One can argue, of course, that it’s our nether regions which should take that distinction. After all, it’s where our manly jewels lie and where a well-aimed kick could reduce a grown man whimpering in a high pitch.
But if one considers that our crotches are usually covered snugly in layers of clothing, then one can say that it’s relatively protected. Necks, meanwhile, are usually uncovered, unless it’s cold and one has a thick scarf around the neck to keep warm.
This is because the neck is among those areas of the body which have a high amount of nerve endings. This makes the neck an erogenous zone and therapists often recommend stimulating this as a prelude to sexual intimacy.
The large number of nerve endings in our neck makes it very sensitive to touch, pressure or vibration. It’s especially sensitive to low-frequency vibration, which is why lightly stroking the neck can stimulate it. In some particularly sensitive individuals, even a tiny breath of air is enough to make them ticklish.
But more than arousal, the neck is also the focus of our unconscious behavioral responses to stress .
Researchers said that stroking the nerve endings in this area reduces blood pressure and lowers the heart rate. That’s why men often rub or massage the back of their neck with their fingers, while other stroke the sides of their neck or just under the chin above the Adam’s apple when feeling stressed.
Women, meanwhile, react differently. When stressed, their hands cover their suprasternal notch or touch their necks lightly on the side if they feel insecure, threatened, fearful or anxious. Among pregnant women, this behavior varies. Their anxious response would be to move their hand initially toward their neck but at the last moment, will divert to the belly, as if to cover the fetus.
All these serve to underscore how vulnerable humans feel about their neck. And this, unsurprisingly, is reflected in our own pop culture tropes.
Symbol of Vulnerability
In the movies, the vampire always bites his victim in the neck. In slasher film tropes, getting your throat slit is one sure way of dying dramatically. Sure, it makes for a gruesome scene but it’s also guaranteed to make the audience squirm uneasily. And always, the favorite tool to use when slitting a throat, is almost always, the aptly named cut-throat razor.
So it’s no wonder then that the cut-throat has an undeserved sinister reputation. Even if you haven’t heard about Sweeney Todd and his murderous reputation, just the idea of using a very sharp blade to shave off a very vulnerable and sensitive spot will make you think twice about having a straight razor shave.
But during the Dark Ages though, the cut-throat was a tool for healing. Barber-surgeons swept through the medieval population doing minor surgeries and bloodletting using a cut-throat. And one had to be trained extensively the use of the cut-throat before one is allowed to have one.
A Straight Razor for Your Neck
These days though, cut-throats are now called straight razors and while they’re no longer used for surgeries, they’re still indispensable for the very purpose of shaving your neck.
A straight razor, by far, is the only tool that can give you the closest shave without breaking the bank.
It’s a versatile tool that can be used for both shaving and grooming. Straight razors have very sharp single blades that cut close to the skin. Because of its narrow profile, there are no angles that it can’t handle when shaving the neck.
It’s also durable and cost-efficient. We all know that once you start shaving, you’re going to have to shave for life. With a straight razor, you won’t need to spend regularly on disposable blades because unless you’re using a shavette, a straight razor blade is for a lifetime.
How to Shave Your Neck with a Straight Razor
Still, overcoming a lifetime of trepidation may not be easy for shaving newbies. Particularly, when in actual practice, the neck region is really not that easy to shave. But here at Naked Armor, we always like to help out the newbies become skilled in their use of a straight razor. So here are our tips to how to shave your neck properly using a straight razor.
TIP 1: Use a Single Blade
When shaving the neck region, always use a single blade. That’s because using modern multi-blades will increase the blade friction on the skin. More blades equals more friction and results to greater chances for skin irritation.
That’s why going old-school makes for better neck shaves. If you really feel threatened by a straight razor, using a safety razor is the way to go. It has a safety guard that helps lessen accidental cuts and nicks by the inexperienced shaver. A straight razor, however, is more capable of giving a closer shave than a safety. Sure, it will require more attention to detail while shaving but its narrow blade offers more flexibility in shaving angles. You’ll never go wrong with a straight, believe us.
TIP 2: Prepare the Neck Properly
Gently clean the neck with lots of warm water and a face cleanser, especially if you tend to have ingrown hairs on the neck. Be thorough in cleansing the area before putting the razor to skin.
Or you can take a hot shower to be sure that the hair is wet and ready for shaving. If you feel the need for more preparation, a pre-shave oil can do wonders after a shower.
TIP 3: Make a Map of Your Neck
Before you even begin shaving, you need to be familiar with the lay of the land, so to speak. But when your entire neck is covered in lather, it’ll be difficult to see where you’re shaving. So you gotta make a map on your face so that you can divide the area into manageable spots that you can shave step by step.
One trick to this is using the lather. Just simply put it on your beard. Using a finger, outline the areas that you need to shave. With this lather map of your face, it will be easy to shave the neck area by area slowly and efficiently.
TIP 4: Know the Grain of your Neck Hair
Shaving with the grain - or along the direction of the hair growth - is a cardinal rule in wet shaving. However, this can be completely counter-intuitive when it comes to the neck. Because neck hair can be stubborn and grow in a circular pattern. Understanding this will help you get a nice clean shave. Just take note of every direction of the grain direction in the map that you’ve outlined so that you won’t have to inadvertently shave across the grain. If the grain is in a circular pattern on a section, you may find that a single predominant direction will work adequately.
TIP 5: Use the Razor Lightly
When using an old school razor, always remember to let the razor’s weight do the work. Use little to no pressure on the razor. Holding the razor at the very bottom of its handle works wonders in reducing the blade pressure on the skin.
No matter what kind of razor you use, holding the razor at the very bottom of the handle will usually help reduce the pressure of the blade on the skin. Alternately, you can try holding the razor by its balance point.
The beauty of using a straight razor for shaving your neck is that one can easily change the angle of the blade when shaving.
When lightly shaving the neck, keep a shallower angle on the razor. One way of doing this is to hold the top of the razor to your neck then slowly rock the razor down until the blade just makes contact with the skin.
Try to maintain that shallow angle as you’re shaving the neck. Don’t overstretch the skin as it will make you prone to ingrown hairs and razor burn.
TIP 6: How to Shave the Adam’s Apple
Here’s a tip: when shaving the Adam's Apple, swallow first and try to hold the swallow. You won’t be able to hold it for more than a second or so but that should be long enough to make a shaving stroke on the area. Another alternative is to carefully slide the skin over the Adam’s Apple to one side. Be careful not to over-stretch it though.
TIP 7: The J-Hook and Blade Buffing Techniques
Over at Sharpologist, he recommends the J-Hook and Blade Buffing techniques to shave the small areas of stubble left over from shaving. The J-Hook is essentially a hooking motion using a razor, while Blade Buffing is making very short and quick strokes on the leftover area. The J-Hook is very effective on the sides of the neck, below the jawline while the Buffing technique is best for the area under the skin.
Both should be done very carefully and lightly with the area covered in lather.
TIP 8: Use an Aftershave Balm
After shaving, always put on an aftershave. But when it comes to the neck area, we advise an aftershave balm. Balms provide more moisturization and relief from skin irritation. It also feels heavier on the skin so that one feels like there is an added protective barrier on your neck.
The Naked Armor Blade
At Naked Armor, our old school razor blades are made from Japanese steel and luxury timber. They’re durable and classic and give you the best shave ever.
Our unique blades are made from a hybrid of a full hollow and a half hollow. This makes our razors the best for whatever type or however thick your neck hair is. Whatever your grooming needs, our fine selection of razors will get you there in style and luxury.
To check them out, visit our site.