Guys, shaving is an art form, not a chore. Sure, you could just click on that dull, electric razor that’s been sitting in your bathroom drawer and go to town. Leaving yourself with a less than ideal shave and an even less meaningful experience. Or, you could add a touch of class to your shaving routine, while getting the closest, smoothest shave possible. How to achieve this? We’re glad you asked. Straight-razor shaving has been a staple of reputable barbershops for nearly 200 years, and for good reason. While other shaving method shave come and gone, only one has stood the test of time!
Now just because straight razor shaving has been around since the 1600’s doesn’t mean we haven’t made significant advancements in the tools and techniques of the trade. So much so that it is easier than ever to experience the class and effectiveness of a great straight razor shave in the comfort of your own bathroom. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know a thing or two to get you going. Here’s everything you need to know to get an amazing straight razor shave in the comfort of your own home.
Preparation is key, and frankly, is all part of the experience. So, the first step is to prepare your shaving cream. A great shaving cream will be light and airy so that it effectively lifts hairs up and away from your skin for the closest shave possible with the least amount of irritation. A really great shaving cream, like Supreme Cream Shave Lather from Jack Black, will also be infused with natural oils like Soybean and Macadamia Nut to provide a protective barrier from moisture loss as well as skin soothing benefits.
Once you’ve chosen your cream, it’s time to mix. It is highly recommended that you grab yourself a shave brush, like this one from West Coast Shaving, which is made of 3-band badger hair, regarded as the best natural hair for shaving brushes due to its water retention and soft feel. You can also grab yourself a shaving scuttle as well to complete the set, however if you’re working with a lower budget, simply using an old coffee mug will do the trick as well.
To begin scoop out an almond size dollop of shaving cream into your mug. You’ll want to run you shave brush under some warm water before mixing. It’s important that the brush is wet, but not dripping, as you’ll want to start adding small amounts of water to the cream in order to achieve your desired consistency. Begin mixing, moving the shave brush in consistent circular motions. Periodically add small drops of water to your mixture until you’ve developed the perfect lather. What you’re looking for is a lather that is dense with no visible bubbles. The bubbles will serve as an indicator of the water density of your lather. If there are too many bubbles, you have added too much water. If this happens simply add another small dollop of cream to your mixture until the consistency is correct. You’ll know when you have an amazing lather by the lack of bubbles and rich, smooth foamy appearance.
The rules of straight-razor shaving are slightly different from standard shaving practices. Thus, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the task at hand, literally! Here’s the step-by-step process you need to follow.
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of use a a great aftershave balm or aftershave splash. Regardless of your skill level with the blade, shaving is a naturally irritating process to your skin. So, you need to nourish it, and provide it with a little TLC from the beating it just took. A great aftershave balm, like the one from Mod Cabin Grooming, will be alcohol-free, which is key to not drying your skin out or causing further irritation. If it’s not alcohol-free, it’s not for you. Simply use your fingers to rub the balm across your face in a circular motion, massaging it gently into your skin. High-quality ingredients like shea butter and essential oils will immediately begin hydrating your skin and repairing the small cracks that occur from shaving, eliminating razor burn and in-grown hairs. Most balms will also provide a light, manly scent as well to not only keep your face looking great, but smelling great as well!
PRO TIP: Just as important as using a great aftershave or balm, is knowing how long to use it for! Most guys make the mistake of thinking “aftershave” is just that, only for after you shave. In reality, you should be using a quality aftershave splash or balm for up to two days after the fact. You’ll know when it’s time to stop because you will visibly see hairs growing out of your pores. If you can learn to work the two-day aftershave rule into your shave routine, you’ll significantly reduce the number of in-grown hairs you have to deal with between shaves.
Now if you’re in the Buffalo, N.Y. or East Aurora, N.Y. area, you’re in luck. Our skilled professionals can provide you with the cleanest, safest, and most effective straight razor experience. But for those times in between coming to see us, enjoy shaving with the class and style of a true barbershop shave, in the comfort of your own bathroom.