For 29 years – apart from a brief fling with an terrible electrical shaver – I used a multi-bladed cartridge razor thinking that was the best possible device for the job. Each few years I would buy the new model with yet one more blade only to search out it achieved the job precisely 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 subsequent day and rarely allowed to heal.
By chance one day I came across a safety razor. I used to be immediately taken by it is old fashioned design and high quality appearance. Then I heard that these things were truly supposed to give you a greater shave than cartridge razors similar to your Gillettes and Wilkinson Swords, and that the blades value considerably less. I instantly purchased one to provide it a go but anticipated to be disappointed.
Getting used to utilizing it was a bit of a learning curve. I’d 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.
Nonetheless, I still felt so much less irritation compared to my old cartridge razor so decided to present the safety razor a month’s trial, keeping the triple bladed razor useful until I would made my mind up or was in a rush. However, I’ve still but to make use of it.
After doing my research, studying the correct blade angle and realising that the burden of the razor applies the pressure reasonably than my hand, the safety razor was providing excellent shaves. I went from skipping a days shaving whenever I could to let my skin heal to shaving day-after-day with no rash or irritation. I learnt how the hair on my face grows in all different directions and the most effective combos of strokes to make use of to chop them. I learnt about correct preparation pre-shave which is something I am going to go into in a future post. Best of all, shaving turned from a torturous each day chore to be endured into a soothing, meditative ritual.
So how can a design that was all however deserted forty years ago supply a superior experience to the modern design that replaced it? Why was the design of the safety razor changed in any respect? To answer the primary query we must look at how the cartridge razor works. In all of the adverts we’re told that these products offer the closest shave doable, but how do they try this?
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 minimize it again before it fully 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 lower the hair higher up earlier than the hair retreats. This provides a detailed shave, however can also go away the hair reduce beneath the level of the skin. This is what was making my day by day discomfort. I wonder how many males with ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’ or ‘razor rash’ proceed to shave with these razors that worsen 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 large razor manufacturer, perhaps 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 couldn’t really feel that hair was current or make that scratchy sound you get while you run your fingers over your five O’Clock shadow, but not so shut that it caused me irritation.
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