Ask Aaron Q/A: Top tips on how to shave with a straight razor

ask aaron image

Ben Stone, from the UK, asks:

“What would be your best piece of advice for someone who has never used a cut throat/straight razor before? What kit would I need to buy and how would I start my first cut throat shave?”

Cyril Salter Solingen 5/8 Open Razor Round Point
Cyril Salter Solingen 5/8 Open Razor Round Point


“Mr. Stone,

I’m glad you want to take the plunge into straight razor shaving! You’ll need at the least a straight razor and a strop. The strop is a leather strap similar to a wide belt that helps align the metal on the edge of the blade keeping it razor sharp. This is your basic kit! Although if you don’t have them already you’ll want a shaving brush and a good quality shaving cream and aftershave balm. And since you’re beginning with a straight razor, I’d recommend an alum block or styptic pencil because nicks will be inevitable at first until you get the technique down.

Dual Leather Hand Strop
Dual Leather Hand Strop

To begin your shave I recommend showering or applying a hot towel to moisten and soften the hairs. Apply a pre-shave oil and lather up your shave cream with the shaving brush either in a bowl or on your face. Shave very gently with as little pressure as possible letting the razor do the work slicing the hairs. Reapply the lather with your shaving brush for each pass. Since you are starting out I recommend just doing one or two passes with and then across the direction of hair growth until you get the technique down. You may want to continue using your current razor to clean up any missed spots. Once you are done shaving rinse off with warm then cool water and apply the alum block or styptic pencil as needed then apply your post-shave balm.

Welcome to the world of wetshaving! Hope you enjoy and if there is anything else I can do, please contact us again!

Smooth Shaving!

Do you have any burning questions you would like to ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?


Main image copyright/credit: Andrew Dyer –

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Established in 2005, The Shaving Shack is your number one online traditional shaving shop. As one of Europe’s leading online shaving retailers, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best in double edge shaving, as well as men’s skincare and men’s grooming products. We’ve got shaving brushes, double edge safety razors, cut throat razors, shaving soaps, soap bowls, shaving creams, shaving sets and other shaving accessories to suit every budget.

Phone: +44 1752 898191

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