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Closeness - multiblade vs. DE

I got into DE shaving to combat ingrown hairs and razor burn on my neck. I read that the problem was my multiblade razor, which lifted the hairs and cut below the skin. I switched to DE, and my problem went away. :thumbup:

However, I read that people get smoother shaves from DE shaving than multiblade.

So do multiblade razors cause ingrown hairs because they shave too close - below the skin - or is it some other problem? If it's because they shave too close, shouldn't they have an upside of exceptionally smooth shaves?
 
DE works for me for sure. My problem is the seeming logical inconsistency.

The logic goes like this:

1) Multiblade causes ingrown hairs because it shaves below the skin.
2) DE has one blade, and does not shave below the skin, therefore no ingrown hairs.

So far, so good, except that 3) DE shaves also seem to be closer shaves as well.

The problem may simply be my interpretation of multiblade vs. DE. I want to get the logic straight so I can indoctrinate new people... :laugh:
 
DE works for me for sure. My problem is the seeming logical inconsistency.

The logic goes like this:

1) Multiblade causes ingrown hairs because it shaves below the skin.
2) DE has one blade, and does not shave below the skin, therefore no ingrown hairs.

So far, so good, except that 3) DE shaves also seem to be closer shaves as well.

The problem may simply be my interpretation of multiblade vs. DE. I want to get the logic straight so I can indoctrinate new people... :laugh:

I think that the problem with multi vs. DE in terms of ingrown and closeness is that multi-bladed cartridges cut the hair prematurely. It relies on the process known as hysteresis. The first blade cuts and pulls the hair, the following blade(s) cut it closer. By doing this, the hair is cut below the skin, resulting in the possibility of ingrown hairs (along with lots of irritation due to a blade being passed over your skin multiple times in one swipe).

In DE shaving, only one blade is cutting. The closeness comes from the proper technique/prep. When the skin is properly hydrated (prep/lather) the hair is ~25% more elastic. Therefore, you can get a closer shave with little to no irritation or ingrown hairs (provided you have the proper technique).

Hope this helps, I learned a lot of it in my newbie days from watching mantic59 on youtube.

Source of much of the info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufG1dPmVo8Q
 
I think that the problem with multi vs. DE in terms of ingrown and closeness is that multi-bladed cartridges cut the hair prematurely. It relies on the process known as hysteresis. The first blade cuts and pulls the hair, the following blade(s) cut it closer. By doing this, the hair is cut below the skin, resulting in the possibility of ingrown hairs (along with lots of irritation due to a blade being passed over your skin multiple times in one swipe).

In DE shaving, only one blade is cutting. The closeness comes from the proper technique/prep. When the skin is properly hydrated (prep/lather) the hair is ~25% more elastic. Therefore, you can get a closer shave with little to no irritation or ingrown hairs (provided you have the proper technique).

Hope this helps, I learned a lot of it in my newbie days from watching mantic59 on youtube.

Source of much of the info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufG1dPmVo8Q
smd123:
+ 1 and I couldn't have put it better myself. :thumbup:

Christopher
proxy.php
 
smd123:
+ 1 and I couldn't have put it better myself. :thumbup:

Christopher
proxy.php

Yes, very well stated indeed!

Another factor that can't be discounted . . . the "springiness" of the modern cartridge blades allows for more pressure to be used. In fact, most men using spring-loaded blades press way too hard, which increases irritation and forces the skin down to expose more hair shaft, and thereby cutting the whisker below the natural surface level of the skin.

How many times have we read threads about someone using a cartridge after mastering DE and finding that it doesn't shave poorly at all if proper "no pressure" techniques and good lather/prep are used!
 
How many times have we read threads about someone using a cartridge after mastering DE and finding that it doesn't shave poorly at all if proper "no pressure" techniques and good lather/prep are used!


Yes yes! This happened to me. I shaved with what I think may have been a lady Bic twin while traveling after climbing a fair amount of the DE learning curve. I was surprised at how good a shave I got with not very much neck irritation. Much better than I got with the Mach 3 back in the dark ages ... 2 months ago.
 
Another factor that can't be discounted . . . the "springiness" of the modern cartridge blades allows for more pressure to be used. In fact, most men using spring-loaded blades press way too hard, which increases irritation and forces the skin down to expose more hair shaft, and thereby cutting the whisker below the natural surface level of the skin.

Yes, I think that's the best explanation.

I'll go out on a limb here and say I'm convinced that the "hysteresis effect" is a calculated hoax dreamed up by marketers. Not hysteresis itself, that's real, but the notion that the hair will be severely pulled by blade No. 1 and not recover before encountering blade No. 2.

1. The spacing between blades on a Trac II (per optical reticle) is 1.5 mm. That's a long distance in comparison to the length of stubble left after one cutting pass. If the hair root were to be exposed by pulling, it would have to have a very slow recovery time in comparison to the stroke speed - I don't have figures but intuitively it doesn't seem plausible.

2. Assuming the hair hadn't recovered before meeting blade No. 2, it would still be severely bent over - as seen in the manufacturer's ads. We all know how effective shaving with the grain is after the first pass, don't we? This is WTG in spades. The benefits of more hair root exposure would be cancelled by the hair angle.

3. Tug laterally on an arm hair - you see what happens to the adjacent skin. It gets pulled upward along with the root. If you look with a hand lens, you'll see very little additional hair exposed, but a lot of skin being lifted behind it. If the hysteresis effect really worked, you'd be shaving a lot of skin with subsequent blades (and not much extra hair I bet). Hence, severe razor burn. So the spacing of these cartridges has been selected so that hysteresis doesn't happen at all, and they're still sort of cleanable under a strong flow of water.

In short, if you develop good skills with a DE, you'd have better shaves than you got before with a cartridge. But any benefits conferred by the cartridge will be limited to the equivalent of repeated strokes with a DE - if that. And you'll be tempted to fall back into worse habits because the cartridge demands less skill to shave effectively at all.

I think the triple blade Saturday Night Live spoof had it right ~35 years ago - "because you'll believe anything!"

Speaking of cartridges...if you think I'm wrong, fire away! This is just my present reasoning and I'm wide open to contradictory facts.

- Bill
 
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Another way to look at it is this:

With a DE, it usually takes me 3 passes to get BBS. With a Mach 3 (3 blades), you get 3 passes in one. The difference is, with a Mach 3 all 3 passes are necessarily in the same direction. With a DE, you typically vary the direction of each pass (WTG, XTG, ATG. While the 3 passes take longer with a DE than with a Mach 3, they do a better job.
 

BigFoot

Gimme an R-O-C-K what cha got? Rock!
Another way to look at it is this:

With a DE, it usually takes me 3 passes to get BBS. With a Mach 3 (3 blades), you get 3 passes in one. The difference is, with a Mach 3 all 3 passes are necessarily in the same direction. With a DE, you typically vary the direction of each pass (WTG, XTG, ATG. While the 3 passes take longer with a DE than with a Mach 3, they do a better job.

That is a big part of it. The multi blade systems are designed to cut in a single pass. It is hard on your skin due to the pressure needed to accomplish this. Hence ingrowns and razor bumps. A DE or SE or straight is designed for gradual beard reduction. So it takes multiple passes but leaves your skin much healthier. Also the elimination of ingrowns and razor bumps.
 
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