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How to shave with a straight razor

Shaving with a straight razor can be an intimidating process, but with practice and patience, it can become a satisfying ritual that leaves you with a close and smooth shave. Here are the steps to properly shave with a straight razor:

  1. Prepare your face: Start by washing your face with warm water to soften your facial hair and open up your pores. Apply a pre-shave oil (optional) and shaving cream to lubricate your skin and protect it from razor burn. Use a shaving brush for best lather results.

  2. Prepare your razor: Make sure your straight razor is sharp and clean. Sharpen your razor with a honing stone or strop before every use. Clean your razor with soap and water or a specialized razor cleaner to remove any dirt or debris. 

  3. Hold the razor correctly: Hold the razor with your dominant hand and rest the shank (the part of the blade near the handle) on your ring finger. Place your index and middle fingers on the back of the blade and your thumb on the underside of the shank.

  4. Shave with the grain: Start shaving with the grain of your facial hair. Hold the razor at a 30-degree angle to your skin and use short, gentle strokes. Use your free hand to stretch your skin taut, making it easier to shave.

  5. Rinse and/or wipe the blade often: Rinse the razor frequently in warm water to remove any hair or shaving cream, and/or carefully wipe the blade with a towel to remove built up lather and hairs, and to avoid dulling the edge. Always wipe away from the cutting edge of the blade.

  6. Repeat the process: Once you’ve shaved with the grain, reapply lather and shave against the grain for an even closer shave. Use the same technique as before, being careful not to apply too much pressure.

  7. Finish with a cool rinse: Once you’ve finished shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close your pores and soothe your skin. Apply an aftershave or balm to moisturize and protect your skin.

  8. Care for your razor: After you’ve finished shaving, rinse your razor thoroughly and dry it with a towel. Store your razor in a dry place, away from moisture and humidity.

Shaving with a straight razor takes practice, so be patient and take your time. With the right technique and equipment, you can achieve a close and satisfying shave.