Shaving your hair is one of the most popular ways of hair removal. But every razor get’s blunt and then the question arises, “can you sharpen razor blades?”
A razor blade enables us to easily remove hair from our bodies in the nick of time.
Although there are a lot of hair removal methods available, a razor blade should be a staple for everyone since it could turn out to be extremely useful during emergencies.
Related: How to sharpen hair clipper blades
You can quickly get rid of hair from any part of your body using this smart tool. Razor blades have evolved a lot since their inception.
Some of the most popular types of razor blades include disposable razors, cartridge razors, safety razors, electric razors and straight razors.
The sharp blades in these razors will cut the hair from the surface of the skin.
It is recommended to use a lubricant like shaving foam, soap or gels before shaving using a razor blade to allow for smooth movement of the blade.
If you are using a razor blade or planning to invest in one, it is important to know more about its maintenance and correct usage.
Read on to find the step-by-step guide on ensuring the blade’s longevity and maintaining the quality.
Can you sharpen razor blades?
Most of you must be convinced that the razor blade can be sharpened since it is made up of metal.
Well… technically you cannot sharpen razor blades but you can use this technique called “stropping” that helps in polishing the surface of the blade and improve its performance.
It is done with the help of a “Razor Stroop” which creates friction with the razor to polish the blades.
After repeated use, the edges of the razor blade will bend. This affects the performance of the blade and gives you unsatisfactory results.
This is why we use these materials to straighten your beard and realign them.
A razor stroop can be made up of different types of materials like denim, canvas, leather, balsa wood, etc. that helps in polishing the edge of the blade.
This method is not just done on razors but other sharpening tools like knives, chisels gouges etc.
However, you can only do stropping a limited number of times and it is important to replace the blades of the razor when it wears out and loses its finish.
How to sharpen razor blades?
If you notice that your razor blades aren’t performing as well as they did when you first bought them, it is time to refine and polish your blades a bit.
Irregular edges in razor blades could also be followed by patchy hair, blade getting caught in the hair, skin burn etc.
Stropping your blades will help in bringing them back to their original performance.
You can use your blades for a little longer with the help of this technique. Let us take an in-depth look into the various steps of stropping your razor.
Step 1 : Select a stropping material- The first step in stropping is to select a suitable stropping material. You can easily find a suitable stropping material at your home. Just use old denim to get the job done.
Usually, leather is a preferred stropping material and have been used commonly by many people to sharpen your blades.
Make sure that you use unwanted clothes since they will get frayed in the process of stropping.
Step 2 : Prepare the material for stropping – This material is first laid down on a solid surface. The surface should be even, clean and dry.
Step 3: Prepare your razor – It is important to get your razor ready to have a smooth stropping process. For this, wash it thoroughly and get rid of any debris or tiny hair from the nooks.
I recommend you use warm water and mix dish soap in it.
Soak the blades in this solution for around 15- 30 minutes. You can also use a brush to remove the debris from the razor blade.
You can also find specialised solutions that will remove dirt and gunk from your razor blades. They are easily available online.
Step 4 : Remove any trace of water from the razor- The razor needs to be completely dry before beginning the stropping process.
Shake off water from the razor after washing it. Use a tissue or a cloth to absorb excess water from the razor to ensure that there is no moisture on the blade.
Step 5: Start the stropping process – Now that we have everything ready, let us start the stropping process. Place the razor on top of the stropping material and run it.
You run the blade on the stropping material in back and forth motion until it becomes aligned to the surface. It’s that simple!
You will have to repeat these strokes about 20 times until you start seeing results. Make sure that you do short and quick strokes to get the best results.
Your razor will start straightening up because of the light pressure applies during the stroking.
But make sure to not exert too much pressure or you could risk damaging the edge of the blade.
If your razor has more than one edge, make sure to stropp the other edges too. This will give you better performance since both the edges are equally polished and refined.
How to maintain razor blades?
The occasional stropping is definitely helpful in maintaining your blades but do you know that you might be unknowingly contributing to the damage on the blades?
There are a lot of things you can do regularly to ensure longevity and maintain the quality of your blades.
Let us take a look at some of the mistakes you might be making with your razor blades.
Do not tap the blades on a solid surface – A lot of people tend to tap the razor against the sink to remove any excess water or debris.
Although this helps in getting rid of it, it could damage the intricately designed razor blades and affect their shape and performance.
Wiping your blades with a towel – It is best recommended to let your blades air dry and then remove any particles from them.
When you wipe your blades on a towel or any piece of cloth, it might lead to damages and make them less efficient. You can also use a blow dryer to dry your blades.
Run the razor blade under the tap- You can swish your razor blade through standing water in a cup or your skink.
You could also place it under a running tap to gently remove dirt and gunk from it.
Store your razor properly- The best option is to store your razor in a razor holder. They usually come along with a razor.
Otherwise, make sure that you store it in a clean and dry area. Any moisture on the blade can lead to rusting.
Clean and dry the razor after every use – It is not enough to clean your razor once a week or occasionally, you have to make sure that it is free of any dirt and gunk every time you use it.
You should also place it under running water after every few strokes to shave smoothly.
Oil after each use – Your razor blades are made up of metal which makes them vulnerable to oxidation. If you store blades in your bathroom, the moisture in the air can also attack the blades.
Oiling your blades can help in creating a protective layer on them so that they are protected from these factors.
How often should I change my razor blades?
If you don’t change your razor blades on time, it can lead to a lot of irritation and pain.
There is also a chance of your hair getting pulled by the blades.
When your razor blades are not straight and sharp enough, they will not cut your hair properly from the surface of your skin.
And you will notice a lot of patches of hair. You will also have to do a lot of strokes to shave off your hair.
You should never forget to change your razor as this could cause a lot of discomfort and irritation.
If you notice that your razor blade looks dull and isn’t as shiny as it used to be, it is probably time to change it.
This could also depend on how occasionally you use them. If you are someone who shaves daily, it is recommended to change your razor blades every 1 to 2 weeks.
You can reduce the frequency of this to 2 to 3 weeks if you only shave every other day.
Most of the razors can go for a good 5- 10 shaves. But your razor can also be damaged by environmental conditions.
If it is stored around a lot of moisture, it will decrease its performance and affect the lifespan. In that case, you will have to change your razor blade more frequently.
Now that you know all the tips and tricks to increase the shelf life of your razor blade, it is time to invest in a suitable stropping material.
You can easily implement these tips in your everyday routine to have long-lasting razor blades.