Home Page | Gallery | PM Inbox | Forum Index  
 

Multi-blade razors: do they cause bumps?

New to the world of wet-shaving? Grab a desk and be seated! Welcome to SMFU: A place to learn and compare notes about the ABC's of wet shaving. From brushes to creams, razors and more...We've got it all!

Multi-blade razors: do they cause bumps?

Postby harper » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:56 pm

A good many posters have said that multiblade cartridge razors cause bumps. Do they? And if they do, why?

Any ideas about why? The number of blades? The coating on the blades? The positioning of the blades?

And do they cause bumps for everybody?

This is not a problem for me and never has been; in fact, a multi-blade works better on my neck than a DE of any kind I have ever used and I have used a good many different ones in the 60 plus years I have been shaving. Maybe I have a continuing case of "problem neck" but I am not going to even consider why at my age.
harper
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:10 pm

Postby brothers » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:03 pm

Harper, I've used a Trac II on and off for decades, more off than on. They never fail to cause one or more bumps. It's a guarantee, I've found. Usually not on the first shave, but after about 2 to 3 days, it's as good as money in the bank. Why, I've not been able to think it through, but the shaves are close and smooth. That makes me think maybe the second blade coming along a millisecond after the first is cutting the whisker just a teeny bit below the skin level, and after a few hours when it begins to grow back, it encounters a difficulty coming up through the surface of the skin. Just a pure guess, but something's causing it, and I reckon that theory's as good as any.
Gary
User avatar
brothers
 
Posts: 11702
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Postby Quarterstick » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:22 pm

Multi-blade razors definitely contribute to bumps for me. I have had very few problems with bumps since I switched to a DE shaving. However, based on other posts in other areas this is clearly not a problem for everybody. The bumps are typically due to ingrowns which occur when the hair is cut too close or below the level of the skin and grows back into the skin causing irritation. The causes are most likely a combination of factors which can vary from case to case, such as:

- The number of blades on the razor. A key function of the multi-blade is to get a very close shave with minimal effort. So it is like performing multiple passes each time you drag the razor down your face. You end up with a close shave, but there is such a thing as too close.
- Pressure is also a problem. Although you probably do not have to apply pressure, and are probably better off if you don't, cartridges lend themselves to this practice. Again the results potentially being a shave that is too close.
- Beard type is a factor. This tends to occur more for men that have coarse, wirey, and/or curly beard hair.
- Skin type is probably also a contributor. If you have even moderately sensitive skin, using multiple blades and applying pressure will inflame the skin. Also oily skin can futher contribute to issues with bumps.
- There are certainly people with a condition (do not know the actual name) which makes them prone to this problem. Pretty much any type of shaving can make this happen as I understand it.

So it is probably a little bit of the tool, the person, and the technique. Some people get excellent results with a multi-blade and that is what matters. A good, enjoyable shave. There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the multi-blade is not the path I can tread without bumps.
Andy

An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and you have a dime.
User avatar
Quarterstick
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:09 pm

Postby 95% » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:49 am

Andy said it very well, I think. People with sensitive skin, which "lights up" in reaction to a particular ingredient in the soap or cream, seem to get along badly with multiblades. He's also right that while pressure shouldn't be applied, many shavers instinctively use too much of it with cartridges.

Another point to keep in mind is that cartridges have evolved over the last four decades. They shouldn't be lumped together as a single product. The Fusion ProGlide is a far cry from its distant ancestor, the Trac II.
Porter
95%
 
Posts: 1951
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:53 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby marsos52 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:19 am

acutally the reason is a simple one!!

no matter how many blades is not the reason..

multiblade is multiblade,, first blades grabs and lifts the hair and the next does the cutting.. after the cut the hair is shorter than the skin line line..

hence the hair is now below the skin line. when the hair begins to grow,
it has the perfect chance to grow under the skin and makes a ingrown and a bump..

just as simple as that..

a de blade cuts the hair to the skin line so there is less of a chance the whisker can become a ingrown ..

some day gillette will see the problem
then we can get those amazing de blades again
like in the old days

marc
marsos52
 
Posts: 2973
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: new jersey

Postby joe mcclaine » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:37 am

I think the number of men who have problems when using multiblade razors is very, very small. Even on very niche shaving forums, the number of men choosing other shaving methods is rarely down to the comfort of the shave alone - with many citing the cost and impact on the environment as being factors in their decision with others enjoying the old-school feeling . . .or even the 'pampering'. I'd take cartridges over anything else in a heartbeat.
User avatar
joe mcclaine
 
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:08 am
Location: Behind you!

