Barbershop. Close-up of barber holds razor for shaving his beard

Are you looking for an old-fashioned way to get a close shave? If so, then learning how to shave with a straight razor could be the perfect solution. Not only will you get a closer shave with a straight razor than with traditional razors, but it's also a surefire way to look elegant and distinguished.

Although it may take some time to become familiar with this classic shaving tool, the effort will be worth it when you achieve the perfect shave.

Handling a straight razor is quite different from what most of us are used to. It requires more attention and care than using disposable blades and requires special techniques to be mastered. But don't worry - with a little practice and dedication, anyone can learn to use a straight razor like an experienced barber. In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about shaving with a straight razor.

From the right accessories and equipment needed to proper technique and safety tips, all your questions will be answered here! So if you're ready to step up your shaving game and enter the world of traditional wet shaving, grab your straight razor and get going!

1. Gather Your Supplies

An important step is to assemble the material you need to shave with a razor. You'll need a few things: shaving cream, a brush, a razor, and a strop. You should also have some aftershave or alum on hand in case you get any cuts. Once you have all the utensils together, you can start preparing for your shave.

Before you start shaving, make sure your blade is sharp and that everything is set properly. If the blade isn't sharp enough, it'll be harder to handle and may cause nicks or cuts on your skin. To make sure the blade is ready for use, gently run it along the leather side of the strop several times before moving on to the next step.

Now that the blade is prepared, you can apply the shaving cream and get started. Use a brush to lather up the shaving cream and spread it evenly on your face in a circular motion. Be gentle when applying the shaving cream - too much pressure could prevent the blade from cutting evenly through your facial hair. When you're done lathering, pick up your razor and start shaving in short strokes against the hair growth on your face. After each pass with the razor, rinse the remaining cream off your face before continuing.

Shaving with a straight razor is an art form that requires practice and patience but results in smooth skin when mastered. Since it's a delicate instrument, it's important to take extra care when handling this razor and applying it to the skin - this is the only way to ensure an effective shave without cuts and nicks! With these tips in mind, all you need to do now is practice, so don't hesitate to try!

razor shaving accessories razor
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2. Prepare Your Skin

Preparation is key when shaving with a straight razor. Before you begin, make sure your skin is properly prepared. This will make the shave smoother and reduce the risk of irritation or cuts.

Be sure to shower before shaving, as this will soften your beard and open up your pores. Warm water also helps relax the muscles in your face, which can improve the accuracy of your shave. Avoid using hot water, as it can dry out the skin and cause irritation.

Next, apply a small amount of oil or cream to your face before shaving to create a barrier between the skin and the razor blade. This will reduce friction and allow for a closer shave. It's also important to use quality shave prep products that are specifically designed for straight razors. Regular shaving creams or foams don't provide enough lubrication for an optimal shave with a straight razor.

Once you've applied the oil or cream before shaving, take a few minutes to massage it into the area you'll be shaving - this will help remove any hairs that were missed in the shower. Then, rinse off the excess product and pat dry with a clean towel before you begin shaving. Even if you only have five minutes, following these steps will ensure an effortless shave with minimal skin irritation.

Client during beard shaving in barber shop
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3. Learn The Basics Of Straight Razor Shaving

Now that you have prepared your skin and chosen the right razor, it's time to learn the basics of shaving with a straight razor. Before you begin, make sure you have a steady hand and plenty of light. You'll need to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle when cutting your hair. To do this, place the blade on your skin and tilt it until it's almost parallel to your face.

Also, don't apply too much pressure while shaving. Let the weight of the razor do most of the work for you. If you press too hard, you risk cutting yourself or irritating your skin. Instead, make slow, short, controlled movements against the direction of hair growth.

When you're done with one side of your face, rinse off any excess lather or hair with warm water, then apply a moisturizing aftershave or balm to soothe any irritation or dryness that may result from shaving. Be sure to wash and dry your razor before putting it away for later use. With patience and practice, you'll soon be able to safely shave with a straight razor!

Shaving with a straight razor in a barbershop. A bearded old man being shaved in a barbershop. Classic shave by Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor.
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4. Choose The Right Razor

When it comes to shaving with a straight razor, choosing the right razor is crucial. After all, you want your shave to be comfortable and smooth. So how can you make sure you make the best choice?

