Everybody knows the classical image of the old town barber, shaving his clients with a straight razor. Of course, people can also shave themselves using one. Shaving like this has long been something obscure. After the invention of the safety razor, the classical straight razors have seen declining use until the last couple of years. Currently, shaving with straight razors is becoming increasingly popular, for many good reasons:
- It is cheaper than cartridge razors like gillete or wilkinson. Sure, a straight razor can be expensive, but it keeps its value rather well, and it can easily last more than a lifetime. Shaving cartridges otoh need replacing ever week or 2, and they are far from cheap.
- It is ecological. A straight razor is made once, and lasts forever. It doesn't end up in a landfill like spent razor cartridges or broken electric shavers.
- It is good for your skin. Modern shaving methods can be very coarse on the skin, causing ingrown hairs, red spots, sensitivity, and other skin problems. Straight razors don't, because there is only 1 edge touching the skin instead of 5 in a row.
- Shaving yourself can be a relaxing activity; a moment for yourself in a busy life.
I shave with antique razors. My oldest ones are 200 years old, and still in perfect condition due to the fact that they were restored by me and still treated with a lot of care. It is my sincere hope that in 200 years’ time, some of the things I’ve made will still be used regularly by their owner.
The internet has enabled people who share an obscure hobby to group together from all parts of the world in order to share knowledge, ideas and experience. For shaving, this is no different. There are many places on the internet dedicated to shaving or specific aspects thereof. If you are interested in straight razor shaving, I can recommend going over to Straight Razor Place and creating a user account.
Over there, you'll find information on all aspects of shaving, lathering, razor maintenance, ... . There is nothing inherently difficult or dangerous about shaving with a straight razor. But like with all things in life, getting some tips before you begin can make a world of difference.