*this is a guest post
Few grooming accessories have the iconic weight of the straight razor. An artisan-crafted steel blade and pair of scales is a classic choice in making a clear statement about personal taste, pride, and timelessness.
Some may associate a straight razor with grandpa’s morning ritual, or even great-grandpa’s, but straight razors are anything but a bygone accoutrement; instead, straight-razor hair removal is an ideal way to begin the modern-day morning routine. By taking a few extra minutes to complete the pre-work ritual with a first-class product, a slow, deliberate straight-razor shave can start the most hectic day with a luxurious moment of zen-like concentration and control.
A premium razor with a carbon steel blade requires just a little bit of maintenance to achieve a shave so close that the follicles won’t know what hit them. Hone it, strop it, and kiss those razor bumps good-bye. With a well-maintained, single blade, users have more control over the angle and stroke, and the blade can’t become clogged with debris, as in multi-bladed razors. Also, with a longer blade and a little practice, fewer strokes are necessary for the perfect shave, which means that even the most sensitive skin can’t complain. Afterward, strop the razor with leather or linen to keep the steel polished and the edge fine enough to split hairs. The more the shave-and-strop technique is honed, the less necessary it is to hone the blade, using either a whetstone or a ceramic barber hone. A regularly-maintained straight razor can last for generations, and one with a finely-crafted steel blade and beautiful scales can even become a treasured family heirloom.
Such a sense of ownership and originality that comes with a well-crafted and personally-maintained product can’t be achieved with disposable razors. Neither can a sense of fulfillment to environmental duties be found with throw-away razors and blades. Using a straight razor requires only the one-time purchase of a razor, strop, honing stone, and badger-hair brush. Because each of these can outlast its original owner, the straight-razor shaver needs only replenish his stocks of soap or cream, pre- and after-shave gel, and strop oil. The average man will save thousands of dollars over the years by not buying replacement cartridges or upgrading to the newest multi-tiered razor model.
Retailers like The Art of Shaving offer a complete line of top-end straight razors and accompanying products for the man making a smooth, lasting impression.
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