A Beginners Guide to Finding Your Best Luxury Razor Kit
Ask any man (one with or without hair on his face) and they will tell you one thing, shaving is manly. It is arguably the ultimate sign that a young lad is turning into a man. While many find pride in their facial hair, many others still struggle to keep them tamed. Sure they are great and manly, but if the truth is told, they can get out of hand pretty quickly. But with such great necessity, inventions must have been made to make the shaving process easier for everyone.
And they have. Ever since the discovery of copper and its use in making practical tools ages ago, shaving gadgets have evolved and become what many have come to know as smart. Yes, modern-day shavers are electric, can lubricate and even clean themselves. All the daunting processes have been automated with these electric shavers and given the fact that there are some that work overtime to cool your skin and play soothing music in the background, it is only a matter of time before they can do much more impressive things; like updating posts on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook (or so we hope).
But even with all this hyped new technology, straight razors have recently found their way back into the market and are increasing in popularity with every passing day. Even James Bond used one in Skyfall. Straight razor kits are also a great gift idea! There is just a thrill of shaving like our grandpas did and it feels like a quick time travel into the early 1900s. But even with their increasing popularity, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding these simplistic shavers. Many have no clue what to look for when buying a straight razor let alone use one. But if you are ready to step up, prepare to get hands-on practicing and doing a whole lot of learning.
Straight Blade Razor – a Quick Look at the Background and History
Straight edge razor use dates back to England, more precisely Sheffield, around 1680. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_razor]. They have over the years undergone massive redesigns and changes to make them better and more functional. It was however not until the early 1900s that design upgrades reached their peak. Yes, even your grandpa used the completed straight razor design. From simple miniature hatchet like razors with no markings or branding, made by local blacksmiths in their simple cabins to razors with great composition, design, and handling, they are all to be respected and revered.
Difference Between Safety Razors and Straight Razors
If you are thinking about using a straight razor, chances are you have also thought about using a safety razor. After all, they are the same only with different designs right? Well, not quite, the difference in design is just the tip of the iceberg. Safety razors as you already get from the name are “safer”. Sure you still will need to master your technique with practice, but please note safety razors, unlike straight razors, also tend to restrict your control.
Their method of use is also different. The way you hold a straight razor is different from how you would hold a safety razor, given their difference in design as well as the size of the blade. Speaking of which, the size of the blades of a straight razor vary and therefore affects their method of use and the control you have.
A safety razor, though effective, will require you to regularly purchase new blades. Even after your first investment, you still will have to spend more continue to enjoy your shave. This is not the case with straight razors.
Do Straight Razors Need to be Honed?
Yes, they do – all of them do. As a matter of fact, in today’s market, getting a “shave ready straight razor” is selling yourself short. You never really get value for your money with these and, simply put, and with all the love and respect I can have, shave ready straight razors are junk. But wait, what in the world is honing?
Honing is the technical term used to mean sharpening a quality blade. With time and through constant use, blades get dull. They lose their touch and become more difficult to use. Honing is done to revive them and make them perfect again.
Honing a straight razor is most definitely not rocket science; it is, however, a skill that you will acquire with time as you interact with your razor. Since this is a learning process it is recommended that you at first have a professional hone your razor to get you started on the correct path.
Straight razors also need to be stropped. Now stropping is a far more complex idea to understand. It is different from honing since it does not sharpen the blade per se, but it does increase its effectiveness.
The edge of a razor is much like that of a saw when viewed under a microscope. It is jagged but should still make a perfectly straight line. These teeth are significantly smaller and weaker than the beard hairs and as such, with time, they are thrown out of alignment into imperfection. While one can still shave with the microscopically damaged edge, it is just not as effective. Stropping on a leather kit, however, realigns the teeth giving back the shave that you are looking for.
But remember, stropping alone is not sufficient, the razor also needs to be honed. Please check out our straight razor maintenance guide.
Does it Feel Different to Shave With a Straight Razor?
You bet! As a matter of fact, if you have never done it before, it is recommended that you go through a practice phase before you try out the sharp and potentially dangerous razor on your neck. Straight razors are not nicknamed “cutthroat” for nothing! Before you buy – you should check out our best straight razor reviews.
A famous technique you may have seen is practicing shaving a balloon without having it pop on your face. Every time you pop the balloon, imagine that could have been your face (well, not that dramatic, but you get the idea). The moment you can get all the cream off your balloon without popping it, then and only then can you proceed to your face and throat.
In all this, remember one thing. Straight razor shaving is a serious process and technique. Take your time, and by all means – do not laugh.
Shaving Creams – The Difference Between a Great and Bad Shave
With the long list of shaving creams available online and in local stores, choosing the best product can be dizzying. Making a poor choice means you may lose money and very likely have one of your most forgettable shaving experiences. A clean close shave will be a narrative you never get to make part of your story.
To make the choosing process easy, we have compiled a list of the best shaving creams in the market. This article also provides a guide on how to choose the correct shaving creams for your skin. You may even be shocked at the ingredients some shaving creams contain.
In the article, we also compare shaving creams to shaving soaps and guide you on the best judging by their pros and cons. Spoiler alert; both sport different features required by different wet shavers.
Take your time to read the article and ensure your close shaving experience is a winner and not a painful chore you would rather not get into.