Hey everyone, welcome back to my personal care/beauty blog. With the winter season now upon us, I thought It was time to start shaping my beard properly for optimal warmth( as some facial hair can make it feel like summer), and for that I needed a straight razor. You can buy a really good used straight edge razor blade online at http://www.canada.for-sale.com/straight-edge-razor, which is what I did as they have razors at low prices and you can buy the blades in bulk as well. This is allowing me to save so much money on shaving(as the blades are the most expensive part) meaning I can spend more on creams and soaps for before and after the shave.
Shaving Soap, not Cream
If you are going to be using a straight edge razor then you should start properly by using a shaving soap instead on some aerosol shaving cream. Soap is really the only protection you need when using a good straight razor, so even a bar of some normal non bleached soap will do. I personally use Badger Balm and have since I was a boy, it is a little expensive but if you use the bar properly you will not need to use much soap for each shave, meaning the bar can last you a couple months even for a heavy shaver. The key to shaving soap though, no matter the brand or how it is presented is to lather, lather and lather.
Take it Slow
If you are rushing out the door in order to make it into work on time for the first day this week, maybe don’t try to use a straight razor for the first time that morning. When you first try out your straight edge, make sure that you are relaxed and have time to carefully shave yourself. It’s a good idea to prepare a little bit as well, you can use some of the tips from my men's skin care guide to prepare your face. If you don’t have that much available, then a warm towel over the face will do wonders. Even just having a hot shower(preferably with a towel under the door to steam up the room) will make your skin much smoother and your pores more open.
Go To a Barber Shop
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, barber shops are on the rise again. Not just the barber that your mom took you to for a haircut before school picture day, but the barbers that your grandpa would take you to while he talks with his buddies and smoke cigars. Well, you can’t smoke cigars but you can still get a good chat and a damn fine shave. If you pay for a proper shave, it will take about an hour to complete and that usually includes a small face massage and even some oils added to your face in some places. If you have the time and are willing to let someone that close to your neck with a straight edge razor then definitely try a clean shave at a barber's shop some time, you will not regret it.
Hone your Skills and your Blade
After using a blade for a while, it may seem dull. Or maybe you purchased a used razor and it has some slight imperfections along the blade. If either of these things happen, you can get your blade professionally honed for around thirty dollars, which may seem like a lot but it will be an expense that you rarely have. You can also get a small stone to have at home and sharpen your blade before/after using it to keep the blade in an even better condition, but you will more than likely have to get the blade honed at some point. If you choose to sharpen your blade at home, make sure to get a specialized stone with a very high grade (6000/8000) as any stones you use for knives around the house will be too coarse and just damage your blade.
Brush away the hair
A brush is another vital tool when using a straight razor, especially on your face. Brushes are used to help hydrate the soap so that you can achieve that thick, creamy lather that is perfect for spreading on your face. The brush also has a very pleasant feeling when you use it to lather your face. Brushes are made of two main animal hairs-boar or badger. Badger brushes cost quite a bit more, but produce a better lather than the boar brush alternative. Either brush works well for beginners, but a more advanced straight razor user would most likely benefit from the fineness of a badger brush. You can pick on up online, or in any local shaving shop. I am off for my weekly shave, I hope this was helpful for you all.