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The Art Of The Straight Razor

Updated on February 22, 2010

Why Straight Shave?

About five years ago, I'd just about had it with shaving. I'd go days inbetween shaves, but hated having a beard. The soreness, the ingrown hairs, constantly needing to buy more blades, the requirement of being clean shaven for work; it was all a pain. Shaving everyday irritated my face and, basically, was just no fun. For many years, I had a fascination with straight razors, and wondered how difficult it would be to learn. I was already disinterested with shaving itself, but thought it might be enjoyable to learn a new skill.

Researching into straight razor shaving, or wet shaving, as it's also called, grew my interest more. I purchased a straight razor & a strop, a mug & brush, and I was ready to go. Five years later, I'm glad I did it. I now enjoy shaving again. In fact, my shaves are closer than when I used a traditional razor. Rarely do I get ingrown hairs, and my face feels better after shaving. Soreness is greatly diminished.

What I've Learned

Since taking up this practice, or art, as some call it, I've learned a few things:

  • I've learned to respect knives more.
  • I've learned how to sharpen any knife.
  • What sharp really means.
  • The sharper a knife, the safer it is to use.
  • My face feels better after shaving.
  • I look forward to shaving.

Takes No Longer

Many people have the idea that using a straight razor is a long, drawn out process. This isn't true. In fact, I can shave just as fast with a straight razor as I do with a traditional razor. Once you've learned how to hold the razor & have used it for some time, it becomes as natural as brushing your hair. Another added benefit:  women enjoy watching a man use a straight razor.

Be Careful What You Buy

When it comes to straight razors, you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on a cheap blade! A good razor is a finely crafted instrument. Look, you're going to use this thing on your face; you want the best performance possible. So, what's a good blade? One that contains a high carbon content. Stainless steel razors are no good, stay away from them. They're cheaper in price, but are more difficult to sharpen. Carbon steel sharpens easily & shaves the best. The best razors available are those made with a high grade carbon steel.

If you can, get a DVD on straight razor shaving. Talk with your local barber. Go online & visit some forums. You'll find that there's quite a collection of straight razor enthusiasts. Many enjoy it so much that they collect all makes & models of razors, vintage & limited edition razors. But make sure you buy good equipment! Follow the link below, check out what they have to offer. I hope this page has been of some help. If it has, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

Shaving Video


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    • Twurl70 profile image

      Twurl70 8 years ago from ma

      Thanks Laserman, appreciate the comment!

    • thelaserman profile image

      thelaserman 8 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Great article! I have been considering shaving with a straight razor or not!