Are you interested in classic wet shaving, but unsure about using a straight razor? Perhaps you’ve heard horror stories about shaves gone wrong. Or, maybe you don’t trust yourself with a sharp object near your throat. While there are plenty of reasons to be cautious about using a straight razor, the risks are easy to mitigate with proper technique.
If you need a good reason to overcome the fear of shaving with a straight razor, here are 7 good reasons to dive in.
Table of Contents
- 1. Fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real
- 2. A straight razor will give you the perfect shave
- 3. You’ll feel proud of your shaves
- 4. You can impress your friends
- 5. The end result is worth the time and effort to learn a new skill
- 6. You’ll save tons of money (seriously!)
- 7. You won’t get razor burn, bumps, or ingrown hairs
- It’s time to start shaving like your grandfather
1. Fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real
If you’ve heard that fear stands for “false evidence appearing real,” it’s true. If you’re afraid to learn how to wet shave with a straight razor, your fear is likely based on a false perception of danger.
While any sharp blade poses a potential danger, that’s only true when that blade is used incorrectly. Many pocket knives are just as sharp as a straight razor. Once you learn how to use a pocket knife safely, it becomes a routine tool and the fear dissolves.
Remember, there was a time when men and women had no other choice if they wanted to shave; they had to use some form of a straight razor. If you’re alive on planet Earth right now, that means generations of your ancestors survived using straight razors. You’ll survive, too.
2. A straight razor will give you the perfect shave
Hands down, a straight razor will give you a perfect shave once you learn the ropes. That’s not just an opinion held by vintage razor enthusiasts – it’s a scientific fact.
Why straight razors produce a superior shave
To get a clean, close shave, all you need is a single, sharp blade. Unfortunately, modern razors don’t make the cut.
Modern razors – whether disposable or cartridge – are dull out of the box. You probably don’t realize how dull these razors are simply because you’ve been shaving with them your entire life. If you’ve never shaved with a straight razor or gone to the barber for a shave, you don’t have the experience necessary to compare.
In addition to being dull out of the box, modern razors are wrapped in wire, which greatly reduces the efficacy of the blade. Even if the blades started out sharp, wrapping them in wire would reduce the quality of your shave.
Multi-blade razors contribute to the problem
Marketing messages tell you that more blades are better; that if you can’t get a good shave with a single blade, you need more blades. Plenty of people attest to this being true – they report getting a better shave with a 5-blade razor as opposed to the standard single blade. Although this experience can be technically accurate, it’s built on a faulty premise.
Multi-blade razors aren’t better than a single, sharp blade (like a straight razor). However, multi-blade razors can be better than a single, dull blade wrapped in wire. The single blade plastic razors are terrible to start with, and upgrading to a multi-blade razor provides a better shave that is still inferior to the straight razor.
3. You’ll feel proud of your shaves
Shaving isn’t normally something people feel proud of, but that’s because they haven’t used a straight razor. There’s something special about shaving with a straight razor that creates a sense of pride and accomplishment.
It’s hard to feel good about your morning shave when you’re chipping away at stubble and missed whiskers using a dull, plastic razor. There’s nothing to be proud of when the end result is a ‘decent’ yet imperfect and painful shave.
4. You can impress your friends
Imagine going to a concert with some of your friends and afterward you stay at a hotel for the night because you don’t have a designated driver. In the morning, one of your friends whips out an electric razor and shaves in the middle of the room while your other friend hops into the bathroom to lather up.
When your friend walks out of the bathroom, you can still see a faint five-o-clock shadow across his face; you know he used a disposable razor.
You walk into the bathroom and start setting up for a straight razor shave. You hang your strop over the towel bar and place your scuttle, shaving soap, and badger hair brush on the counter. You wet a hand towel with steaming hot water and wrap it around your neck to soften your skin and beard. By the time you start whipping up some lather, one of your friends walks over and asks you what’s taking so long.
You tell your friends you’re about to get the best shave of your life and continue with your morning shaving ritual as they watch you effortlessly remove the hair from your face. They’ve probably only seen a straight razor shave in movies, and they’re impressed. They may even ask you to re-teach them how to shave.
5. The end result is worth the time and effort to learn a new skill
If you want results, you have to do the work. This sentiment applies to everything in life from school work to building a business and yes, even shaving.
In life, you always get what you pay for. When it comes to shaving, if you pay for cheap, plastic, dull razors, you’re going to get cheap, inferior shaves.
6. You’ll save tons of money (seriously!)
Whether you buy disposable razors or cartridge razors, these products only exist to make the razor companies rich. If you want a superior shave for pennies compared to what you’ve been spending on shaving supplies, a straight razor is your answer.
Shaving for 20 years with plastic razors can cost you thousands of dollars. With classic wet shaving tools you can shave for 20 years for under $350.
7. You won’t get razor burn, bumps, or ingrown hairs
Unlike multi-blade razors, a straight razor won’t give you razor burn, bumps, or ingrown hairs. Shaving with a single, sharp, unobstructed blade shaves the hair cleanly off your face with little to no pressure with only a few passes required. The pressure and number of passes required to shave with blades wrapped in wire directly causes all of the aforementioned skin irritations.
In fact, if you have thick or curly hair, shaving with a multi-blade razor is almost guaranteed to rip your hair out and cause ingrown hairs. Those little lubrication strips won’t save your face.
It’s time to start shaving like your grandfather
Tired of being told more blades are better? Fed up with the cost of inferior razors that leave your skin feeling irritated? Get a straight razor, practice your skills, and get the best shave of your life.