Straight Razor Shaving For Beginners

Straight Razor ShavingHave you ever tried shaving with a straight razor? It is one of the most fun things you can ever do, way better than shaving with an electric shaver. In fact, Maher Chehade from says that, “shaving with a straight razor is considered to be the mark of a true man.” Are you up to the challenge?  Great! This article helps you to get started on your way. Read our tips for straight razor shaving for beginners and before long you’re going to be quite proficient at it.

The Preparation

Tip #1. Get to know the feel of the straight razor

Every razor is different. Grip a few of them, see which handle suits you best, which grip is just perfect. Pay attention to how comfortable you feel with a grip as you shave against the grain and across the grain. You want to feel as comfortable as possible.

Tip #2. Know the cutting angle

The best cutting angle for shaving with a straight razor is 30 degrees, maximum. It should never exceed that.

Tip #3. Make sure that the razor has been honed by a professional

Your razor should be shave ready, professionally honed and tested. Usually, this means rinsing it in oil.

Tip #4.  The importance of stropping the straight razor

Stropping the razor keeps it shave ready. You should stroke the razor around 40-50 times on a leather strop before shaving. Each stroke should be even and should be done in both directions.

Tip #5. Beard preparation

Often ignored is the importance of beard preparation, just before the first straight razor shave. You may take a shower before your shave, so that the beard is fresh and clean, and has also been soaped before the shave. You should rub your face with a hot towel before applying the shaving cream. Both the shaving cream and the soap should be long lasting and should work up a enough lather.

Tip #6. Don’t go for a full shave in your first attempt

This is important. Till you get used to shaving with a straight razor, you should only go for a partial shave, not a full shave, at least, on the first attempt.

Your first day with the straight razor!

On your very first day of shaving with a straight razor, shave with the grain, or stroke from the sideburn down to the jaw on the right side (if you’re right handed). Maintain an angle of 30 degrees or less. Apply little pressure and have a relaxed hold. Use short strokes, no more than one inch long. Now, for the rest of the shave, use your regular method of shaving – whether with an electric shaver or whatever.

Your second day with the straight razor!

Repeat what you did on day one, but also shave the cheek area of the left side of your face with the straight razor, shave with the grain down to the jaw line just above the neck. Shave parts of the face that you are comfortable shaving, rather than the full face. Go only for small strokes at a time, no more than one inch. If you can, try across the grain, try it, as long as you find it easy enough. And if you feel evenly slight uncomfortable, STOP! Use the regular shave for whatever is left out.

Your third day with the straight razor!

Your third day with the straight razor should be fun, as you add the part of the beard that you left out on the first two days, from the jaw line and the chin line (on the dominant side of the face) to where it stops at the neck. For this, you should try a downward with the grain stroke.

Your fourth and fifth day with the straight razor!

Now, the tough part. For the other side of the face, use your non-dominant hand, rather than your dominant hand (use your left hand if you are a right hander and vice versa). This makes the shaving process easier. Get used to the feel of the straight razor in your non-dominant hand. You won’t get it right the first time, but keep working at it.

Your sixth day with the straight razor and beyond!

Once you get comfortable using both hands for the shave with the grain, practice shaving against the grain. The chin area is usually the toughest part to shave for most men. Spend time mastering the against the grain stroke on the chin and sides of the chin, and then from the lower part of the neck to the chin line. That’s it, you’ve now learned to shave with the straight razor! Give yourself a pat on the back!


You should never use more than two full passes for a shave. You are likely to get abrasions on the face with anything more than that. And you should always be fully awake and alert when you go for a shave with a straight razor. Remember to use an excellent after shave lotion to give you that wonderful, almost heavenly feeling, after a perfect, smooth shave with a straight razor.

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