It May Be Time To Rethink Your 5-Blade Razor — Here's Why

Shaving is a quick and simple way to remove any unwanted hair, whether it's on your legs, underarms, pubic area, or your face. Over the years, razor companies have continuously marketed products with four or five blades that are meant to give you the closest shave. They're a pretty convenient option, often sold with replaceable heads that you can throw away when they become dull or rusted. But if you're someone who deals with itchy, red bumps or ingrown hairs after shaving, these multi-blade razors could be part of the problem. 


While they may give your skin a smooth finish, multi-blade razors aren't always the best option when it comes to preventing ingrown hairs and painful razor bumps. Instead, making the switch to a razor with fewer blades is actually a safer bet for sensitive skin. Ready to finally say goodbye to razor bumps? Think about ditching that 5-blade razor. 

Multi-blade razors can lead to ingrown hairs and irritation

Your 5-blade razors will definitely get the job done, but if you regularly experience painful razor bumps or ingrown hairs, the razor itself could be to blame. Board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD explained to Well and Good that the best razors don't have to have multiple blades. "[D]on't use a razor that has a lot of blades on it. Just one or two blades because that minimizes irritation." 


The irritation and ingrown hairs occur because multi-blade razors cut the hair below the skin's surface. The first blade will remove the hair, and the remaining blades will follow through with more friction. Though this reveals a very smooth result, it often causes the hair to become ingrown as it starts to grow back. Dr. Gohara went on to say, "Some skin types would do best with a single-blade razor if you are prone to ingrown hairs."

Single or double blades are better for sensitive skin

If you're prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, using a single-blade razor or even a disposable one with only two blades might be a better alternative. Single blades, also called safety razors, cut the hair at the skin's surface, so the hair is less likely to grow back into the skin and become ingrown. They come with a long-lasting handle and head where you can refill the blade. You can buy a package of razor blades in large quantities for cheaper than packs of whole disposable razors. So not only will your skin thank you but your wallet, too! 


Single-blade razors are also the more sustainable option. Billions of disposable plastic razors end up in the landfill each year, as they're not recyclable with the blades attached. With a safety razor, you can reuse the handle and head for years without having to keep buying plastic razors when the blade is dull or rusted. But with these, it's important to change the blade often to avoid bacterial infections. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends changing the blade or throwing away disposable razors after 5 to 7 uses. Be sure to keep the razor dry when you're not using it to prevent bacterial growth.