For 29 years – apart from a brief fling with an awful electric shaver – I used a multi-bladed cartridge razor thinking that was the very best instrument for the job. Each few years I might buy the new model with yet another blade only to find it finished the job exactly the identical – that’s – to leave me with a horrible red rash and irritable skin that would have to be shaved again the following day and rarely allowed to heal.
By likelihood sooner or later I stumbled on a safety razor. I was instantly taken by it is old fashioned design and high high quality appearance. Then I heard that these things were truly supposed to give you a greater shave than cartridge razors equivalent to your Gillettes and Wilkinson Swords, and that the blades value considerably less. I immediately bought one to provide it a go however expected to be disappointed.
Getting used to using it was a little bit of a studying curve. I’d turn 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 still felt slightly irritated and I had a number of tiny weeping cuts.
Nonetheless, I still felt quite a bit less irritation compared to my old cartridge razor so decided to give the safety razor a month’s trial, keeping the triple bladed razor handy until I’d made my mind up or was in a rush. Nonetheless, I’ve still yet 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 moderately than my hand, the safety razor was providing excellent shaves. I went from skipping a days shaving whenever I may to let my skin heal to shaving each day with no rash or irritation. I learnt how the hair on my face grows in all completely different directions and the most effective combos of strokes to use to chop them. I learnt about appropriate 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 relaxing, meditative ritual.
So how can a design that was all however abandoned forty years ago offer a superior expertise to the modern design that replaced it? Why was the design of the safety razor changed in any respect? To answer the first query we should look at how the cartridge razor works. In all of the adverts we’re told that these products offer the closest shave potential, but how do they do this?
The design is such that the lowest blade in the cartridge either cuts the hair or pulls it. If it cuts the hair it should additionally pull the hair slightly out of the skin and the second blade will lower it once more earlier than it totally retracts back into the skin. If it pulls the hair it is going to 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 an in depth shave, however also can depart the hair reduce beneath the extent of the skin. This is what was the reason for my every 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 abandoned, my view is that it was a intelligent advertising trick by a really giant razor producer, maybe the inventor of the ‘loss leader’ advertising and marketing strategy, however I’ll depart it there.
With a safety razor, I found that I may get a shave that felt as shut, i.e I couldn’t feel that hair was current or make that scratchy sound you get when you run your fingers over your five O’Clock shadow, however not so close that it caused me irritation.
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