What's new

Shaving with non dominant hand

I don't do many things well with my non-dominant (left) hand, but I learned to use it when shaving with a straight razor. When I am making downward strokes on the right side of my face, I use my right hand. When I am making upward strokes on the right side of my face, I use the left hand. I do the opposite on the left side of my face.
I am right handed but I shave the right side of my face with my left and opposite with my right hand. Just seems easier for me. I should add I am using DE razors.
I've noticed it is mainly straight shavers who use both hands to shave. A few only use their dominant hand and few DE shavers appear to switch, but dominant hand seems to be the norm.

My curiosity is piqued as to why this is. As I mentioned previously, I have always switched when using DE, carts or a straight as it just felt natural to do so.

Edited to add, many straight shavers who typically use their dominant hand for everything else seem to manage to use both to shave.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
For me; predominately a DE and SE user; it was originally to ready myself for that glorious day when I moved to straight razors and barber razors. Now, it’s the old “what if I have a stroke that paralyzes half of my body and I don’t want to look scruffy?” that keeps me going.
I tried it this morning, used both hands on my WTG pass. No blood, was kind of a non-event. Where I think I may actually benefit more is on the ATG pass as I may be able to more easily negotiate around my mustache. But I was short of time this morning so didn't experiment further.
I may give my left hand a try tomorrow AM!

I use the ‘dominant’ hand for shaving. Interestingly, I can do other things (such as house painting) with either hand.


Goose Poop Connoisseur
Yes, first time with the non-dominant hand was yesterday. I have never had any trouble SR shaving with only my dominant hand. Must be the shape of my face and beard growth direction.
I used one hand this morning and found it awkward. It took three passes and touch ups rather than the usual two to get a good close shave. Also took twice as long. I believe I’ll stick with both hands.
Follow-up: not a big deal, not at all! One small nick when I became overconfident, but no real difficulty.
I've always used my dominant hand when using a DE or SE razor; I've never tried using my left, and have never really considered doing so til I started shaving with straight razors. When researching SR shaving techniques, everyone recommended learning to use both hands from the start, which seemed daunting to say the least, because in 57+ years, I've rarely asked my left hand to do anything more than hold a nail before hammering it. So to convince myself, I used the argument of "but everyone does it that way," and now that I don't have teenagers around and no one's watching, I can admit that it's really sound reasoning. I was soundly convinced of my decision until I was fully lathered and looking into the mirror at the reflection of my left hand holding the razor. It was like watching me get a shave from a blindfolded person and trying to figure out not only the proper angle, but also the stroke direction, distance and pressure (i.e. "0" but the blade still has to touch...). The first few strokes were like herding sheep, because my left hand had a mind of it's own, wouldn't take directions or listen to reason; all the while screaming for my brain to tell it what to do. Mistakes were made, blood was spilled, but not enough for me to quit with one pass, and the second went much better. Surprisingly, I had very little issue with using my dominant hand that first shave, it was oddly comfortable. Now, 25+ shaves in, muscle memory is getting there, but when I switch hands, it's like listening to two brothers fighting it out in my head with my right hand screaming at my left hand, "you're doing it wrong, you're going to cut him like that, OMG, STOPPPP!!! just let me do it already! Dad!!! he's doing it again!"
I suspect that left-handers might have an advantage on this. Many tools which are obviously "handed" (e,g, scissors) are set up for right-handers, so lefties have to use their off-hand to use them. So they get more practice using their off-hand.

One of my best friends is a lefty, and one day I picked up his scissors to cut some film. He warned me they wouldn't work for me and then did a double take when they worked perfectly.

Then he realized I had picked them up with my left hand. :biggrin:
Actually with lots of not to extreme right hand scissors you can work with left it just feels painfully awkward.
I have had a right grip air pistol that was mweeh and I can forget using my left handed hand saw in my right hand though or sawing straight right anyhow


Girls call me Makaluod
After a week of including my non-dominant hand in my WTG pass, things were looking good. Shaving WTG and my non-dominant hand was producing result even better than I got with my dominant hand. I put this down to my extra concentration when shaving with my non-dominant hand.

This morning I decided to extend my learning by including my non-dominant hand in my first XTG pass. It worked, kind-of. The result was acceptable but included three nicks; one on my upper lip, one on my cheek and one on my jaw line.

There is obviously more for me to learn. I will persist with this learning until I get it right!

Well, today I tried Paying Attention whilst shaving and note what hand I used when. And got all the heck screwed up and could not shave at all!

I waited a bit and returned expressly not thinking about it and had a normal shave. Or was that Abby somebody or other? Abby, um Abby Normal! That's It! Abby Normal!

I suppose I could try with safety razors. It might be mind expanding.

Just the thought of my non-dominant hand holding an SR daunts me.

A) cuts
B) dropped/damaged razor
Because of the direction of my hair, I have to shave under my chin with my non-dominant hand.

I just started out the same way I did with my dominant hand - shaving the big easy pieces like my cheeks till I got the hang of it.

I also used my safest SR - a round-tipped modern one that was less likely to cut me or make me cry if it got damaged.
Glad I found this thread and searched first before asking. I'm left handed, but the list of things I do with my right hand doesn't make sense to me. As others have mentioned, toilet paper is a right hand task exclusively. I play guitar and bass right handed and never even considered to play left handed. I throw a Frisbee right handed and turn a screwdriver right handed but that's about it. I've not yet picked up a straight razor and honestly I see a problem if I have to use my right hand. I never considered this. I've always shaved with my left hand only. I planned on this being the case with a straight razor too, but not having picked one up, I haven't really considered logistically if my right hand will be forced to play.

Oh boy. . .


Girls call me Makaluod
With every SR shave over the past few weeks, I have been including use of my non-dominant hand. It is improving but I still limit my non-dominant hand to WTG only. I am still not confident enough to take it further.

I have been quite happy SR shaving with just my dominant hand only, never experiencing any difficulties. I decided to develop my SR shaving with my non-dominant hand just in case I loose the use of my dominant hand. Would hate to have to give up SR shaving.
In view of the number of tasks you do with your non-dominant hand, I suspect that SR shaving with both hands will not present any insurmountable difficulties.
I'm silly. I stood in front of a mirror and mimed the movements before writing my post above. I discovered that I was "shaving" the right side of my face with my non-dominant (right) hand holding my hand with my palm facing outwards! When I held my hand with my thumb closest to my ear, I discovered that perhaps I am ambidextrous with a straight razor after all.

I expect everything will be OK. What a knucklehead.
I used to practice my moves with an empty Feather Artist Club. You might be able to practice your moves with a dull butter knife. A little different than holding a straight but may help.
Thanks for the post, I need to use my non-dominant hand more often when I shave. I've had nerve damage for four years, so I should be more practiced by now, but I'm not!
Top Bottom