• Beginners' Tips: September 2015


    About 3 months ago an acquaintance of mine expressed an interest in straight razor shaving. Always keen to encourage new people into the sport, I offered to loan him a razor (suitably honed of course) and a strop with which to learn. I gave him a demonstration of how to shave and strop, a few tips and a hearty "good luck!", and left him to carry on.

    The next time I saw him I asked how it was going. He told me that it wasn't working out too well. It seems he had built up the habit of shaving quickly over the years with his disposable razors, and applying that same principle to the straight razor had lead, while perhaps not to complete disaster, certainly to a few cuts and abrasions. He needed more time to shave with a straight razor.

    It is a fairly common beginner's question on this site: how long does it take you to shave with a straight razor? The answer of course depends on many things. People who've been at it for a while will generally answer "as long as it takes"; intermediate shavers will often give an actual time; the pedantic among us (and I include myself in this category on occasion) will want to know how whether you mean a single-or multiple-pass shave.

    However, in my opinion straight razor shaving is not about minutes and seconds. But it is about TIME.

    Time to yourself. Time to think. Time to relax. Time to learn a new skill. Allowing yourself time. Forgetting the clock, work, your phone, ipad, computer, email, Facebook, your worries and cares for some small part of the day. It's a very liberating experience and in my opinion a much-needed respite from the frenetic pace of the modern world.

    So when you are starting out and learning the skills needed to not Edward Scissor-hands yourself, try not to worry too much about the time it takes if you can help it. (If you are a busy person, perhaps in the initial stages try to learn on the weekends.) The time you are taking now is in fact training your skills in more than the physical action of shaving with a straight razor - it's also training you to relax and take some well-deserved time for yourself.

    Shave long and prosper.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Beginners' Tips: September 2015 started by Jimbo View original post