Via menshealth.com – I’m no shaving expert—I’m just an average guy with a face full of unruly stubble. I’m prone to razor bumps. I struggle with ingrown hairs. And if every blade causes irritation, do I really want more with another multi-bade razor?
Here’s the thing: Multi-blade razors give you a close shave because they cut the hairs below the surface of your skin. Some men swear by them. (We gave this one a Grooming Award.) The first blade catches the hair and tugs it taut. The following blades slice it, and when it goes slack, it’s been trimmed just a tiny bit below the skin level. Sure, it feels smooth to the touch, but it can get ingrown as it tries to reach the surface again.
So when I saw a recommendation from a dermatologist for a single-blade razor, I thought I’d give it a try. The traditional safety razor from Baxter of California ($65, Buy It Here) is supposed to shave at the surface, not below. Plus, it looks like a tiny version of a medieval weapon. I wasn’t even sure how to use it, let alone if it would work. I decided to find out—and here’s what happened.
First off, it looked good. It had a nice heft. It was shiny. And it was double-edged, meaning there were cutting blades on both sides—kind of like a battle axe. Speaking of blades, they were sharp, too. In fact, from the first stroke there was a real satisfaction to watching this single blade clear a perfectly clean path in four days’ worth of stubble. Of course, the first stroke was on an easy, flat area of my cheek. Then it got trickier.
One of the innovations of modern razors is the many blades. Another is the pivot head. I have to confess, I missed the pivot head. Getting the angle right with the single blade was simple, but going around corners was a different story. The instructions—yes it comes with instructions—advise trying “shorter, straight strokes avoiding ‘turns.'” (I can hear these old-timey shave experts scoffing as they put the word “turns” in quotes.) I shaved in isolated patches. It got easier. But I never quite figured out how to get those stubborn hairs right at the base of my nostrils.