How do I know when my blade is pulling or becoming dull?
The number of shaves you get from a double edge blade depends on the quality of the blade and the coarseness of your beard. A good sharp blade should glide easily across your face and cut the hair uniformly. After using a blade for several shaves, the quality of the edge will start to wear down. When this happens the blade will start to tug or pull against the beard stubble. This is most noticeable on passes across or against your beard grain because your skin is more sensitive to irritation when shaving in those directions. As you glide the razor across your face, you may notice some discomfort and the need to apply more force to move the blade along. You will also notice that more patches of stubble get left behind when the blade is not tracking along the skin uniformly as it should be. This is usually combined with some uncomfortable soreness or sometimes burning sensation on the skin. Dulling blades are also more likely to cause nicks or cuts as well. Fortunately the soreness and irritation can be relieved by thoroughly rinsing the face and applying a quality aftershave splash or balm. When these symptoms occur, it is a good indication that it is time to change the blade. If this happens with a new blade, chances are you either have a blade with a defective edge or should consider trying another brand that may be more compatible with your skin or beard type. Learn more in Choosing the Right Blade and Double Edge Razor Blades: Troubleshooting.
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