Start searching for razors anywhere and you’ll quickly notice how many options there are with the number of razor blades. One blade, three blades, five blades – sometimes even more. Is having more blades actually better? Or does it not matter at all? We’re here to help you make the best choice for your personal shave routine. Keep reading to learn the best number of blades for shaving – and why.
Double and Multiple Razor Blades
From television advertisements to store shelves, we’re told that the more razor blades, the better. The main purpose of having multiple blades is to give you a closer shave than you’d get with just one blade. These razors are designed to cut with the leading blade, which is blunt. But to get the close shave, that first blade also slightly pulls or catches that hair from your skin in the process. The rest of the blades follow suit, continuing to pull your hair follicles so the razors can achieve a close shave.
As the number of razor blades increases, this action is repeated, with each blade essentially performing clean-up duty for what the previous blade may have missed. With that being said, any man or woman in the market for a razor would assume that 5 or 6 is the best number of blades for shaving. But is that really true?
Before all of the multi-bladed razors of today, men used straight razors, which were a single blade. The first safety razors were introduced in the United States in the late 19th/early 20th century, offering men an easy and convenient way to shave at home; safety razors for women were introduced not long after. Single blade razors, just like the ones of decades prior, are designed to only shave the surface of your skin – no pulling at the hair.
The Bigger the Better?
Everyone wants a better shave, including wanting a closer shave, less skin irritation, and minimizing the chance of nicks and cuts. The number of razor blades on your shaving tool can have an impact on all those things. Since multi-bladed razors cut below the surface, they’re designed to give you a close shave. While that might lead you to believe that the best number of blades for shaving is as many as possible, excessive amounts of blades cause shaving irritation.
The higher the number of razor blades added to your razor, the more that the actions of the primary and secondary blades are repeated. Essentially, this means that you’re continuously running razor blades across your skin. This mechanism can increase the possibility for razor burn, nicks and cuts, and ingrown hairs – which can then lead to razor bumps; and this is compounded when you use inferior or no shaving cream or gel.
That’s not to say that single blades are without their issues. Single-bladed razors can only shave the hair that’s visible on the surface of your skin, limiting how close of a shave that you can get. Some may also need to apply more pressure to the razor or to pass the razor blade over their skin multiple times to shave all of their hair, which like a multi-bladed razor, can result in nicks, cuts, razor burn, and other shaving irritation.
Achieving a Better Shave
Whether you’re using a single blade, double blade, or a five-bladed razor, irritation is always possible, making it difficult to determine the best number of blades for shaving. It becomes even more difficult when you take into account differing skin types, varying hair thickness and texture, and the fact that hair can grow in different directions. While the number of razor blades is certainly going to have an effect on your shave, achieving a better shave starts with what you’re putting on your skin: your shaving cream and shaving gel.
Applying shaving gel or cream isn’t just another unnecessary step in your shave routine. These products act as a protective layer between your skin and your razor, making the process a lot easier on your skin. They’re designed to hydrate your skin and soften your hair to make it easier to cut, combating against the drying effects of shaving by moisturizing your skin, and providing a slick layer that helps to reduce redness, razor burn, and shaving irritation.
Now that you know how essential shaving products are to your routine, you’re one step closer to your ideal shave. Many choose to start by splashing skin with warm water, since this opens pores, relaxes and loosens skin, and softens hair. Then they grab their shaving cream and razor with their chosen number of razor blades, and begin to shave. Now, the problem is you can’t see what you’re doing, your razor keeps getting clogged, and your skin is getting irritated from the shaving cream and repeated passes of your razor – even with a multi-bladed razor.
We can’t stress just how much your shaving products can impact your shave, helping your razor do its job and do it well. Many traditional shaving creams produce a lot of foam and lather when they’re expelled from their containers. This is because they contain sulfates, agents used in laundry detergents, shampoos, soaps, and shaving products for their ability to create a lather effect. Though the lather gives the appearance of moisture and protection for a better shave, this isn’t always the case. The large amount of lather significantly decreases your visibility when you shave. It also clogs your razor, regardless of the number of razor blades you’re utilizing.
Much like with the best number of blades for shaving, more doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to your shaving product. You don’t need a dense shaving product to shave properly; you need a moisturizing formula that doesn’t interfere with the number of razor blades. Timothy’s Skincare has formulated shaving products designed to help give you the shave you want, without irritating your skin or clogging your razor.
Our shaving cream has a unique, non-foaming formula that helps give you a close and comfortable shave that doesn’t clog your razor blades, while our shaving gel is transparent to give you high visibility when you shave and help reduce nicks, cuts, and bumps that can occur with too dense of a foam. Both are HRIPT-tested and certified, meaning they’re free from harmful ingredients; they’re also hypoallergenic, sulfate- and paraben-free, alcohol-free, and safe for those with sensitive skin. With a more effective shaving product, you only need a base layer to allow any number of razor blades to glide across the skin.
Best Number of Blades for Shaving With Cream or Gel
Though they’re both designed to protect your skin while you shave, choosing one or another could impact the closeness of your shave. The primary difference between the two is their consistency. Shaving cream has an airier texture, while gel is clear and lightweight. If you’re looking to get a close shave, gel may be the best option because of its transparency. Its transparency gives you high visibility, so you can see exactly what and where you’re shaving for a more precise finish. It also eliminates the need to press down too hard on the razor, which helps to reduce irritation.
The formulation of gel has an impact on the number of razor blades you’re using, as well. Since single-bladed razors only shave on the surface of skin, they often may not provide the shave you’re looking for. Double and multi-bladed razors are designed to rectify this, with the blades slightly tugging hair to give you a close shave. However, too many razor blades can cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. While the best number of blades for shaving will vary depending on your skin type, hair texture, and shaving product, two or three blades should be enough for a clean shave. You get the benefits of the close shave multi-blades provide, with a lessened risk of shaving irritation. A higher number of razor blades will not result in a better shave – better shave preparation with your shaving gel will. With gel, a two-blade razor can be just as effective as a five-blade razor.
The Number of Razor Blades Does Matter
Your shaving product is just as important to achieving a better, smoother shave as the number of razor blades you use. Without quality products, we’re confident you won't get a great shave no matter how many blades you use. We suggest using a quality, sharp five blade razor to get the best shave possible, but even if you’re prepped with a five-blade razor, you may not get the shave you want if your blades get clogged and you can’t see anything you’re shaving. Timothy’s Skincare shaving products are designed to help you achieve the shave you want by offering you formulas that create a slick and moisturizing layer, and enable the razor to glide across your skin. For a confident shave with two blades or five, try Timothy’s Skincare products today!