Postby Squire » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:00 am

marc I like your outlook.
Regards,
Squire
User avatar
Squire
Squadron Leader
 
Posts: 15842
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Jackson, MS

Postby marsos52 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:12 pm

thanks squire

and joe i am sorry to differ with you.. those cthat can use multibladeswith out a problem are those that have erally straight growning whiskers

men with curly whiskers many times find they have problems with a muiltbblade razor

of course there are also different situations as always..

mant of our smf memebers switched to de, straight and single edge for the ingrown and bump problems found with multiblades

marc
marsos52
 
Posts: 2973
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: new jersey

Postby Drubbing » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:34 am

marsos52 wrote:multiblade is multiblade,, first blades grabs and lifts the hair and the next does the cutting.. after the cut the hair is shorter than the skin line line..

hence the hair is now below the skin line.

That's not actually a fact, it's gillette's tech marketing. They had to pull such claims from a number of countries ads, because they couldn't substantiate it.

You'll notice they don't sell the lift and cut message anymore.

Personally I think if anything is to blame, it's the pivot. It's the one thing Gillette can truly claim to be innovative. No matter how you shave with a pivoting blade, it's always at the optimum cutting angle, so it's extremely efficient - extra blades just makes it even more difficult to miss anything.

Makes it very easy to shave too close, and so can cause problems on beard re-growth.
User avatar
Drubbing
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 7:12 pm
Location: Western Australia-4 hrs flight from anywhere else...

Postby Craig_From_Cincy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:09 pm

Sensors. M3 & Fusions all cause bumps for me after 2 shaves, 3 at the most.
Cheers,

Craig
User avatar
Craig_From_Cincy
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA

Postby bernards66 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:35 pm

Harper, I think that a number of posters above covered the probable reasons 'why' multi-blade cartridges tend to cause bumps ( and sometimes other forms of irritation ), and personally, just from observing men's shaves as I go about my business I do not think the problem is that rare at all. I tried every major multi-blade from the Trac II on through the M3 Turbo and all of them caused razor bumps either immediately or after a few shaves. FWIW, the best actual shaves I got with them were with the original Sensor and the Schick Flex ( also a twin blade model ). But even with those I still had to do multiple passes and the shave was no better than what I get with a DE although with those two it was, perhaps as good. I gave up on the whole trip at the M3 Turbo. I think I'd given them more than a fair trial and I felt done with razor bumps and the rest. I too believe that it is the multiblade set-up itself that is mostly to blame because I can use Schick Injectors and even basic Bics without any problems and they both have a pre-set blade angle. And for the record, my beard is not very curly although having a beard of that type makes the problem even more likely from what I've read on the boards.
Regards,
Gordon
bernards66
Duke of Silvertip!
 
Posts: 27386
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:02 pm

Postby harper » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:31 pm

All of you with bumbs: this is not a subject that came up at Gillette when I was doing work for them likely because my work on TRAC 11 ended about a year after it was introduced and I worked on other Gillette products but not razors. Additionally, I was outside counsel and worked on projects such as new products and was not part of the day-to-day operations of the company.

I have no idea what might cause bumps by multi-blade cartridges or even if it is the razors or number of blades (it could be the coating or several other things) and I have no contacts at Gillette any longer ... they either left, retired or died ... and I am not disposed to try and run the gamut of their PR department to try and find out.

On the other hand, bumps must not be a major problem for the vast bulk of multi-blade shavers or else Gillette and others would not have sold (and continue to sell) hundreds of millions of these razors. Most men loved the TRAC 11 when it came out and bought them about as fast as Gillette could manufacture them. Multi-blade razors, for the record, have not been a failure in any country wherever they were introduced. Clearly they sell better in some countries than others but this is related to purchasing power and not the razors themselves.

Some have written on this Forum saying that after using a DE they will never go back to a cartridge razor and I am sure that is the case for them. Conversely, the largest number of shavers who switch to a multi-blade never go back to DE shaving as the sales of multi-blade razors continue to grow year after year.

Fortunately, most of us have a choice.
harper
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:10 pm

Postby 95% » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:52 pm

Harper, I'd be interested in your take on the price of Fusion cartridges. An 8-pack of ProGlide cartridges cost me about $36 at Walgreen's recently, or $4.50 each. Yet when the Trac II came out, replacement cartridges were so cheap that cost wasn't a factor for me or other buyers. They were as cheap as DE blades. Do you think Gillette is price-gouging the consumer now, whereas in the past they asked a fair price?

These things are mass produced and can't cost more than a dollar or so per unit to manufacture and market - probably much less. I'll bet they are sold much more cheaply in third-world countries, like prescription drugs that cost an arm and a leg in the U.S.

