Straight razor shaving is a traditional component of barbering and often overlooked in today’s services. Rick Ross said it best in “Manslaughter,” “Not many barbers put a razor to my neck.” Trust issues? Upgrade your skills with knowledge.
The benefits of straight razor shaving:
This method of hair removal not only is the closest shave to the skin, but also unclogs dead skin cells and bacteria from the pores. Although those with acne prone skin will initially be red and tender from a shave, it’s been proven to help improve the appearance of radiant skin.
If you want to stay true to the trade, here’s what you need to know:
Is it normal, dry, oily, or combination?
Assess your client’s hair
Is it fine, average, or coarse?
These two factors combined will help you determine how to prep for your procedure
- For normal to dry skin, lather them up with the shaving essentials: pre shave oil and shaving cream.
- For oily or combination skin stay away from oils as it will only clog the pores more and fragranced shaving creams may irritate the skin.
- Fine and average hair will typically come off quite easily once softened by a hot towel, double up on hot towels for coarse hair.
Other factors to consider:
Begin shaving with the grain (the direction the hair grows) and make your life easier by starting in the harder to reach areas like the chin and moustache before moving to the cheeks and neckline.
Pull the skin tight like a tattoo artist does. Stretching the skin is your best defense against nicks for your client and yourself. When you are stretching the skin shave away from your fingers.
After your first pass, if the skin does not appear red and irritated, follow your prep procedures again and do another pass sideways to the hair growth or go all in against the grain.
Watching YouTube tutorials is a great way to learn the different handling methods for your razor to shave with comfort and ease for everyone involved. Check out Farzad’s Barber Shop. Known for his straight razor shaves, Farzad is a respected OG in the game. And the most important consideration in shaving; straight razor shaving is not for the suicidal, homicidal, or faintest of hearts.
In related news, we answer your questions about shaving soap.