Straight Razor shaving is in my opinion the major league of shaving. If you have ever tried it your regular plastic razor or shaving machine will never feel the same again. The sensations of straight razor shaving is too special. The ritual of shaving with the smell of the soap,warmth of the hot towel and the feel of the steel will make it an exclusive experience.
If you have trawled forums and other websites on this topic you will find that there are as many opinions on the correctness of straight razor shaving as there are faces. We, the enthusiasts, can geek on what soaps make the best foam and what water temperature to use to whip up the best foam from a particular soap. We can passionately discuss steel for razorblades and at what age the badger is optimal for making a brush.
You may find all this information confusing and you may spend too much money finding your gear, and maybe you even give it all up because you got it all wrong.
I will help!
Gear of all kinds bring boys a lot of pleasure. For many of us it is all about getting the best, and lots of it. That is when we have fun. Well, at least I am like that. That being said. It is not necessary. At least not for straight razor shaving.
Minimum amount of gear needed to get started is:
- Straight razor
- Shaving brush
- Shaving soap
Optional stuff below the image.
If you are the kind of guy that love gear you can always get more of the above, or add onto your gear with:
- Honing strap
- Pre- and post-shaving lotions, oils and nice smelly stuff
- A name for a guy to restore or hone your razor now and then
I will come back to a who-to on choosing the right straight razor, brush and soap later on. In detail. For now I want to bring some general reflections on this hobby of ours:
- Remember you are not a sheep! There is no doubt that us guys have different facial hair. What fits for one guy may not be appropriate for you! Don’t buy what the loudmouth on the forum tells you to. Don’t be a sheep. Some guys have hairs that are thick and stiff, some have thin and soft, some have heavy growth and some have sparse hair growth. All these factors will be of importance when you choose your razor.
- Get to know your face. Facial hair grow in different directions. I you look hard in the mirror you will se that only on the neck it will grow in two or three different directions. This will impact how you soap your face and how you should handle the straight razor, and that will further steer your choices when buying gear.
- Most expensive does not equal to being the best. Some products are expensive to produce. I am now talking about straight razors and shaving brushes specifically. Spend some time to figure out why something cost more than the product next to it. Is it maybe the handle that is made of diamonds? Do you need diamonds? Some do and they will buy this product regardless.
- Spend time. Straight razor shaving will take more time than regular shaving. It will take some time to learn and even more time to master. Making foam from a bar of soap will take time, warming the face with a hot towel will take time and shaving itself will take time. When you have been doing it for a while you will save minutes here and there, but the whole point of it is spending time doing this. Enjoy it!