
It has been proven that straight razors, or shavettes, are better for your skin instead of a 3 or 5 blade razor. Razors with multiple blades require you to press hard against your skin in order to use them. This irritates the skin causing razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other skin complications. Some people have stated that your shave will last longer and the shave is longer. This is because generally when using a straight razor, your skin generally only needs to be shaven every other day. Nonetheless, this doesn’t apply to everyone. The relaxing part about using the straight razor is that while shaving, you feel the blade glide effortlessly across your skin.
Lastly, a straight razor, or shavette, has financial benefits. You will be investing in a quality shave. Starting out, you will need to buy supplies but long term you will save money, whether it is the razor disposable blades or the one without. The reason is that the straight razors are built to last many years. The disposable razors are usually inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. However, if you buy a cheap one, you might see yourself buying a new one very soon and you might have poor quality shaves. Below are instructions on how you should use your straight razor (Shavette):
1. Prep your beard, either by taking a hot shower or by holding a hot towel against your face. If you opt for the hot towel, soak a small towel in hot water and hold it firmly against your face until it is cool. For best results, apply the hot towel twice.
2. After prepping your beard run the faucet for the hottest water possible. Fill your mug or bowl with the water, and let your brush soak.
3. Squeeze out the excess water from your brush, and dump the water out that you used to soak the brush. Make a lather with the brush, either in the bowl, or just load the brush and wait to lather up directly on your face.
4. You'll want to wet your face right before you lather up.
5. Then use the brush to apply the soap or cream to the hairy area, swirling until the lather has formed stiff peaks.
6. Apply the lather to your face, with the badger brush, and using a paintbrush motion. Use a hot towel to wipe away any extra lather, removing oil from the skin follicles so that moisture can penetrate.
7. Finish lathering by using painting strokes to cover your face with a thick layer.
8. Let sit on for 5 min, or longer if hair is very coarse. Re-lather if the soap has dried out after the 5 minutes. Using a towel, letting it sit, reapplying, and so forth is technically optional. The important thing is having a nice thick lather on your beard to protect the skin and guide the blade.
9. Stretch your skin as you shave. Pull the area to which you will apply the straight razor until it is tight.
10. Use a 20° degree angle of the blade to your skin. Remember you are not slicing skin, this is not your intention, you are cutting hair as close to your skin as you can. You can obtain this angle by letting the blade almost "sit" flush on the face, and turning it slightly to get the 20 to 30-degree angle. Remember to use hardly any pressure! This is not a cartridge razor and it is very easy to cut yourself.
11. You will make three passes for optimal smoothness. If you want to save time and are willing to sacrifice smoothness, you can do a single-pass shave and skip the last two passes. On each pass, you will start with short strokes and finish off with longer strokes.
12. Make the first pass with the grain (that means in the direction of hair growth).
13. Lather up again and make the second pass sideways to the grain. You probably won't be able to shave your neck on this pass, just the sides of your face and jawline.
14. If you have a very heavy beard, you may want to change the razor before the third pass. If your beard is not that tough, you can skip this step.
15. Make a third and final pass against the grain. This pass is the most dangerous and when most accidents occur. Be aware when trimming sideburns that the tip is near your earlobe, and be very careful when shaving the awkward shapes around your neck. Some men prefer to use water only, with no lather, for the third pass, to better see what they are doing. If you have a heavy beard, you may find this irritates your skin too much. In this case, go ahead and use the lather.
16. Rinse the lather off your face with cold water. Cold water will help close the pores in your skin.
17. Dry the razor. Run a square of toilet paper between the scales of the handle to remove the droplets of moisture that are trapped there. (Most old razors are high carbon steel and will rust).
18. Strop the razor with a leather strop. After stropping, apply blade oil to protect the blade from moisture damage and rust
19. Rinse the brush, shake out the excess moisture, and hang it upside-down in a brush holder to dry.
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