This Beginners Tips article is targeted at the "Christmas Gift" Straight Razor shaver, you know who ya are the guy that said "Honey I think I want to try shaving with a Straight Razor"
So you open up the gifts and there it is, a gleaming beauty probably nestled with a Hanging Strop a Brush and some good smelling Soap/Cream and Aftershave..
So you are ready right????
Well maybe and maybe not, so here is some Good news and some Bad news..
These are by no means the same, in fact many that are sold are just simply Junk, it is easy for our loved ones to be taken in by the scammers out there too.. Trust me these guys use every Buzz Word
they need to rope the unsuspecting into buying some Pakistani or Chinese Razor shaped object.. Hopefully you have a good brand in your hands to start with..
Razors are Sharpened at the factory, and honestly they have become much better at it then in the past, but they are still nowhere near as good as a Professionally hand honed razor.. Factory sharpening can vary from passable to hair ripping painful and that can happen from one razor to the next from the same brand.. Unless the razor has been professionally done it will be suspect number 1 as the cause for a bad shave.. (The classifieds here have the guys to Hone your razor under "Member Services")
The next thing that you are going to think of is "I should just hone this myself, I mean I sharpen my knives, it can't be much different" !!! It is much different, learn to shave first, I really can't be more blunt then that
You have to learn to strop it isn't easy to do it right, and the biggest fault is speed, start slow really slow or you WILL at the least nick the strop, and at the worst dull the razor, which is just the opposite of what you want.. I am not going to get into a ton of details here as we have a multitude of articles and Vids dedicated to it.. Just two tips here
1. Lay the hanging strop along the edge of a table or counter until you learn the flip
2. Slow down, count it out like you did in school 1 one thousand up the strop, 2 one thousand down the strop, repeat
3. Type the term "Stroptober" into the search bar above, read, watch , learn
You have to learn that makes Suds and making lather having nothing in common, getting it right is a matter of practice, and learning the Water/Product ratio..
Lynn has a really easy to learn system on his Youtube channel, just follow along and practice, the lather should be rich and creamy much like Cool Whip in the tub
The First Shave:
This should be from your Side burn line to the Jaw line this is the easy flat sides of your face, hold the razor so that it is at about a 20 degree angle, I prefer to say the spine should be at two spine widths away from your cheek.. Use a short confident controlled stroke, it should actually surprise you with how easy it was..
You should finish with your old system of shaving and slowly expand into a new part of your face as you grow more confident with handling the razor..
This is also the "Shave Test" for a razor, if the razor doesn't shave that part of the face easily and comfortably then either it isn't shave ready or you haven't done you part and you should stop any way..
I have not included Hot Links in here for a reason, learning to use the search feature above often and early, will really help you in this Hobby as well as asking questions...
The more info you include with your question will help all the Members here get directly to the heart of you issue and give you the advise you need..
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
"Welcome to the Straight Train, may your ride be long and smooth"