Posted by Zach Sep 21, 2016 in Shaving Guide
Let’s get one thing straight. The razor you use defines you as a man. A shaving man. But with so many options to choose from, picking a razor can be a challenge. You’ll see razors with features like gel handles, vibrating heads, multiple blades, happy endings and more. We’re futuristic, but we’re not idiots.
We’re here to learn you on the advantages of safety razor use versus the popular multi-cartridge. Is a safety razor better, or is old school the way to go? While there are many safety razor benefits, straight razors offer many attractive qualities that are worth discussing.!
The Advent of the Multi-Cartridge Razor
Men have been shaving for millennia, and razors have been around since as early as the Bronze Age (pocket that, trivia-goers). For most of the 20th century, straight razors were the most common form of shaving. However, with King Gillette and the advent of his cost-effective Gillette razor, a double-edged razor with replaceable blades, the trend shifted. By the 1960s, reusable stainless steel blades were invented, further driving down the cost of shaving and popularizing multiblade razors. With millions of dollars being poured into the promotion of cartridge razors, straight razors fell almost entirely out of fashion. While today straight razors are seeing a resurgence, cartridge razors remain dominating the market. But are cartridge razors the best choice for a clean shave, or is a safety razor better?
Pros and Cons of Cartridge Razors
Don’t let the media drive your purchasing decisions when it comes to razors. Endless advertising has led most to believe that there are very few safety razor benefits and that cartridge razors are the preferred choice for a good shave. Au contraire. Cartridge razors with replaceable blades are purposely made cheap so that companies can make money selling replacement razors.
While cartridge razor manufacturers are constantly trying to push upgraded, cool-looking and more “cutting-edge” models, ultimately, the design of such razors is problematic. The handles, for example, do not have enough weight to them, forcing the user to apply excess pressure during the shave. This can wreak havoc on the skin over time. Moreover, the multiple blades feature in multi-cartridge razors are deceiving. You may think that the many blades provide a closer shave, but the closely-spaced blades can cause pulling and tugging, make it nearly impossible to get a clean shave with a single swipe. Only the first blade really cuts hair at its surface–the rest of the blades merely drag behind and cause redness, irritation, and ingrown hairs. Additionally, the lubricant strip featured on many cartridge razors, which is touted as providing a smooth, gliding shave, typically washes away after just a few shaves.
Cartridge razors aren’t all bad of course, but their benefits are few. The primary benefit of cartridge razors are their movability. Razors with a pivot point at the head allow for greater flexibility while shaving, allowing users to move along the natural contours of the face. Cartridge razors are also fairly innocuous objects as far as cutting goes. While you may scratch yourself here and there, you won’t ever get more than a nick, and unless you completely disassemble the blades from your cartridge razor, more serious injuries are virtually impossible.
Safety Razor Shaving Benefits
Safety razors are razors with a single blade. There are many advantages of safety razor over a cartridge razor. First, safety razors are well-made and hefty, allowing the razor to do work on its own without you having to add additional pressure to your face. The single blade allows you to shave evenly with a single pass, making for a closer, smoother shave. While it may seem nerve-wracking at first, once you get the hang of using a safety razor, you’ll find yourself able to move around and work on your face just as nimbly as you would with another type of razor. Another standout among safety razor benefits is its longevity.
If you purchase a good quality safety razor, made out of metal or stainless steel, it can easily last you a lifetime, whereas your expensive Mach 3 is guaranteed to fall apart after a few years. Lastly, one of the greatest advantages of safety razor is that it’s simply more hygienic. Cartridge razors get easily clogged with hair, dead skin, and water, turning them into a breeding ground for bacteria. Given that safety razor blades are cheaper than cartridge replacements, you can replace your blades more often and avoid bacteria build-up.