Most men will happily be given a cut throat shave by a skilled barber, however, using a tool such as a cut-throat razor themselves can often make men feel rather intimidated. However, we want to uncover whether the old ways are in fact the best ways and if this seemingly old-fashioned tool, in comparison to the safety razor, can be easy to use.
A cut throat shave can actually provide you with a more precise shave that manages to get the more difficult areas such as the nose and the corners of the mouth. It’s also a very rewarding and impressive skill to master. Preparation is key so allow yourself extra time to learn how to use a straight razor, here are our tips for a perfectly close cut throat razor shave.
Cut throat shave – Strop the razor
Step number one is to strop the cut throat razor, different to sharpening which is known as ‘honing’. Stropping the cut throat razor is done before every shave so that the very edge of the razor is straight. Simply attach one end of the strop to an immovable object such as a bedpost and hold it firmly.
Lightly run the blade horizontally up the leather surface with the blade facing flat against the leather and the sharp side facing up. Repeat this for around 40-60 times to ensure that the blade is straight.
Cut throat shave – Preparing your face
The key for any painless shaving is to first shower or bathe in lukewarm water or wet your face using a hot flannel. The steam will soften the hair to and gently open your pores. Then cleanse the skin with the HOMMAGE Purify Facial Cleanser so that the skin is completely clean prior to shaving.
Follow by applying the HOMMAGE Pre Shave Oil to create a layer of lubrication after showering. The shave oil will also help to prime and condition the skin and to soften the stubble further in order to create a painless shave. Afterwards, apply the HOMMAGE Shave Cream and massage it throughly into your stubble/beard. For a straight cut, the lather you’ve built up on the skin mustn’t dry. For extra precision when building up the lather use a shaving brush such as one of the HOMMAGE Badger Brushes as part of the Shanghai Shave Set.
Cut throat shave – Holding the razor, master your angles.
Hold the razor with whichever hand you write with. Rest your thumb on the underside of the razor and your middle, ring and index fingers should all be on the opposite side of the razor. Rest your little finger on the crescent shaped tang to give yourself more support.
Now for the most nerve-wracking part where you will need to be very careful, the shave. Pull your skin as tight and taut as you can in the opposite direction to the razor. It is recommended to lie the blade flat against your cheek at a 30 to 35 degree angle to the skin. Adjust the angle depending on the area and direction of the hair growth that you are shaving, just ensure you are finding what works best for you but if you do mess up here this is where you will risk cutting yourself. The trick is to maintain the angle as your glide over the contours of your face.
Cut throat shave – The first stroke
The first stroke will seem the most daunting, once you have completed your angle you will begin the first stroke. Use very little pressure and apply even strokes with the razor in the direction of the hair growth. Make the first stroke at the base of your sideburn and work down your cheek from there. Repeat on the other side until you are left with a strip from your top lip to your Adam’s apple. Then use your thumb and index finger to stretch the skin flat on the chin and shave perpendicular to the direction of hair growth. Pull your bottom lip inside your mouth and go against the grain using a one stroke movement. For your top lip, pull your top lip in and stroke down each side until you are left with a square of hair under your nose (aka ‘the Adolf’) then pinch either side of your top lip so that the section is flat and you are able to remove it.
Once you’ve finished with your first shave you can then rinse your face with warm water, dry with a cold towel and take a close inspection in the mirror. Once your face is dry it will be a lot easier to see all the strays that you’ve missed. Once you have located the strays, relather with the HOMMAGE shave Crean and then shave again where necessary to do so. This time though, you should go against the grain/direction of hair growth. When you have finished shaving, rinse the shaved area with warm water and then follow up with a cool water rinse to close the pores. Finally, lock in moisture with the HOMMAGE Soothe Balm to protect the skin and avoid razor irritation.
For more tips and tricks, sign up to become an HOMMAGE member at https://hommage.com/my-account