Firstly, note that I have not yet jumped into using a straight blade. In fact, the sheer amount of “stuff” I seem to need is putting me off to the idea of making the transition. So, I come to this forum seeking advice.
To help explain a little more, let me clarify that my interest in using a straight razor is for its minimalism. I am slowly changing many of my habits to avoid rampant consumerism. I now put more time into contemplating my purchases. I am also moving away from the plethora of personal products I once kept in my closet, and instead purchasing only items that (1) will better my life for a significant amount of time and (2) that will endure a couple years.
At the moment, I use four things to shave.
1. A single blade safety razor
2. Shaving oil rather than cream
3. A dose of cold water to close my pores after shaving
From my understanding, to correctly use a straight blade, I will need at minimum the following: straight blade, oils to keep straight blade from rusting, brush, soaps, strop, strop abrasive pastes, hone, and a diamond plate to flatten hone.
It seems to me that men in the 1800s did not keep this many products around to maintain a shave. Did they own a diamond plate to flatten their hone, did they go out and purchase abrasive pastes, or seek out special oils to coat their razor? Or, perhaps, were many of these necessities made at home?
Basically, I want to know what is the *minimum* necessary to own and maintain a straight blade. This is not about being cheap or skeptical about straight razors, but more because of my personal goal to live simply and happily. Also note that I consider a hone necessary, since I live in a location where sending my razor out to be honed will be impractical.
I’m looking forward to hearing your advice!