How Long Does a Straight Razor Shave Last?

How Long Does a Straight Razor Shave Last

Every man who has ever shaved has, at some point in their life, thought about getting a straight razor. They can be very expensive, so it can be hard for many to get started. But that expense must mean that they provide a longer lasting, better shave. Right?

Despite what people may think, a straight razor shave isn’t necessarily a closer shave nor a longer last shave when compared to safety razors. The biggest benefit of a straight razor is that it doesn’t tug at the hairs during the shave, resulting in less irritation. However, straight razor shaving is more about the act of shaving rather than the shave itself. It is a way of taking over total control of your shave and slowing the experience down to be something you value.

So, while a straight razor shave won’t really last any longer, it is still a very tight shave. This means it will last longer than a cheap alternative razor, but not by more than a day or two at best. If you want to get the best shave possible, it’s important that you shave the right way. The right shave will last longer than a poor one.

To learn how to get the longest lasting shave with a straight razor, stick around. We’ll also talk about safety and how to purchase and maintain a new straight razor.

Getting the Closest Straight Razor Shave

The straight razor shave doesn’t last longer, but it can be done right to make sure it lasts as long as biologically possible. In some cases, this could be a few days. In others, it could be a few weeks. Beard hair doesn’t grow in a uniform fashion, so mileage may vary from person to person. For more on that, check out this article.

Before you shave, take a warm shower or wrap a hot towel around your beard. This will make the hairs thicker, softer, and easier to cut. If you don’t shower, make sure that the towel is wet because you want the combination of heat and water. You’ll also want to lather up big time, you don’t want that shave to be naked. A straight razor is kept extremely sharp, so the lather will make sure it glides across the surface of your skin without digging in.

Each stroke with a straight razor needs to be nice and slow. Safety is important here (and we get more into it in a moment); but beyond safety, the most important thing is that the blade is kept at a 30-degree angle. This way, the blade picks up and cuts the hair but not you. You can do a smaller angle, but a larger angle is dangerous. Keep your strokes even, but don’t press too hard. The blade is sharp enough to do the cutting without your help.

Start on the left or right side of your face. Use one hand up over your head to grab the skin above the shave and hold it taut. This stretches out the skin so that the blade doesn’t get caught. Start from the top and go down around the jaw. Switch sides and repeat the process.

Start under the jaw and go from one side to the other while holding the skin by pushing it up towards your nose with your thumb. Do this on both sides. If you are doing the upper lip, then use your thumb and pointer finger to hold it out, being careful not to catch them. Finish up under the chin and the neck. This is the most dangerous part of the shave, so be extremely careful and use your free hand to hold the skin as tight as you can.

Always go against the grain when shaving. This makes for the closest cut. For your first time, expect a nick or two. Just be extremely careful about not applying pressure. Most cuts happen when men get forceful with the blade. Consider this a practice in patience and a time for you to slow down and relax.

Those Look Sharp. Are They Dangerous?

Yup, they are absolutely dangerous, and you should always be careful when using one. For the best possible shave, you want to make sure that your straight razor is kept nice and sharp rather than dull. You can learn how to sharpen a straight razor in this video:

A sharp blade is always dangerous. While you should keep your shaving supplies away from children anyway, it is extremely important that you make sure your straight razor is always kept in a safe and secure place. There’s a reason why they’re used in so many horror movies, after all.

Even beyond the simple fact that a straight razor is a blade, it is also a more attractive place for bacteria. Germs and metal surfaces go together like peanut butter and jelly. Always disinfect your straight razor prior to use, and preferably after use as well. So long as you demonstrate caution while using it and remember to disinfect it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Just avoid shaving while intoxicated, maybe?

Why Should I Bother Getting a Straight Razor Shave?

A straight razor shave feels wonderful. So right off the bat, there’s that. A straight razor also cuts the hair much cleaner than a safety razor does. Rather than tugging the hair gently to pull it up from the dermal layer and cut it there, the straight razor glides over the skin and cuts the hair. This results in a much less irritating shave.

While a straight razor also offers a lot of control over your shave, the biggest benefit of a straight razor shave has less to do with the shave and more with what it represents. A straight razor shave harkens back to a time when men cared about their beards and they had to take the time and attention to shave them properly. It wasn’t just a poor-looking beard that was on the line—one wrong move and they could cut their throats.

A straight razor shave takes time, patience, and attention. It really brings you into the moment and can be a really relaxing and rewarding experience. Plus, there is always something compelling about watching a man shave with a straight razor. The ladies love a man who dances with danger.

I Want a Straight Razor of My Own. Got Any Suggestions?

When it comes to shopping for a straight razor, you have a couple of options. There are actually many straight razors you can find available for sale at a very, very low price. If you are looking for nothing more than the straight razor itself, then you can try this one. There’s nothing special about it, but it’s highly rated and can be a good introduction into the habit.

If you want to get into straight razor shaving in a big way then you should try a starter kit like this Japanese steel set. Rather than a replaceable blade, this straight razor will last you a lifetime if you look after it with care. This set also comes with a sandalwood brush, a leather case, and a mirror (with a stand) so you can grab a quick shave anywhere you go. It’s got a real wild west feeling about it.

I Want a Straight Razor of My Own

I’m Going to Buy a Straight Razor. What Should I Know About Cleaning and Maintaining It?

Cleaning a straight razor is a lot like cleaning an electric trimmer. A modern straight razor may use some type of plastic or metal for the handle, but a traditional straight razor has a metal blade with a wooden handle. The first step in cleaning is to make sure you don’t get the handle wet.

Fill up a sink with soap and water. Duck the razor into the water. Gently rub and pat it dry. When it is dry, use rubbing alcohol on the blade. This will kill any bacteria or other substance left blade. Later, use a little bit of oil to lubricate the blade to keep it sliding smoothly.

Make sure that you don’t keep your razor laying out by the sink. It’s horrible for safety reasons, but the moisture of the bathroom will degrade the razor quicker. If you bought a starter kit, then you should store it in there, as it’ll be nice and dry. Proper cleaning and storage are necessary for safety reasons as well as for the razor’s longevity.


A straight razor shave isn’t a longer lasting shave, but it is a longer shave. It takes more time to shave with a straight razor, but that’s time that is just for you. If you’re going to try out straight razor shaving, then you should commit to enjoying it. It really is a peaceful experience.

In this article, we looked at one way to get a great shave. Keep in mind that you can always go out and get a professional shave with a straight razor. It’ll feel great, but more importantly, it’ll show you exactly how a professional goes about giving one of these shaves; meaning that you can learn first-hand. Try asking questions while they shave and learn why they make the choices they do so that you can better understand how to care for facial hair like a boss.




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Hi, my name is Roland. I started Beard Guidance so I can share the knowledge I’ve acquired from years of beard-having experience in easy-to-read but informative and practical articles.

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