About 15 years ago I was given a straight razor. It seemed cool when I opened the present. It came with the razor, some old school powder that mixed into foam as well as a small brush to apply the foam. It felt very old school. Until I tried the razor. Then it just felt painful. My face burned for the next few weeks as I kept trying to figure out the “trick” to using a straight razor. I’m quite certain I didn’t know what the crap I was doing.
So over the past few years I have watched bemusedly as the straight razor craze has slowly grown. We even started carrying a few razors from Bear & Son as well as Boker. People are definitely buying these old style razors–I’m curious whether they are buying them for a collection or if they are using them on their faces.
We had a company rep in the other day that was explaining to us the intricacies of the straight razor. Apparently, the best razors will bend slightly if you press them at about a 30 degree angle on your thumbnail. Don’t get crazy here–you are pressing down to see if the razor bends just slightly–you aren’t actually trying to cut something. If you cut your thumbnail, you did it wrong. Don’t come crying. The rep claimed that the very best razors will give you the closest shave you have ever had. It could be true. Or he could have been selling something.
I may have to give the old straight razor another try. It can’t be much worse than any of the three or four electric razors that feel like a bunch of tiny fingers individually pulling my face hairs out at high speed. Whenever I talk to a razor company about how uncomfortable their electric razors are, they tell me that I must need new razor heads. I get a bit fired up when I hear this from them–those stupid machines feel like that right out of the box. Maybe they should make a razor that actually works like they claim it will. I absolutely hate shaving. If anyone has had a great experience with any style of razor–let me know what they use.
To me, it seems that the buyers of straight razors are one of three things:
- Nostalgic Collectors
- Know something I don’t about how to use a straight razor
- Flat out crazy.
Maybe I will give the straight razor a try again–it couldn’t have hurt that much, could it have?