The Straight Razor Project
Welcome to the first weekly summary of my new straight razor project. In case you have not read the introduction page, this is going to be a very long project or journey. So why straight razors? There are a couple of reasons why I have always wanted to try and make the switch over to straight razors. Straight razors are much better and less pressure on your skin since it’s only one blade. The less pressure there is the less irritation and chances of nicks and cuts there will be. Straight razors cost more but it’s a one time purchase and will save you money in the long run. The cost of a good straight razor depends on what kind you are looking for. With proper care and maintenance, It may be the last razor you will ever buy. Like I said before I’ve always wanted to try shaving with a straight razor but the thought of shaving with one was always a little intimidating. I finally decided to just go for it and I’m glad I did because it’s starting to become a growing passion of mine and know I wonder, why have I waited so long to do this.
I drew up an action plan of when I would like to transition to straight razors. First I wanted to learn how to shave with a safety razor before switching to straight razors. I figured that learning how to successfully shave with a safety razor would put me one step closer to straight razors. Shaving with a safety razor includes learning how to use different angles on certain parts of your face and especially on your head. There is also a certain amount of skill and finesse needed that you gain from experience with shaving with safety razors. I decided in the beginning when I was drawing up the action plan that I would take my time and learn the correct way how to shave with safety razors. After about two years or so I felt more comfortable with switching to straight razors and that’s when I started the straight razor project.
I have the honor and luxury of knowing a lot of great brands that love to help further along the art of straight razor shaving. I started the first week of the project off with a couple of great razors. The ‘Thomas’ shave ready straight razor kit from KCshaveco.com is their signature kit. The Matteo razor is carbon steel with plastic scales. This was their first shave ready razor and its good to go right out of the box. The razor comes with a plastic sleeve for storage. I’m new with straight razors so this is a whole new learning experience for me. I will tell you from a beginners standpoint that this razor feels good in your hands. The weight of this razor feels good and It’s well balanced for a smooth shave. I felt comfortable with this razor quickly. The 21″ long brown two piece strop that came with the razor has one side that is leather and the other side is canvas.
The Gold Dollar and the Theirs Issard Le Grelot are two razors from Graham Hawcroft of StraightRazzors on etsy.com that I’ve had the great benefit of using for the first week and will also be a permanent fixture of this project. The Gold Dollar has a nice sharp edge that feels good against your skin. With the right angle their was no irritation during and after shaving. The Theirs Issard has a 5/8 blade that is just the right size for easy navigation on my face.
The 5/8 blade is sharp but also very smooth. I have a lot of confidence when using this razor but also a little hesitation keeping in mind that I could really hurt myself if I don’t pay attention to the angle, speed and pressure during shaving. Graham also included a nice strop along with the razors to help keep them in good condition during the project. The first week I concentrated on my left cheek and that was it. I started at the top of the side burn and the very first angle I used was too steep. The razor scrapped the hair away more so than shaving it away like the razor is supposed to do. The first couple of cheek shaves felt very rough with some irritation. After a couple of days and some really good tips from some fellow shavers, I changed the angle and it felt so much smoother. The angle was between 25-30 degrees and know it felt more like shaving. I filled my left cheek up with air puffing it out making the skin taught for a close shave and I stopped at the bottom of the jaw line. I figured this was a good place to start. Nice and easy just a straight shave from top to bottom. Once I master the left cheek I will move on to the right cheek and repeat the process.
I decided before I even started this project to take it very slow because for one this is not a race. I don’t want to learn the wrong techniques during my transition and that’s why I’m taking my time and getting a lot of positive feed back from some seasoned shavers that have a lot of experience when it comes to straight razors. @Straightrazzor @mantic59 @Aschecte @shave7razor @stevie_har are some great shavers that have given me some great tips and advice that has had a positive impact while learning how to shave with a straight razor. I don’t think you ever stop learning, You gain experience from the start and learn good techniques that makes each shave better. Even the seasoned shavers are still learning the way of the razor. You take what you learn and put it into practice and then critique until it’s a better routine. There is always room to grow. The first week of the straight razor project started of rough but well worth the effort and by the end of the week I started to see why shavers fall in love with straight razor shaving. Here’s to the second week which I’m sure will be even better. Love your products and you will love the results.