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Why I switched from a cartridge to a safety razor…forever!
Safety razors are making a stealthy comeback, and not without good reason. While multi-blade razors have been the rage for the last several decades, safety razors were the first razor to be mass-produced and spread around the world. Their initial popularity was due to the fact that they provided a solution to the problems caused by using a straight, flat knife blade to shave. Their recent surge in popularity, however, is attributed to the benefits of shaving with a safety razor.
First, many men want the closest shave possible. While it is true that disposable and cartridge razors use multiple blades, many men feel that the shave isn’t actually any closer. The curved blade of the safety razor allows men the ability to have a close shave, while protecting their skin. In addition, many with sensitive skin find that the angling of multiple razor blades causes razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Another benefit to using safety razors instead of multi-blade razors is the cost. While the initial investment of a quality safety shaving kit is considerably greater than that of a cartridge blade, in the long run the investment is worth it. An $80 safety shaving kit can last a lifetime, and you can either sharpen or replace your blades. (High end safety razors can cost up to $200, while lower end models can be purchased for around $30.) Disposable razors can be quite pricey, and refill blades of cartridge packs can cost upwards of $20 for a pack of three blades. Safety razor blades can last as long as 3 months, and be sharpened or replaced. Think of the cost incurred in purchasing disposable blade after disposable blade for your cartridge razor as compared to the investment of a safety razor blade that not only outlasts, but also outperforms cartridge razors.
Contrary to the popular conception that multiple-blade razors are better for your skin, they can actually damage it. TV advertisements often show the skin being pushed down by the plastic protector, allowing each blade a shot at the hair. In all actuality, the multiple blades are scratching the surface of the skin repeatedly, which can cause irritation and lead to ingrown hairs. A single or double, safety razor blade allows for a close shave without damage the upper layers of the skin.
Safety razors are also a lot sturdier than cartridge and disposable options. They have a strong metal handle, and most kits come with a box of blades. Make sure that when using a safety razor you always use a high quality shaving cream. If you want to heighten the experience of shaving and perhaps even enjoy the chore, take your time. Buy a shaving mug, shaving soap and a soft-bristled brush and make it part of your morning ritual.
Safety razors may seem to be the simplest option when it comes to shaving – a single blade running straight across the razor with a metal handle, but they offer a fresh, clean shave unparalleled by cartridge razors.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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