In the latest James Bond film Skyfall, British actress Naomie Harris is quite cutting edge.
She gives 007 (Daniel Craig) a very close shave in one intimate scene in the 23rd installment of the secret agent franchise.
Naomie uses a cut throat/straight razor to give James the shave of his live. “Sometimes the old ways are the best,” Naomie says as she shaves him with the iconic razor.
The 36-year-old has since revealed she was sent to barber shop school to practise shaving balloons to prepare for the steamy scene.
Shaving with a cut throat razor is certainly one of life’s pleasures as it will give you the closest possible shave. But it does take time to master the technique and you’ll certainly need a steady hand and plenty of practice.
But if you’re looking to change your shavings habits and take the exciting journey into straight razor shaving, then these tips will help you on your way.
Preparing your face for a cut throat shave
The key to a painless shave is to use plenty of warm or hot water before shaving. Either have a bath, shower or use a hot flannel to soften the bristles and open up the pores of the skin.
Make sure you massage your chosen shaving cream thoroughly into your stubble or beard. Use your fingers or a decent shaving brush. For straight cut shaving to work, the lather must not be allowed to dry.
Holding and using the razor
Hold the razor with your dominant hand. Your thumb should be on the underside of the shank against the shoulder. Your index, middle and ring fingers should be on the opposite side (top) of the shank. The handle should be between your ring and little finger, with the little finger resting on the crescent shaped tang. Some people prefer to have the ring finger on the tang also, but this is a matter of choice.
Now for the shave! With your other hand, stretch the skin as tight as you can get it. It is recommended to hold the blade at a 30 degree angle to the skin otherwise you’ll get cut! A useful way of starting is to lie the blade flat against your cheek and then lift the spine to the desired angle of 30 degrees before applying your first stroke. Use very little pressure and apply even strokes with the razor in the direction of the hair growth.
Once you’ve finished with your first shave you can then rinse, re-lather and shave again. This time though, you should go against the grain/direction of hair growth.
When you have finished shaving, rinse the shaved area with warm water and then follow up with a cool water rinse to close the pores.
If you cut yourself use an Alum Block!
Straight Razor Care
When you’ve finished shaving, rinse the razor in some running water. Dry it by dabbing it with a cloth. It is also good practice to apply a little bit of machine oil or similar to help prevent the blade from rusting.
You will be looking as good as 007 in no time…..
Stropping the razor
To maintain a keen edge on the razor regular stropping is a must. Stropping aligns the edge of the blade so that the steel is pointing in the same direction -note that it is not sharpening which is called ‘honing’ and is done using a wetstone. Simply attach one end of the strop to an immovable object, like a bedpost, and hold it taut with the other end in your other hand.
Using light pressure, run the blade horizontally up the leather surface, with the blade flat against the leather and the sharp side facing you. At the end of the stroke, flip the blade over so it’s again facing you as you run the blade horizontally back down the strop. It is recommended to do this about 40-60 times.
The Shaving Shack sells a great selection of quality cut throat razors. And don’t forget we offer flat fee delivery on all orders placed at our online shaving shop.