Yes, straight razors can be extremely good for shaving your head if you know how to use and. However, if you don’t know how to use one and aren’t willing to put in the effort to learn, then they’re about as good as a butter knife.
Straight razors are different from other razors in that you can’t just pick up one and start using it. Before you even get to shaving with one, there are certain maintenance items that need to be addressed such as honing and stropping.
If you buy a brand new straight razor, then there is a good chance that it will need to be honed. Some websites offer honing/sharpening services that will put a shaving edge on the razors. A shaving edge basically makes the straight razor sharp enough to cut through your hair.
You might even be able to find websites that sell “shave ready” straight razors which are razors that they have honed before selling to and. If you’ve already bought a straight razor and it wasn’t shave ready, then you simply just need to learn how to hone it yourself or send it out to someone who offers honing services. I recommend having someone experienced hone your straight razor when you first start shaving, so you have a properly honed straight razor to learn with.
Sort of off topic, but n case you’re wondering yes there are companies today that still make brand new straight razors and companies that will sell and to you. You don’t have resort to going to antique shops to find a straight razor. Just go online to buy one. There are more websites that sell and than you might think. If you find a really cool antique razor at an antique shop, and chances are you can find the exact same one being sold online in better condition and for a lower price.
Once you have a properly honed straight razor you can shave with it. Typically you strop a straight razor before you shave with one, but if it’s your first time shaving with a straight razor and you paid someone else to hone it, then I recommend you skip the stropping for the first shave. This is because you don’t want to potentially mess up the straight razor’s edge by improperly stropping it. If you’re new to straight razors, then you’re probably new to stropping as well and there’s definitely some risk that you may “roll the edge” while you’re stropping it.
Once you have cleared the hurdle of having a properly honed straight razor, the next hurdle will be actually shaving your head with one. There is a learning curve and there are real consequences for messing up in the forms of nicks and cuts and you WILL mess up and nick and cut yourself.
It’s going take some practice learning how to shave your head with one and be able to get a good shave. This is because you have to figure out to hold the razor at the correct movement and adjusting that angle to the various contours of your head. This takes time and practice learning those things and to develop muscle memory in your fingers, hands, and arms in order to be able to do those things without effort. It’s similar to learning to write except you’ll pay in blood if you mess up.
Assuming you have a straight razor that is properly honed and stropped, you’ve put in the effort and practice learning how to shave your head with a straight razor, then yes the straight razor is good for shaving your head.
One of the areas a straight razor really shines for shaving your head is for longer lengths of hair. I’ve found that the performance of cartridge razors really falls off drastically once you’ve reached 10 days of hair growth on your head. The hair just clogs the razor. You can only shave a small area before it clogs and then it takes some effort to unclog it.
With longer lengths of hair this can take 45 to 60 minutes to shave your entire head with a cartridge razor and the entire process becomes excruciatingly tedious and repetitive. Add to the fact that if you use a mirror to shave the back of your head you have to turn around to rinse the razor out, turn back around to shave some more, and repeat the process a nauseating amount of times.
With a straight razor you don’t have that issue. It’s a single blade, so there’s no place for the hair to get stuck. As you shave, the hair and lather pool on the face of the straight razor. Once it gets full you can rinse it off to prevent it from dropping on the floor. Since it doesn’t clog you can shave longer lengths of hair on your head much faster with a straight razor than with a cartridge razor.
If you’ve put in the practice you’ll be able to shave all areas of your head. If you’re not satisfied with the closeness of your shave while shaving with the grain with a straight razor, then you can add in an across the grain pass. If you’re still not satisfied you can go with an against the grain pass.
You don’t need five blades to get a close shave, you just need to go against the grain to get a close shave. I don’t have any personal experience with this, but I’ve read in forums that people who have issues with skin irritations shaving with cartridge razors don’t have that irritation shaving with a straight razors. Personally, it seems like I get irritation no matter with what type of razor I’m shaving my head with.
Straight razors are good for shaving your head if you want a nearly one time investment in shaving equipment. There’s definitely a significant upfront cost in terms of the cost of a straight razor and strop. If you choose to learn to hone the straight razor yourself, then you’ll need to add the cost of whet/sharping stones and honing oil to your upfront expenses.
While expensive at first, you can save a lot of money over the years by not needing to purchase replacement cartridges for cartridge razors. Of course, all those calculations go out the window if you buy multiple straight razors and shaving with a straight razor becomes a hobby for you. However, that’s a great thing because at that point you’ve taken a routine task that you probably didn’t enjoy very much or even just did begrudgingly and turned it into something you love enough to make a hobby out of it! That’s definitely a win in my book.
Probably the best reason I like to shave my head with a straight razor is because of the amount of focus and concentration and takes. It forces you to be in the moment while shaving your head with a straight razor. When you’re in the moment shaving with a straight razor you aren’t thinking about anything else, but shaving with one.
In that moment, you aren’t stressed about your job, school, relationship, kids, house, money or any of the other things you as a human being are stressed about. In that moment, you’re just 100% focused on moving that piece of steel across your skin and shaving your hair. I believe this is what makes shaving with a straight razor so pleasurable. You’re forced to temporarily forget about everything else which is very relaxing.
I hope I’ve answered your question as to whether straight razors are good for shaving your head. To summarize, yes they are good for shaving your head, but only if you’re willing to put in the effort and money to get a properly honed and stropped straight razor and you’re willing to put in the effort, practice, and take you nicks and cuts to learn how to shave with one.