How to Properly Perform a Straight razor Shave
Traditionally, barbers use a straight razor or shavette (a straight razor-like handle with disposable, replaceable blades) for face shaves, as it’s the sharpest tool in the kit and produces an exceptionally close and clean shave. Most states still allow the use of these types of razors in lieu of the modern safety razor—your state barbering and cosmetology board will be able to tell you if this practice is allowed in your state
Because of sanitary concerns, if you use a non-disposable razor, you’ll need to sanitize and disinfect it in-between each shave.
Applying a hot towel before the shave – You’ll start the shave with a moist hot towel fresh from the steaming appliance, applying it to your client’s face such that the nose is exposed to allow for unencumbered breathing. The hot water will open up the pores, soften the hair, and prepare the skin for shaving, and as a bonus, it’s also a relaxing element that will create an experience for your client.
Preparing the whiskers – Depending on how long your client’s beard is, you may have to spend extra time prepping the beard to soften the hair and loosen the skin. If the beard needs extra preparation, you can work beard oil into the hair with your fingers and apply multiple hot towels to get the hair and skin as soft and pliable as possible.
Applying the shaving product – After the skin and hair are ready to be shaved, you’ll lather the shaving cream or gel in a bowl with water and your fingers. You’ll then apply the lathered cream or gel over the prepped face, and then apply another hot towel.
Beginning the shave – Using a straight razor or high quality disposable, you’ll shave the beard along the grain, moving the razor in the same direction the hair grows. This ensures the cleanest possible shave while minimizing razor burn.
Applying a hot towel after the shave – After you’ve cleaned up the cut hair, you’ll apply another hot towel. Some barbers recommend following this up with a cold towel, which will close up the pores and leave the skin looking fresh and tight.
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