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Thread: Why Do You Shave With a Straight Razor?

  1. #1
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Why Do You Shave With a Straight Razor?

    Gentlemen,

    I am writing an article for a magazine on the world of straight razor shaving: that it is far from a lost art. I have an 800-word limit, about three pages, double spaced, and will have to keep it tight and well-focused.

    Please answer this question: WHY DO YOU SHAVE WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR?

    Although I will not give attributions, I might use one or two quotes, depending on what I get from you. Please keep your answer to about two or three lines maximum, and well focused on the topic. Also, please use proper English. If you want, include how long you have shaved with a straight razor.

    Again, the question is: WHY DO YOU SHAVE WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR?

    Thank you, gentlemen.

    Regards,

    Obie
    obieyadgar.com
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    Faceturbation Addicted Bunny's Avatar
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    i started shaving with a straight razor when i was in chemo a older man i was talking to said the one thing he missed the most about losing his hair was not being able to relax after a long day with a straight razor shave. it was weird because up intill that point i always looked at shaving as a task not a pleasure but the way he talked about it made me want to try. so as soon as my hair grew back and i had enough to shave off i used a straight razor and i have never looked back since.

    why do i shave with a straight razor? because it is the most relaxing way to shave and it is a throwback to simpler times in life. not to mention i am saving the earth by not using throw-away blade and harmfull caned goop.

    so really i have been using a straight razor since my new beard has been growing.
    Last edited by Bunny; 09-25-2009 at 01:16 AM.

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    Straight Shaver Apprentice DPflaumer's Avatar
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    Obie,

    I have only recently worked up the courage to shave with a straight razor. But I do so because of the history, craftsmanship, and, I believe, art involved in doing so. Anyone can drag an amalgamation of plastic and steel across their face, but only a true artist can craft and/or use a razor sharp blade.

    Hope that helps,
    Drew

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Simple answer Obie. A hand honed & stropped straight razor will give a closer, more comfortable shave than anything made with a machine... As a bonus it's environmentally friendly & inexpensive.
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimR's Avatar
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    I shave with a straight razor because it turns a daily chore into a daily ritual. It's a better shave, sure, but it's also a more enjoyable shave...and when I pick up a vintage straight razor, I am connecting myself with a little bit of history. It's an full experience, as opposed to just another thing I have to do every morning.

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    Obie I can type 10 pages and I've only shaved a month :P

    Here this should get you started:

    Mr. Gad wrote a very eloquent answer to your question. Don't think of plagiarizing because professors have search engines for this kind of thing

    Why Shave Straight - Straight Razor Place Forums

    Here's an awesome article:
    There was thread awhile back but link has gone dead
    Why Every Man Should Go To A Barber Shop | The Art of Manliness

    BTW a buddy of mine back in HS would always use "courier new" as format. That would save 1.5-2 pages of typing. But that wouldn't be fun now would it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    Gentlemen,

    I am writing an article for a magazine on the world of straight razor shaving: that it is far from a lost art. I have an 800-word limit, about three pages, double spaced, and will have to keep it tight and well-focused.

    Please answer this question: WHY DO YOU SHAVE WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR?

    Although I will not give attributions, I might use one or two quotes, depending on what I get from you. Please keep your answer to about two or three lines maximum, and well focused on the topic. Also, please use proper English. If you want, include how long you have shaved with a straight razor.

    Again, the question is: WHY DO YOU SHAVE WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR?

    Thank you, gentlemen.

    Regards,

    Obie
    obieyadgar.com
    This isn't really a simple answer as it can be divided in subsections. For me it's a sanctimonious ritual. No longer will I dread the tugging of whiskers from a dying electric razor, no longer will I expect razor burns due to several passes from disposeable blade. Not to say it can't be done with SR ( straight razor ).

    I experience extreme elation. Part of this joy is from acquiring different razors. There's American, German, French, Japanese among others. Some razors even said to "sing." Others you can only use to shave on one side ( Japanese). In addition, there are myriad of brushes from boars to badgers with different handles as well as knot sizes and such. There's small brushes there's gargantuan. There are several for everyone so no straight shaver is left out. Further, there are soaps and creams. I prefer soaps because they come with nice ceramic or wooden bowls. Many vendors also offer samples as well and they come in cool lil tubs. The finishing touches would be aftershave lotion/balms/astringents.

