You might wonder why anyone would use a safety razor since you can easily purchase a cheap and convenient cartridge razor with various features, such as a vibrating motor and many blades. One of the most glaring reasons is that disposable or cartridge razors typically cause more skin irritation, provide a worse shave, and are highly detrimental to the environment. It also doesn’t help that cartridge razors are bad for your wallet in the long run.
It is easy to believe that all of this is wrong, especially with cartridge razor companies telling you the significant difference between safety razors and their products is that theirs is better. Since all of this is confusing, let’s discover the merits and demerits.
Before we answer why shaving with a safety razor is better, we must discuss the history of shaving.
Do You Know The History Of Shaving? More Importantly, The History Of The Razor?
Shaving has always been with us since the very beginning. While what the early humans used to shave 32,000 years ago isn’t typically known, researchers have discovered evidence to show that we did shave. Unfortunately, early mankind didn’t create well-crafted razors for years to come, so humans used seashells and other materials. The first razor wasn’t invented till around 3,000 BC in Egypt and India. Also, the first disposable razor blade was invented in the 1900s.
Since that time, the understanding of facial hair has been determined predominantly by culture, religion, simple preference, rulers, role models, and convenience in war. As such, beards became fashionable and unfashionable at various times. For instance, the Romans mainly kept clean, shaved faces, only letting them grow during times of mourning. Conversely, the Greeks kept beards and only shaved when mourning.
The way people viewed facial hair was heavily influenced by the leaders or important figures of that time. From the Beatles to Alexander the Great, important figures have set facial hair trends in modern times.
It wasn’t until the late 1800s that how men shaved was wholly transformed. The use of a traditional razor to cut facial hair began to wane in 1880 as the Kampfe brothers created the progenitor of the safety razor. The safety razor was designed to minimize the required skill to shave facial hair properly.
Why Were Disposable Razors Invented?
This remained the case until King Camp Gillette introduced the gospel of disposable shaving. As founder of the Gilette company that still exists today, he developed his company on the philosophy of disposability. Traveling salespeople further spread this philosophy by trying to sell their goods. Since then, disposable razors have been the choice of most men in the western world. This was until plastic razors were created in the late 20th century. They were billed as a fantastic invention; however, they provided a worse quality of shaving, contributed to plastic pollution, and cost more.
The reason for this proliferation is the effective marketing scheme, so much so that it is known as the razors and blades business model. This business model is to create a product that has a reliable income by making the customer make recurring purchases. For instance, companies sell these razor handles for a fraction of their production costs, with some even making a loss. Nevertheless, the replacement cartridge blades are sold at a premium, causing the company to make a massive profit from them. This business model has made the shaving industry brands what they are today.
Shaving brands also introduced new features, such as adding more blades to the razor to create what they say is an improved shave. This has transformed shaving into the billion-dollar industry today, with significant companies profiting from customers purchasing expensive cartridge replacements.
With that in mind, let us discuss the difference between a safety razor and a cartridge razor.
Disposable Razors vs Safety Razors
Most people pick disposable razors for one specific reason: they are a lot cheaper to purchase. It also doesn’t hurt that they provide a quicker and more convenient shave. A disposable razor is perfect for those that don’t have a lot of time on their hands to shave.
Many people still have a lot of questions about Safety Razors. How are safety razors better than disposable razors? We answer your burning questions below:
Is A Safety Razor Dangerous? or Do Safety Razors Cut More?
No, Safety razors are not more dangerous. Safety razors provide more stability than a cartridge razor and have only one blade compared to multi-blade cartridge razors.
Cuts and nicks while shaving cannot be solely attributed to the blade—it also has to do with the razor’s shape and how it is handled. The handle’s weight and the blade’s construction make the razor heavier. This added weight provides improved stability and durability, giving you more control over your shave.
