If you shave on even a remotely regular basis, you’ll know that razor blades these days come with a second mortgage. Sure we enjoy the comfort and closeness of 3 to 5 blades just as much as the next guy, but that also equates to as many blades going dull just as fast as a single blade would. Heaven forbid your razor is one of those that takes pricey AA batteries.
So here are a few tried and tested tips from EveryGuyed on how to keep those blades lasting longer.
Properly Prepare Your Face
Some guys might not consider this, but rushing through a dry shave, or one where your beard hasn’t been fully softened, takes a real toll on your blades. You wouldn’t use your best knives to hack away at a piece of frozen beef, would you? You’d thaw it out first.
So here are a few things you can do to make life easier for your beard and your blade:
- Always wait 20-30 minutes before shaving in the morning, since your face is puffy with overnight fluid that keeps you from getting a close shave.
- Whenever you have time, try and soak your beard in warm water or steam for at least 15 minutes, this will relax your skin and soften your beard hair dramatically, making it easier for your blade to cut.
- Don’t use too much product: it’s more about how you work the lather onto your face than how much of it there is. If using a shaving brush, use painters strokes. If using your hands, use a gentle circular motion. There shouldn’t be any lather built up on your face, just a nice, thin, even layer covering the hair.
- Rinse your blade every few strokes, this clears out built up lather and hair.
rushing through a dry shave, or one where your beard hasn’t been fully softened, takes a real toll on your blades
The Straight Razor
The straight razor has made a bit of a comeback among some men, and while 98% of you probably don’t shave with a straight razor, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a knack to keeping that shaving device at its sharpest for as long as possible. Here are a few tips for those truly committed to this bloody craft:
- Always keep your blade sharp, using a dull blade increases wear on both your razor and your face dramatically.
- Find a local barber who’s willing to sharpen your blade for you, and failing that, seek out an online service that’s reputable.
- To keep your blade sharp yourself, use a shaving strop, a leather strap used to sharpen the blade. Sharpen as you would a steak knife. Pull away from your body, and use even strokes to keep the edge.
Caring for Cartridge Style Razors
If current trends persist, pretty soon your going to have a 12 blade razor, and it’s going to cost you $150 a month to shave. So in preparation for that day, and to help you extend the life of your current set up, here are a few key tips:
- Rinse your blade in hot water every few strokes: this clears the blade for cutting, and a hot blade will go through hair easier and more cleanly than a cool or cold one will.
- Clean your blade after every use: Take the time to properly rinse it in hot water, then dry it with a towel. If you want, pour a little rubbing alcohol on your blade, this will purge any remaining moisture that will dull and oxidize the cutting surfaces.
- Store you razor away from moisture: Even having it out on the counter when you shower affects the blades long term performance. The blade should be put in a cool, dry place after it’s been properly cleaned.
pour a little rubbing alcohol on your blade, this will purge any remaining moisture that will dull and oxidize the cutting surfaces
These tips might seem trivial, but if you stop and thing about your regular shaving routine, you could probably benefit from being more diligent about razor care. It’s the small things that make a blade last longer, and even if you get a few extra shaves out of each one, it adds up. Just think, when it’s all said and done, those extra pennies you save can earn you a trip to the liquor store. Just don’t drink and shave.
Shaving stories? Razor recommendations? Everyone’s got an opinion on razors; we’d love to hear yours! Use the comments box below!