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.
If you haven’t started straight razor shaving before but are keen we recommend starting with a shavette razor. Not only will this help you learn the correct technique but you’ll also save on the expensive up front costs of a straight razor and its maintenance.
The Dreadnought shavette is a razor that is similar to a straight or cutthroat razor, with the main difference relating to the fact that its blades can be changed.
If you are wondering whether you should consider one above a typical open razor, then check out the points below.
The Dreadnought shavette is a distinctive and stylish razor that is proving to be very popular at this moment in time. The key reason for this is that as the blade does not need to be frequently stropped or sharpened, it can save time for those who are in a hurry, but still want to experience the luxury of a wet shave. Therefore, the preparation time for the shave is greatly reduced when using a shavette.
As with a safety razor, the Dreadnought shavette can be fitted with disposable blades, which slide into place and can be changed from time to time. This gives the user a greater flexibility to replace the blades when required, yet still be able to enjoy the closeness of a shave you can only get by using a straight razor.
Preparing your face for a cut throat/shavette 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.
Below is an example of the general direction you might want to shave using your straight or shavette razor.
Once you’ve finished with your first shave you can then rinse, relather 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.
Check out our video for more useful tips: