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What is the biggest difference between a hairdresser and a barber? Professional barbers know how to use a straight razor. The art of straight razor shaving is just that - an art. It takes a lot of skill and practice to master the smooth shave. Of course, the barber's most important sidekick to shave? A Razor ! Here are a few options for you, the barber.
The traditional straight razor consists of the blade and blade handle. The blade handle can be either straight or folding handle. Similar to your haircutting shears, the blade is made from high quality steel. There are three main types of steel that are commonly used. Stainless steel needs to be sharpened more often but is less likely to rust or corrode. Carbon steel can hold a sharp edge for a longer time, but can rust easily. And then there is Damascus Steel, which is not only the one of the sharpest blades, but has a very distinct look.
Traditional straight razors are sharpened using a leather strop. Stropping a straight razor is as much of an art form as wet shaving. Using a traditional straight razor is the closest shave one can get!
This day and age you will only find shavette style straight razors in the barbershop. A shavette razor uses replacement blades. These disposable blades are a must when shaving multiple people. Using the same blade for different people is unsanitary. It can cause cross contamination with blood and skin particles. It is now a rule in barbershops that shavettes are the next best straight razors one can get. You will still get a very close shave, but without the chance of infection.
There are a few different styles of shavette straight razors. You can find two different handles, a straight handle and a folding handle. These will often come in different materials like plastic, metal or wood. You will also find some that use a double edge razor. This gives you two razor blades to work with. You will also find there are different ways to load the straight razor in to the blade holder. Some you simply pinch to remove the used razor, while some you have to slide a cover off to get to the straight razor. This really all comes down to how you prefer to remove the razor blade.
The best premium straight razor on the market are Feather Razors. This Japanese made high quality straight razor is some of the best in the business, but with a hefty price tag. The blade and blade holder are made from stainless steel. They are made with a blade holder that you simply pinch to remove the blade. The Feather blades are some of the sharpest. They are a sharper blade, great for sensitive skin. Again, this all comes with quite a hefty price tag. They may not be the best shavette straight razor for a beginner as they can be quite heavy. For a lightweight straight razor that has a secure blade holder and a beautiful handmade wood handle you should try out our Barbarossa Brothers CutThroat razor which can be found on our website.
A safety razor can be used if you are still working on mastering the super close shave. Safety razors are designed to get a closer shave than a regular razor. They use replaceable blades with a blade guard. So you get all the benefits of a straight razor shave, with less of a chance of any cuts, scrapes or ingrown hairs. You can still use quality razors and receive a closer shave.
There are a lot of other things to consider when wet shaving. Remember, a professional barber's shave is an art! Not only do you need a good quality straight edge razor, but you will need great quality products as well! Shaving cream, pre- shave oil and aftershave, paired with a lot of warm towels to prepare the skin, are all part of the experience. We hope we have helped you figure out which straight razor is best for you ! Now lather up some shaving cream and get to it !