The Secrets of the Straight Shave
Find out why using a straight razor isn’t as difficult – or as deadly – as it seems
by Max Fawcett
Kevin Kent used to hate shaving. Now, it’s his new hobby, and he says that he has a Japanese straight-razor to thank for that revelation.
“When I shave, it’s an event now,” he says. “I’ve got two straight razors, three safety razors and four brushes, and they each do something different.”
A straight shave, he says, doesn’t have to be an exercise in tempting fate. “Shaving with a straight razor is easier than you think – your skin’s tougher, and you’re better at this razor thing than you think you are, even though you’ve never done it before,” he says. The key is preparation – have a shower, get the skin on your face nice and warm, put on a pre-shave lotion and lather up with your soap or shaving cream of choice. Then, Kent says, just take your time and enjoy the moment.
“The first time you have to grab your courage and do it – have one cup of coffee, not two,” he says. “Mike [Wrinch, the general manager of his Inglewood store] does it in the evening, and gives himself a double bourbon as a reward.” But, Kent says, it’s an investment of time that definitely pays off.
“It’s easier than you think, but it still has that ‘ooh’ factor. If you tell the guys that you shaved with a straight razor today, they all go ‘whoa – you did that? I’m so scared of those.’ It’s sneaky manliness – sneaky macho.”Related