That was when I formed the conclusion that a DE shave was superior to that provided by a cartridge razor. I added this to pre-existing reasons for DE shaves which include better economy and a smaller ecological burden.
Yet since I've returned to humble double-bladed cartridge razors for some shaves while traveling by air, I've had reason to question the superiority of a DE shave. It remains less costly than the disposable-cartridge alternatives and is clearly better ecologically. But a closer look at the shave-quality comparison is in order.
First some facts about my previous shaving habits with disposable razors including multi-bladed cartridge designs:
- I always shaved in a single, with-grain pass.
- For many years I had abandoned shaving soaps and shaving creams, and merely used bath soap for my cartridge shaves.
- The entire time preceding my DE use, I paid little to no attention to matters of shaving technique and best practices.
- Using a good-quality shave soap and resulting lather
- Making two passes with touch ups after that (first pass with grain, second pass against grain)
- My with-grain strokes were rather quick and made with the razor square to the direction of shaving stroke. (Both these techniques maximize the effect of hysteresis; that is, the effectiveness of the second blade in the cartridge being maximally affected by the cut of the first blade.)
- My against-grain strokes were made slowly and with the razor head skewed off parallel with the direction of the razor stroke. Both these techniques diminish the effect of hysteresis; the slow stroke gives the hair follicle time to retract after the cut of the first blade, and the skewed razor head effectively enlarges the distance between the blades in the cartridge. This lack of hysteresis in against-grain strokes will eliminate the additional risk of in-grown hairs, which is often attributed to cartridge razors.