During almost a year I have shaved using a safety razor and it has given me a closer shave than all electric shavers or plastic Mach-X-style Gilette razors I have tried so far. It took some time to get the right technique, thus avoiding razor burn and pimples, but it was worth the wait. When you get a perfect shave it feels really smooth, and lasts longer than a shave performed with a traditional electric shaver.
Even though I’m happy with the performance of my safety razor, I wanted something more – an even smoother shave. When I first bought the safety razor I found cut throat razors (or straight razor/open razor) in the web shop and started researching this lost art form on the web. The precision and danger (it is not that dangerous, but still, they don’t call it “razor sharp” for nothing) intrigued me, and I wanted to see if it was possible to get an even smoother shave.
After some time of hesitation, I finally bought an Edwin Jagger Cut Throatrazor and a Dovo strap from Gents.se. When I came home I whipped up some soap and covered the back side of my hand for a test run. It was kind of a strange feeling running this super sharp thing just millimeter(s) over the veins in the hand. It went well, but I was not ready to use it on my face just yet so I watched a lot of YouTube shaving videos last night… here is a small collection:
- A shave with a straight razor
- How to shave with a straight razor part 1 – equipment
- How to shave with a straight razor part 2 – The Shave
- Straight razor shave
I also read a long and interesting article (PDF) about it and finally felt that I was ready for a serious test run. So this morning I locked the bathroom door (to avoid any unnecessary stress like sudden interruptions 🙂 ) and started my first cut throat shave. It took some time to get a steady hand, but after a couple of strokes I thought it went pretty well.
Even though I didn’t cut myself, I still have a long road before I get the same results as with the safety razor and I guess even more time to reach the nirvana of shaving, but at the same time as it is a daily habit it is also kind of a small hobby. During the shave it is almost impossible to think about other things which gives the whole process something of a zen feeling to it. Usually I just rush through my morning routine, so this can be something to build it around – a calm start of the day.