As your beard grows in, it’ll need the occasional touch-up. Some guys prefer to leave any trimming or maintenance in the hands of a trained professional. But other guys like the DIY approach. Learning how to style your beard with a straight razor is one of the most valuable beard care skills. It’ll save you a trip to the barber’s chair, and you’ll be able to keep your beard in great shape without much fuss.
Straight Razor Shave Basics
Before you get started, it’s important to understand why a straight razor shave is the best option. Beard trimmers and scissors are only useful for styling certain portions of your beard (i.e. your mustache or sideburns) and maintaining the length of your beard. A straight razor is the most precise tool on the market, especially if you want a clean shave in some areas surrounding your beard line.
But some prep is required before that razor touches your face. Though you’re only styling your beard, treat this process as though you’re shaving everywhere. Open up your pores by pressing a warm compress on your face for roughly a minute. This is your first prevention step in fending off razor bumps, redness and irritation.
A great shave soap can guide the straight razor while also refreshing and moisturizing your skin. A tea tree & peppermint shave soap works double time at soothing your face while providing a great shave. Lather the shave soap only on the areas where you’ll be shaving. There’s no need to coat your entire beard. You can apply it with your hands easily.
Figure Out a Game Plan To Style Your Beard With A Straight Razor
This part of the process is known as mapping. You’ve just covered up the edges of your beard, so it’s unclear where you need to shave. Simply guide your finger through the lather to outline the area that you want to shave. This way, you’ll avoid taking off too much or too little.
From here, it’s just a normal shave. Remember those days before your face was covered with whiskers? In case you’ve forgotten, you’ll need a few reminders on technique. Make sure you hold the blade correctly when you style your beard with a straight razor. You need a firm grip that also keeps you from slicing open your fingers. Your first three fingers should rest on the back of the blade. Your pinky should be underneath the blade’s tang, or handle. And your thumb should be on the side.
Be sure to hold the blade at a 30-degree angle and pull your skin so it’s nice and taut. Using only light pressure, move the razor with the grain. This is best to stave off irritation. But some guys have tougher skin and have no problem going against it.
Move through your designated shaving map, starting with the right side and moving to the left. One or two strokes over each area should be plenty to get the job done.
When you’re finished, rinse your face with cold water. This closes your pores, which is yet another defense against irritation. If for some reason you feel that you haven’t done a good job, don’t take the razor to your face without shave soap. Many guys think they can do a quick once over for the spot they’ve missed. This is when it’s easiest to cut or nick your face.
Once you’re satisfied, it’s time for one last protective step: the aftershave. Unlike the days of guys splashing their faces with alcohol-heavy products, you should opt for the best aftershave possible. Skip the drugstore brands and use our aftershave moisturizer. It’s a soothing product that helps the shaved skin recover and rehydrate.
When you style your beard with a straight razor, it might be reminiscent of your morning shaves, but it’s the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to keep your beard looking good.