5 Good Reasons Not To Be Afraid of Shaving With A Straight Razor
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Contrary to popular belief, men are dedicated to grooming too. Although it’s often minimal, it’s a process most men are keen on. Bearded men take time daily or every other morning to trim or shave facial hair. To get the best results, you should use the best shaving tool.
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Most men know that good straight razors will yield the best result, but unfortunately, they shy away from using them for varied reasons. For some, its straight razors are dangerously sharp tools they’d rather not have close to their throats, and for others, the wet shaving learning curve is too steep.
But you shouldn’t let these things keep you from using a straight razor, especially when the pros outweigh the cons. We’ve compiled a list of positives to give you some perspective on the benefits of shaving with a straight razor.
1. Less Irritation
Straight razors feature one sharp blade that delivers a clean and close shave. The results and experience of using a straight razor are often better than using a disposable razor with multiple blades. However, you should adhere to proper wet shaving steps and purchase shaving products to prepare and soothe the skin.
How do straight razors deliver a better shaving experience than disposable razors with multiple blades? After all, most brand commercials claim multi-blade razors deliver better shaving results because you’ll make fewer strokes. But this isn’t entirely true.
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If a disposable blade has five blades, every stroke is technically equivalent to five strokes. On paper, this sounds great, but not so much in practice. When wet shaving with a straight razor, you should reapply shaving cream after every pass. The best shaving creams for straight razor shaving will cause the blade to glide over the skin, reducing friction and skin irritation.
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With the disposable blade, that isn’t possible. The first blade glides over the skin, and the other blades experience increasing friction leading to hair pulling, skin irritation, burns, and ingrown hairs.
2. Straight Razors Can Be Forgiving
Honestly, using a straight razor or the best shavettes is like using a disposable razor. While you might cut yourself, it’s often like a paper cut if you make gentle and short passes over your skin. Rarely will you find men with serious cut complications and bleeding profusely. When shaving, be relaxed – don’t be nervous, overconfident, or shaky.
To avoid these cuts, you should take time to learn wet shaving skills and techniques. Sure, it might take time to master the art of using a straight razor, but once you get the hang of it, the experience will be worthwhile.
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When using a straight razor, always consider its weight to guide you on the pressure to apply. Generally, a lighter hand requires a heavy hand and vice versa. Also, consider the blade size, ranging from 3/8 to 8/8 inches. 5/8 and 6/8 inches are the most common blade sizes. The 5/8 used on razors like the DOVO Inox is small enough to use on tight spots like under the nose, while the 6/8 blade on the DOVO Bismarck is larger and ideal for men who’ve mastered wet shaving.
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Before the razor touches your skin, you should prepare the skin for wet shaving. Your focus should be on softening the skin and opening the pores. Patting your skin with a cloth dipped in warm water or taking a shower will open the pores while applying the shaving gel will allow the blade to glide over the skin.
Aside from this, you should learn the proper angle to hold your razor. If you hold it too steep, you’ll cut yourself. When shaving, pull your skin taut with your free hand and start at the sideburns. Make even and short strokes downwards.
Between every stroke, you should rinse the blade. After shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close the pores and then moisturize the skin. You can use an aftershave to prevent infections and bumps. As a beginner, don’t shave against the grain until you are more confident wielding the straight razor.
3. Can Be Used Gently and Tested
Yes, straight razors are sharp, and you should be careful using them. Because of its sharpness, you might be afraid to use it on a large portion of your skin. Luckily, you can always be gentle or test your shaving on a small part of your skin before shaving your face. Once you are confident with wielding a straight razor and have control, you can use it across your face.
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4. Great Shaving Experience
General grooming and shaving should be something you enjoy. However, most men rush through the process every day; either they need to get to work fast, or they want to be out of the bathroom fast. Whichever the case, most men don’t take the time to enjoy the process.
With a straight razor, you need to allocate ample time to shaving, during which you perform pre and post-shaving routines, such as honing and stropping, and actual shaving. Instead of getting rid of unwanted facial hair, you get to appreciate and enjoy the process.
Use pre-shave oil to protect the skin before you start shaving. Also, some pre-shave oils have antiseptic properties, which help prevent infections. When lathering your face with a brush, your hairs are lifted, and you exfoliate. With regular shaving, most men miss out on the luxuries of shaving straight razors offer.
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5. Straight Razors Have Been In Use for Eons
Straight razors have been in use for generations. Don’t be shocked to discover your dad or grandfather used straight razors. Over the years, straight razors have gone through design changes, and modern design was made in the 1880s.
This shows how much men appreciate the experience and results straight razors provide. Today, disposable razors are used more than straight razors. However, the latter is making a slow but sure comeback. Men are purchasing new razors or using what has transformed into family heirlooms, making the shaving experience even more powerful and meaningful.
Using straight razors has more upsides than downsides. If you are scared of nicks and cuts, you can prevent them by being gentle. Aside from this, straight razors last longer and are cheaper in the long run since no blade replacements are needed.
Ruiru Kibet is passionate about beard care and male grooming. He believes it’s an art form and is happy to share his insight with men across the globe. He’s into wet shaving and evidence-based grooming, a passion that helps him analyze men’s grooming brands, products, and wet shaving practices presenting you with the best recommendations and advice. Kevin's profile on Linkedin.