From the classic barbershop-style straight style to the newest six-bladed wonder, there are a variety of different razors to choose from. You may be asking yourself whether or not it is better to shave with one blade or multiple blades.
Generally, single-blade razors are better for people who have sensitive skin because fewer blades create less friction and skin irritation. Multiple-blade razors are okay for less sensitive skin and can give you a smoother, more efficient shave. In all cases, proper skin preparation and shaving technique are critical for a successful shave.
Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of both single- and multiple-blade razors.
Is it better to shave with a single blade?
When looking for the right type of razor to use when shaving, you may be confused by how many blades the razor should have. Razors can vary greatly, and depending upon your needs and the kind of skin and hair you have, it is important to choose the right razor for you.
Single-blade razors are great for people who want a simple razor and have sensitive skin. Single blade razors reduce the chance of getting razor burn, ingrown hairs, and irritating your skin.
Single blade razors are also known as safety razors and for good reason. They are generally seen as a safer blade to use when shaving since they have a blade guard which can help prevent nicks and ingrown hairs. They have been used since the beginning of shaving. With just a single blade, there is less friction on the face which reduces the risk of getting cut, ingrown hairs, and razor burn.
The replacement blades are also far cheaper at about 10-25 cents each whereas a standard cartridge replacement blade is around $2 or more.
In order to know if a single-blade razor is the best option, let’s compare it to alternatives with more blades: using razors with more blades makes your skin more prone to getting irritated as there is more friction and drag. The more blades on your razor, the higher the chance of irritating your skin especially if you are someone who has sensitive skin.
However, there are benefits to using multiple-bladed razors if you do not have sensitive skin. More blades mean a closer, more efficient, and easier shave. You will spend less time shaving while using a razor that has more blades as the cutting is faster and more efficient.
You also will not have to glide over the area many times or even more than once as the cutting is a lot more precise. Every blade in a multiple blade razor repeats the shave with the next razor and so on. This is how you are able to get such a close shave on every stroke.
Do single blade safety razors reduce razor burn?
Razors with multiple blades increase the amount of friction against the skin which in turn increases the chance of getting razor burn.
Single blade razors help reduce razor burn as the razor is not able to scrape against the skin as hard when used compared to a multiple-bladed razor.
Although getting a perfect and close shave is easier with a multiple-bladed razor, using a single blade or safety razor does not produce as much drag and pressure against your skin. So, if you are someone with sensitive skin, then using a single-blade razor is the best way to go.
Do safety razors prevent ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs can also sometimes be the result of improper shaving technique rather than just the razor itself, although using a single blade razor will be the best option for reducing any skin irritation as much as possible. Less skin irritation means fewer ingrown hairs overall.
Safety razors are perfect for preventing ingrown hairs as it cuts hair smoothly and evenly on the surface of your skin. There is also a blade guard that helps clear the path of shaving and ensure hair underneath the skin is not cut which helps prevent any ingrown hairs.
This is especially important for men with curly hair.
According to the National Health Service in the UK, ingrown hairs are best prevented by using a new, sharp, and single-blade razor every time you shave. Using a blunt razor will make your skin much more prone to ingrown hairs and so will using a razor with multiple blades.
Do more blades mean a better shave?
Razors that have multiple blades will give you a closer, faster, and more efficient shave. They will also require fewer strokes and less effort to get the perfect shave.
Shaving with multiple-bladed razors can make the razor more precise in cutting the hair. Each sequential blade on the razor helps cut the hair even more precisely than the blade before.
Overall, more blades mean a close, effortless, and quick shave.
The only issue is that if you have sensitive skin, then more blades make your skin more prone to irritation as there is more scraping against the skin. This can cause razor burn and ingrown hairs which will not give you a better shave.
Pros and cons of shaving with one blade
A razor with one blade is also known as a safety razor. It has a device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin for protection.
Single-blade razors are more gentle on the skin, more affordable, portable, and easy to use if used properly, although they may require a bit more effort to get the perfect shave.
When it comes to figuring out what shaving razor is best for you, it is important to know what you are looking for and what your needs are. If you have sensitive skin or are easily susceptible to ingrown hairs and razor burn, then perhaps using a multiple-bladed razor is not the best option for you.
If you have less sensitive skin and want to shave effortlessly and quickly, then razors with more blades may be a better option.
- Less razor burns and skin irritation – Single-bladed razors produce little drag and friction against your skin because less pressure is needed.
- No ingrown hairs – The guard on a safety razor helps protect your hair follicles from getting clogged which allows the hair to grow back smoothly without an ingrown hair.
- Affordable – Safety razor blades are quite cheap and will only run you about 10-25 cents per blade
- Portable – Single-blade razors are small and compact which makes them efficient and easy to put into your to-go toiletries bag.
- Simple and easy to use – With only one blade, safety razors are perfect for a simple and easy shave. They are great for someone who is just starting off with shaving.
- Frequent blade replacement – Depending on the type of single-blade razor you choose and how thick and tough your hair is, the blade should be replaced regularly every 5 to 10 shaves maximum to maintain sharpness. Depending on what safety razor you choose, some blades can be re-sharpened after use.
- Slower and less efficient shaving – With a single-blade razor you may need to go over the area where your hair is a few times at a specific angle, compared to a razor with multiple blades that can shave it all in one stroke.
Pros and cons of shaving with multiple blade cartridge razors
Multiple blade cartridge razors usually have anywhere from 2-6 blades where each blade serves a purpose.
Here is what a common three-bladed razor does:
- First blade – hooks and pulls up the hair follicle
- Second blade – cuts hair that is more exposed
- Third blade – backup blade that cuts any hair remaining.
This concept is the same for 4, 5, and 6 blade razors.
Razors with more blades tend to be more popular and marketed more aggressively, promoting that they have a faster and more efficient shave because there are more blades. However, they are generally rougher on the skin, and less affordable.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of multiple blade razors.
- Comfortable and easy – With more blades, the razor glides smoothly over the skin and cuts facial hair cleanly with precision.
- Effortless – More blades and progressive geometry allows for just one stroke to remove the facial hair effortlessly and there’s no need to get the perfect angle.
- Increased chance of razor burn and skin irritation – With more blades there is more friction and against the skin which can cause razor burn and irritation easily especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Increased chance of ingrown hairs – The first blade hooks the hair, and the second blade can sometimes cut hair beneath the skin (especially true for men with curly hair). This will give a great, close shave, but may set you up for more ingrown hairs.