Poll: Do you switch hands or use your dominant hand only when shaving with a straight razor.
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
 05-17-2013, 08:54 AM
#1
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
User Info
Well, I had my first straight razor shave last night. The weapons of choice:

Dovo Bismarck with the red scales purchased off of a fine member here, sharpened profesionally by Lee at WSP.
Mike's Barber Shop (my best performing soap)
Rudy Vey R7 with a WSP Super Finest 26mm brush (my best brush)
Alum Block (er...an alum block!)
Krampert's Finest Bay Rum (my most protective, moisturizing and best AS for healing after a shave)

Basically the intent was to only shave my cheeks using the right hand for the right side and left hand for the left side. What I ended up doing was a bit more than that since the cheeks seemed to be no problem for me. I should mention at this point that in the past few weeks I have been devouring all the information I could on straight razor shaving and I have watched many, many you tube videos. I was as prepared as I could be I think, for the theoretical portion. Which is likely why the cheeks went so very well going N/S.

The left side was definitely more awkward. I'm curious how many of you folks just end up using your dominant hand to shave your whole face with a straight or if you do end up switching to the other hand for the other side of your face, neck. When I used my right hand to shave my left side it felt easier, but the view was definitely impeded to some extent. I tried to stretch the skin properly for the most part but I'm sure I could use some work in that dept. I'm sure it will only improve as I go on.

After my N/S pass on my cheeks with no blood and two day growth mowed down I decided to move on to my neck area. N/S on the neck was a bit more difficult and I'm sure the angle wasn't perfect as it was a bit more resistance and I did end up with a couple of tiny nicks. I possibly should have stopped at this point, but I figured nothing ventured nothing gained right? Well I moved on to the chin and moustache area. The area under my nose went really well, with only one tiny nick again when I placed the blade against the skin too hard as I started, it didn't happen again as I finished the area and it went very smoothly. The chin was where I ran into some difficulty. I ended up modifying my stroke a bit to go sideways instead of straight up and down, it seemed to go easier that way and avoided any further nicks. I did get one small nick again when I was trying to go N/S. I should mention too, that these nicks were very different than what I remember getting from my DE. These nicks closed up much more quickly and stopped with a cold water rinse with the exception of one on my neck which I used my Clubman styptic applicator with the sponge. I didn't have to break out the stronger styptic pencil to make it stop. Chin and moustache area completed first pass fully completed. Face feels quite smooth with the grain, but some areas still had a tiny bit of hair left as my angles weren't proper in all the areas.

One thing I noticed that was unusual was that I found the lather on my face was drying out near the end, so I reapplied a couple of times. Never happens with my DE shaves thats fore sure. I lathered up again (yes I know...I should have stopped there) and went to work going XTG. Cheeks and jawline very uneventful very smooth, pretty much easier than going N/S though the hair on my face grows N to S. Hmmmm keep going...? Sure why not! Neck area I decided to go S/N from halfway down my neck, not the lower neck area. This again went surprisingly well, no new nicks. Chin and moustache area XTG, one additional tiny blip in the middle of my chin when trying to get between the cleft. Nothing major stopped bleeding on it's own. I did the moustache area and beside the mouth with a XTG stroke. Definitely don't need ATG there.

So to sum up the results. Feeling it today, my moustache and sides of my mouth are BBS and the smoothest parts of my skin after the shave! My cheeks and neck are DFS I would say with better results overall than my first attempts with a DE razor. There is one small part of my neck that I can still notice a small bit of hair (if I look VERY closely) but nowhere else. My skin feels tender today but I don't see any razor burn and no major irritation. Perhaps my skin needs to adapt to using a straight blade? I know my angles and pressure usage will get better over time, and there was blood. But nothing major and looking myself in the mirror today I can't tell much of a difference from when I use my best DE razors.

Of course if I run my hand against the grain, I feel some stubble but not too much and it certainly isn't visible. Not BBS everywhere but that's ok. I'll take the results I got and improve on them. It can only get better right? The key will be to stay in the moment and not get confident once I get a bit better. I've heard that's when bad things can happen. One thing is for sure, the adrenaline was sure pumping and I was wide awake at the end of it! Overall I really enjoyed it and look forward to my next attempt.

Thanks for reading.

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 05-17-2013, 09:07 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
Thanks for sharing. Always be alert when shaving with a straight.

