The longer you use the blade, the duller it becomes. So, how often should you change your razor blades to always get a smooth shave? Read on for the answer.
Shaving is, to most gentlemen, a tedious chore that they need to perform daily. One of the biggest mistakes people make when shaving is that they fail to replace their blades on time. And shaving with dull blades makes the shaving experience even more dreaded. So, how often should you change your razor blades?
While there are some set numbers for your reference, several other factors can influence the need for a replacement, such as how often you shave, your hair type, where the blade is stored, and post-shaving maintenance. That’s what we will explain in detail in this article!
How Many Shaves Per Razor Blade?
Decent razor blades last between 5 and 10 shaves, although how long does your razor blade last will radically depend on the frequency of use and facial hair’s density and thickness.
For example, Gillette, a common American safety razor brand, actually recommends changing your razor blade even sooner, after around 5 to 7 uses.
As far as hair density and thickness are concerned, it’s reasonable for the blade to become blunt faster because it has to deal with more workload. In other words, these factors will determine how hard the blade has to work to slice through hair and the resulting amount of stress that can wear it out.
It means, in general, soft, thin, and sparse facial hair will wear out the blade slower than thick and dense spots. In some cases, however, the facial hair can be soft but dense or thick but sparse. Therefore, how fast the blade gets dull also varies significantly across users.
On the other hand, the numbers of shaving times are just a general standard for your reference. It is advisable to pay close attention to the shave quality to know when your blade needs a replacement.
Once a blade becomes duller, you will notice it pulls more than usual across the skin, resulting in skin soreness and irritation after the shave. In addition, if the shave looks not as close as usual, it’s time to make a switch.
How Often Should You Change Your Razor Blades?
As mentioned above, the coarseness of the hair directly indeed affects the blade’s longevity as well as its changing frequency.
Coarse facial hair will make the blade dull quicker since the blade will work harder to slice through it. Therefore, it would be best if you could change the blade every 1-2 shavings.
The frequency of changing blades with medium facial hair will need monthly is the same as those with coarse hair. So, the blades should be replaced every 1-2 shavings for the best results.
Soft hair does not create too much pressure for the blade to cut through. As a result, you’ll need to get a replacement twice less often than the two hair types above.
In other words, switch it once after your hair has around 3 shavings. You might prefer to change the blade once a week in case it gets dull from erosion.
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Factors Determine That You Need A New Blade
Although a blade can last from 5 to 10 shaves, there are a few factors that can affect the actual longevity of the blade you’re using.
Shaving Surface Area
The larger the skin area the blade needs to cover, the faster it will become dull. Also, since different areas grow hair of different thicknesses and densities, the damages imposed to the blade can be different depending on where you shave.
Areas such as chin and mustaches have thicker and coarser hair and wear out the blade quicker than head or sideburns. Another spot that will dull the blade faster is the neck, where the hair grows uncontrollably in different directions.
How often you shave will affect how often you should swap the blade. People who put the blade into frequent use will find themselves in need of a replacement sooner than those shaving every few days.
A small tip is to place a dice next to where you shave to track how many times you use the blade.
Razor Blade Quality
The quality of the blade has a major impact on how long razor blades last. Thus, shaving with quality razor blades means that you’ll need to get a replacement not as often as you would with inferior ones:
- One of the best materials for razor blades is stainless steel. The material can last longer than others and is not easy to rust in humid environments. (Check out: The Best Stainless Steel Safety Razors Reviews)
- Most blades come with a coating to further prevent rusting and allow for easier cleaning by reducing buildup or snagging. Platinum is the widely-used material used for razor blade coating. Other common coating elements are ceramic, PTFE, chromium, or tungsten.
- Grind is the blade’s initial sharpness and thickness. Different grinds offer different cutting abilities and, thus, different shaving experiences and outcomes.
- Blades from trustable brands will more likely stay longer and create smoother passes. On the contrary, avoid buying razor blades of low quality as they will be replaced more often and will impair the shaving experience.
