I used to hate shaving. I started out just using an electric razor and it never felt like a clean shave, gave me horrible razor burn and the replacement blades were super expensive. Though I was young and inexperienced at shaving I knew there had to be a better way.
So I tried using shaving cream from an aerosol can and a Gillette Razor from a multi pack at Walmart. I got much better results than with the electric razor but I usually cut myself, still got unbelievable razor burn and was spending tons of money on new razors.
I put up with this type of shaving for 10 years until I researched how to save money on shaving supplies. Dollar shave clubs came up and a couple other gimmicks but in the end the number one solution I saw was using a safety razor and shave soap. Video after video convinced me that this was the way to go so I gave it a shot and hit up Amazon for my first safety razor.
The shave was terrible. I cut myself and it burned afterwards and I grew frustrated.
Determination set in. I spent money on this razor and I was going to make it work. That is my number one piece of advice when it comes to straight edge shaving: Take your time! Shaving like a gentleman means that you take in the full experience and pride knowing that you are giving yourself the best possible shave.
Eventually I grew comfortable with the safety razor and wanted to learn how to use a straight edge. I had to relearn everything with a straight edge and the learning curve is steep. The benefits highly rewarded the time I put in.
- Cheap! ( I spend $10 a year on blades )
- Relaxing ( Carve out time in your day for shaving I always give myself 30 minutes )
- Clean Shave ( No more razor burn, and smooth as silk face )
- Shave Soap ( Soaps last forever and smell amazing )
I use a straight edge razor every time now. I use it to be completely clean and also to shape up my beard. It costs me $10 a year to get a barbershop quality shave right at my home and it is a therapeutic activity that brings me peace of mind.
Getting started: (Click here to watch the video above on how to shave like a Gent)
I highly recommend a shivette type razor for beginners for the sole purpose that when a blade gets dull you can replace it with a new one. I did buy a leather strop in order to try straight edge shaving with a non replaceable blade but stropping was another time consuming element that wasn’t for me. Here is a link to the razor that I use and suggest.
Wolf Whiskers Shaving Brush (These are custom brushes, you can get a cheaper one if on a tight budget)
Good Shaving Soap – Soap from the video
*All of these are just my personal suggestion and I am not being paid to endorse any of these products. Substitute what you want for a budget that fits you.
- Gather supplies that you need and organize it so you don’t feel rushed at any point.
- Shaving is best right after a hot shower as your pores are open. I shaved in the video just using warm water on my face for about 30 seconds.
- There are many thoughts on lathering but I find lathering on the face most efficient. Make your brush wet with warm water and put it directly in the soap can and swirl it for a good 30 seconds to a minute. If the soap drips from the brush its too wet, and if it dries when you put it on your face its too dry. You will get used to this over time!
- Once the lather is applied to your face you are ready to go, take your time and let the weight of the blade drag the razor at a 30 degree angle from your face down. The goal is to have a long drag that is smooth and deliberate. (In the video I only shave my neck but be extra cautious around the chin area as well as the lip area.
- When you are happy with the first pass warm rinse your face and reapply another lather coating.
- On the 2nd pass you want to drag the razor upward. Take your time here as there is little resistance since you removed most of the hair in the first pass.
- Warm rinse one last time and dab your face with a towel. Once dry apply a nice aftershave. (Most soap companies make a companion aftershave for the soap you like!)
- Clean up ( A gentleman always leaves the shave room looking clean for the next person entering the room!)
That’s it gentleman, I highly recommend you give it a shot. I am excited to share this tradition with you and I hope that you find as much enjoyment in straight edge shaving as I do. Look for follow up posts from myself about shaving products in Lancaster! I am currently talking to the man behind Lancaster Razor Works and am excited to bring you another article about everything they have to offer! Check them out here!
Good luck and as always feel free to share your thoughts on shaving and your experiences with straight edge shaving! Questions are also welcome!