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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your First Safety Razor

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your First Safety Razor

Guest Writer Series |

Taking your first step into the world of wet shaving with a safety razor can be both exciting and daunting. With numerous options on the market, each with unique features and benefits, choosing your first safety razor might seem overwhelming. Don't fret - this guide is designed to make your journey smoother and more rewarding. Let's explore how you can choose your first safety razor wisely.

What is a Safety Razor?

A safety razor is a shaving instrument that has a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. The design of the safety razor makes it nearly impossible to accidentally cut yourself, thus the name "safety razor." Originating in the late 18th century, the safety razor has become a favorite amongst shaving enthusiasts and environmentalists alike for its close shave and minimal waste.

Why Choose a Safety Razor?

  1. Better Shave: Safety razors provide a close and high-quality shave. They cut the hair cleanly without pulling it, which reduces irritation and the chances of developing razor bumps.

  2. Cost-Effective: The blades for safety razors are cheaper than cartridge razor replacements. Although the initial cost of a safety razor can be higher, the long-term savings are significant.

  3. Environmentally Friendly: Safety razors produce less waste than disposable razors, as only the blades need to be replaced.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your First Safety Razor

1. Weight and Balance

The weight of a safety razor affects how you control it. Lighter razors require you to apply more pressure, while heavier ones need less force. Most beginners find heavier razors easier to handle since the weight of the razor does most of the work.

Balance, on the other hand, refers to how the weight of the razor is distributed. A well-balanced razor will give you better control and a smoother shave.

2. Handle Length

This is largely dependent on personal preference. Some people prefer long handles because they provide more area to grip, while others opt for shorter ones because they feel more balanced.

3. Blade Gap and Exposure

The blade gap is the distance between the blade and the safety bar. A larger blade gap gives a more aggressive shave but increases the risk of cuts and nicks. As a beginner, it's recommended to start with a safety razor with a small blade gap.

The blade exposure refers to how much of the blade is visible and accessible to the skin. Like the blade gap, higher blade exposure leads to a more aggressive shave.

4. Razor Head: Open Comb vs Closed Comb

Open comb razors have teeth-like structures that guide the hair to the blade. They provide a more aggressive shave and are suitable for thicker, coarser beards. Closed comb razors, with their flat safety bar, are less aggressive and provide a gentler shave, making them ideal for beginners or those with sensitive skin.

5. Price

While you don't necessarily need to splurge on your first safety razor, remember that quality matters. Invest in a well-built, durable safety razor that offers a good balance between price and performance.

Recommended Safety Razors for Beginners

  1. Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl: This razor is celebrated for its smooth performance, perfect balance, and comfortable grip. Its closed comb design makes it ideal for beginners.

  2. Merkur 34C Heavy Duty: This short handle, closed comb razor is known for its exceptional balance and control. It's a bit more aggressive than the Edwin Jagger but still manageable for beginners.

  3. Parker 99R: This razor features a butterfly open mechanism, which makes changing blades easy. It's heavier than most safety razors, providing a close, smooth shave with minimal effort.

Remember, shaving with a safety razor is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time to master. Don't be discouraged if your first few shaves aren't perfect. With patience and practice, you will soon experience the benefits of using a safety razor. Happy shaving!

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