Straight Razor Shaving
Attention, Dudes! This post is for you.
(You ladies? This post won’t be for you. Sorry about that. If you read on, you’ll understand why, but the impatient among you can quit right now. This isn’t a sexism thing, mind you. Just, you know. Well. Read on, I guess.)
So, dudes! You know that weird, wiry hair that grows out of your face? The stuff that you scrape away every other day or so? We’re gonna talk about what we’ve been doing wrong and how to fix that shit.
Many of you were taught to shave with a disposable razor by your fathers. You learned the correct way to lather cream on your face, how not to nick your skin, and how to gently scrape your beards away (always with the edge up and down, never side to side).
(Others of you, like me, didn’t get taught dick by your fathers about this process and suffered many years of styptic pencils and bits of toilet paper on your face.)
We all have weird issues with this whole “shaving” thing. I, personally, have this irritatingly placed mole just below my lower lip. Every goddamned time I shaved with cream I would nick the top off it into the bin, resulting in a couple hours worth of bloodletting. Eventually, I gave up on the whole “shaving cream” thing: I discovered that I could “dry” shave in front of a mirror directly out of the shower. I could see what I was doing, at least.
This led to me shaving in the shower, looking into a mirror suction-cupped onto the wall or shower door.
Enter the real problem, and where we are all doing it wrong.
We’re using those goddamned disposable razor blades.
Holy smokes. Those things are a monster of excess: A standard 3 blade razor costs about 10 bucks for the handle and one blade cartridge – that you’re supposed to ditch after three or four runs. A replacement package of 5 cartridges will run you about 30 bucks. This is insane: 20 shavings at 30 bucks is over a dollar a pop.
They’re bleeding us. Literally.
There are solutions to this problem, my friends!
The first one (and the one I don’t recommend) is called stropping. When you shave, the razor blade get . . . fuzzy. Little bits of the edge start going the opposite way from the pointy end. This makes the blade dull and more likely to nick you. Now, with a straight razor, you’d get yourself a strip of leather and run the razor across it, sharp edge backwards. The harsh surface of the leather will cause those fuzzy bits to switch back towards the pointy end.
“But Jorm,” you say, “you can’t do that with a safety razor! I don’t even have a strip of leather!”
“Crap”, I respond. “You got your forearm, son.”
Before you shave, take your safety razor and run it backwards along the length of your inside forearm. Do this about 10 times. It won’t hurt, I promise. Apply even pressure, almost like you were shaving your face, only in reverse. Ten times, and bam! Your little safety razor is stropped! Just like new, compadre.
I once used the same cartridge for eight months this way. I’m not joking, my friend. This is basic physics.
The second option, though, is the manly option. And that option is to just ditch all this mamby-pamby five-blades-with-a-strip shit and just buy yourself a goddamned straight razor and learn to use the thing.
It’s not hard. On the internets you can even find beginner kits – razor handles that will accept “disposable” blades (read: razor blades). Even if you stay with this, it’s super cheap: you can buy a pack of 100 blades for five bucks.
“But wait,” you say. “Shaving with a straight razor is dangerous! I could kill myself!”
Really? You’re allowed to play with scissors, right? I mean, you’re not seven years old. Learning to shave with a straight razor is easy. You hold it to your skin at a 20 degree angle and scrape forward. Do it slowly, small scritches at first. Maybe only do your sideburns for a while until you get the feel of it before you go full-on to the rest of your face.
There are a zillion internet tutorials about this.
Here’s what you do: lay out for a shower mirror (five bucks), a training handle (15 bucks), and a pack of blades (five bucks). Don’t use cream. Shave every couple days depending on your growth speed.
Straight razor shaves are closer than anything you’ve experienced. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m not lying to you. I have a hell of a mustache to maintain.
(I, uh, do not recommend grooming your nether regions with a straight razor. Keep your disposable safety razors for that.)