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Preview – Straight Razors

Photography by Patrick Vuong

Not Just for Mr. Blonde Anymore

Many of us may regard straight razors as something from a bygone era, reserved only for old-school barbers near retirement age or as weapons in gangster films … that is, until you actually use one. I have extremely coarse, fast-growing facial hair and practically need to shave twice a day with an electric shaver, or else Bigfoot will start taking pictures of me. The first time I got a straight razor shave I incorrectly assumed, as many people might, that a single blade wouldn’t yield a closer shave than a multi-blade disposable razor. I was way wrong. My face hadn’t felt that smooth since before puberty, and my second-day stubble was on par with what my face felt like after using an electric shaver.

We ventured over to Long Beach, California, to have our friend Pedro Zermeno, owner of Razorbacks Barber Shop, show you how to give yourself a damn close shave with a straight razor. He’s been in the business for 27 years, so he knows his way around a sharp instrument. It can be time consuming to go through all the steps, so for most it will just be something you do on weekends to simply enjoy the process. Shaving is usually about as fun as flossing teeth, but here’s a way to turn a daily ritual into something cool with the kind of results that are well worth the effort. Your wife will think so too.

Preview   Straight Razors photoPreview   Straight Razors photo

Pre-Shaving Prep
First off, you’re going to want to work some good pre-shave oil onto your face and follow it up with a good coating of shaving cream. Brand preference is subjective, but something with aloe or vitamin E to soothe, lubricate, and prevent irritation are the types of properties these items should contain. Then, with the cream and oil still applied, lay a moist, hot towel over (or up to) your face. Since we suspect most of you don’t have towel warmers, run a decent-sized washcloth or small towel under very warm water and hold that up to your face and neck for a couple minutes. This helps soften up the face and hair as well as opening up the pores. After you’ve done that, reapply the shave oil and lather.

Preview   Straight Razors photo

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