A proper shave can be pricey. Razors are simple tools but if you're not careful can carry sharp costs that impact both your finances and your health. "A proper shave is vital for both men and women to prevent razor burn, nicks, cuts, and ingrown hairs. And, worst of all, you can get something called folliculitis, which is bacteria that can build up in your razor and transfer to your skin causing pimples and irritation," says Genevieve Bochanty, consultant with The Art of Shaving.
Over the course of a year, it's easy to spend hundreds of dollars on disposables and replacement blades, but how much is too much? Well, according to the experts at The Art of Shaving, you should change your blade every three to five shaves, or up to seven shaves if you have light hair. If you have coarse hair, make that every two to three shaves. Another way to know when it's time to change a blade is when you get nicked, or have to go over the same portion of skin more than once.
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To ensure your blades last as long as possible, you'll want to ready your skin. "Men's hair can be as tough as copper wire, so the more heat you can get to the face the softer the beard hair will get and the more you prepare it, the easier it will be to cut," says Bochanty. This is why it's best to shave during or just after a shower.
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Also consider investing in quality shaving products like pre-shave oil, which helps soften the hair and protect the skin. Shave creams and after-shave lotions can keep the skin moisturized and ingrown-hair free, as well. "These products are more expensive, but you're going to get a greater quality shave, and [your razors] will last longer over time," adds Bochanty.
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Now with so many different razors on the market you should base your razor purchase on your skin type, hair type and any skin sensitivities. "For example, multiple blades take multiple layers of skin off. Five blades are going to take five layers of skin, so people with sensitive skin just need one blade," says Bochanty. To get your blade to last longer, avoid letting it sit and rust in the shower. Dry your razor after every use. Or, for about $20, The Blade Buddy helps extend the life of your razor from days to weeks by resurfacing the blade and keeping the edges sharper, longer.
Got any shaving tricks? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.