Beauty – Razor Revival
Story by Megan Whitehead | Jun 27, 2016
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer
Blake Nichols, at Haute Salon, is bringing the art of straight razor shaving to JCMO.
Walking into Haute Salon on High Street, you are immediately bombarded with clean, classic style. The décor is black, white, and sleek, with Marilyn watching over all. Immersed in this environment, it isn’t hard to imagine why stylist Blake Nichols would be drawn to straight razor shaving. A rekindled practice, straight razor shaving provides a closer, cleaner shave than household razors.
Nichols has worked as a stylist for 30 years, 20 of those in Jefferson City, and is constantly looking for ways to improve and grow in his field. He attends conferences, conventions, and trainings, which is how he discovered straight razor shaving. “I got introduced to it in Las Vegas and fell in love with it,” he says.
Straight razor shaving has only become popular again in the last few years. Safety razors and disposable blades replaced the straight razor during the early 20th century due to ease and convenience. However, many barbers and stylists, including Nichols, have realized that the luxury that comes with straight razor shaves is in demand. Because of this demand, interested stylists are increasingly becoming registered as straight razor specialists; Nichols had to go back to school for 45 hours.
Straight razor shaves deserve this increase in popularity. The closer shave allows for the removal of dead skin, causing smoother, brighter, younger looking skin. Plus, there is the added bonus of being pampered. “It’s a treat,” Nichols says. “It’s like women getting manicures and pedicures.”
There’s another added bonus; there isn’t any more upkeep required than there is with disposable razors. A simple moisturizer or aftershave will keep your skin smooth between shaves.
What You’ll Need:
A high-quality razor is the most important tool for the straight-shaving process. While high-quality can mean high-price, the better the quality and maintenance, the longer the razor will last. This will cut costs in the long run.
To maintain quality shaves longer, a hone is absolutely necessary. A woodworking whetstone from your local hardware store will suffice to keep your blade sharp and pristine.
A strop is used to smooth and round out a blade after honing. This prevents nasty cuts and again prolongs the life of your razor.
A boar or badger hair brush allows for a smoother, more comfortable shave. A brush ensures that your shaving cream or soap gets under each hair.
Finding the perfect shaving cream or soap is all dependent on preference. Both are far better for hydration and your blade than shaving gels.
For suggested products, visit artofmanliness.com.