Ask most men about what they use to shave, and they’ll likely all reply with some twist on the same basic tool: a cartridge razor with disposable blades, either from a drugstore brand like Gillette or Schick, or a newer, direct-to-consumer company like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. There’s a good reason why cartridge razors remain the most common method of shaving: They’re easy to use, are always being replaced by new styles that promise an even better shave, and are typically what most people are familiar with. But according to most of the professional barbers we spoke to, the best way to shave at home — and avoid the irritation commonly caused by cartridge razors — is actually with a safety razor, a tool that’s remained virtually unchanged since it debuted in 1903.
“If anyone uses a cartridge razor and has irritation, I steer them toward safety razors,” says Brian Porteous, the owner of Heritage Barbershop in Portland, Oregon.
See The Best Safety Razors (and Blades), According to Barbers
Including closed-comb, open-comb, and butterfly styles, and a Japanese razor blade that one barber calls “the sharpest on the market, period.”