5 Steps For The Perfect Straight Razor Shave

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Sadly, many younger men have never experienced the luxurious feeling of a real barbershop shave. If you're one of these men, don't feel left out, because you can achieve your own barbershop experience at home with a straight razor kit and a few supplies. To learn the basics of straight-razor shaving, just follow these five steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Face for the Shave

Before you begin shaving with a straight razor, there are two important things you should do to prepare your face for the shave: heat up your pores and moisturize your face.

Heating your face before you shave opens up the pores and softens the hair follicles, making it easier to get a close shave with fewer nicks. Showering before you shave is usually the easiest way to do this, but a hot towel can work just as well, too. Simply soak a towel in hot water then hold it up to your face for a few seconds to soften the stubble.

Most barbers do not recommend that you wash your face before a shave because soaps and facial cleaners can remove protective oils from your skin, increasing the risk of razor drag. If you did wash your face or you just want some extra protection against razor burn, moisturize your skin with pre-shave oil. A good pre-shave oil designed for this purpose reduces razor drag and acts as an antiseptic for your skin.

Step 2: Prepare Your Razor

In order to achieve a close, nick-free shave, you must prepare your razor to ensure that it's sharp enough to do the job well. Preparing your straight razor requires two tasks: stropping and honing. You can perform these maintenance tasks on your razor either before or after you shave, just as long as they get done.

Stropping is performed to maintain a clean, straight edge on the razor. Have patience and take your time with this task, especially while you're still learning, because haphazard stropping can dull the edge of your straight razor.

Unlike stropping, you don't necessarily need to hone (or sharpen) your straight razor before every shave. If you feel a slight pull on your skin when you begin shaving, chances are good your blade needs to be honed. This is typically done with whetstone, also known as a barber hone.

Step 3: Lather Up

Shaving lather or cream with high alkaline content helps softens your skin and whiskers. Many men prefer to apply the lather with a shaving brush because it lifts the hair follicles and exfoliates the skin of the face and neck. High-quality shaving lather applied with a good brush feels great on your skin and creates an experience that feels almost indulgent.  

Step 4: Shave

As you begin shaving, pull the skin taut and shave in the direction of hair growth using slow, even strokes. If you desire an extra-close shave, you may shave against the grain, but reapply more pre-shave oil and lather beforehand to prevent ingrown hairs and bumps. You don't need to apply much pressure for the razor to do its job.

Step 5: Rinse Off

When you're done shaving, rinse your face and neck with cold water to close the pores. If you wish to apply after-shave, avoid using an alcohol-based product because alcohol dries your face and causes an uncomfortable burning sensation. Instead, choose a natural after-shave lotion or balm that is soothing and protective for your skin.

Achieving the perfect shave with a straight razor is like riding a bicycle. It requires some practice, but once you learn how to do it, it'll come so naturally that you never forget.

To learn more about using a straight razor kit, visit http://www.vintagebladesllc.com


9 March 2015

Repelling Unwanted Animals in a Rural Area

Most of us who live out in nature are pleased to see little critters scampering around our yards and trails. But part of rural life is the occasional encounter with a creature that isn't so welcome. These intruders may be simply annoying like a raccoon that knocks over a trash can or a wolf loudly yelping to its mate in the middle of the night. Animals like bears and some snakes may even be dangerous. Other creatures we mostly like, such as deer and rabbits, become a lot less cute when they have broken into the garden and are chomping away on our vegetables. Thankfully there are products we can use to encourage those critters to go right back where they came from. This blog will highlight them.