Ah, the straight razor. The gentleman’s classic, also commonly referred to as cut-throat razor, it has been used for decades and decades in barbers throughout the world. It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen the decline in use of the straight razor, with many preferring to opt for a safety razor or a cartridge razor. And you can’t blame them – for the most part, it makes much more sense to use one of these types of razors instead.
Though, there is still some demand for an old fashioned shave with a straight razor. It’s not just the shave itself, it’s often the ritual itself that people associate with shaving. Going to the barbers has long been a tradition amongst men. Much like women would meet up at the hair salon and chat, the barbers seat has been often been compared to as a psychiatrist – a place where men can go to talk about.. pretty much anything.
And with the dramatic increase in people sporting beards the past 5 or so years, there’s no surprise that the need for straight razors has increase too. If you want to keep a defined line and ensure your beard looks sharp, then it can be imperative to use a straight razor to keep the neck clean. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should consider using a straight razor, whether by visiting the barber or doing it yourself.
Why you shouldn’t use a straight razor
Now, a straight razor definitely isn’t for everyone and there are some reasons why you might even want to avoid using one. Here’s a couple of things you might want to consider before you jump in at the deep end.
They are definitely dangerous
There’s no denying it – straight razors can be considered as dangerous (there’s a reason they’re called cut throat razors!). In the hands of the right person, a straight razor is an awesome tool that can give you a clean, close cut shave. But in the hands of the wrong, clumsy and careless person, you’re only going to cause more damage than you are good.
You need to be extremely careful when using a straight razor, otherwise you’ll undoubtedly end up with cuts all over your face – not a good look.
It takes time
The majority of guys nowadays don’t want to spend ages shaving and grooming their beards – why do you think beards have become so drastically popular? Guys just want to get into the bathroom, do whatever shaving needs to be done and get out. That’s it.
So, if this is you, then you definitely shouldn’t be looking at getting yourself a straight razor. Sure, it might be easy for your barber to use his straight razor when shaving your neck, but he’s been doing it for years! Unless you’re willing to put the time in to learn how to use a straight razor properly – which the majority of people aren’t – then you shouldn’t consider getting yourself a straight razor.
To get the most out of your straight razor, you need to keep it maintain properly. To keep your straight razor maintained and polished, you will need to regularly strop it. This is a fairly straight forward process, but it’s not for the lazy man.
How to Strop your Straight Razor
To strop your razor, you need to;
Hook your strop on the wall, bathroom cabinet or anywhere else where it’s easy to access the leather side of the strop. Ensure the strop is leather side up.
Lay the blade flat on the strop, not tilted towards either direction. We want the sharp edge of the blade and the back both to be making contact with the leather strop.
Gently pull the straight razor up and down the strop, ensuring that you’re leading with the back of the straight razor. If you lead with the sharp edge of the straight razor, it isn’t going to end will.
Run the straight razor continuously up and down the belt at least five times – you don’t need to remove the back of the straight razor from the strop, just flip the strop and run it back down.