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June 10, 2019

How to choose the best razor for you

Image of man with shave cream on his face getting ready to shave

Understanding Different Razors

Shaving can be confusing.  No matter who you are, how old you are, and what you have been taught, there seems to be the question “Am I getting the best shave possible?”  When looking at razors you should keep in mind the number of blades, which impacts friction and closeness, and your level of expertise. There are many different kinds of razors available in-store and online which both have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether you are a daily shaver, a weekly shaver, have sensitive skin or never notice a bit of irritation, we have a quick rundown of everything you need to know when it comes to getting the best shave for you.

Straight Razors

Best for: The Romantic

The straight razor is the razor that a good barber or hairstylist will use when giving their client a shave.  When looking at a straight razor the biggest pro is this single sharp blade is the closest shave you can get. In the long term, these razors are very cost-effective if you sharpen them regularly, as they can last forever.  However, when considering the purchase of a straight razor, you should bear in mind what your skill level of shaving is. There’s a reason the straight razor’s nickname is“the neck-slicer.” Mastering a straight razor takes a lot of time and one mistake could lead to a potentially serious injury with a nasty scar. That said, if you can master the technique you will look like the portrait of cool every time you get ready for the day.

Safety Razors

Best for: The Highly-Involved Shaver

Safety razors to some seem very old-fashioned--as something your grandfather might have used.  The “safety” aspect comes into play as the full blade does not make contact with the skin preventing an embarrassing accident.  When looking at the advantages, one is the light touch required to shave which limits skin irritation. This makes using a safety razor a very solid option for those who are prone to getting bumps while shaving.  Again, like the straight razor, the initial investment might be a little high but in the long term, this option can be very affordable. The light touch required for a safety razor can also be a big con as it takes a long time to master.  This increases the probability of small cuts or nicks while shaving. However, this light touch causes the shaver to pay attention and many would argue this is a good thing. Paying attention can make your shave better and your grooming routine far more enjoyable.

Multi-Blade Cartridge Razors

Best for: The Low-Maintenance Daily Shaver

These razors are definitely the most popular in America.  When thinking of a multi-blade cartridge razor many people think of razors like the Gillette Fusion or Harry’s razor.  You see all the commercials, and some go completely over the top with features such as skin guards that have claims that your shave will be smoother and with less skin irritation.  These kinds of razors are in every store, and they can appear to be the most convenient. The advantage is, they are easy and safe to use as there is little to no risk of a major cut.  The con is actually the issue of irritation. Multiple blades as mentioned are often advertised as better but they actually create more friction and irritation as multiple blades are passing over your skin. Particularly, if you are not a daily shaver, the multi-blade cartridge is likely to really pull and tug on overgrown stubble.  

Our Advice

While it is easy to see there are many options when picking the right razor, the actual decision can seem overwhelming.  

Start with the question of what are the results you want and what are the problems you currently have. If you want to keep things as quick and easy as possible, go with the big brand Multi-blade cartridge and shave every day or two to keep things easy. If you like the idea of making shaving an enjoyable ritual, consider making the move to a safety razor. And, if serious macho gravitas is important to you, maybe consider a straight razor (and a good first aid kit).

Regardless of what razor you pick, remember this. The biggest single problem with all types of razors is friction. No matter how you shave, you are ultimately dragging sharpened metal across your face, and that puts your skin at risk for irritation. That’s why you need a good razor with friction fighting ingredients that virtually eliminate razor drag, leaving your skin smoother, and dramatically less irritated. 

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