A straight razor is a long blade set in a handle that folds open and closed. Straight razors were invented in 17th-century England and were the primary tool for manual shaving until the rise of the “safety razor” in the mid 20thcentury. However, recently straight razors have been making a big comeback, and for good reason. They offer many benefits and advantages. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using a straight razor: 1- If your face isn’t clean, clean it 2- Apply a pre-shave oil to soften up the hair follicles and help prevent post-shave irritation. 3- Lay a hot towel on the beard/shaving area to soften the follicles even more and open up the pores. Leave the towel on for about a minute. 4- Apply a shaving cream to the entire shaving area, ideally with a shaving brush. 5- Open up the razor all the way until it’s at about a 90-degree/diagonal angle to the holder. 6- 6- Hook your pinkie or ring finger over the “tang”, the very end of the blade piece that is now sticking out from the other side of the holder, place your thumb on the lower part of the cutting side of the blade and your index and middle finger on the top of the blade’s dull side. 7- Hold the blade at a roughly 30-degree angle to your face. If the angle is too flat it will tear the stubble, and if the angle is too steep it will cut the skin. 8- With your free hand, pull the skin taut in the opposite direction in which you will be moving the blade. 9- Shave “with the grain”, meaning in the direction your hair grows. It’s important to apply very little pressure and make smooth, short, even strokes without jerking or chopping. 10- Rinse with cold water, and then re-apply the oil and the lather to repeat the process, only this time shave against the grain. 11- Rinse with cold water again. 12- Apply a post-shave moisturizer.