Straight razor: the manliest way to shave
Cartridge blades with cutting edge technology and precision shaving and trimmers might be the epitome of efficiency and ease when it comes to shaving, but is it the best and manliest way of getting around? No.
There is a reason barbers have stuck to straight razors, they give you better shaves. And there isn’t a better pick me up for a busy week than a good shave to get you going. Here’s why you should opt for a straight razor.
Better Shaves: A good straight razor will give you the smoothest shave ever. Once you make your shift from a regular (or high tech) razor or trimmer, you’ll feel the difference.
Focus: Straight razor shaving has meditative benefits. It’s a craft that requires you to slow down and really focus on what you’re doing. After a few times of shaving with a straight razor, you just might start to notice yourself entering an incredibly manly zen- like state.
Feel Like a Bad Ass: Think of it this way, every morning you will be using something that can double as a lethal weapon. Also, putting razor sharp steel next to your throat every morning makes you feel alive in some way.
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT?
First of all, you will need a proper straight razor. Getting hold of one in Nepal is not an easy task and the closest you’ll get to a straight razor is the type that your local barber uses on your face. To be honest, it does the job. The plastic handles might shave off some points from the manliness quo- tient but it still doubles as a lethal weapon. Also, they are pretty cheap and in case you find that the blade is dull, you can easily replace it in a blink of an eye.
Use of straight razors (without replaceable blades) in barber shops, has been banned by the government of Nepal to curb the spread of diseases like HIV and AIDS, which might be the primary reason for their absence. Howev- er, if you’re lucky and do get your hands on one here in Nepal or ship one from abroad check the steel’s quality before you invest in them.
One way to check if you have a well tempered blade is to catch the point of the blade under your thumbnail and let it slip off quick- ly. If the blade gives a good clear ring, it’s likely well tempered. If it doesn’t, the blade was likely tempered unevenly.
You will also need a proper hone to sharpen the blade and a nice leather strop to smoothen it.
The lather might just be the most important part of your shave, and you get best results when you use a good brush. A brush helps hydrate the shaving cream in order to form a thick, rich shaving lather. Using a brush to lather up helps get the shaving cream up under each whisker which results in better, smoother shaves. Plus, it just feels nice on your face to lather up with a brush.
1. Wrap a warm, wet towel on your face for a few minutes so that your dry coarse whiskers, soften. You can do this by soaking a towel in hot water, wringing it out, and placing it on your face for a few minutes. If you are short on time, just shave after you get out of the shower.
2. Place a nickel-sized dollop of shaving cream into your mug.
Soak your brush in hot water. Flick excess water off the brush. With the brush, mix the cream thoroughly, using a combined stirring and churning motion until a thick lather appears. The more you rub the brush on the cream, the thicker the lather. Apply the lather to your face with your brush in swirling motions. Ensure that lather gets up under every single whisker. When you’ve covered your face completely, take a few strokes to even everything out.
3. Begin with slow, even strokes and shave in the direction of your beard growth. Shaving against the grain can cause ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Hold the blade at a 30-degree angle. Anything more and you risk cutting yourself; any- thing less and you won’t cut the whiskers. Also, apply very little pressure when you shave. Let the razor do the work! Pressing down on the razor will only cause cuts.
Putting razor sharp steel next to your throat every morning makes you feel alive in some way.
Rinse your face off with some cold water to close your pores. Treat your face to a nice aftershave
Why you get cuts and nicks.
If it’s your first time using a straight razor, you will most defi- nitely cut yourself. But you will get the hang of it soon enough. Just be extra careful, you don’t want to cut your jugular in the process. This might be why you’re cutting yourself:
• Using a dull razor
• Holding the razor improperly • Shaving with a razor that’s too hollow
• Shaving in too great a hurry
• Shaving against the grain