Shaving razors have come a long way since their invention in the bronze age. The early designs were oval and had blades of obsidian or bronze. One end of the edge was shorter than the opposite side, with a little protruding tang.
Many variants of razors have existed throughout history and have continued to evolve. Even though they have differed in design, their function has always been the same: to achieve a clean shave.
Several decades ago, when barbers realized they couldn’t use the same razor on multiple customers due to hygiene concerns, the shavette razor was born. This novelty gave rise to modern feature-rich safety razors with replaceable razor blades.
Let’s look at two of the most popular kinds on the market today: shavettes and safety razors.
A high-quality shavette or safety razor will both lead to a clean shave if appropriately used. Their appearance is similar, and they are straight-edge razors with replaceable blades specially designed for single or standard dual-edge cuts. Since these blades don’t require honing or stropping like traditional straight-edge razors, disposable blades are the norm for many everyday brands.
There are so many different shaving tools available today, online and offline. However, shaving razors from reputable brands typically come with safety features. For example, they often have a safety bar or comb running parallel to the blades’ sharp edges that act as a buffer between the blade edge and your skin.
When comparing shavettes and safety razors, you must consider their functionality, variation, and usability because each tool has its pros and cons.
A shavette razor is somewhere in between a disposable razor and a straight razor. Shavettes come as foldable razors or as one piece. Although they are similar to straight razors, their cutting edges can be detached and disposed of when they get blunt.
Because of its sharpness, the shavette should be housed in a protective caddy where the blade is secured safely. This razor requires precision, which may make it more challenging for beginners.
Professional barbers commonly use a safety razor. Once the blade is fitted into its slot, it is secured tightly by an adjustable self-threading screw. The razor’s blade edges protrude slightly on either side of the metallic housing. This way, the user can shave using either side of the blade, allowing an even shave and preventing the edge from dulling prematurely.
After multiple shaves, a safety razor can accumulate shaving cream lather and therefore tends to rust if you don’t clean it properly. In fact, professional barbers recommend replacing a safety razor’s blades weekly to avoid rust and maintain it in pristine condition.
A shavette razor shaves closer to the skin, but it may be riskier to handle than its safety razor counterpart. After all, a safety razor is specially designed with a protective feature that stands between the skin and the blade’s cutting edges.
To use a shavette effectively, you need prior experience or skill. Beginners may need help the first few times to avoid unnecessary cuts since the blade protrudes about 25%. However, you’ll find the shavette more versatile once you understand how to hold it properly.
First, make sure you prepare correctly. Expert barbers recommend shaving after a warm shower because steam heat aids in softening the hair. When you’re ready to begin, apply the pre-shave oil and lather up. Get your shaving brush ready.
Then, make sure you hold the razor adjacent to the skin at an angle of approximately 30 degrees. To avoid cuts, refrain from having the razor parallel to the area under the shave.
Your first stroke should begin from near the ear on a downward smooth-slow swipe toward the chin. In a scythe-like glide, apply gentle and even pressure while avoiding jerks. Once you near the upper lip and chin area, you may need to adjust the holding angle again. With your other hand, pull the skin gently in the opposing direction of the blade’s glide. Lather and repeat as needed.
Once you’re done, use cool water to rinse your face and apply your favorite lotion to moisturize and replenish the skin. Avoid massaging the skin at this stage; instead, pat it gently. Finally, apply after-shave cream.
A barber may make using a shavette may seem easy and seamless. However, they are professionals, and first-time handlers should be extra careful. Getting a clean shave may take longer the first few times, but it’s very possible once you know what you’re doing.
For that reason, if you’re short on time, you might want to use a safety razor until you have more practice with the shavette. Either way, shaving soap is essential for achieving a clean shave when using a shavette to prevent injuries.
Like most things technical, shavette razors require proper maintenance. A shavette razor can last quite a long time, depending on how frequently you use it and how well you maintain it.
Quality shavettes from reputable brands often last longer than most generic types found in the marketplace. Thankfully, many available shavette razors are made of quality grade steel. Like a safety razor, shavette blades are replaceable, and you may replace them after three days of continual shaving.
While hair shaving is essential, the fact that you have to repeat it every so often becomes a monotonous chore. Luckily, today’s shaving tools keep safety in mind, and there are several options to get a clean shave. This means that personal preferences prevail when it comes to choosing which one is better.
Due to their ease of use and excellent safety features, safety razors tend to get more attention than shavettes. However, that does not necessarily mean it is better. If you have ample time to shave and the necessary experience, a shavette might be your better choice.
Whatever your preference, your chosen blades should withstand multiple shaves and glide smoothly over the skin. You should also properly maintain the razor. Remember, a low-grade blade only makes it harder to achieve a clean shave, and the overall objective is to achieve a clean shave while avoiding damaging your skin or causing irritation.
Hi, I’m Theo, and I started Shaving Parlour to help men everywhere get the best shave of their lives. Check out my popular guides on Safety Razors, Shaving Cream, Shaving Brushes, Beard Oil, and more!