How Often Should You Change Your Safety Razor Blade?
How often should you change your safety razor blade?
The safety razor or double-edged razor has taken a back seat to the cartridge razor and even disposable razors in recent years but like many traditional solutions to our everyday problems, they are currently making a comeback.
The safety razor is really a predecessor to the cartridge razor and an alternative to the straight razor which requires a lot more skill to operate.
Why do you need to replace the blades?
When a blade gets blunt it will begin to tug slightly at the hair before cutting which can lead to irritation. A dull blade will also not glide across the skin as well, meaning you are more likely to suffer from nicks and cuts when you shave.
Although King Camp Gillet did not invent the safety razor he did create a razor with a disposable double-edge blade that became incredibly popular after being issued to millions of soldiers in WW1.
Unlike a straight razor, also known as a cut-throat razor, which must be sharpened, if you are using a safety razor or a cartridge razor you simply need to replace the blades. Honing and stropping a blade requires considerable skill.
When you buy a good quality safety razor the razor itself will last for decades if you look after it. The blade, however, will dull quite quickly and lose it’s sharpness thus needing to be replaced.
The good news is that double-edged razor blades are inexpensive, recyclable and easy to replace.
How long does a blade last?
On average a blade should last about a week but this will depend on a number of factors and vary from person to person.
How thick or corse your hair is will affect how long your blade lasts. Thicker hair means your razor has to do more work and goes blunt at a faster rate.
Speed of growth - How often you shave
If you shave twice a day you will obviously need to change the blade more frequently than if you shave daily or less frequently.
What you are shaving - The area of the shave
Again this would seem fairly obvious. If you are using a razor on your legs that’s a lot more surface area than your head which is a lot more surface area than your face.
How well you look after the blade
If you’ve ever left a razor in the bathroom and forgotten about it you will know that they oxidise (rust). You can help to avoid this by:
- Drying the blade after use.
- Storing it in a moisture free environment. Out of the bathroom.
- Oiling the blade.
The Blade you use
Not all blades are the same and some will last longer than others. You may also find you prefer a certain blade so it’s worth trying a few.
How you shave
Your pre-shave and shave routine will also affect how long your razor blade will last. For example, using good pre-shave oil and lubricating shaving soap will create less friction for the blade and therefore mean it lasts for longer.
Showering or using a hot towel will also have a significant impact as it softens the hair.
How many times you shave each area also impacts the blade as more passes means more work.
When to change your blade
As you can see how often you have to change your razor blade is likely to be a very personal thing. The best thing to do is to change it as soon as you notice it has stopped cutting so well either because it is hanging or pulling on the hair or you are having to go over the same area more often. Unlike with a cartridge razor, the blades cost pennies and can be recycled so there’s no reason to risk the discomfort you get from shaving with a blunt razor.
Next up: The best safety razor (in our opinion) - Handmade in the UK