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How to Shave With a Straight Razor

Unlike the use of shaving machine or cartridge razor which require some slightly higher capital to raise, shaving using a cut throat blade is the cheapest in long term as you would only need to acquire a straight razor blade, strop, hone and the skills you are about to learn here.

Before embarking on the steps on how to shave with a straight razor, I would like to start by giving a warning that this traditional razor, being a very sharp object should be handled with a lot of care. That’s the main obstacle for many men who wish to change their shaving “tool”. The following dangers may arise when using a razor blade depending on which part of your body you would like to shave;

  • You can end up cutting yourself with the sharp blade if you are not careful on how you handle it.
  • There is a grave danger of contracting HIV&AIDS due to sharing of razor blades.
  • It may spread skin diseases in case one shares the razor blade with other people who may have skin conditions.

Due to such dangers, one need to use a razor with a lot of care when shaving. The precautions below should be taken into consideration when handling razor blades during shaving for a comfortable shaving;

  • Make sure you only use one razor blade for one person without sharing which is very dangerous.
  • For efficient shaving, use sharp blades. The sharper it is the easier your shaving will be.
  • Sterilize it before and after their use. This would also help anyone who comes in contact with it after its use.

There are several advantages of shaving with a razor one of them being that it is very cheap way when well skilled to get clean shaves. There are also few disadvantages as there are some few cases where people are reported developing skin rashes after shaving, this results mainly from improper caution and treatment during and after shaving.

How to shave with Cut-Throat Razor

The following steps must be keenly followed when shaving using a razor blade. We will discuss the preparations and then narrow down to the shaving techniques.

Keep in mind that your shaving result and comfort depends on the quality and sharpness of your razor. That’s why it’s very important to use only top-end blades. It’s better to spend money once and purchase a good “tool” rather than using low quality one. Razor is what removes the hair! It’s the most important part of shaving process.

Step 1: Preparations

  • Make sure you have all requirements. These will include a razor, strop, shaving soap, brush, sterilizers such as spirit, moisturizer for moistening after shaving, a toner and exfoliating cream. You also need a good mirror.
  • Strop your razor 15-20 times before shaving. This will make it sharper and will prepare it.
  • Wash the face thoroughly. This will prevent infections in case of nicks.
  • Exfoliate, the face using a rough exfoliating cream. This will remove dead skin and will better prepare it in readiness for shaving.

Step 2: Soften the Hair

This is done by putting a towel in hot water for a minute and then placing it on the hair for about thirty seconds or a minute. It’s a very old trick our grandfathers used. This will surely help in softening and loosen your hair and skin for shaving. One may also opt to thoroughly softening their facial hair using hot water by washing it.

There are also special pre-save oils that also soften hair and allow razor to glide. These oils are great to use after softening beard with towel.

Step 3: Shaving Cream / Lather Application

You will release a ball of the shaving cream that you have prepared on your palm and apply it over the shaving area of your face. You will apply it uniformly over your beard and neck, in upward circular motion.

Creams and foams are popular nowadays but if you wish to shave like a real man you need shaving soap instead. Shaving soap is what makes this ritual more pleasurable. Take your brush and wash it in hot water. Add some water to your soap and make a lather using brush. Cover the parts of your face with lather and you are done.

If you don’t know what to use read our article: Shaving Cream or Soap. You will find out which product is better.

You should make sure that you have covered all the parts that you wish to shave with lather. From this step, make sure you assemble your unused or a comparatively new razor blade from a reputable brand for the cleanest and most comfortable shave possible.

Step 4: Sterilization

It is recommended that you clean your razor with a sterilizing agent to get rid of any bacteria or viruses. You can do this by applying few drops of the spirit, if it happens that spirit is your sterilizing agent, on the both sides of your straight razor blade. Remember that this step is essential if someone else uses your blade. If you use it alone you can just wash it in hot water and sometimes sterilize it.

Step 5: Shaving Technique

  • This is the most important step as it is the first step to before you start shaving. You will hold the razor blade at an angle of 20-30 degrees to your skin ready to move forward from the edge to cut the hair.
  • Make Shure you apply very little pressure! This is a very important tip. If the pressure is too strong you may cut your skin.
  • For the beard, shave from the top of your beard to the side of your jaw-line in long, even strokes. Apply the same procedure for shaving other parts of the face while holding still and the shaving must begin from the edge.
  • Pull your skin taut with your free hand if you want a much cleaner and closer shave. This is the best way to obtain a closer shave.
  • It is imperative to rinse your razor blade after several strokes to keep it from becoming clogged up with hair.
  • Shaving an upper lip always prove a challenge to a majority of people, to do this, just stretch it over your front teeth to tighten your skin and then shave downwards. Don’t rush. It’s better spend more time shaving such difficult areas.

Step 6: Touch Ups

Wash off any excess shaving cream or lather with warm water, and look for sections you may have skipped during shaving. Apply the lather again and shave these sections one more time.

After you satisfy with the shaving quality remove all lather with warm water and then wash the face with cold water.

Step 7: Moisturize Your Skin

After shaving, use a toner rather than an alcohol-based aftershave which will dry out your skin and may cause injury. Apply moisturizer gently after toning your skin to complete your shave.

Step 8: Maintenance

After you are done, make sure your blade is clean and is not warm. Dry it with a towel if it’s required. If your blade is warm it may get rust.

If you used brush clean it with warm water to remove lather. Then shake it a little to remove the water and to make it dry. Keep the razor and brush in well-ventilated area. If you keep the brush warm the microbes may start growing.

Don’t Strop the blade after shaving! It’s recommended to do this procedure once a day before you shave. Stropping prepares the razor and makes it sharper. We have written a special article about Straight Razor Maintenance. Read it to find out more.


Now you know everything. Shaving with a razor is not a simple skill. It requires practice, keenness, and patience. This is a skill that every gentleman should possess.