First of all, it's important to know that there are different types of razors. Different models offer different features, so it's important to do your research and find out which type suits you best. If you're a beginner, a safety razor might be a good choice, as it gives you more control over the blade and makes it less likely that you'll cut yourself. If you have some experience shaving with a straight razor, an open-blade razor might be the ideal choice.

Once you've decided on the type of straight razor that best suits your skills and comfort level, it's time to choose the specific model that meets your needs. When making this decision, pay attention to quality: look for razors made of stainless steel or high-quality carbon steel, as these materials last longer and require less maintenance over time. Also, consider factors like handle length; shorter handles may be more comfortable for smaller hands, while longer handles are better for larger hands.

Whichever type of razor you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference and what feels comfortable in your hand - only after you've tried a few options will you know which razor is right for you!

Skillful barber. Young man getting an old-fashioned shave with straight razor
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5. Add Shaving Cream Or Soap

When shaving with a straight razor, adding shaving foam or soap is an important step. Not only do they provide a smoother shave, but they also provide better lubrication and protect the skin from the sharp blade. Before you start shaving, it's best to find a cream or soap that's specifically for straight razors - these products are designed to reduce friction and increase comfort.

When you apply the cream or soap, make sure it covers your face completely. To do this, you can either make a lather in your hands with warm water and then apply it directly to your face, or use a brush to better control the amount of product. After applying the cream or soap, leave it on your face for about a minute before you start shaving - this will give your skin time to absorb the ingredients and soften any facial hair.

Once you're ready, you can begin shaving with your razor. Make sure to take slow strokes in one direction, and rinse both the razor and your face several times with each pass. Also, remember not to press too hard against your skin, as this can cause discomfort or even cuts! With proper technique and care, you should be able to enjoy a clean and comfortable shave every time.

Barber Man is shaving client with a vintage straight razor in a barbershop. Shaving cream, foam. Classic shave by stainless steel straight edge razor
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6. Make The First Pass

Once you have your shaving cream or soap, it's time to get ready for your first pass. Before you begin, make sure your razor is sharp and that you are in a comfortable position. Hold the blade against your skin at a 30-degree angle with your dominant hand. It is important that you apply light pressure and move the blade away from the direction of hair growth with short strokes.

Do not press too hard on the razor during this pass, as this could cause irritation or even cut you. Instead, glide lightly over your skin with each pull. Remember to refresh the shaving cream every few pulls for the best results. If this is your first time shaving with a straight razor, you may need some practice to get a smooth shave.

After your first pass, rinse off any soap or cream residue and check to see if you missed anything. Apply more lather if needed and repeat the process until your entire face is clean and evenly shaved. After each shave, it's important to clean and dry your razor thoroughly to keep it sharp longer. With practice and patience, you should soon be able to use a straight razor with ease!

Client during beard shaving in barber shop
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7. Start With The Grain

Starting with the stroke is an important step in shaving with a straight razor. It's important to correctly determine the direction of the hair growth so that the shave is as comfortable and effective as possible. Pay close attention to which direction your facial hair is growing and make sure you move your razor in that direction.

Using shaving foam or gel can make this process easier and ensure that the razor glides over the skin more smoothly. Moistening your face before shaving will make the shave closer and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Be sure to apply enough lubricant to help the blade glide smoothly over your face.

When first getting used to a straight razor, take it slow - after all, you don't want to cut yourself! Be sure to apply even pressure to the blade, but be gentle at the same time. Short, light strokes in one direction will help you avoid cutting yourself or causing unnecessary skin irritation while still getting a close shave.

Shaving with a straight razor may seem intimidating at first, but when done correctly, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. With a little practice and patience, you'll master this skill in no time!

portrait of handsome man in barbershop. barber shaving man with straight razor
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8. Make Subsequent Passes

The eighth step in shaving with a straight razor is to make several passes. After you have completed the first pass with the grain direction of your beard, you should go through the same area again and make more passes. This can be done either with or against the grain, whichever you prefer. For subsequent passes, always start on one side of the area and move to the other side in small, gentle strokes. Be sure to keep your strokes even so that each area of your face is shaved evenly.

