Straight razors are cool. I use a straight razor now. Well sometimes, and it’s kind of a straight razor. Years ago when I got into prepping I was thinking about shaving during the apocalypse. The general survivalist plan seems to be to just not shave and grow mountain man beards. Not me, I grow a beard once or twice a year and that’s about all I can tolerate. I thought about stocking up on Mach III blades and using the trick to make them last longer, by honing them on an old pair of jeans. Then the idea of switching to using a straight razor hit me. I was at a horror convention and picked up on for around $15. I got home and prepared to shave. Then realized I bought a piece of crap and it would not shave hot butter. Before spending lots of money on a real one I found a cheaper, long lasting solution.
Steps to shaving with a straight razor
Getting a good long lasting straight razor kit is a lifetime purchase. I will agree it’s one of the places to buy once and cry once. I decided to ease into though and first bought the junk razor that’s sitting around here somewhere. Secondly I went to Sally’s Beauty Supplies and found a disposable straight razor holder. It is in the form of a straight razor but instead of a blade it holds half a disposable straight razor blade. While not the permanent and sustainable solution I was looking for this serves a few purposes. Because the form and function is the same you learn to use a straight razor to shave. Second buying a pack of razors is super cheap, you only use half at a time and they come in huge packs for a few bucks. If you chose to go with the disposable option for a small investment, maybe $20 or less you could easily have a lifetime supply or blades. Compare that to $14 for a four pack or Mach III blades that last a few months.
Sure you may have been shaving half your life like me. Nothing has prepared you for shaving with a straight razor though. It is a completely different game. I suggest you start in sections and work your way up to a complete shave. The first time I went to use it I was scared shitless and couldn’t make myself shave my neck. There is something about holding a blade to your neck with no guards, no safeties and having grown up on movies with countless throat cutting scenes in them done with straight razors. So yes I was a little nervous the first time I tried to shave my neck and even until recently wouldn’t shave over my Adams apple. I also had great difficult with shaving my lip. I would end up with tufts of hair afterwards. So yes there is a bit of a learning curve, expect blood.
Becoming comfortable with the razor is crucial. That only comes with practice and lot of it. For me the best way was to start by shaving easy areas until I was comfortable. For a few months I would use the straight razor to just shave my checks, then I added the neck minus the Adams apple, and lips and lastly shave around my goatee. Although It might not have been the best idea the way I got comfortable shaving my neck was I decided to shave while drunk once with the straight razor. Yeah seems like famous red neck last words to me too, “Hey y’all watch this!”. In any case I shaved perfectly without the added fear of cutting myself and that comfort has continued when sober. I do not recommend trying that as a disclaimer.
Upgrading and Accessories
I’m sure that a well made Straight razor, strop and soap brush will out perform the disposable one any day this works well enough. So far I’ve used soap or shaving creme to soften the hair. Next I will be adding shaving soap and a brush. From reading on the Straight Razor Place this will improve my shave many times. Straight razors perform best when the beard hair is softened. Once I feel completely proficient in using the straight razor I will buy a real one and a strop to maintain it. I will not be throwing money away on the next one. I will buy the best long lasting quality I can. Knowing that this new razor will last me my lifetime and beyond.
How do you shave? What are your shaving plans for a disaster or PAW? Let me know in the comments!
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