Straight Razor Accidents: How To Prevent Them & Use A Straight Razor Safely

You have come across a straight razor accident on social media. Yet, is a straight razor that dangerous? Find the truth about straight razor safety here! 

Straight razors, commonly known as cut-throat razors, are not a recent modern invention.

Instead, they have established their popularity for several years since the Middle Ages due to their shaving performance.

Usually, a straight razor can present you with less irritation and a closer shave compared to other types of razors.

Yet, you may have come across some sharings about cut-throat razor accidents on the internet.

Is a straight razor safe to use? May you encounter a straight razor accident while using that kind of shaver someday?

Find out some potential straight razor accidents and tips to deliver a close, smooth shave in our article today! ​​

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors
smooth shave
It is not so challenging to deliver a close, smooth shave

Potential Straight Razor Accidents You Should Care About

Typically, some potential straight razor accidents include: 

  • Nicks, cuts
  • Razor burns
  • Skin inflammation

Cuts or nicks usually take place whenever the blade accidentally wrecks your skin. Sometimes, when the blade is too dull, it cannot glide over your face and cut the beard smoothly, eventually causing some cuts or nicks.

Also, if you apply inappropriate shaving techniques, such as holding the blade at a wrong angle or putting too much pressure on your skin, a straight razor may well cause harm to your skin. 

What’s more, cuts and nicks often take place when you shave in a rush. The clock is ticking. Your phone is ringing all of a sudden. You may accidentally cut your skin in such a situation, especially when utilizing a sharp straight razor. 

straight razor
You may encounter razor nicks and cuts while using a straight razor

Meanwhile, razor burns, a type of skin irritation, are red bumps and rashes appearing on your skin after you finish shaving. It usually takes at least a few days until these burns fade away.

These red bumps and rashes usually appear because you either shave with a dull straight razor or apply too much pressure on your skin.

Besides the above-mentioned improper shaving practices, dry shaving also produces razor burns.

Emollients, the chemicals frequently used in shaving cream or gel, are of great importance to your razor performance since they help protect and hydrate your skin. Thus, if you dry shave, your skin is prone to all the potential razor burns. 

In addition to razor burns, there is a likelihood that you experience some skin inflammation, especially if you have wiry, brittle beard hair or eczema.  

Is It Safe To Use A Straight Razor?

Manufacturers have adopted skin guards or pivots to produce safety razors and cartridge razors to ensure a safe shaving experience for users.

On the other hand, a straight razor appears to be a knife-edge without protection. Also, some people, who did not have the right skillset to shave with a cut-throat razor, have cut themselves with this open blade. Thus, it is reasonable for you to worry about its safety. 

In addition, the safety issue will be extremely difficult to handle if you use the straight razor in a crowded place such as a sauna, a common locker room,… It is best to choose a suitable place to use your favorite razor without causing an accident. 

However, it is crucial to emphasize that these above-mentioned straight razor accidents only happen if you do not know how to shave with this razor properly.

On the contrary to your worries, a straight razor can sometimes be more effective and safer than some other options, such as a disposable or a multi-blade one. Keep reading to figure out why! 

Does Using A Straight Razor Result In A Better Shaving Experience?

A straight razor holds a rich tradition. This long single-blade razor, rooted in the 17th century, has accompanied several generations of people in their grooming routines. Indeed, your grandfather or father may have utilized it.

People enjoy shaving with this equipment since it can offer a closer shave. Also, to some extent, it is safe.

Less irritation 

Although straight razors only have one blade, they are effective in preventing irritation. 

Less irritation 
A multi-blade razor may cause more razor burns and ingrown hairs

Even when a dozen companies have invested a great deal of money to promote multiple-blade razors as having the best shaving technology, they cannot bring about such an incredible shaving experience compared to cut-throat razors. 

Whenever you perform any stroke utilizing the multiple blades, a good number of the blades glide over your face. As a result, these numerous contacts between the blades and your skin may well lead to more irritation, razor burns, or ingrown hairs. 

On the other hand, with a cut-throat razor, because only one blade touches your face, the decreased friction makes your skin suffer less from irritation. Therefore, you eventually encounter fewer shaving accidents when it comes to a straight razor.

A closer shave with few cuts and nicks

If you take some time to perform some short and gentle strokes, the worst-case accident that a cut-throat razor can drag you into may probably be a paper cut.

Hence, as long as you appropriately prepare for your shaving and utilize this type of razor well, there is little likelihood that you will cut yourself. 

For example, some tiny nicks/cuts that you cannot see with bare eyes may appear on the blade after a few shavings.

Though invisible, these problems may bring about uncomfortable shaving, leaving you with undesirable cuts or nicks.

Therefore, you should learn how to hone your cut-throat razor properly so that you can secure the best shaving experience. 

shaving with a straight razor
You are not likely to cut yourself while shaving with a straight razor

Moreover, owing to the impressive blade exposure of a straight razor, the blade can come in contact with your skin easily. Thus, you can achieve a closer and cleaner shave compared to other types of razors. 

In short, this single-blade razor is pretty effective to use. Additionally, you may not experience much irritation or cuts/nicks after obtaining some basic understanding of the shaving techniques.

