Design & Style

In praise of the straight razor

Recently I have begun to take being a man and pursuing manly things more seriously. After all, the last time I checked I meet all manly requirements. The gear is there, folks, for anyone to see.  In that vein I took up the straight razor and began to peel the layers of whiskers from my poor, misbegotten beard.

I am not a hipster and am still able to pull off a vinyl-loving, straight razor shaving existence without being a public douchebag.  Anyway, back to the experience of being a man and how using a straight razor enhances it.

It just does.  Trust me.

When I pull out my 5/8 Dovo Solingen full hollow ground razor (purchased at Thomas Hinds), sharpened by local edge geek Francesco Zurzolo ( he does all kinds of blades, and if you are sick of your kitchen knives being dull, this guy is definitely your man), and lather provided by Winnipeg kitchen icon DA Niels I feel like King Kong smashing Godzilla in the face.  You know.  A man.

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And if you are a man you should also try it.  Hell, if you are a woman with facial hair, you should give this style of shaving a whirl.  It is, once you get the hang of it, unbelievably good.  Not quite sex good, but still pretty incredible.  Please note that I said once you get the hang of it, because it does take some practice.  And research.  Check out what the internet has to offer.  Find out how to properly strop your razor.  Find out how to build a good lather.  Check out this book, available for free download here.  It is full of great information.  Then get ready to cut yourself.  Badly.  Over and over again.  Because you will, and it will suck.  But in the end, once you get the hang of it, you can free yourself from cartridges. You can get the most incredibly close and satisfying shave you have ever given yourself.

And you get to own a strop.  ‘Nuff said.


Brett Geisel is a writer and burgeoning columnist for Spectator Tribune. 

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