For 29 years – aside from a short fling with an awful electric shaver – I used a multi-bladed cartridge razor thinking that was the very best device for the job. Every few years I might purchase the new mannequin with one more blade only to search out it performed the job precisely the same – that’s – to leave me with a horrible red rash and irritable skin that must be shaved again the following day and infrequently allowed to heal.

By probability at some point I stumbled on a safety razor. I was instantly taken by it’s old fashioned design and high quality appearance. Then I heard that these things have been truly supposed to present you a greater shave than cartridge razors reminiscent of your Gillettes and Wilkinson Swords, and that the blades value considerably less. I immediately purchased one to present it a go however expected to be disappointed.

Getting used to using it was a bit of a learning curve. I might become accustomed to having no regard for the angle of the blade and urgent 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 so much less irritation compared to my old cartridge razor so determined to present the safety razor a month’s trial, keeping the triple bladed razor handy until I might made my mind up or was in a rush. Nonetheless, I’ve nonetheless yet to use it.

After doing my research, studying the proper blade angle and realising that the burden of the razor applies the pressure quite than my hand, the safety razor was providing glorious shaves. I went from skipping a days shaving each time 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 totally different directions and the best mixtures of strokes to use to chop them. I learnt about correct preparation pre-shave which is something I’ll go into in a future post. Best of all, shaving turned from a torturous every day chore to be endured into a calming, meditative ritual.

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

The design is such that the lowest blade within the cartridge either cuts the hair or pulls it. If it cuts the hair it is going to also pull the hair slightly out of the skin and the second blade will cut it again earlier than it totally retracts back into the skin. If it pulls the hair it can do the identical thing, pulling the follicle forward and letting the second (or third, or forth) blade minimize the hair higher up earlier than the hair retreats. This provides a detailed shave, however also can leave the hair reduce beneath the extent of the skin. This is what should be blamed for my daily discomfort. I wonder what number of men with ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’ or ‘razor rash’ continue to shave with these razors that irritate or cause their condition.

As for the question of why the safety razor design was deserted, my view is that it was a clever advertising trick by a very giant razor manufacturer, maybe the inventor of the ‘loss leader’ marketing strategy, however I will go away it there.

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

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