Razors

A straight razor can be used for much more than just shaving. As you will learn in the advanced techniques section the straight razor has many uses for cutting hair also. In order to be versatile with razor cutting and shaving you should have at least two if not three different razors. With today’s technology the quality of the disposable blade razors is excellent. There is no need to worry about stropping and honing razors any more.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify four different types of straight razors.
  • Demonstrate the four different hand positions for shaving.
  • Explain what else a straight razor can be used for besides shaving.

RAZOR GUIDE
Heavy duty razor for shaving: Heavy duty razors today come with disposable blades. They are a lot easier to use, clean, and sanitize than the old fashioned straight razors. You don’t have to sharpen them. Simply dispose of the blade when done using and replace with another fresh blade. When using a heavier razor with sharp blades very little pressure if any is needed for the shave. This razor is recommended instead of the lighter weight razors for shaving because they glide through the beard without any pulling or scraping. The lighter razors are not as sharp and the razor does not hold the blade as tightly which tends to pull and scrape the beard slightly resulting in an uncomfortable shave for the customer.

There are 4 hand positions for this razor for the shave:
Freehand stroke: Hold the razor with the thumb placed on the inside of the blade with the blade facing down, pinky resting on the tang, and your three middle fingers on the opposite side of the blade and handle. Push with the thumb and pull with the three middle fingers to create the necessary tension to hold the razor firmly.

Reverse freehand stroke: Hold the razor with thumb on the outside of the razor with the blade facing up, back of the pinky resting on the tang, and the three middle fingers on the inside of the blade and handle. Push with the thumb and pull with the three middle fingers to create the necessary tension to hold the razor firmly.

Backhand stroke: Face the blade in the opposite direction and turn your hand upside down. Place thumb on the inside of the blade with the blade facing down, back of the pinky resting on the tang, and the three middle fingers on the outside of the blade and handle. Push with the thumb and pull with the three middle fingers to create the necessary tension to hold the razor firmly.

Reverse backhand stroke: Turn the razor upside down. Place thumb on the inside of the razor with blade pointing up. Rest back of pinky on the tang and three middle fingers on the outside of the blade and handle. . Push with the thumb and pull with the three middle fingers to create the necessary tension to hold the razor firmly.

Light weight razor with guard for shaving: This is an excellent razor for learning how to shave. It is extremely light weight and has a guard on it which makes it very difficult to cut the client. This razor has a solid construction vs. the less expensive light weight razors without guards which makes it ideal for giving a close comfortable shave. It is also very good for the barber who has a heavy hand and finds it difficult to shave with the heavier razor. The same hand positions from above apply to this razor as well.

Light weight straight razor without a guard for cutting hair. This is a great razor for the majority of the razor cutting techniques demonstrated in the advanced techniques section. It has a long blade which covers a large area and is very comfortable to handle. Some barbers like to use this razor for shaving because they prefer a lighter weight razor without a guard.

Light weight razor with a guard for cutting hair: This razor is excellent for cutting hair with. It is perfectly designed for the sculpting technique on the hairline and the thumb over razor technique. Both of these techniques are covered in detail in the advanced techniques section.

REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What are the four basic types of straight razors?
  2. What else is a straight razor used for other than shaving?
  3. Why is a heavy duty disposable razor better than the lighter weight razors?
  4. What are the four hand positions for shaving?
  5. What are the benefits of using a razor with a guard for shaving?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
The razor is considered an advanced tool. When you understand and become proficient at the basic techniques cutting hair with the razor will be much easier to learn. It will put you at a whole different level especially in the eyes of your clients.
Shaving on the other hand is a whole different skill set. One has nothing to do with the other. The only way to become proficient at shaving is to learn the steps inside and out and practice every chance you get. Our recommendation is to watch the shaving videos often and to perform as many free shaves as it takes to become proficient. Choosing your best clients that you are most comfortable working on will have the best results.

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