I sometimes use both hands to shave but most of the time I use my left hand. Just depends on the mood I'm in and the risk I want to take.

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 05-17-2013, 09:29 AM
#3
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
User Info
(05-17-2013, 09:07 AM)Johnny Wrote: Thanks for sharing. Always be alert when shaving with a straight.

I sometimes use both hands to shave but most of the time I use my left hand. Just depends on the mood I'm in and the risk I want to take.

Thank you Johnny. Very interesting answer! So it's not always one or the other for you. That's a very flexible approach.

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 05-17-2013, 09:52 AM
#4
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Great work, you did much better than I did with my first few straight razor shaves. I too use only my left hand for my entire face. I am ambidextrous (thanks to a Kindergarten teacher who forced me to use my non dominant right hand) and I switch hands constantly during my day to day tasks, but for whatever reason I just can not get a good result with my right hand when I use a straight razor. I say do what feels comfortable, all that matters is that it works for you.

Sent from my Transformer using Xparent Cyan Tapatalk 2

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 05-17-2013, 10:29 AM
#5
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
Hi

Thank you for sharing your initial (straight razor) shave experience.

Once I finally get my first straight razor I plan to use both hands from the get go, in anticipation of that day I've recently started using my non-dominant hand (left) as much as possible, especially while shaving (brush in left hand, DE razor in left hand when shaving left-side of face).

Good luck! and take your time to enjoy the journey...

Take care, Mike

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 05-17-2013, 12:46 PM
#6
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
User Info
Thanks for sharing your experience! I've all but left straight shaving but did experience a lot of good shaves. I started by using my dominate hand but quickly realized - and much more than with my DEs - that working the whisker grains and contours was very difficult in some areas when shaving "back handed". So I adapted to use both hands. Like Johnny (I believe), I'm left handed so using my right hand didn't prove too difficult.

Again, thanks for sharing and good luck on your journey! Cool

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 05-17-2013, 01:04 PM
#7
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
User Info
My pleasure! What made you decide to all but leave straight razor use Billy? If I may ask.

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 05-17-2013, 02:59 PM
#8
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As far as the dominant vs non dominant hand thing .... Practice. I am still working on it after only about 10 or so straight shaves. I have found that I am now starting to use my left a bit more, but it's still a struggle. Stick with just doing your cheek for now. Seriously. My one bad "razor burn" episode during my 7 days of straights journey (a few threads down) was on the day I decided I could do more with my left hand. I did manage a decent shave on my neck with my left hand, but man the hair was gone indeed, but major burn. It bothered me all day.

You will get there, as will I. It just takes time. Obie offered me the sage advice of trying to use my left hand for other items as well. Opening doors, getting a glass, drinking etc etc etc

Use the hand.

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 05-17-2013, 03:53 PM
#9
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It's a lot harder to train the non-dominant hand, but the results are usually worth the price. The results being a lot easier access to certain areas and easier line of sight.

However, nothing wrong with using just your right hand. Asian men have been doing it for thousands of years. May not have been shaving for that long, but if they have, there's a good chance it's right hand dominated like most things in Asian cultures.

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 05-20-2013, 10:31 AM
#10
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Congratulations, Attila, and best of luck to you, my friend! Biggrin

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 05-21-2013, 12:47 PM
#11
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Thank you mi amico!

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 07-04-2013, 10:04 AM
#12
  • Cobre
  • Member
  • Vancouver, Canada
User Info
I am 8 months into shaving with straights mostly and I only use my right hand to shave, I tried using both but did not feel "right" I can shave with my right hand only and I achieve a BBS shave 98% of the time

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 07-04-2013, 10:39 PM
#13
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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My dominant hand dominates.

I don't trust anything sharp to my left hand... Confused

Lack of vision was an issue at first, but not anymore.

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 07-07-2013, 10:51 AM
#14
  • Macko
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
User Info
My left hand is basically useless until I put a straight razor in it, for whatever reason it seems to find the perfect angle every time, as well or even better than my right. It's a trip.

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 07-07-2013, 12:51 PM
#15
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I always complete half the shave with my left and less dominant hand, one thing the both right and left hand share in common is they both have exactly the same sense of pressure, so as long as you find the right angle the less dominant hand will be able to deliver a equally as good a shave, it just feels different you must have more confidence, I can hardly tell the difference to be honest.

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