It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of adjustable double edge safety razors; the kind that the user can manipulate blade exposure on the fly at the turn of a dial. Blade exposure infers how close the blade edge is to your skin. Why am I a fan? The adjustable feature gives the user control; the flexibility to experiment and personalize the shaving experience to accommodate uniqueness in skin sensitivity, shaving skill, and time available to shave. This is mass customization!
Being in control means that the product has the undo function. Users know that errors, like selecting a high blade exposure that doesn’t match skill level or skin sensitivity, can easily be undone. Undo is the quickest exit to leaving an undesired state. This flexibility encourages exploration of the unfamiliar (higher settings), and allows the user’s changing skill level to interact with the product at different levels. Humans are hardwired to seek control, and are curious about what is on the other side.
Shaving takes forever is one of the most common knocks against double edge safety razors. Before I became a shaving aficionado, that was my complaint as well! I would shave slowly so that I didn’t nick myself. I have been using the adjustable feature to prevent nicks and cuts. It has been years since I have last nicked myself, and my shaving routine doesn’t take as long as it used to. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I nicked myself.
I use the lower settings, like 2 or 3, for my first pass. These settings offer the most nicking forgiveness because of the low blade exposure. I know at these settings I won’t get a smooth shave. I’m cool with that because I use the first pass to establish a rhythm that dispenses with the mechanical rigidity common when a starting any physical task. Being bald, I have an advantage over most people. I have a lot of surface area to establish rhythm with the first pass.
For the final pass, I dial up to 4 or 5 to get the high blade exposure that will ultimately give me a smooth shave. By the time I get to the second pass, my strokes are smooth devoid of jerky movements that can result in nicks and cuts.
If you are frustrated that your shaving routine with double edge safety razors is taking too long because you are slowing down to avoid getting nicks and cuts, consider using an adjustable razor in a low-high two-step fashion.
Until next time,