If shaving the head were a sport, the straight razor would be the best choice for the master leagues. While it’s not suitable for some people, straight blade comes with several benefits that make it highly attractive to any man who wants to shave their head.
Let’s see how you as a beginner can use the straight razor to shave your head and have a smooth experience.
How to Shave with a Straight Razor
Anyone can shave their head with a straight razor, the skill is easy to learn. Grab your straight razor from your straight razor display case and let’s get to it:
1. Cut Hair Down to Stubble
Start by cutting down your hair to stubble to make shaving more manageable and safer.
Otherwise, it would be a waste of your lather or increase the chances of cutting your scalp. Besides, cutting the hair to this level lessens skin irritation.
You can use an electric razor or stainless steel pair of scissors. The main idea is to ensure the razor cuts as close to the scalp as possible.
2. Prepare the Hair
Get into a lukewarm shower to make the hair pliable and soft. The moisture and heat will reduce the hair’s strength by about 80%, making the work much easier and more manageable.
Moreover, when you get into a lukewarm water shower, the warmth opens the skin’s pores. It also removes oils and dead skin.
One important point to note is that you should not go overboard with the heat. Don’t spend too much time in the warm shower and it shouldn’t be too hot either.
Otherwise, it could strip away your body’s natural oils and damage your hair follicles. Scientific studies have shown that the oils keep the skin moist, protecting it from damage.
3. Apply Pre-Shaving Oil
Apply some pre-shaving oil like The Art of Shaving Pre Shave Beard Oil for Men on the scalp to restore the skin’s natural moisture that the hot shower likely removed.
In fact, you can even use Olive oil as a pre-shave oil.
It also protects the skin against razor blade friction, which is ideal for reducing skin irritation or razor burn. Moreover, the oil softens the hair and lifts it, allowing the razor to cut with ease.
4. Apply Shaving Lather
Swirl your shaving brush on the shaving soap. If you’re using a shaving soap that comes in a shave tin, you may not need to whip it in a separate scuttle. All you should do is build the lather from the shave tin.
Apply the lather on your scalp gently. Do this generously since you want it to act as a buffer against the blade’s friction. You should coat the entire stubble completely with lather.
5. Hold Your Straight Razor at the Appropriate Angle
As we alluded to earlier, a straight razor in unskilled hands is an accident waiting to happen. So, learn the skill of holding the razor at the right angle.
You can try shaving on your chin as well before proceeding to your head which is more difficult.
Use the razor at a 30-degree angle. If you go past this, you risk cutting your skin. If you go lower, you might tear the stubble.
Other than that, shave along the grain. This ensures the stubble offers the least resistance and you don’t develop ingrown hairs.
Hold the razor firmly and let the weight guide you in shaving off your hair. Moreover, remember to use a hand mirror when shaving the back of your head.
A smart option is to use a regular mirror and not a shaving mirror in this case because shaving mirrors are concave.
6. Rinse Your Head
Wash away the remaining lather using cold water. The water will close up the pores. Dry and wrap a cold towel on your head to reduce the risk of skin irritation.
After that, rinse your razor with running tap water to wash off skin cells and bacteria, and keep the blade sharp for a longer period. Wipe the blade with a clean towel and then properly store it away in a dry place.
7. Apply Aftershave
Ensure you apply an aftershave that provides additional protection to the head. The best ones rehydrate the skin, are gentle, and are easy to apply.
Benefits of Shaving with a Straight Razor
Shaving the head with a straight razor has many other benefits. They include:
1. Cheaper than a Cartridge Razor
The upfront cost of a straight razor might suggest it’s costly. However, if you consider the long-run costs, you notice that investing in a straight razor is more cost-effective.
Although a cartridge razor’s handle can last for a relatively long period, its blade requires frequent replacements. These types of razors also have an uncertain pricing model. So, you are likely to spend more upfront if you’re a beginner.
A straight razor is built to last for generations. You don’t need to replace the blades, making them cheaper and you can always sharpen your straight razor.
2. Greener than Cartridge Razor
The current generation of straight razors is more eco-friendly than any other before it.
It will stay in your grooming kit for years. On the other hand, a cartridge razor’s plastic handle serves for a shorter period.
You have to recycle these razors or dispose of these items in landfills anyway and plastics take about 500 years to break down naturally and return to nature. This means the handles remain in the landfill sites for decades, polluting the environment.
3. Shave Impossibly Close
Men who have been using ordinary razors to shave their heads probably can’t imagine they can go even closer.
A single shave with the best quality, correctly stropped straight razor can immediately exceed those expectations.
4. Using and Maintaining the Razor Gives Pride
We alluded to this in the beginning. Nevertheless, it’s worth talking about again for the manly men out there.
Shaving with a straight razor is an art. Perhaps, it’s one of the most intensely masculine activities today. So, it will take dedication, practice, and commitment before you can get the correct hang of it.
Overall, shaving the head with a straight razor promises experienced men a wonderful experience. This means you should learn how to shave carefully using the razor before using it.
Do You Shave Up Or Down With A Straight Razor?
If you are shaving your head, most of the skin on the head is usually mostly taut. But if you think otherwise, pull the skin upwards with one hand to make it taut. Hold the razor in the other hand at about 30 degrees to the skin and shave downwards.
Is Shaving With A Straight Razor Better For Your Skin?
Yes, straight razor shaving gives you a much cleaner shave than with cartridges or even electric razors. Straight razors help you reduce the risk of skin infections such as razor bumps and razor burns. Besides, they do not clog with soap, hair, or dirt and are easier to clean.
How Often Should You Shave With A Straight Razor?
As we said already, straight razors are much better to shave with. Besides, they give you more close shaves that are smoother and last longer. However, never shave in a rush and more than every two days.
Shaving your head with a straight razor is more of indulging in a manly experience. However, it takes patience, preparation, and technique.
Hopefully, you now have all the skills you need to shave your head with a straight razor and do so smoothly.