How to Shave With a Straight Razor: A Beginner’s Guide

In this article, we will present a beginner’s guide on how to shave with a straight razor in just a few simple steps. Also, we will take a look at two other essential maintenance aspects such as stropping and honing.

How to Shave With a Straight Razor Step-by-Step

To experience the benefits of an excellent shave, you have to learn how to properly hold the razor and follow the practical steps presented below:

Step 1. First of all, prepare your skin in order to avoid any discomfort. It means that you have to take a hot shower or at least wrap your face using a warm towel, just like professional barbers do. This way, your hair follicles will soften and your pores will open in just a few minutes.

You can also take a look at our 10 Easy Solutions to Get Rid of Razor Bumps to find out some practical tips.

How to Shave With a Straight Razor

Step 2. Use a high-quality pre-shave oil and apply it on your face. This oil is especially recommended for men with sensitive skin as it will prevent razor burns and rashes.

Here is a Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil that will guarantee users a smooth and comfortable shaving experience.

Step 3. Apply a generous layer of shaving cream and start shaving from the top of your face on the dominant-hand side. Also, try to hold the blade at an angle of approximatively 30 degrees.

One high-demand shaving cream is the Taylor of Old Bond Street which we strongly recommend to any user.

Step 4. In order to learn how to shave with a straight edge razor, you have to use your opposite hand and softly pull the skin up to make sure that the shaving surface is as smooth as possible.

Step 5. Start shaving until your reach the jawline but make sure you are not using too much pressure otherwise, you risk to cut yourself.

Step 6. Then you can shave beneath the chin but here it is essential to be most careful. Also, use your other hand to pull the skin down on the neck to create a smoother surface and benefit from a more comfortable shave.

Step 7. After making these full passes, multiple short passes will help you get a closer shave. However, you have to be more careful this time as these passes must be gentle to prevent cuts.

Step 8. Last but not least, rinse your face using cold water and rub your face with a high-quality aftershave. Therefore, we recommend you the Neutrogena Razor Defense Lotion.


Stropping has the role of realigning the blade and it is essential after every shave. As such, take a stropping strip taut and make about 15 passes for each razor side. Keep in mind that the passes shouldn’t be done leading with the edge but backwards.

straight razor stropping


For this process, you need a whetstone on which you will sharpen the blade by removing metal from the edge. Also, honing is needed just once every couple of months. In addition, it is opposite to stropping as you have to lead with the blade edge.

Furthermore, the pressure should be moderate while around 20 strokes are more than enough to get a great honing. After you finish, give your razor a nice strop and you are ready to shave.

Final Word on How to Shave With a Straight Razor

To sum up, we have presented you a practical guide on how to shave with a straight razor as well as two essential maintenance processes. Make sure you follow all the steps to get the best shaving experience.

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