Originally introduced in the early 1900s, safety razors have taken a back seat to disposable and cartridge razors in recent years. However, many folks are giving them a second look as they are much more environmentally friendly, easier on the wallet, and can provide a closer shave without the risk of irritation or razor bumps.
If that’s not enough, safety razors also promote better shaving techniques, leading to a more comfortable shave. With their elegant and timeless design, using a safety razor can feel like a luxurious, ritualistic experience that adds a touch of sophistication to your grooming routine.
Today we want to discuss why it might be worth considering a safety razor and give you an honest look at whether or not it is as hard as it seems to use one.
While we have spoken exhaustively of what a safety razor is, how it compares to cartridge razors and much more, it’s important to reiterate the key reasons that make safety razors a great choice for many people. Here’s what they are:
- Eco-friendly: Using a safety razor helps reduce plastic waste since it only requires replacing a thin metal blade, unlike disposable razors, which generate significant waste with their plastic handles and cartridges.
- Cost-effective: While the initial investment for a safety razor may be higher, the cost of replacement blades is significantly lower than cartridges, saving you money in the long run.
- Better shaves: Since there is only one cutting edge on the safety razor, there is better control and less contact with the skin, reducing common shaving ailments.
- Personalization: Safety razors cater to a wide range of preferences with customizable blade options, handle styles, and materials, allowing you to choose the perfect combination that suits your individual shaving needs and aesthetic tastes.
- Skill-building: Mastering the art of using a safety razor improves your overall shaving technique, leading to a more enjoyable and efficient experience, while also instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment in your grooming routine.
Isn’t a Safety Razor Hard to Use?
Initially, it may seem a bit challenging as you adjust to the proper technique – and that is a fair concern.
When using a safety razor it’s important to know that it is very different from other razors, and mastering the right angle, pressure, and technique is crucial. Specifically, you want to always make sure to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle, let the weight of the razor apply the pressure, and shave with short strokes.
This runs contrary to how disposable and cartridge razors are used, as they often require pressing down on the skin, using longer strokes, and having a pivoting head that allows the blades to always maintain contact with the skin.
Did You Know: Safety razors were initially invented to make shaving safer and more accessible for the average man compared to straight razors. This innovative design allowed for better control and reduced the risk of cuts and nicks.
How Long Does It Take to Get Used to a Safety Razor?
As with any skill, the time required to become proficient with a safety razor will vary from person to person. It is important to remain patient and commit to learning the right technique to enhance your overall shaving experience. While there isn’t a definitive answer to how long it takes to get used to a safety razor, we can glean some insights based on personal experiences and what folks have shared in online forums.
Some people are comfortable with their safety razors within just a few weeks, while others may take several months or even up to a year before consistently achieving a close, irritation-free shave. It’s important to remember that your mileage may vary based on factors such as your skin type, shaving frequency, and blade preference.
When you’re first starting out, it might be a good idea to dedicate some extra time to your shaving routine to allow for the learning curve. As you gain experience and confidence in your technique, you’ll likely find that the time needed for a quality shave will begin to decrease. Some folks are able to complete a two-pass shave in just 5-10 minutes after becoming accustomed to their safety razors.
Shorten the Learning Curve: Check out our guide on some key tips for getting started with a safety razor, which includes recommendations on choosing the right blade, prepping your skin, and developing a consistent shaving routine.
Does Your Skin Need to Get Used to a Safety Razor?
While some folks may think that your skin needs to get used to a safety razor, in reality, it is mostly about mastering the proper technique above all else. Once you have honed your skills, your skin should actually benefit from the reduced irritation and closer shave that a safety razor provides.
Ancillary products like a pre-shave oil, quality shaving soap or cream, and a soothing after-shave balm can also significantly enhance the overall shaving experience and help minimize any potential irritation or discomfort during the adjustment period.
How to Learn
When learning to use a safety razor it’s important to start off with just a small area of your skin, such as your cheek or neck, and gradually work your way up to a full shave as you become more comfortable and confident with the technique.
Additionally, watching tutorial videos or seeking advice from experienced safety razor users can be extremely helpful in speeding up the learning process and avoiding common mistakes, ultimately leading to a more enjoyable and successful transition to this traditional shaving method.
Here’s one such video we like to recommend from Sharplogist‘s founder Mantic59 (Mark Herro):