What's new

How to give a straight razor shave

So last camping trip with a group of friends, I had brought my straight and decided to set up a chair and give someone a straight razor shave. Worked out well. Gave two people a straight razor shave, old barber style.

In a few weeks, I'll have an opportunity to do it again.

Any tips on technique appreciated. I plan to avoid the whole goatee area and just do the sides.

Any tips on hygiene appreciated. In particular, straight vs shavette. I have the barbasol of course. Ten minute soak is code, so I do that. And that should sterilize a straight.

I prefere straights, but shavettes have the advantage, when shaving others, that you use a fresh blade for each person. I know that the law requires professional barbers to use shavettes. But is that unnecessary when the barbasol is there?

Thoughts appreciated.
 
I dont know the law in your area but I would investigate first. Barbers can't just do what they like, many regulations. I am sure someone with industry knowledge will chip in.
 
A barber told me they were forced to go to Shavettes to follow health code, but eventually the rule was changed back to allow straights. By then Shavettes were the standard so professional didn't go back to traditional straights and the new people were being trained with Shavettes.
They may be "one use" blades, but I've never seen my barber put in a fresh blade when he went to shave the back of my neck. IDK
 
In most places you should be able to shave a close family member without any legal issues. Shaving someone outside your own family might be problematic. In order to give shaves to members of the public, you must have an active barber's license. In Illinois where I live, in order to be licensed as a barber, you have to complete 1500 hours of training, pass an exam and obtain a license which has to be renewed periodically.

My barber no longer gives shaves, except the nape of the neck, due to potential liability issues. Insurance for barbers who do give shaves is expensive, especially in states like Illinois where juries tend to award large judgments to plaintiffs in law suits. I am not a lawyer, but I would suggest that you not attempt to shave anyone who might sue you if there is a mishap. If you are not certified and insured as a barber, your homeowners insurance is not going to provide any relief.
 
I've just checked the regulations here in BC, Canada.

While technically they have not outlawed the commercial use of straights, they say if you want to use it a second time, you have to autoclave them. Mere disinfectant like Barasol is not enough. Well, that would eventually ruin lovely straights.

So for practical purposes they have forced the barbers to use shavettes when shaving. Use it then toss it.

And yes, I have also seen that when cleaning up a haircut around neck etc, they use shavettes without changing blades. They just rely on the barbasol. And I've never heard of anyone getting hepatitis from their barber.

But what the heck, I'll just use a shavette for this. Just to avoid any conversations or drama about it. Insert a fresh blade, soak it in the barbasol so it is sterile, shave one person, toss it out.
 
:yikes: Oh give it a go. I’m out of balloons.
LOL!! Thanks but no thanks. Maybe John will be more cooperative. BTW, my barber said she would never use a straight razor. I thought that was interesting. You'd think a professional would be more willing to give it a try.
 
I recently did this with one person at a 'hammer in' (blacksmithing meet) It went very well!! I'm sure that there would be liability problems if the person chose to sue you, but assuming that you are not charging money or profiting in any way, it may not be such an easy case. 'What are they doing voluntarily getting a straight shave from a person that they know is not a barber'.

I'm pretty confident that I would not cut anyone bad enough to worry about it, and I generally would not be associating with people who I thought might sue me.

I'd do it again in a second!
 
I recently did this with one person at a 'hammer in' (blacksmithing meet) It went very well!! I'm sure that there would be liability problems if the person chose to sue you, but assuming that you are not charging money or profiting in any way, it may not be such an easy case. 'What are they doing voluntarily getting a straight shave from a person that they know is not a barber'.

I'm pretty confident that I would not cut anyone bad enough to worry about it, and I generally would not be associating with people who I thought might sue me.

I'd do it again in a second!
If you are going to try shaving someone else, I guess a fellow blacksmith would be an ideal candidate. Along the way, they have probably seen their share of mishaps: smashed thumbs, burns, cuts, scrapes, etc. Thus, they might be more tolerant of razor nicks than the general population might be.
 
If you are going to try shaving someone else, I guess a fellow blacksmith would be an ideal candidate. Along the way, they have probably seen their share of mishaps: smashed thumbs, burns, cuts, scrapes, etc. Thus, they might be more tolerant of razor nicks than the general population might be.
IME the general population is scared to death of straights. I was at a knife show where more than a few people were afraid of touching them.........At a knife show!
 
To be fair, most of the hammer ins and knife shows I’ve been to the smiths really preferred if you don’t touch the carbon blades. It gets tiresome wiping every knife down after every gawker thumb tests the edge.

And also, there for a while, it seemed like the fashion was for every blade to have a sub micron polished edge, such that every maker was giving people warnings that “I really mean it when I tell you it is scary sharp!”
 
To be fair, most of the hammer ins and knife shows I’ve been to the smiths really preferred if you don’t touch the carbon blades. It gets tiresome wiping every knife down after every gawker thumb tests the edge.

And also, there for a while, it seemed like the fashion was for every blade to have a sub micron polished edge, such that every maker was giving people warnings that “I really mean it when I tell you it is scary sharp!”
A sub micron polished edge on a straight razor, however, is a wonder to behold.
 
Top