Also called an open razor or a cut-throat razor, using a straight razor requires much more skill than using a store-bought disposable razor. While straight razors once dominated the shaving market, they have waned in popularity in favor of safety razors, which are somewhat safer to use but can't quite get the same close shave despite manufacturers' claims. In what follows, you'll find the best way to use a straight razor.
Begin by readying your beard ready for the shave. You can take a hot shower to get it warm, or simply hold a hot, wet towel against it. Run the water in your sink at its hottest setting and soak your shaving brush in a bowl filled with this water. Get your face wet and use the brush (ideally a badger hair brush, which might have come with your straight razor) to get your shaving cream or soap worked into your beard, applying in a thick layer. Let it sit for a few minutes, soaking into the hair. Pull the skin tight in the area you want to shave from the jawline, then run the blade over your skin at about a 20 degree angle. To get your skin as smooth as possible, you want to make just three passes, starting with short strokes and ending with longer ones. Go for your first pass with the grain (i.e. in the direction of growth) and then lather again to go sideways. Make your third go of it against the grain, which is most likely to result in accidents; on this step, you may want to use only water in order to make your motions more visible. Once you've finished your third pass, wash off your face with cold water to close your pores, dry off the razor and rinse off your accessories.