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First time with a straight razor

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1. Open and close your razor carefully!

Make yourself familiar with the steel and feel the weight of it before you even think of shaving. Never let it fall down.

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2. Know that it is very sharp!

No need to say much, but be aware that in a moment of unaware movements,You can easily hurt yourself or others.

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3. Never wash it under water.

It will stay between the blade and the scales and causes corrosion. Maximum wash the blade and dry it afterwards.

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4. Wipe your blade clean with a towel

Place a wet towel or cloth on the side of the wash basin to wipe off the hair from the blade while shaving.

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5. Dry and protect the razor

After the shave clean and dry it with a wet cloth. Use oil or Vaseline to protect the blade against corrosion.

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6. Keep your razor in a dry and safe place

First corrosion will start at the tip of the edge and dull it. Please read the article by Robert E. Martin.

Beard preparation

1. Get a shaving soap

The shaving cream, -soap or foam will keep the whiskers wet and provides enough lubrication to let the blade slide over your skin.

2. Use brush and bowl

For building up the lather: swiftly stir up the lather until it become creamy and foamy.

3. Heat it up

Ideally, both your brush and your shaving bowl will be hot. Fill bowl with hot water and let the brush rest in it for a while.

4. Lather up

Apply lather on your beard with firm massaging movements. Let this rest for a short while and begin you shave.

Straight razor stropping

  • 1. Tighten the strop

    To strop your razor hang the strop on appropriate hook or a door handle and tighten it. Do not let it hang, do not rip it off. Gentle tension as if you would tighten your belt.

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  • 2. Do not use pressure

    Place the razor gently on the strop. There is almost no pressure needed between strop and blade. Only the weight of the razor it self is enough pressure. If you make that the strop looks like hanging, it is too much pressure. Ask another person to check from the side or observe in mirror.

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  • 3. Full contact

    Ensure full contact between razor’s blade and the leather. Pull the razor over the strop. Start to place the razor on the near end of the strop - the sharp side of blade pointing towards you/ the back of the blade towards the wall. Extend your arm and pull it the razor towards the distant end of the strop.

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  • 4. Roll over back & pull back

    When you reach the distant end of the strop, roll the razor over the back, so that the sharp side of the blade now points away from you. Now pull the razor back to the near end and roll over the back again to change the direction.

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  • 5. X-movement

    Since most of the strops are not as wide as a razor long you need to pull the razor over the strop in an X-Movement. This helps to cover all regions of the blade. Start on the shoulder side when start to move and end with the point of the blade short before the end.

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Straight razor shaving 101

1. One hundred shaves

It is said you need 100 shave to master the art of shaving. So take it easy, no need to rush. Also you will master it!

2. Start with easy areas

First shaves you just shave your cheeks to get used to the movements and knife position and proceed with a Gillette or such. Add every shave more area in the way you feel comfortable.

3. 30 degrees angle

The razor need to be held with a 30 degree angle towards the skin to get best results. It shall never moved in the direction of the blade (means: cutting direction, the movement you make with a knife cutting something).

4. 1x with - 1x against

Most people shave once with the grain your beard, a second time against the grain with a new layer of lather.

5. Strop before shaving

Strop your straight razor prior to shaving between 10-30 times in both directions. (depending on the steel, the leather, technique and sharpness).

6. Prio #1: Preparation

The better your pre-shave preparation, the softer the hair, the smaller the impact on the blade and the better will be the shave. Use warm water such as a hot towel package and good lather.

7. Assess your blade

The razor shaves without any complaints - All good! It shaves but squeaks or hurts - it needs to be stropped. It doesn't squeak or hurt and also doesn't shave - it need to be stropped on paste or honed.

8. Never rush!

Better be focused and calm for this ritual. Getting a feeling for the handling and the condition of your razor takes time and experience. Don't worry! You will learn all about it. Men shaved before the invention of safety razors and electric shavers for thousands of years with blades. You will master it.

Beard Preparation

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1. Take a hot shower before shaving

While doing that, wash your beard intensive.
The whiskers can so absorb better a lot of water. Do not towel dry your face to keep the moist where it’s needed. Combining this with the use of hair conditioner on your beard during the shower might have an extra good effect.

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2. Applying pre-shave oils

The oil has the main effect that the blade glides easier. But there is more to consider: when the beard is once covered with oil water will not absorbed anymore, or the other way round: is the hair wet, the oil may cover it and keep it moist. Using too much might also destroy your brush.

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3. Hot towel treatment

One of my favorite additional beard softener is the hot towel treatment. Use a soft cotton towel and soak it in hot water, wrap it around your face and leave it for some minutes. It feels already good in that moment and there must be a reason, why you get it at every barber shop.

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