First Time Shavers' Guide to Buying A Razor

When you finally hit the age of being officially allowed to shave, you’ve already had your first few encounters with facial hair. A soft cover of moustache on the upper lip, side burns excitedly overflowing down the sides of your cheeks and an uneven batch cropping on your chin. You’ve patiently taken care of it all with occasional visits to the barber, who dexterously turned you into a less woolly version of yourself with the help of a trimmer. And now is your moment to take on the magic wand and start shaving.

Are you really ready to shave?

shaving for teens

The most difficult question that teenagers have to go through is if they’re ready for a shave. They have opinions pouring in from opposing factions, ranging from going all clean to prolonging the innocence (read softness) of the face a tad longer with managing with just a trimmer. Some of these are rational and most of them are absolutely bogus myths. It’s important to know that there’s no hard and fast rule for when to start shaving, and more than anything else it is a personal choice. So, wait till you’re mentally ready to do it. If you’re looking for a sign to start thinking in this direction, you should be ready when the hair on your upper lip, sideburns, chin, neck and cheeks begin to appear darker and thicker.

Do You Have Oily & Sensitive Skin?

Shaving for skin type

You must choose your first razor based on your skin type. Most teenagers have skin that is prone to acne (oily). The second most common skin type is sensitive skin. Shaving razors don’t go by one type fits all, as this may harm the above two common skin types among teenagers. So, your dad’s or elder brother’s razor may not be the perfect one for you. Pick something that is safe for your skin.

What is the right razor for you?

There are broadly 4 types of razors, and each of them have their own pros and cons. Let’s quickly go through what they are and which one of them is suitable for a first-time shaver.

ELECTRIC RAZOR

razor buying guide

Pros:

  1. Electric razors offer faster shaves than traditional razors, as they don’t require shaving creams or any other preparation.

  2. They offer convenience as they can be used anywhere, even with no access to a wash basin and water.

  3. It’s easier to master the use of an electric razor than a traditional one.

  4. No need to buy cartridges or replace blades for a long time.

Cons:

  1. They don’t offer shaves that are as close as traditional razors and are especially ineffective in tight spots.

  2. They cause skin irritation, rashes and razor burns, even on skin that is not sensitive.

  3. If used on skin with acne they can cause them to spread and may even lead to ingrown hair.

  4. They are more high maintenance than their traditional counterparts.

Verdict: NOT SUITABLE FOR FIRST-TIME SHAVERS 

 

DOUBLE-EDGED or SAFETY RAZOR

safety razor

Pros:

  1. They are cost effective and sanitary as every blade comes packed individually.

  2. They are not required to be glided on the same part of the skin multiple times as they have the sharpest blades, thus reducing irritation on the skin.

  3. They give you the closest shaves with less drag, leading to lesser irritation. This makes it a good option for sensitive skin.

  4. They offer you more control than any other type of razors, both in usage and in cleaning it.

  5. They are more long-lasting than any other razor type and can even last you a lifetime if maintained properly.

Cons:

  1. It takes time to master using a safety razor, so in order to achieve a no-nicks-and-cuts state you must put yourself through several of them in practice before you finally champion the trick.

  2. It’s more time consuming to shave with safety razors.

  3. They are not suitable to be used on skin with acne, as you may end up just slicing through them while shaving, though even this can be managed by practice.

Verdict: SUITABLE FOR FIRST-TIMERS, BUT TO BE USED WITH CAUTION ON ACNE

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DISPOSABLE RAZOR

disposable razor

Pros:

  1. They are very cheap.

  2. A single disposable razor can give you 2-3 shaves.

Cons:

  1. They contribute heavily to the non-biodegradable waste dumped in landfills, thus harming the environment.

  2. They don’t offer the smoothest shaves and are meant for emergency purpose only.

  3. They are not fit to be used on sensitive and acne prone skin.

Verdict: NOT SUITABLE FOR FIRST-TIMERS WITH SENSITIVE SKIN AND ACNE

 

CARTRIDGE RAZOR

cartridge razor

Pros:

  1. They provide smoother and quicker shaves.

  2. They are the most convenient among the lot and can make shaving an almost automated process.

  3. It’s very easy to change their cartridge.

  4. They are designed to lower the risk of shaving cuts, though at the cost of compromising on close shaves.

  5. Depending on the design they provide good flexibility while shaving on the difficult contours of your face, making it safer.

  6. Depending on the design, they offer sensitive cartridges that are suitable for skin prone to acne and rashes.

Cons: 

  1. They have a shorter life-span and need constant replacement.

  2. They are more expensive, due to the regular need to replace cartridges.

  3. They are prone to causing razor bumps if cartridges have more than three blades.

Verdict: SUITABLE FOR FIRST-TIMERS, EVEN WITH SENSITIVE SKIN

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IN SHORT...

Shaving for the first time is bound to be a bumpy experience, but one that you will remember for the rest of your life. You can make it a very pleasant one by choosing the right razor and by following the right shaving ritual. In the end, just remember that this is your first step; you will only get better along the way.