Photo Essay: The Straight Razor Shave

by Brett on March 26, 2012 · 103 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Shaving

Here on AoM we’ve talked a lot about the glory of getting a straight razor shave at a barber shop. It’s the man equivalent of getting a facial at a spa. It’s a super relaxing ritual that involves a lot of hot towels and plenty of manly smelling shaving cream and face lotions to soften up the old beard. Plus, there’s nothing like letting another man hold a razor sharp piece of metal to your neck to remind you that you’re alive.

If you haven’t ever had a straight razor shave from the barber, you’re missing out. To help inspire those of you who have been sitting on the fence about taking part in this manly tradition, I wanted to show you exactly what the straight razor shave experience is like at the barber shop.

I brought my photographer friend (and soon to be professional brewer), Matt Anthony along with me to my go-to barber shop here in Tulsa, Clay’s Barber Shop. The proprietor and tonsorial artist is Mark Clay. Below is Matt’s collection of photos capturing the magic of a straight razor shave from a barber. Enjoy.

Before the Shave

Mark's antique gas powered towel warmer.

Mark told me, "I can go right to the straight razor on that long beard of yours, and it will be an uncomfortable shave, or I can trim it down a bit with the clippers for a much more comfortable one. Which do you want?" I went the comfortable route.

Lathering up.

Another hot towel for good measure. Clay pressed about 10 of them on my face during the shave.

Drying off my ugly mug. I'm feeling super groovy right now.

Feeling like a million bucks. If you live in Tulsa, or are ever in the area, make sure to stop by Clay’s Barbershop for a shave and haircut. Tell Mark the Art of Manliness sent you.




{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Arthur Hovey March 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I once learned that by practicing on an inflated baloon, we can become masterful with a straight razor. Lather-up an inflated baloon. Begin shaving off the lather. Ultimately, we will do it without nicking (popping) the baloon.

102 Timothy August 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for the great photo-documentation. I love the vintage filter applied to the photos. The whole thing exuded class. Excellent!

103 Jeryl Spear November 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hello. I was going through your photo essay and was amazed by the barber chair. I can’t find a corresponding model or year for a Theo-a-Kochs quite like this one. Do you have any info about this chair? Thank you. Jeryl Spear, editor HOT Beauty Magazine

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