How To Make Your Blades Last Longer?
Avoid Dry Shave
Dry shaving will reduce the blade sharpness faster than wet shaving. Keep your skin hydrated and moist so the blade can cut through your hairs with less effort.
Therefore, you should apply creamy, moisturizing shaving cream to minimize the friction between the skin and blade, preventing your blade from getting blunt. Don’t be tempted to skim on the amount of shaving cream: you should generously use it on both your face and blade surface.
Check out: 4 Steps to Get a Close Shave Without Irritation
Proper Blade Maintenance
If you don’t clean and maintain the blade the right way, there is little wonder why it gets blunt quicker than expected. Hairs, shaving soap, dead skin cells, and other debris accumulate inside the razor over time, and if you ignore discarding them between uses, you risk damaging the blade.
It is advisable to rinse the blade with hot water between strokes, so it won’t have to force itself through a debris barrier before reaching the hair.
After the shave, dry the razor and blade with a towel before storing them in a dry place to prevent rust from forming. Beware of any condensation occurring in the storage to keep your blade sharp as long as possible.
It’s worth mentioning that the combination of salt and water is detrimental to stainless steel. For that reason, rinse the blade rubbing alcohol post-shaving to keep it free of dust and sharp for longer.
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Steer Clear Of Low-Quality Razor Blades
Stock up on high-quality razor blades will save you money over the long run. They are not easy to lose the sharpness and get blunt, and won’t cause skin irritation, cuts, or nicks post-shaving.
See also: Are Expensive Razors Worth It? Should You Always Buy Them?
How To Change Your Razor Blades?
Sooner or later, you will need to replace the blade. To know the right time for a replacement, you should pay close attention to the strokes during shaving. If there’s a sign of tugging or pulling, you’d better change to a new one.
In addition, you need to change the blade if your skin feels more irritated than normal post-shave. If you keep shaving with the same blade, bacteria start to develop, resulting in a high likelihood of skin infection.
Notice: Don’t test the sharpness by holding the sharp edge as you cut yourself.
Step 1: Twist The Razor Handle Anti-Clockwise
Use one hand to hold the razor handle and the other to hold the head. Twist it to the left until the top head opens up and reveals the blade.
Always hold the razor in a straight position and avoid tipping it to the side to avoid the head falling out of the razor while you’re rotating.
Step 2: Take Out The Blade
Grab the 2 shorter sides of the blade with both the thumb and index finger. Never hold the sharp edge under any circumstances since you’ll cut your fingers.
Step 3: Replace The Old Blade
Carefully place it into the head. Most blades will have a sign to show the direction they should be facing.
Step 4: Close The Head
After sliding the blade into the head, re-assemble other components to cover it up. Rotate the body to the right to secure the razor. To check if the connection between body and head is loose or not, tilt the razor to different sides.
See also: How to Take a Blade Out of a Disposable Razor?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Important To Change Razor Blade?
Here are 2 reasons why it’s incredibly crucial to change your blade:
- Shave Quality: Sticking to a dull blade renders your shaving much less effective. You don’t feel like the blade gets as close as you want, and in some cases, you feel the urge to look for ways to improve the shave, like using a trimmer.
- Skin Health: A blunt blade won’t glide smoothly, but it drags across your skin, which increases the likelihood of razor burns and bumps. In addition, since it does not shave as effectively as it should, you may want to add more strokes to achieve a closer shave, resulting in more stress imposed on the skin.
What Causes Dull Blades?
There are 3 factors that cause the blade to get dull:
- The steel will corrode over time.
- The contact with whiskers will wear the blade down after each shave.
- Leaving the blade wet will cause it to get blunt quicker.
How often you should change your razor blades will depend on your hair type and shave routine. However, you should not persist in using a blade after 10 shaves, and you need to change your blade as soon as your skin shows some signs of irritation.
We hope your newfound knowledge will help you take care of the blade better and have a smooth shave. It’s always a great idea to shave in the shower and be heavy-handed on the hair soap or gel to avoid friction.