Yes, I know the company is in business to make profits for its shareholders, but $4 per blade? Good grief.
Porter
95%
 
Posts: 1951
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:53 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby harper » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:10 pm

95%. My guess is that they charge that much because they can. I think they are wildly overpriced but don't use enough of them that it is something that bothers me. As for the cost of production, I have no idea but for many consumer products, marketing, distribution, etc. are a larger part of the cost component than manufacturing (including the raw materials). My guess is that in third-world countries they would be more expensive than in the US, Canada or Europe because they would not be as readily available. At least that has been my experience when I was in various African and Asian countries and had to buy replacements for familiar products. Interestingly, at one time Gillette razors and blades sold for less in Canada than in the US because Wilkinson had a larger share of the shave market in Canada than the US so Gillette and others had more competition.
harper
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:10 pm

Postby bernards66 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:19 pm

Harper, We do indeed have a choice....at least for now, and that's a good thing. While I can't argue with much of what you posted above I do think that having problems with cartridge razors and yet continueing to buy them is not that unusual. After all, what choice do most American men have? Very few, anymore, even really know that DE razors still exist and would have no idea how to buy one, what to ask for/look for, or how to effectively use one if they did get one. Some tiny minority are dissatisfied enough and persistant enough to find the answers to these questions but most are neither and so they just keep shaving with the M3, or whatever, despite the negative effects it's having on their skin. I can walk around any mall or supermarket and spot guys with this sort of damage on their necks, or wherever....I'm convinced that the razor bump problem is fairly common. But for most it comes down to just live with it or use an electric, Hell, almost all disposibles are now multi-blade as well so there doesn't appear to be any option for most gents. Granted, I realize that the multi-blade cartridges work fine for many men, probably even the majority, but the minority for whom they cause problems is not that small, IMO.
Regards,
Gordon
bernards66
Duke of Silvertip!
 
Posts: 27386
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:02 pm

Postby harper » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:58 am

Gordon: you may be right and I did a couple of internet searches to see how great the problem might be but didn't come up with any stats. I am sure if anyone is effected it could be a major problem but if the problem were significant enough to result in lower razor and cartridge sales it would be addressed by the blade companies if multi-blades are the cause. And you are right that the vast majority of shavers only know multi-blade razors and that is probably a good thing because for most shavers multi-blade razors make shaving a lot easier and faster. For some, like the great majority of people on this forum, who enjoy shaving or at least, like me, try to make it as pleasant as possible since it is something I do every day. I kind of like fiddling around with different creams and blades because it is fun to find new things that work or do not work. On the other hand, if I had skin that was really susceptible to bumps, etc. I would likely grow a beard ... and I detest beards on me. Of course, that would still leave me with my neck DE problem and I would still have to use a multi-blade razor for that area.
harper
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:10 pm

Postby bernards66 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:00 pm

Harper, Yeah. My main point is only that I think quite a sizeable percentage of gents have varying degrees of razor bump ( and other irritation ) problems due to the multi-blade cartridges but they just keep using them anyway because, a) they've been told that they're 'the best a man can get' etc., and b) because there doesn't seem to be any option other than an electric anyway, and c) they don't really care all that much so they just live with it. Because of a, b, and c the sales of the cartridges are not significently hurt.
Regards,
Gordon
bernards66
Duke of Silvertip!
 
Posts: 27386
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:02 pm

Postby Squire » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:04 pm

Most men I know shave with whatever their wives buy on sale.
Regards,
Squire
User avatar
Squire
Squadron Leader
 
Posts: 15842
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Jackson, MS

Postby Ouchmychin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:19 pm

I usually like to start out with the Fusion because the many blades make the cutting surface so flat that there is little danger of digging in. I also use a BIC single blade Steel disposable from time to time (bought a bunch at Walgreens.com) and they do dig in if I apply too much pressure. I bet the single blade would make bumps for those afflicted by the problem, just like the multiblade disposables. I think the geometry of the cutting edge and protective bar has more to do with this.
Ouchmychin (Pete)
User avatar
Ouchmychin
 
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:03 pm

Postby CMur12 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:26 pm

I thought about shaving technique during the early part of my shaving career, but after that I figured I knew how to shave and I just got the job done. Cartridge razors like the Gillette Atra and the Schick Tracer worked very well for me for a number of years. I simply couldn't execute a shave with the Mach 3, however, so I didn't try anything with 3 or more blades after that.

When I came here to SMF, I discovered that there was more to shaving technique than I had ever thought. Though very much a single-blade user myself now, I have no doubt that many of the problems men have with cartridge razors come from sloppy technique, especially in the case of the disposable razors without pivoting heads. Modern razors are marketed as though no technique is needed, and that seems to be the approach that the masses take.

So, while I tend to agree that cartridge razors, especially those with more than 2 blades in the razor head, can increase the likelihood of razor burn, bumps, and ingrowns, I think that widespread sloppy technique contributes significantly as well.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
CMur12
 
Posts: 5293
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington

Next

Return to ShaveMyFace University

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests