For 29 years – apart from a quick fling with an terrible electrical shaver – I used a multi-bladed cartridge razor thinking that was the very best instrument for the job. Every few years I might purchase the new model with one more blade only to search out it done the job precisely the identical – that is – to depart me with a horrible red rash and irritable skin that must be shaved once more the subsequent day and barely allowed to heal.
By chance sooner or later I stumbled on a safety razor. I used to be instantly taken by it’s old fashioned design and high high quality appearance. Then I heard that these things have been actually supposed to offer you a greater shave than cartridge razors such as your Gillettes and Wilkinson Swords, and that the blades price considerably less. I immediately purchased one to present it a go however anticipated to be disappointed.
Getting used to utilizing it was a bit of a learning curve. I might develop into 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 nonetheless felt slightly irritated and I had just a few tiny weeping cuts.
Nevertheless, I nonetheless felt rather a lot less irritation compared to my old cartridge razor so determined to give the safety razor a month’s trial, keeping the triple bladed razor useful till I might made my mind up or was in a rush. Nonetheless, I’ve nonetheless yet to make use of it.
After doing my research, learning the right blade angle and realising that the burden of the razor applies the pressure slightly than my hand, the safety razor was providing wonderful shaves. I went from skipping a days shaving whenever I could to let my skin heal to shaving every single day with no rash or irritation. I learnt how the hair on my face grows in all totally different directions and the most effective mixtures of strokes to make use of to cut 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 daily chore to be endured into a soothing, meditative ritual.
So how can a design that was all but abandoned forty years ago offer a superior expertise to the fashionable design that replaced it? Why was the design of the safety razor changed in any respect? To reply 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 attainable, but how do they do that?
The design is such that the lowest blade in the cartridge both cuts the hair or pulls it. If it cuts the hair it would also pull the hair slightly out of the skin and the second blade will reduce it again before it absolutely retracts back into the skin. If it pulls the hair it should do the same 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 can also leave the hair reduce beneath the level of the skin. This is what was responsible for my each day discomfort. I wonder how many males with ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’ or ‘razor rash’ continue to shave with these razors that aggravate or cause their condition.
As for the query of why the safety razor design was abandoned, my view is that it was a clever advertising trick by a very giant razor producer, maybe the inventor of the ‘loss leader’ advertising and marketing strategy, but I’ll leave it there.
With a safety razor, I found that I might get a shave that felt as shut, i.e I couldn’t really feel that hair was current or make that scratchy sound you get while you run your fingers over your 5 O’Clock shadow, however not so close that it caused me irritation.
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