Be careful not to press too hard during these extra strokes; apply only light pressure and let the razor do all the work. Be sure to rinse off any accumulated lather after each pass, and also rinse the razor blade regularly to prevent clogging. If necessary, you should lather up again between each pass - this will keep your face smooth and help you avoid irritation from all the blade movement on your skin.

Once you have completed all the passes you want, you can dry your face with a cold towel or washcloth for a few seconds to close open pores and give yourself a cool, refreshing feeling. You can then apply an aftershave lotion or balm to further protect and moisturize your freshly shaved skin.
Taking these extra measures will give you a smooth shave that not only looks good but feels good too!

Client during beard and moustache grooming in barber shop
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9. Finish Up And Clean Up

Now that you have made several passes with your razor, it is time to finish up and clean up. First, make sure you have achieved the degree of closure you want. If not, make another pass or two - but do not overdo it! Then, rinse with cold water to close your skin's pores.

Then, spray your face with an aftershave - preferably one without alcohol - to protect and nourish your skin. Then, gently dry your face with a clean towel. Alternatively, you can use a styptic pencil in case you accidentally cut yourself while shaving.

The last step is to store the razor and other tools in a safe place for next time. This way, you can make sure everything stays sharp and sanitary when you use it again. Proper care of these items will also extend their life so they can last for many years to come. An essential part of this process is keeping them clean.

So, that's it: the necessary steps to finish and clean your razor shave! And now go out and enjoy looking as elegant as ever!

Barber applying aftershave lotion to male neck at barbershop
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Enjoy The Benefits Of Straight Razor Shaving

Now that you have finished and cleaned your shave, it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Shaving with a straight razor has been around for centuries and is still a popular barbering technique today. It provides a smooth, close shave with minimal skin irritation, making it the ideal choice for people with sensitive skin. In addition, using a straight razor helps reduce waste from disposable razors and blades.

Shaving with a straight razor is also a great way to save money in the long run. You only need one blade, and if you care for it properly, it can last for many years. Even though the initial investment is higher than buying disposable blades or an electric razor, you'll save money over time because you won't have to keep buying new blades or replacement parts for electric razors. Not to mention that it's a fun hobby that you can use for yourself or even pass on to friends and family!

Shaving with a straight razor takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be amazed at how easy it's and how good your skin feels afterward. Enjoy the ritual of taking care of yourself and the satisfaction that comes from mastering a traditional skill like shaving with a straight razor. And don't forget to show off your results!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Straight Razor And A Safety Razor?

A straight razor and a safety razor look very similar, but they have some important differences. First of all, a straight razor is a single-blade system where the blade is permanently attached to the handle and cannot be replaced. It must be sharpened regularly and carefully to maintain its effectiveness. A safety razor, on the other hand, is equipped with a replaceable double-edged blade that fits into a guard at the head of the handle. The guard keeps the skin away from the blade during shaving, making it safer than a straight razor.

When it comes to shaving, both types of razors have their advantages and disadvantages. A straight razor can provide an incredibly close shave, as its single blade removes more hair than the dual blades of a safety razor. However, it also requires more skill and precision to use - if used improperly, it can cause nicks and cuts to the skin. With a safety razor, there is less irritation during shaving, but also a less close shave, as the double blades are slightly further away from the skin than a single blade.

The choice between these two types of razors depends on how well you get along with them and what kind of a shave you want to achieve. If you want a particularly close shave, but are willing to take the time necessary to learn how to use the razor properly and safely, then a straight razor may be best for you. However, if convenience is more important to you and you don't mind sacrificing shaving for safety, then you should opt for a safety razor - it's much easier to use and still gives great results when used correctly!

What Is The Best Technique For Getting A Close Shave With A Straight Razor?

When it comes to getting the closest shave possible, using a straight razor is one of the best techniques. A straight razor has only one blade and requires more skill than a safety razor, which has multiple blades. Getting a close shave with a straight razor can be intimidating for novice shavers, but with a few tips, it doesn't have to be.

