You probably went to a barber for a shave and loved the closeness of the shave and how smooth it felt afterward. That’s where you decided to give straight razors a shot yourself. However, you are warned by a buddy about how intimidating it can be to shave with one and that they are called cutthroat for a reason.
Nonetheless, you have seen your grandpa and probably your father too using a straight razor and know at the gut level that with the right technique you can pull this off. However, it is the right thing to know about what exactly you are exposing yourself to.
We spend quite some time researching and ask real users and put ourselves on the line to come up with content and reviews that you can rely on. If you are looking for shaving with straight razor pros and cons, you are at the right place.
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Shaving With a Straight Razor Pros
Just think about the pros of a straight razor and a couple of things would pop up in your mind like old-fashioned shaving and close shave. However, there are some not-so-obvious pros of a straight razor and you would love to know them.
Yes, the biggest advantage straight razors have is that they are environment-friendly. You would be shocked to learn that as many as two billion disposable razors end up in the environment in the USA alone. They are made up of plastic and plastic can take an eternity to decompose and this poses a big threat to the environment.
However, straight razors, on the other hand, are not disposable. With proper care, they can last you a lifetime and even be passed on to the next generation, cool, isn’t it? And what else you would love to pass to the next generation, a better environment. Thus, switching to a straight razor may seem insignificant, but it can potentially change the fate of our planet and our future generations.
A good disposable razor can cost you around $10-20, that’s not much, right? What about regular cartridge refills that you need and how long one can last? This is a recurring purchase and it is difficult to calculate the eventual cost, but let’s be modest and say shaving with disposable razors can cost you around $100 a year.
A good straight razor kit can cost you around $150. This would include your razor, shaving brush, strop, blades, abrasive paste, and if you are lucky a shaving soap. You will probably need to refill your blades again, but you can get 100 of those at around $5 and that is a year’s worth of shaves.
3. Close Shaving
This is probably an obvious pro of a straight razor. You can get the closest shave with one that has no competition. Straight razors cover a lot of area with a single pass and as they work right at the skin you get as close a shave a possible.
Electric shavers and even disposable razors basically are trying to achieve what you can with a straight razor in terms of closeness of the shave. They try to achieve this by adding a number of blades to their shaving heads. What else can be said in this regard than saying “shaves as close as a straight razor”.
4. Say Goodbye To Ingrown Hair
If you get ingrown hair in an effort to a close shave, straight razors can be your saviors. When there are multiple passes of cartridge shavers with their multiple blades, sometimes the hair gets cut underneath the skin. The immune system of the body detects them as foreign bodies and to fight it off sends extra blood cells to the area and this produces an irritation.
As said earlier, with straight razors you work at the skin and you need fewer passes. Thus, you get a close shave but not the expense of getting ingrown hair. Therefore, get a straight razor and say goodbye to ingrown hair.
Unlike electric shavers, straight razors are the one-man army. The razor folds within itself and is no more than the size of a palm in terms of length and about a fingerbreadth in terms of width. This gives you a great ability to travel with one. You can simply put one in the pocket and side pocket of your bag.
Although you may not be allowed to carry one in your hand-carry or pocket on a plane, you can always take it in your checked luggage.
6. Easy Cleaning
Straight razors have probably the easiest cleaning of all the shavers. You simply need to open it up, take the blade out if it uses one and put it under running water. This would take care of all the stubble. After this, you can simply dry it with a piece of cloth or towel and that is about it.
7. Start Or Carry A Legacy
If your dad and grandad have used a straight razor, be a good boy and carry the legacy. If it is not the case, you can be a trendsetter. Learn the proper technique and be the first among your friends to use a straight razor. Take pride in yourself and pass the tradition to your sons.
8. Enjoyable Process
The whole process of shaving with a straight razor is enjoyable if you are willing to enjoy it. Right from the honing and stropping, lathering up the foam and shaving, give you a serene feeling. It seems the whole fastness of modern-day life has come to halt and you have time for yourself.
Thus, rather than rushing with electric shavers for an unsatisfactory shave, give straight razors a shot and you will fall in love with shaving again.
Shaving With a Straight Razor Cons
With the advancement in technology and man surrendering himself to a fast-paced life, straight razors have lost their popularity. There are a few reasons for that. Here are the cons of shaving with a straight razor:
1. Steep Learning Curve
Straight razors are not something that you can simply pick and learn through trial and error. They are as dangerous as anything can be. You need steady handy and patience. On top of that, you need to learn the right technique. Without a doubt, shaving with a straight razor is the most difficult one among all types of shaving.
With impatience and wrong technique, you are exposing yourself to cuts and nicks and they can be pretty bad. However, if you are patient you can hone the skill in some time and make it an asset for yourself. This is why nowadays you probably see only professional barbers using a straight razor.
2. Not The Safest of Shaves
There is essentially no line of defense when shaving with a straight razor. You are putting a sharp blade right at your skin and this can be pretty nasty. Plus, if you have an unsteady hand, you are at the mercy of the merciless.
This is one of the main reasons why people nowadays prefer any other form of shaving than with a straight razor. This is especially true for the elderly and teenagers.
3. Time Consuming
Another reason for shaving with a straight razor losing popularity in this fast-paced modern life is that it is time-consuming.
At a time, when you can get straight to point with electric shavers, with a straight razor you are up for literally a routine. This can take about 30 minutes of your morning. What makes matters worse is that you can’t rush with it. If you have to reach the office in time going through the worst traffic, a lot of things can be at stake.
4. Higher Initial Investment
As said earlier, good straight razor kits can cost you in excess of $100. Although they are more cost-effective in the long run, this is quite an initial investment. This is especially true at a time when you can get a cartridge razor for $10 and no one has seen tomorrow, right?
FAQs About Shaving with a Straight Razor
Straight razors are straight to point when it comes to close shave. However, they have a steep learning curve and this can put off quite a few people.
Although they are most cost-effective in the long run, the higher initial investment can be a bit of a hurdle for many people.