The same cannot be said when you handle a razor that is too light, as this can cause you to place unnecessary pressure on the razor when handling it. The extra pressure causes the blade to press into the skin instead of enabling the edge to glide along the skin gently and smoothly. The result is increased friction, nicks, and cuts, so when asked do safety razors cut more, the answer is no.
Do Safety Razors Give A Closer Shave?
Yes! A safety razor will give you a close shave without razor burn and as many skin irritations. Like me, if you choose to wet shave with your safety razor, you will get a closer shave than with a disposable razor.
A secret that multi-blade manufacturers don’t tell their customers is that most of their shaving problems and razor burn result from the friction of various blades against the skin. To help alleviate the situation, most cartridge razors created today are made with inbuilt aloe-soothing strips.
Rather than simply using different razors to shave hair, safety razors cut hair at the correct length and angle only once. This negates the need for a lubricating strip. The only way to avoid friction is to use safety razors.
Are Safety Razors Better For The Environment?
Safety razors, by design, are a lot more environmentally friendly than disposable razors – since they are constructed from stainless steel and have a bamboo coating that will last a lifetime. Safety Razors don’t impact the environment as much as disposable cartridge razors.
On the other hand, cartridges have been built from cheap plastic, which doesn’t last long and takes centuries to decompose fully. While this might not be an essential metric for some, if you are environmentally conscious, then the choice is clear.
Are Safety Razors Cheaper?
Yes! A safety razor helps you save money in the long run. This is especially true if you properly maintain your safety razor. Additionally, purchasing replacement blades for your safety razor are a lot cheaper, with some costing less than a dollar per blade. This price is a lot more affordable than the cost of replacing disposable razors.
While not necessarily a price advantage, safety razors look much better in a bathroom, providing an elevated aesthetic. They also offer a proper shave that everyone will eventually love.
How Many Blades Should My Razor Have?
With safety razors, you get one blade which is more than enough. Safety razors provide a close shave because the blade is razor sharp and capable of cutting your hair.
It is constructed from high-quality stainless steel, much thinner and sharper than you would get on a disposable razor. Nevertheless, shaving with a safety razor requires you to learn the correct technique.
The correct technique enables you to cut your hair in fewer strokes, using less pressure. There is a correlation between how many times a blade goes over your skin and how much irritation you feel.
Is A Safety Razor Better Than A Cartridge?
Choosing to switch from cartridges to safety razors might feel overwhelming; however, this is due to the plethora of unfounded myths associated with safety razors. Nevertheless, the reality remains that most people prefer safety razors with their single-edge blades because they can better control the razor, essentially avoiding razor burns, blemishes, cuts, and nicks.
All of these benefits mean that you can get a better shave. A safety razor can be a great way to care for your face. To help with this, you will need tools like good shaving cream and a shaving brush. When combined with a high-quality safety razor, it results in a massive quality difference in your shave.
The fact that the safety razor has existed for so long and yet is used today by men shows its quality. With the highlighted facts, you can see why shaving with a safety razor is on the rise.
Conclusion: Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razor
While shaving with a safety razor might have been initially viewed as old-fashioned, shaving this way is making a comeback. Many neophytes still question why the type of razor they use when shaving matters. Due to a lack of knowledge, most people prefer using the cartridge razor and its multiple-blade array.
Despite the anxiety and fear initially associated with safety razors, their advantages are becoming well known. However, when you take an objective view of the advantages and disadvantages of each razor type, it becomes clear that using a safety razor is the best way to deliver a better shave. While shaving with a safety razor might require more time and preparation than a disposable razor, the benefits of taking a bit more time to shave certainly make up for any drawbacks.
Do you think a safety razor is better than a cartridge razor? Let us know your thoughts.
A safety razor allows you to get a close fresh shave with less enviromental impact than using a disposable razor. Also with a safety razer there are less blades sliding across your skin.
Yes, in the long run safety razors are significantly cheaper than disposable razors. However, the upfront cost is slightly higher to buy a safety razor as opposed to a disposable razor.