Explore several factors to get a close shave with a straight razor below!     

Critical Factors To Deliver The Best Shave With A Straight Razor 

Pre-shaving preparation

  • Regular maintenance 

As can be seen, a dull blade can cause unwanted shaving problems. 

Thus, you should study how to strop a straight razor properly and practice those techniques. Then, when you have mastered honing techniques, you can strop your straight razor before every shaving to ensure a closer, sharper shave.

But, again, without training and practice, you may do more harm than good to your blade.

Also, you should spend some budget visiting a razor shop nearby and leave your blades there for maintenance after a few months.

Since they have been well trained, professionals will present you with a perfectly sharpened blade that is ready to cut all the unnecessary facial hair off. 

Regular maintenance 
You should strop your razor regularly to prevent some potential cuts or nicks
  • Cleansing 

Although almost everybody knows that we should wash our face with cleansing products and water before shaving, some may fail to do this properly.

Experts have often reminded us that you should take advantage of lukewarm water to carefully cleanse your skin as the high temperature helps open pores. Yet, many utilize cold water instead. 

Coldwater cannot soften the hair or open pores to facilitate a smoother shave as much as warm water can. Thus, don’t forget to use warm water in this cleansing step. 

  • Exfoliation

Even when many people may neglect the importance of exfoliation, it serves as a crucial preparation that helps you get a closer and safer shave.

This process can remove all the dead skin cells, which usually block your razor’s blade along the way and prevent you from a smooth glide. 

Therefore, before shaving, you should spend some minutes exfoliating your skin so that the straight razor can function better.  

  • Wet shaving 

Although dry shaving usually saves you an impressive amount of time, it may present you with some more shaving accidents, namely cuts, razor burns, and skin damage. Hence, it is recommended that you practice wet shaving. 

As shaving products contain emollients to soften the skin, they help to avoid any kind of nicks and skin irritation. Also, the moisture provided by a shaving gel enables smoother glides from the blade without tugging. 

Yet, there are a variety of shaving products in the market. Thus, you should spend some time exploring all the available products so that you can choose the one that suits you the most. 

Critical Shaving Techniques

  • Shaving angle

As can be seen, a wrong shaving angle may result in undesirable straight razor accidents. Thus, if you are a beginner, take it slow and learn to hold this cut-throat razor correctly. 

When you keep it too paralleled with the surface, it can merely cut any hair.

On the contrary, when the blade is handled at a perpendicular angle, it is possible that you may cut yourself. Hence, it is recommended that the best shaving angle for a straight razor is 30 degrees. 

Holding the blade at this angle, you will be able to perform strokes that effectively cut the beard hair off.

Although it is challenging to measure the exact angle when you shave, take some time to adjust the shaving angle until it reaches the ideal number. 

  • Speed 

The faster you shave your beard, the more likely you are to nick yourself or irritate the skin. Thus, don’t rush.

Instead, take some time to adjust the blade angle to prevent it from accidentally cutting your face.

You may also want to spend a minute testing the blade on a small surface before gliding it all over your face. 

  • Pressure 

It is crucial to illustrate that if you bear the razor down too hard, the skin will get uneven, making it harder to control the blade and perform perfect glides.

Under some circumstances, you may even nick yourself. Therefore, be mindful of the pressure you use.  

Ideally, you should not apply any extra pressure on your face since the blade itself can do its work pretty well. Just gently glide it over your face at the most suitable angle, then you can have a perfectly safe shave. 

  • Shaving direction

For beginners, it is recommended that you should not shave against the grain.

Though this technique can effectively give you a closer save, it may cause some unwanted pain, especially for those who have sensitive skin.

Also, when you shave in such a direction, sometimes, the tweezed hair accidentally grows back into the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and tiny bumps.

Thus, if you are a beginner, you should start shaving in the same direction your hair grows, adjust the angle and try a few passes.     

Shaving direction
If you are a beginner, you should shave with the grain

Professionals usually shave with the grain for the first shave, then switch to shave against the grain so that they can have a final look with a pretty close shave.

Hence, after you have familiarized yourself with shaving techniques, know-how and become able to deliver some good shave, you can begin practicing this trick later on. 

Aftershave moisture

Last but not least, you should invest some budget to purchase an aftershave product and utilize them regularly.

Some chemicals in these aftershave formulas, such as astringents and hydrosols, are significantly effective in relieving skin irritation, avoiding bacterial growth, and having the skin balanced to a normal pH. 

Aftershave products normally come in two primary textures, including liquid and solid. While the liquid form works well for oily skin, the solid form provides a lot of moisture for dry skin to rehydrate after shaving.

The liquid form you can refer to is toner, milk, lotion. The solid form will be cream, balm. Because of the oils’ heavy moisturizing and evaporative properties, they are also listed for dry and normal skin.

As each will work well for a specific skin type, you definitely should know which benefits your skin the most before making the final decision.

Final Thoughts

Although many people may complain about straight razor accidents, this type of razor is safe to use. We hope that with the abovementioned seven tips to deliver a close, safe shave with a straight razor, you can enjoy your grooming time without worries. 

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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