For 29 years – except for a short fling with an terrible electric shaver – I used a multi-bladed cartridge razor thinking that was the absolute best tool for the job. Each few years I would purchase the new mannequin with yet one more blade only to find it carried out the job exactly the identical – that is – to go away me with a horrible red rash and irritable skin that would have to be shaved once more the following day and rarely allowed to heal.

By likelihood in the future I stumbled on a safety razor. I used to be immediately taken by it is old fashioned design and high high quality appearance. Then I heard that these things were really supposed to give you a better shave than cartridge razors corresponding to your Gillettes and Wilkinson Swords, and that the blades cost considerably less. I instantly purchased one to offer it a go however anticipated to be disappointed.

Getting used to using it was a bit of a studying curve. I’d turn into accustomed to having no regard for the angle of the blade and pressing the razor to my face, after three passes with the safety razor my skin still felt slightly irritated and I had just a few tiny weeping cuts.

Nonetheless, I nonetheless felt lots less irritation compared to my old cartridge razor so decided to provide the safety razor a month’s trial, keeping the triple bladed razor handy till I would made my mind up or was in a rush. Nevertheless, I’ve nonetheless but to make use of it.

After doing my research, learning the correct blade angle and realising that the burden of the razor applies the pressure reasonably than my hand, the safety razor was providing glorious shaves. I went from skipping a days shaving at any time when I might to let my skin heal to shaving daily with no rash or irritation. I learnt how the hair on my face grows in all different directions and the best mixtures of strokes to use to chop them. I learnt about appropriate preparation pre-shave which is something I will go into in a future post. Best of all, shaving turned from a torturous day by day chore to be endured into a soothing, meditative ritual.

So how can a design that was all but deserted forty years ago offer a superior expertise to the trendy design that changed it? Why was the design of the safety razor changed in any respect? To reply the first query we must take a look at how the cartridge razor works. In all of the adverts we’re told that these products supply the closest shave doable, but how do they try this?

The design is such that the lowest blade within the cartridge both cuts the hair or pulls it. If it cuts the hair it’s going to additionally pull the hair slightly out of the skin and the second blade will cut it again before it fully retracts back into the skin. If it pulls the hair it would do the same thing, pulling the follicle forward and letting the second (or third, or forth) blade reduce the hair higher up earlier than the hair retreats. This provides an in depth shave, however can also depart the hair lower beneath the level of the skin. This is what was responsible for my every day discomfort. I wonder how many males with ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’ or ‘razor rash’ continue to shave with these razors that irritate or cause their condition.

As for the query of why the safety razor design was abandoned, my view is that it was a intelligent advertising trick by a really large razor manufacturer, maybe the inventor of the ‘loss leader’ advertising strategy, but I will depart it there.

With a safety razor, I found that I might get a shave that felt as shut, i.e I could not really feel that hair was current or make that scratchy sound you get when you run your fingers over your 5 O’Clock shadow, but not so shut that it caused me irritation.

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