How Often to Change Safety Razor Blades
Whether you're switching from disposable razors or tossing your electric trimmer in favor of wet shaving, a wet shave with a safety razor can give you a clean, smooth shave, help you save money, and they're better for the environment than disposable cartridge razors. Using a safety razor comes with a learning curve, though, and one of the most important factors in getting a clean shave and avoiding skin irritation is to ensure you're using a sharp blade each time you shave.
If you've recently made the switch, you're probably wondering how often to change safety razor blades to get a comfortable shave each time. On average, safety razor blades need to be changed about once a week, but this will differ for everyone depending on several factors.
Here are 5 factors that will help you determine when to change your safety razor blade.
- The type of facial hair you have
- The quality of the blade
- How you prep your face and your shave technique
- How often you shave
- How you store your blade
Why You Need a Sharp Razor Blade
Safety razors are made to deliver a superior shave compared to disposable cartridge razors. Depending on your preference, you can choose a double-edge safety razor or a single-edge safety razor. A high-quality, stainless steel safety razor is a good investment that can last for many years, but you'll need to change the blade regularly in order to get an effective shave.
Using a safety razor has a learning curve and requires a different technique than using a disposable razor. Unlike a disposable razor, you don't want to apply pressure when you use a safety razor. Instead, let the weight of the razor apply the pressure for you. If you have a dull blade, though, you could end up with unsightly razor bumps that will leave you wanting to cover your face or hide your bikini line under your towel!
A dull blade can lead to:
- ingrown hairs
- razor bumps
- skin irritation
- nicks and cuts
- an overall bad shave
5 Factors That Affect Safety Razor Blade Sharpness
The age-old question when it comes to using a safety razor is how often you should change the blade. The answer will be different for everyone, but there are a few things you can take note of to help you decide how often to replace your blade.
1. Hair Type
One of the most significant factors that play into how often you'll need to change your razor blade is the type of facial hair you have. Your hair coarseness will play a role in how often you need to change out your blade. Hair coarseness can be determined by the size of the hair follicle. Those with larger hair follicles and thicker hair will have a coarser hair that tends to feel scruffy or scratchy. Those with smaller hair follicles and fine hair will have a thinner, softer hair. Most people fall somewhere in between. Dark hair tends to be more coarse, whereas light hair tends to be finer. You can determine your hair type by running the back of your hand along your facial hair. Does it feel scratchy to the touch or smooth?
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2. Blade Quality
As with many products, you get what you pay for. The higher the quality of your blade, the longer it will last. If you're purchasing low-quality blades that break down easily, they won't last as long, and you'll need to replace them more often. While it may be tempting to buy cheap blades, you'll spend more money in the long run because you'll need to replace them twice as often. Choose a high-quality razor blade from a reputable brand. For a double edge razor blade, we recommend Dovo Super Platinum Double Edge Blades, which come in a pack of 10, 50 or a pack of 100. If you’re using a single edge razor try the Parker Half Blades. They are coated with Platinum and Chromium to ensure smooth shaves and blade longevity.
3. Shave Prep & Technique
How you prep for your shave and the technique you use will also have an effect on the longevity of your razor blade. To reduce friction between your skin and the blade, be sure to use a good shaving soap or shaving cream along with a shaving brush. Use hot water to dampen the shaving brush, and then work the shaving soap into a rich lather that you can apply to your face. The combination of high-quality ingredients in the shaving soap and the soft hairs of the shaving brush will invigorate your skin and soften your hair for a smoother shave.
Many people prefer the "three-way pass" method to get a close, quality shave. This means taking one pass with the grain of your hair (in the direction your hair grows), one pass sideways, and one pass against the grain of your hair (in the opposite direction your hair grows). If you're using a double edge razor, you can use both sides of the razor, but the more passes you take, the more quickly your blade edges will dull.
4. Shave Frequency
This may seem obvious, but how often you shave will determine how often you need to replace your blade. A person who shaves daily may need one or more blades per week, but a person who prefers a 5 o'clock shadow or some beard stubble may be able to go two weeks before the blade needs replaced.
5. Blade Storage
Finally, how you store your razor can affect how often your blade needs replaced. You shouldn't store your razor in the shower because the combination of water and the salt from your skin can eat away at the steel of the blade, wearing it down more quickly. Instead, rinse and dry off your razor after every use and then store it in a bathroom drawer where it will stay away from moisture. The better you care for your razor, the longer the blades and the razor itself will last.
How to Know When to Change Your Safety Razor Blade
A blunt blade is not only painful, but it can be bad for your skin, too. Using a dull blade can cause tiny micro-tears in the skin on your face, which can lead to a build-up of bacteria over time that could result in infection and skin irritation.
Here are some tell tale signs that it's time to change out your dull one for a sharper blade:
- You start getting cuts or annoying razor bumps when you shave
- Your skin becomes irritated or itchy
- Your hair seems to be growing back more quickly
- Your blade becomes discolored
The good thing about using a safety razor is that the blades are inexpensive compared to disposable razors or disposable cartridges (and you're contributing less plastic pollution to the planet). Even if you change out your blade every couple of shaves, you'll likely still spend less money than if you go the disposable route.
Your best self is your groomed self, and shaving shouldn't be a difficult task; it should be an enjoyable experience that makes you look and feel good. Step up your shave game today with the right products to give you that edge you're looking for.