The closest, most comfortable shave possible relies on razor blades of the very highest quality. A wet shave is only ever as good as the razor being used, so replacing blades regularly is essential.
A quality blade should deliver several close shaves. But while regular replacements are essential, there is very little to be gained from changing a blade while it’s still in great shape. The end of a razor blade’s useful life depends on a range of factors, including how often it is used, the size of the area it is used on and the thickness of the hairs it is shaving.
So when is it time to change a blade? Well, there are some tell-tale signs to watch out for.
Pulling and Tugging
A good razor blade should glide over the skin with ease, particularly if the blade is going with the grain of the hairs. But older, blunted blades have a tendency to tug and pull at the skin — causing irritation. Severely worn blades can cause nicks, cuts and rashes, so it's imperative that they're replaced the moment they start to feel uncomfortable against the skin.
Regardless of how well a blade is performing, rust is a sign that a replacement is needed immediately. Not only does rust interfere with the performance of a blade, it can cause serious blood infections if the skin is nicked during shaving.
The Shave Loses Its ‘Closeness’
Nothing delivers a close shave like a quality razor blade. But if that prized ‘closeness’ starts to suffer, it’s definitely time for a replacement. Skin should be soft and completely stubble-free after a shave; if it’s not, the blade simply isn’t doing its job anymore. This loss of performance will often be accompanied by increased irritation during and after a shave.
Prolonging the Life of a Razor Blade
There are ways users can prolong the life of their blades. For instance, repeatedly rinsing the razor after every two or three swipes will stop hair from increasing friction and pressure — both of which can dull a blade. It’s also a good idea to give a blade a thorough rinse after every use, making sure to wash away all remaining hairs.
Water is essential for the cleaning of a blade, but it can also be the enemy. Contact with water can cause steel to rust, so it’s a good idea to use a flannel to dry razor blades after every use.
There are some very effective cleaning solutions for razor blades on the market today. Not only do these solutions sterilise blades, they reduce friction and protect against premature corrosion.
Quality Goes a Long Way
Buying a quality blade is always cost-effective, as it will last significantly longer than a cheaper, inferior blade. The Dorco PACE6 PLUS, for instance, has received exceptional reviews in a survey performed by Contract Test Inc. in July 2016. After 16 uses of the blade, around 90 percent of respondents revealed they intended to continue using the same blade. And 77 percent said they were still completely satisfied with the blade’s performance. Crucially, two-thirds of the men interviewed said they would use their blade at least another three times after the initial 16 uses.
Razor blades need to be clean, free from corrosion and as sharp as possible if they’re going to deliver a close and comfortable shave. Looking after blades and replacing them when the need arises will ensure the best possible shave every time.