Barbershop Shaves are awesome. They are relaxing and mood altering. They can make a great day out of a bad one. Not to mention it is the most relaxed you will ever be when a big, burly guy is wielding a blade at your throat. Unfortunately, one of the things barbers tend to hear is that it just isn’t as close as what a guy can do at home.
That is actually wrong.
A proper straight razor shave is the closest. Let us explain…
Modern safety razors have chemical strips on them with stiptic chemicals, moisturizers and other things to make a shave feel smooth and minimize bleeding from the nicks. At home, we shave with the grain, across the grain, and against the grain. All of this is to get that really close shave. However, this can cause ingrown hairs, nicks, and other ailments men suffer from shaving. But the appearance of a smooth shave is there. Though it feels close, that feeling is deceptive.
With a quality straight-razor shave, the skin will be completely smooth in one direction and there may be a rough feel going against the grain. That is how a proper shave may feel, depending on your skin type.
Why? There is more to it than you think. When shaving with a modern safety razor the top layer of skin remains. Therefore, the closeness of the shave is deceptive.
With a straight razor we (barbers) take the top layer of skin, exposing more of the beard as we go. Going against the grain can cause complications like ingrown hairs among other uncomfortable results such as nicks and other ghastly things.
What you will notice after a straight razor shave, is that it will still feel close longer than if you use a modern safety razor. Some men will recount that the experience of a straight razor shave seems to feel even closer later in the day. That is the outer epidermis restoring itself.