From the day when a caveman first used a piece of chipped flint to scrape hair off of his face until Gillette introduced the Trac II, two-blade safety razor in 1971, a single razor blade was all that men ever used to shave their beards.
However, these days’ cartridge razor systems are advertised as the high performance, modern answer to facial hair growth with their cutting-edge designs and multi-blade innovations. Multimillion dollar advertising and marketing campaigns endorsed by athletic celebrities glorify the virtues of modern cartridges as being the sole masculine option worth considering for men's shaving toolkit.
But there’s trouble in paradise when you examine multi-blade cartridges versus single blade double edge razors. The problem stems from the fact that blades enclosed within the cartridge are extremely close together with very little spacing between each of the cutting edges. Consequently, it’s difficult for multi-blade systems to achieve a clean cut without multiple passes across your skin, which catches and pulls stubble, not to mention repeatedly clogging up those small gaps between blades with hair.
Conversely, a double edge single blade safety razor has only one cutting edge that glides smoothly across the surface of your skin using a far more comfortable cutting angle that clips the hair evenly and cleanly without excessive grabbing or pulling, assuming of course that you select the proper blade for your skin and beard type.
If you believe in conspiracies then you could theorize that large corporations abandoned the single blade razor as they realized that replacement blades at 5¢ each weren’t going to be a growth industry. Now Gillette, which is a division of the Procter & Gamble Company, launches a $100 million marketing campaign to introduce its new five blade flagship product called “Fusion” to snip those buggy little whiskers.
But the question remains, “Are more blades better?” The theory behind multi-blade razors is that they’re able to “lift and cut” hair below the skin line, which by the way, is a major reason men experience ingrown hairs. Another side effect of multi-blade razors is that when you drag six blades across your face it causes even more skin irritation and spawns more bumps than a single blade does.
Noted dermatologists assert that simply applying warm soapy water to your face using a high quality lathering brush for 2 ½ to 3 minutes to fully soften and hydrate facial hair and then shaving with a traditional single blade safety razor, you can get just as close and comfortable a shave as you get with the latest and greatest technological innovations contain in multi-blade cartridge of any kind.