If, like many men, you shave regularly with a multi-blade cartridge razor, then it is highly likely that you have experienced the the facial hair tugging and pulling inherent in your morning routine. It may not be a regular occurrence, but it can happen on occasion.
Why Does Your Razor Pull and Tug the Hairs?
Believe it or not, cartridge razors are designed to do just that: pull and tug.
Rather than practice beard reduction, cartridge razors are aimed at completely eliminating the hairs in a single pass. It may save about 2 minutes of your time, but can also bring on other issues like pulling, tugging and recurring razor bumps.
The multiple blades of a cartridge razor work in tandem. As the blades swipe across the hairs, the first blade snatches the hair and pulls it taut away from the skin.
It does not cut the initial hair. It pulls it away from the skin.
Subsequent blades then proceed to slice off the taut hairs.
This process is repeated literally thousands of times across your face as you shave. Depending on your technique at the time you shave, the fierceness of the tugging and pulling may be mild or fierce. It just depends.
But there are ways you can both reduce and eliminate this annoying phenomenon.
Solutions to the Shaving Pulls and Tugs
There are some relatively simple solutions to the uncomfortable tugging and pulling of your standard multi-blade cartridge razor.
Better Beard Prep. If you are regularly experiencing tugging and pulling, you are likely not preparing your skin and facial hair well enough to enjoy a comfortable shave. The wetter the shave, the better. Heat and water will help to soften your facial hairs in preparation for their being cut. The more dry your facial hair, the most you are likely to experience the tugging and pulling experience you love so much.
Shave More Regularly. It may go without saying, but the longer your facial hair is, the more likely you will be to experience annoying tugs and pulls while you are shaving. Unfortunately, the idea of shaving every day or every other day may not appeal as much to those that use stubble as part of a fashion statement for themselves. Apart from shaving more regularly, it would be highly suggested that you use an electric trimmer, scissors or shears to mow down the larger trees in the forest before you bring in the weed eaters–so to speak.
Switch to Different Shaving Hardware. The most likely culprit of your morning tug and pull annoyance is your shaving hardware. As discussed above, your uncomfortable shave is most likely being caused by the type of hardware you’re using. It’s not you, it’s the razor you are using. In short, you need to buy a safety razor or a straight razor. The single blade shave should completely eliminating the tugging and pulling so common among those that shave with today’s modern shavers. There are no other blades to get in the way. My advice, however, would be to first become accustomed to the safety razor before you move into the straight razor realm. There is a skill differential that the safety razor can help bridge between where you are and where you will need to be with a straight razor.
Use Proper Technique. Once you have your safety razor, the proper technique is to take short, focused swipes on the face, not the long completely-across-the-face strokes you see in commercials. The short bursts will ensure the hairs are cut immediately and that you do not drag out a painful process. Even if you continue shaving with a cartridge razor, you are most likely to get a better shave by using the short burst method rather than attempting to perform the full-face swipe.
We are not completely biased against multi-blade cartridge razors. In fact, we believe cartridge razors and safety razors can and should co-exist peacefully. However, if you are having uncomfortable issues with facial hair tugging and pulling, it may be time to alter your technique, timing or hardware.