No matter how long shaving has been around, there are a few techniques that seem “natural” or “right” that are actually counter-intuitive. Here are three of them.
Turning A Straight Razor While Stropping
It seems like every shaver who wants to learn straight razor technique makes their first mistake while stropping. While stropping back and forth, they will inevitably roll the razor on it’s edge instead of it’s spine. The correct way is to roll the razor on it’s back (spine) to avoid damage to both the razor’s edge and the strop.
Widely Available Products Aren’t As Good As Niche’ Products
Another common misconception is that good shaving products for the “old school” shaver can only be found in specialty stores and on the internet. The fact is, while that may have been the case several years ago, that there are quite a few solid products that are reasonably widely available. Some include Nivea For Men Sensitive aftershave balm,* Cremo Cream* (though brushless, still a good product), Pacific Shaving products* (particularly their Caffeinated line and their new shaving cream “Mini’s”), and even Van Der Hagen’s “Luxury”* line of shave soaps. CO Bigelow* (found at Bath & Body Works) and Body Shop* shaving products are a little less widely known but are in many shopping malls in the US. All these products, while perhaps not known as a “luxury” product, have solid reputations.
The big one. It seems that from time immemorial the shaver tends to press down on the razor. Completely counter-intuitive: the absence of pressure will create a more efficient cut with a razor’s edge. Over the years there have been engineering improvements to at least partly compensate for too much pressure, with the razor pivot being the primary innovation. But engineering only gets you so far. To truly improve the cut of a razor it must gently rest on the skin. There is no substitute.
What other common shaving processes are counter-intuitive? Leave a comment below!