    It can be considered a hobby. I'm working on restoring a couple of razors and I've never ventured into something as addictive and absorbing as the art of straight razor shaving. For others who aren't into SR shaving, it's more of collector's item for them. For the many, it's funfilled activity to say the least. One can purchase several strops made of different hides. Same can be said of hones. The latter you pre-soak, or simply splash water or use water and soap ( barber hone ). Furthermore, one can even go so far as get their insignificant others involved in the ritual.

    What better way to silence the incessant whining and bemoanings of "You're spending too much money on those bloody things..." when you can buy that person a "coochie razor"?

    There's a learning curve sure. I hate to use a typical cliche but it doesn't take rocket scientist to figure out the art of straight razor shaving. I'm no expert by any means. I've come to nick not only myself but strop. But this is something that everyone experiences during their green pea days. Trial and error if you will.
    But this is where the community of straight razor comes in. The SR community is one of upstanding people from all walks of life. Everyone is willing to give advice or even go beyond that and offer to help you on personal basis. A mentor if you will. The force is strong with SR community.
    If you respect the blade and don't get overconfident you won't incur lacerations/nicks and the like. It's supposed to be a relaxing and zen-like experience. There's no point to rushing to shave. Why would you? So you can go back out there in the real world of stress and other BS shenanigans you're so accustomed to? Bosses and incompetent co-workers you have to pick up slack for? During that 30-45 minutes of shaving. All these "static" distractions mean nothing to me. All that concerns me is the gorgeous keen edge touching my rough gruffy face as I grasp that oh so beautiful scale and tang to gently glide that tool eradicating the whiskers and thus revealing that BBS shave. The only and true way to shave and experience its closest shave. You become one with the razor. I'd die for it it's awesome!

    In summation, I can go ad nauseum but I have to step out and I think you get the gist of what I'm saying. There's several razors to try and experience as there's many exotic scales to be had from simple plastic to exotic buffalo horn or abalone scales. Also many items to go with razor from brushes, to soaps and creams. There are several hones and as well as stones to create that "milky" slurr. The list goes on and on! It's limitless. The only thing that limit the SR use is the lack of imagination/creativity of individual.

    Godspeed mate,

    Ivan

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    It basically saves my mind, I have to get up at 6am and leave by 7am and deal with a hellish commute, and I don't get home til 7pm. In the wee hours of the morning my shave and my aftershaves, creams, and edt's are what makes me happy. Sadly, it's all I got, I come home to wife and kids, and no time for me til the next morning.

    I guess also I have a very thick coarse beard and everything else irritates the **** out of me, so honing and restoring my own razors gives me the edge just how I like it, and cuts through my beard

    Inbetween shaving I have a drink or two or ten, and that's what makes me happy... married life DONT DO IT>..lol

    cheers
    see you guys at work!

    D

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    Information Regurgitator TheBaron's Avatar
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    I have turned to straight razor shaving for three simple reasons.

    1. Less waste / better for the environment.

    2. This type of shaving gives me an outlet to exercise patients (something everyone should get more practice at).

    3. Straight razor shaving was common during a time when the quality of your work and your integrity were more important than how many toys you could afford. Now I'm sure any correlation between the downfall of America's work ethic / quality of export and straight razor shaving practices may be coincidental. However, I find that when I spend a portion of the day to slow down and spend a little time improving myself (i.e. the quality of my shave), it seems to extend some of that practice to the rest of my day. Coincidence or not, for me, it is a contributing factor.


    super secret 4th reason I straight razor shave....

    ...there's just something that feels manly about it. Admit it; you all know I'm right.

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Why Do You Shave With a Straight Razor?

    My dear SiRed8,

    Thank you for your advice not to plagiarize Mr. Gad's commentary on this topic. With enough confidence in my own work, I fail to see the need to plagiarize anyone. Besides, plagiarizing is unprofessional as well as unethical.

    My post asked for a maximum of three lines of commentary, portions of which I might possibly drop into my article as a short quote. Provided the quote fits. Otherwise I know what I will write all by my little old self, since writing is what I do for a living.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Regards,

    Obie

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