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Is shaving with a safety razor better?
There are a number of reasons why shaving with a safety razor is better than using a cartridge or electric razor.
First, you can get an incredibly comfortable, irritation-free, close shave with a safety razor. Using just a single blade to cut your whiskers is actually better for your skin than multi blade cartridges. A double-edge, safety razor can be cleaned easier which reduces irritation/infection. Also, you can change blades frequently for a sharp, effective shave every time, whether you choose open comb, closed comb, adjustable or butterfly head.
Second, it is cheaper. Once you get the initial cost of the safety razor out of the way, the price for blades is extremely inexpensive (pennies/shave, really). And the tools last a lifetime so you don’t need to replace them constantly. Speaking of. . .
Third, it is environmentally-friendly. Shaving with a safety razor reduces waste, as you aren’t throwing cartridge heads and plastic disposable shavers. One stainless steel safety razor can last a lifetime. In addition, this type of wet shaving encourages using artisanal soaps and creams which use fewer chemicals, less packaging, and safer ingredients.
Is shaving with a safety razor dangerous?While a safety razor might look intimidating, it is designed to be “safe” for personal use. The razor works much like a cartridge razor. In fact, you can even get an adjustable head razor that allows you to change the aggression as you perfect your technique. Really the most dangerous part of the razor isn’t the shaving, but changing the blades. But it can easily be mastered with a bit of healthy respect. No need to fear the blade. Why are they called safety razors?
Before the invention of the safety razor, most facial hair removal was done by a professional barber. This professional wielded a straight razor or knife which required a bit of expertise to use. The design of the double-edge and single-edge safety razors with head and handle made it possible for the average gentleman to perfect the technique and use at home without risk of life or limb.
The guard on the head and the angle of the end cap made it possible to give yourself an efficient, effective shave - safely. In addition, old time barbers weren’t always paragons of cleanliness and they would use the same blade on multiple customers, leading to infections. An at-home shave cut down on that less-than-safe activity as well.
Is a safety razor cheaper?
The initial investment into wet shaving (the art of using a safety razor, shaving brush, and shaving soap) may be more than cartridge shaving, but the long term investment is much cheaper. A nice stainless steel safety razor will put your back $20-30, but it is a one time expense. That razor should last you for years (and maybe even ALL your years). But the best part is that the replacement blades are so inexpensive, so you can have a fresh, sharp blade for just pennies.
Can I shave against the grain with a safety razor?
A safety razor can be used in any way that you would use a cartridge razor - with the grain, against the grain, across the grain. And it might even work better because it is so efficient with just one pass, you might not need to drag that blade across, against, and with. But with a bit of practice in the technique, you can definitely shave freely. You can even get an adjustable head safety razor that allows you to maneuver the blade gap to change the aggression even during the shave. So go more aggressive with the grain and then choose a milder blade angle to go across or against the grain. As always, a little practice and a lot of respect go a long way with a safety razor.