For many men, shaving is at best a necessary evil and at worst a downright pain. So why learn to shave with a straight razor? After all, they take practise to use properly, you have to strop them and care for them and basically they're a faff-about, aren't they?
No. Sorry, I don't agree. Sure, the time you have to take is a bit longer than with your average bit of pre-set plastic-encased tin foil but - and it's a big but - the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that shaving with a straight razor cannot be hurried. This slows you down and breaks the frantic gotta-get-dressed-get-to-work-yadayada of the mornings. Not enough time for this kind of shave? Get up a bit earlier! If that sounds terrible, just give it a try - after a week or so it'll become the norm and you'll feel better anyway.
Now to shaving with a straight razor. I've written quite a bit on my website and in other guides about the actual shaving process but a really important part of that process is lathering the face with good-quality shaving soap applied with a decent saving brush. The - perhaps most important - leaving the lather on your face for a couple of minutes before shaving. This does two things. It gives the lather time to soften your bristles properly and - slows you down. I use these few minutes to strop the razor, check out of the window to see what the day's about and just - slow - down.
By the way, unlike shave foam, good quality shave-soap lather won't dry on your face within seconds of application - plus you don't need to use scalding-hot water for your shave either. Hand-hot is plenty hot enough.
Now this may seem a strange thing to do to those men out there who slap some aerosol shave foam on their face and swipe their multiblade around. Sure, they probably get a close shave - but they don't get a good shave. To them, shaving is just a function they perform in the morning so that they can go to work with a smooth face. I have no problem with that but -
If they only tried an older, less frantic way! Why not give it a go? Once you have made the 'transition' - a matther of a week or two - you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago.