My name is Matthew and I have been straight razor shaving for some time. Today I will share with you some of my knowledge and how I get a clean shave every morning. I will keep things simple for you guys today. I find straight shaving extremely enjoyable, get a closer shave, and I can purchase around 100 blades for $5. I use cheap disposable blades that I place in my own customized straight razor.
You will need:
- A Straight Razor
- Blades or a Sharpened Razor
- Shaving Cream
- Preshave Cream
- Brush (ideally)
- A towel handy
Step 1: Prep Your Razor
- If you are using disposable razors like I am you will have to place a new blade in your razor. Do this by inserting your blade gently in between the two metal pegs and hold firmly while you close the blade.
- A straight razor that does not utilize disposable blades will need to be stropped. Best practice is to keep the blade at a 30 degree angle and give it 10-12 strokes in an X pattern back and forth.
(I will not be going deep into this section as many people differ on technique and I am using a disposable razor today)
Step 2: Prep Shaving Cream
You may choose to:
- Lather on face
- Lather on hand, then apply to face
- Lather in a dish or bowl
Take a finger full of shaving cream and place it on your wet brush. Use hot water as it opens up the pores! Lather the shaving cream. I prefer to lather on the back of my hand (non-shaving hand). I find it easy and convenient. With practice, you can keep the front of you hand clean. This is important because you will be using this hand to stretch the skin on your face out while shaving.
Step 3: Shaving
- Start with holding your blade properly. Many people use a pinched grip like they are holding a pencil or throwing a dart. You have much more control if you hold razor in between the handle and razor. In most circumstances try to hold the handle between you middle and pointer finger while steadying the blade with your thumb (picture 1). Getting behind the ears can be tricky and you may have to modify your grip.
- The first rule to getting a clean shave and keeping your skin looking good is to always shave with the grain. This can be tricky because everyone has a slightly different pattern. I have included a picture to show common grow patterns. Underneath the chin can vary greatly and you will have to take your time. It is extremely important that you use your non-dominant / non-shaving hand to hold your skin tight (I cannot show this in pictures as I am the photographer as well). By holding your skin tight below or above where you are shaving you will prevent pulling and discomfort while shaving. I will put green dots to mark where I would hold if I were not holding a camera. When shaving underneath the chin I like to hold below on the neck. This is usually the only time I do not hold above. This is all preference. When shaving around your mouth feel free to make as many funny faces as you like :-D
- Always reapply shaving cream to areas that you will go over twice. Never Dry Shave! You should have plenty of shaving cream between your hand and your brush. Don't be afraid to lather some more. The angle at which the blade touches your face should be extremely narrow. Keep it as narrow as possible. It should not take much effort to shave. Let the weight of the razor do the work!
*Note* I have washed off shaving cream from my hand so that I would ensure my phone would be dry.
Step 4: You're Finished!
I hope you had fun shaving! If you cut yourself your first time that does not mean you did anything wrong. It takes practice and it still happens to us all! All that is left is to clean up and put some pre-shave on. Yes, I like to use pre-shave instead of aftershave. I believe that it treats your skin better.
I hope you enjoyed my Instructable!
P.S. If you would like to see how I stained the handle of my razor I have included the link below.