When I first started shaving, my mom threw a pack of Bic disposable razors at me and just let me go to town. Granted, I was older than most girls who start shaving. I ripped open the bag, excited that my mom was finally going to let me shave, only to find these cheap plastic razors with one blade. I may not had been an experienced shaver, but I had seen enough Venus commercials to know that one blade was not going to be enough. I gave those one-blade razors a shot, and they got the job done, but not well. I just continued to steal my mom’s half-decent razors until I was old enough to drive to the store and buy my own.
Back then, it seemed like having three blades was the ultimate indicator of a topnotch razor. Now, razors are being made with more and more blades every year it seems. How many blades are enough and how many is too many? The reason multi-blade razors are touted as being the best is because the blades can pass over your skin multiple times. The first blade is supposed to lift the hair upward, while the remaining blades cut the hair thoroughly. The more blades there are, the greater chance that they will cut the hair as close as possible to the skin. The only issue is that sometimes, multiple blade razors can occasionally cut the hair below the skin’s surface. So although razors with multiple blades can help you achieve a very close shave, they also increase the risk of ingrown hairs. This occurs when hair follicles get caught below the skin; the skin can then become red and covered in razor bumps.
The truth is, three blades should be enough, but there is nothing wrong with four or five. For some people, two is even enough, but again, you probably won’t get a very close shave with less than three blades. When you use one or two blades, you are more likely to shave over the same area multiple times, making it more likely to get razor burn and ingrown hairs. The blades also become duller faster, further increasing the risk of skin irritation.
As far as using three or five blades, it really depends on what you are comfortable with since everyone’s skin and preferences are different. In my opinion, a razor with five blades seems a little excessive. It is going to cause more friction and increase the chance of skin irritation, but the factor that most people forget about is price. Most razor companies are going to charge more money for more blades. Why pay for five blades when three will do the trick?
If you do love the feeling of four or five blade razors, make sure you are using them carefully. Always moisten the skin before shaving and use plenty of shaving cream to keep the skin soft, moisturized and protected. No matter what razor you use, always apply a daily moisturizer afterwards as well to prevent dry and flaky skin.