Expert Q+A

How often should I change a razor blade? And is there anything else I need to know about keeping a razor in prime shape for a great shave?

ANSWER:

Changing a razor blade after five to seven uses is the average, based on what I hear from customers and my own experience. But it all depends on the hair on your face. The coarser or denser it is, the harder the blades are going to have to work. The blade is supposed to feel extremely smooth on your face, especially when you shave with the grain. So as soon as you’re shaving with the grain and the blade starts to pull, that’s the razor’s way of telling you, “Hey, man, change my blade right now.” Some razors even have an indicator strip that fades with use, an additional sign that it might be time to pop in a new blade.

To make blades last longer, it’s key to clean them when you’re done shaving. It’s easy for hair and shaving product to get caught between the blades -- if those things dry up in there, the blade is not going to work as well. That’s how you get micro-cuts and razor burn.

Also, your best friend is hot water. Use it to rinse out the hair and foam -- tapping the razor against the sink a little will help. When you’re done, put your razor on a dry surface or a stand where it can air dry, because if it’s resting on a wet sink, the blade will oxidize and become dull.


About the Expert

Martial Vivot Expert Martial Vivot, world-renowned men’s hair stylist, is the proprietor of Manhattan’s Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes, named Best Men’s Salon for 2009 by New York Magazine.

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