Expert Advice from our Master Barbers

Master the Straight Razor Shave

  • We asked Emmanuel, our Master Barber from Orlando, to share some of his grooming tips, along with a special prediction for 2014.

  • What beard style do you predict to be the most popular in 2014?

    I believe that the most popular beard style we will see in 2014 is the well-groomed full beard. The full beard is a classic expression of the male beard. The traditional full beard connects all the hairs of your face: your upper lip, across your cheeks, down your sideburns, around your mouth and over your chin.

  • Why is it necessary to prepare the skin? How much Pre-Shave Oil is needed?

    The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil can help improve razor glide and prevent you from applying too much pressure when shaving. The increased razor glide can provide more control to 'arch' the desired shape of your beard without compromising the results. In terms of how much to use, a little goes a long way. A dime-sized amount is usually sufficient. If you have dry skin or a very thick beard you can use a bit more.

  • How much Shaving Cream is needed for a full clean shave?

    Use a badger brush when applying Shaving Cream to help spread an even coat on your skin. As with Pre-Shave Oil, a little goes a long way. When applying, wet the brush with warm water, put a dime-sized amount of shaving cream on the brush and use a circular motion to lather up. If you find the cream to be too thick and not lathering easily, simply use more warm water in the brush. There should be enough Shaving Cream left on your brush for a second pass of your razor.

  • Share some of your shaving tips. What techniques can be used for different hair types?

    As you shave, I always recommend short, light strokes with your razor. This is a 'chiseling' or shaping method. This is especially good for grooming your beard because it allows you to shave without going too deep into the beard line and ruining the shape. To prevent irritation, follow the grain for the first pass, then shave against or across the grain after lathering up for a second pass.


    My favorite razor to use is a straight razor because it works well whether you have thick or fine hair. It makes 'carving' lines in the beard easier to accomplish. Try to maintain at least a 30-degree angle when using the straight razor, and never lay the razor flat to the face because this creates friction.

  • How can you protect the skin after shaving?

    Applying a quality After-Shave can help return moisture and soothe the skin. Not using an After-Shave Balm may leave your face feeling dry and itchy. When your face itches, you are more likely to scratch and bring bacteria to the skin from your fingernails. This can lead to irritation and redness, and is especially true in the colder months when the skin can easily over-dry. Using a little bit more balm during the winter months can prevent itchy, dry, or flaking skin.

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