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Varying differences exist across safety razors, some more slight and nuanced and others more drastic and shave-altering. Understanding these differences between razors, razor heads and razor blades is important as you delve into the wonderful world of wet shaving. The driving force behind such differences could include manufacturing differences, product feature variations and shaving preferences. Perhaps the greatest variation across razors includes differences in razor head design. Head weight, razor blade gap and standard vs. slant blade settings all have a noticeable impact on how a razor performs, all blades being equal. One area worth exploration, particularly for those with more sensitive skin is the difference in the slant razor over a typical flat-mounted safety razor.
Rather than cut your hairs straight-on like a cartridge razor or traditional safety razor, the slant razor takes the more efficient approach of striking the stubble from an angle. Doing so, puts less direct pressure on the follicle thereby creating more of a slicing effect rather than a blunt chopping effect.
As a result, slant-bar double edge safety (or simply “slant”) razors are typically more popular among those with wiry, thick or course facial hair. The mounting of the double edge blade as a slant on the head of the razor handle, provides a noticeably improved and efficient cutting experience, regardless of the type of hair growing out of that face of yours.
The reduction of blade pressure against the follicles occurs in two directions. Firstly, the slant’s pressure against the skin itself is greatly reduced as you move down (across and up) your face. Secondly, due to the angled nature of the cut against the hair, the slant safety razor is able to be more efficient in cutting hair without needing to add any pressure to the shave at all. You can truly let the weight of the safety razor do the work.
With a slant, the razor pressure against the skin is greatly reduced. The pressure of the follicles and skin against the razor itself are, in turn, also reduced. These two factors make the slant head safety razor a perfect fit for most men (and women) with more sensitive skin. Sensitive skin shavers will experience something very unique:
Because of the reduced pressure of the blade and it’s greater ease at cutting hair, the slant typically requires a bit more skill in operation. Due to the need for increased skill in the slant shaving technique, it is usually ill-advised to use the slant razor as the razor for beginning wet shavers. In addition, newly-converted wet shavers are also less prone to gravitate to something niche within the wet shaving niche. Hence, not only are slants less likely to achieve immediate widespread attention, they are also less readily available.
As a result, it has taken time for slant razors to truly hit their proverbial stride, even among the most avid wet shaving enthusiasts. Thankfully though the internet’s broad ability at reaching into the small, albeit growing, niche demand segments has allowed for the growth and more widespread exposure of products like the slant safety razor, just like it has similarly impacted many toward switching from cartridges to single blade shavers.
Furthermore, those that convert from standard flat DE safety razors over to the slant variety are similarly less likely to go back, just like their DE counterparts are equally less likely to revert to their old habits of cartridge razor use. From our perspective, it’s been an upstream movement that rarely reverts. Consequently, as more exposure and awareness of slant razors grows, their place as a mainstay and away from a niche’s niche is likely to be forever lost.
When it comes to switching from a cartridge or standard DE shaver to a slant, here are some important considerations
Throughout the experimentation and learning process, particularly if you have never before shaved with a slant, bear in mind you will be much more likely to bleed. Experimenting with the right shaving creams, soaps and other accouterments can also help alleviate the shaving discomforts that can come from a much more aggressive razor.
Interestingly though, the slant safety razor is somewhat of a double-edged sword more than a double-edged razor. On the one hand, it works best for sensitive skin shavers, but only if used with care and precision. If the aggression is not respected, its very virtues can turn to vice ultimately leading to more discomfort, not less. For the experienced wet shaver, the slant will continue to be a much-needed addition to the medicine cabinet of distinguished men. And, we don’t expect that to diminish anytime soon.