First, it's important to make sure the blade is sharp and clean before you begin. This will ensure that you get the most comfortable and close shave possible. It's also helpful to practice on your arm or leg before attempting to shave your face. This will help you get used to the motion of the razor and how much pressure you need to apply when going over each area of the skin.

It's also important that you use proper technique when using a straight razor. First, lather your face with shaving cream or soap to protect your skin from cuts and nicks while shaving. Then, hold the razor at an angle of about 30 degrees against the direction of hair growth and lightly drag it across your skin with short strokes in only one direction. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can cause damage or an uneven shave. Also, try not to stroke the same area more than once, as this can increase irritation and lead to ingrown hairs.

After shaving, rinse the remaining lather from your face and pat dry with a towel. Applying an aftershave lotion or balm can help soothe irritation caused by shaving and moisturize the skin for a smooth finish. With these tips, shaving with a straight razor should become easier over time and result in a closer shave than ever before!

Are There Any Special Considerations For Shaving Sensitive Skin With A Straight Razor?

When shaving with a straight razor, people with sensitive skin must take special care. Shaving can irritate the skin, especially if the wrong technique is used. To prevent this from happening, there are some guidelines that should be followed.

The first step in shaving with a straight razor is to prepare the skin. Taking a warm shower or bath before shaving will help soften the hair and open the pores, resulting in a smoother shave. Also, applying shaving oil before shaving can protect the skin from possible irritation from the blade.

In addition to preparing the skin before shaving, there are other techniques that can be used during shaving. Slight movements during shaving reduce the friction between the blade and the skin, minimizing irritation and discomfort. It's also important to rinse the razor with hot water after each pass to prevent hair from sticking to it - this can cause further irritation.

Finally, always use a moisturizer or balm after shaving to keep your skin hydrated and protected from inflammation.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Straight Razor?

Shaving with a straight razor can be a wonderful experience, but it also requires careful care and maintenance. One of the most important aspects of caring for your straight razor is sharpening it regularly. How often you sharpen your razor depends on several factors, such as how often you shave and the condition of the blade itself.

If you shave infrequently, sharpening it every month or two will suffice. However, if you're an avid shaver who uses your razor several times a week, you'll need to sharpen it more frequently - perhaps every 7-10 days. You should also keep an eye on the condition of your blade; if it feels dull or pulls hair when you shave, it's time to re-sharpen it. Even if you don't use your razor for a while, it's worth sharpening it every few months to make sure the blade isn't damaged by rust or corrosion.

It's important to note that sharpening a straight razor shouldn't be done lightly or without proper guidance. If you don't have access to a professional sharpening service or aren't knowledgeable in this area, there are guides on the internet that can help you get started. With proper care and maintenance, your razor can last for many years - so make sure it stays sharp!

What Is The Best Way To Maintain A Straight Razor?

Taking care of a razor is an important part of shaving with a straight razor. Without proper care, the blade won't be sharp and may result in an unsatisfactory shave. To keep your straight razor in good shape, there are a few steps you should take.

First and foremost, it's important to store your straight razor carefully. It should be protected from moisture and kept in a dry place. When not in use, the blade should be covered with a leather strap or a protective cover to prevent it from getting damaged or rusting.

Another must for taking care of a straight razor is to sharpen the blade regularly. This should be done about once a month if you use it frequently, but more often if needed. You can either sharpen the blade yourself with a whetstone or have it professionally sharpened at a barbershop or knife store.

Finally, cleaning the razor after each use is important to keep it in good condition. After each shave, rinse off excess soap and hair with water and dry it with a clean towel or cloth. Use a light oil on the blade to prevent rust and further extend the life of the razor. If you take these tips to heart, you'll be able to care for your razor with ease and enjoy a smooth shave for years to come!


The straight razor is a great way to get an incredibly close shave. It takes some time and practice to get used to shaving with a straight razor, but it's worth it in the long run. With proper technique and care, you can ensure that your straight razor will last for many years and give you a smooth, close shave.

I recommend using a straight razor if you want a close shave. Just make sure you take the time to sharpen it properly and have patience as you learn to use it. If you have sensitive skin, be extra careful when shaving with a straight razor and stop immediately if irritation occurs.

All in all, it's important that you take good care of your razor to get the best possible results every time you use it!