Alright gentlemen, now that you’ve been shaving successfully with a safety razor it’s time for you to take the next step in manliness and try out the ultimate shave with a straight razor.

“Oh are you crazy! This looks like a torture device! I don’t want to scrape my face with some kind of steampunk device created in the 19th century which Irish gangsters used to kill each other with!”

Calm down, no need to be such a weenie.

Straight Razor Shaving - A Gentleman’s Guide 

This guide will teach you exactly how to perfect the art of straight razor shaving without causing yourself any harm whatsoever. Besides, don’t you want to participate in a ritual performed over the centuries by famous men like George Washington, Charlie Chaplin and Sweeney Todd?

Besides, putting razor-sharp steel next to your throat every morning reminds you that you’re alive. That’s always a good thing!

– Alright, how do I get started?

It’s quite simple actually. To get started shaving with a straight razor you’re going to need a few things. It’s probably best to pick up all the below items in one single straight razor kit.

  • A straight razor (obviously)
  • A shaving brush
  • Traditional shaving cream or soap
  • Aftershave
  • A mug
  • A leather strop

Before applying your lather, wet a towel with hot water and wring it out so that it’s no longer dripping, but it still has enough heat. Hold the heated towel against your face for a few minutes to help prepare your skin for the next steps. Once you feel the skin on your face begin to open up you can go ahead and remove the hot towel and apply a generous amount of shaving cream to the area you plan to shave.

Get Rid Of That Hobo Beard.

Pick up your razor and rest the first three fingers gently on the back side of the blade, while resting your pinky on the tank of the blades. You want to try and get your thumb near the middle of the blade, on the side. You should have a good feeling for the razor as your control over the blades using this grip should be just right. You want to begin with slow even strokes and shave in the direction of your beard growth. Try and hold the blade at a 30-degree angle. You don’t need to apply much pressure while stroke, you actually want to try let the weight of the razor do the work.

I usually start off by shaving the right side of my face, but this is up to your personal preference. With your left hand, reach over your head and gently pull the skin upwards with your fingers to make a nice flat shaving surface. Cautiously shave downward in the direction of your beard growth, until you clear half of the right cheek. Move down further until the fingers rest in the middle of the cheek, pull the skin upward and continue shaving downward until you’ve cleared the entire right side of your face. Once you’ve completed the right cheek move on to the right jaw.

Straight Razor Shaving - A Gentleman’s Guide 

Tilt your head back and to the left, exposing the skin under your right jaw. With the fingers of your left hand draw the skin tight under the jaw and shave downward with the growth of your beard. Next, gently smoothen the upper lip, using your fingers if necessary to pull down the lip as much as possible, tightening skin, and shave downwards.

To finish off with the lips, stretch your lower lip up as much as possible, sucking in your lips to pull the skin tight, making it easier to shave those bottom lip whiskers. For your chin, throw your head back and elevate the chin.

Feel the skin stretching over your chin and throat, you can also stretch the skin a bit further with your left fingers, take extra care as you shave the skin under the neck as it is much more sensitive and prone to cutting.
The final step – rinse your face with cold water and apply a manly aftershave – it’s all in the details!

Now that you’ve achieved that perfectly close shave, you can trade-in your mommy van for a set of two wheels and give yourself a big pat on the back because you officially know how to shave in the manliest way possible and you’ll never have to worry about people questioning your masculinity again.

Straight Razor Shaving - A Gentleman’s Guide