How to get a closer straight razor shave?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by thevelvet, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Im new to using straights and was wondering, on all the youtubes and articles ive read about straight razor shaves, they always say to shave down and then up. But when talking about regular DE razors, shaving up is a huge no-no. I personally know that when i shave up with a DE i get a million ingrowns and amazing irritation. So, when i use my straight, i just shave down, since its difficult at this point to shave across, but I get a bad shave since its not too close just going down, looks like I still have the 5 o clock shadow. Why is shaving up suggested with a straight when its condemned with any other razor? Will shaving up be alright with my straight? Or will it irritate the hell out of me like always?
  2. In order to achieve a close str8 shave you need at least 2 passes.

    Your first pass should With The Grain (WTG)

    Your second pass should be an Across the Grain Shave (XTG)

    Finally if you skin can tolerate it
    The Third pass - Against the Grain shave ATG (This will give you THE closest shave)

    You need to know the direction in which your hair grows on your face. Shaving up or down is not the way to describe it, so you should not be shaving up or down rather WTG or ATG.

    A vast majority can get a decent shave doing 2 passes without getting irritation or discomfort.

    There is a steep learning curve with a str8 so you will get better with time but do not be discouraged if the progress is slow.
  3. By shaving up you mean shaving Against the Grain right?

    In that case shaving against the grain with a DE is absolutely fine since you have already shaved with the grain before that. Some people shave against the grain straight away when they are in a rush (but thats another story...)

    Opinions always vary depending of course on the skin type and the hair growth patterns.

    I am relatively new to the forum but I have been shaving with straight for quite a while now.

    In general pay attention to these factors in order to achieve a BBS shave with a straight:
    1) Razor has to be shave ready
    2) Absolutely use a leather strop just before the save
    3) Prepare your skin with your favorite products (try to use hot towels)
    4) Try to figure out your hair growth pattern and memorize it. (comes with practice)
    4) Stretching your skin is very important
    5) Figure out your razor angle.
    6) Don't apply to much pressure

    Well thats the theory...

    I'm sure with some extra practice you will become an expert!

    Hope that helps.

  4. jlander

    jlander Moderator Emeritus

    If you are having problems ATG with a DE you are probably using too much pressure. When I used a DE I always used at least 2 passes, sometimes 3.
    1 WTG, 1 ATG, and sometimes 1 XTG. Remember it's beard reduction. Each pass removes more stubble.

    Try just the weight of the razor or even negative pressure (lift the razor slightly). That should help. I am assuming your prep is good of course.

    The same is true with a straight. very light pressure.

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