Why Shaving Dulls a Razor Blade?

The material used for the manufacturing of razor blades is stainless steel. But a razor blade can get damaged after it cuts human hair. We all know that hairs are softer than the blade of the razor; then why shaving dulls the razor blade? This may be due to tiny chips that hair can create inside the blade or maybe any other reason behind this dullness.

It is essential to know the root cause of why razor blades dull after shaving. In order to get the answer to this query, it is crucial to understand the internal and fine structure of the blade at a microscopic level. Let’s start to discuss the details of it.

Why Human Hair Dulls The Shaving Blade?

Usually, human hair is 50 times softer than the hard material of the blade; then why does it cause dullness? Research has shown that the blade deforms after hair shaving more complicatedly. Under certain conditions, shaving hair produces small chips in the blade.

The razor blade starts chipping after an initial crack forms. More cracks mean the razor blade dulls so quickly. Now the question is, which factors are responsible for the initial cracking?

  • Defects in the stainless steel microstructure can cause cracking
  • The microstructure of steel must be uniform. If it is not smooth, then the blade is more prone to chipping

Many types of research have been done to preserve the sharpness of the blade, such as:

  • More homogeneous material should be used in the manufacturing of blades. It is longer-lasting and more chip-resistant

The goal of this guide is to know the root cause of why blades get so dull after shaving human hair. What is the reason that makes blades useless even when they are in contact with much softer material such as human hair? In order to get the solution, first of all, it is essential to know the factors that cause the problem.

1. A Metallurgy Mystery

First, it is crucial to get knowledge about the microstructure of metals. After this understanding, manufacturers may be able to design new materials with extraordinary damage resistance. Metallurgists want to get knowledge about the deformation of metals.

This information makes them able to manufacture better metals. Many experiments have been done to know the reason why human hair dulls the razor blade. Researchers use disposable shaving razors to cut facial hair. After every use, they took pictures of the blades’ edges with the technology named scanning electron microscope.

Fortunately, these images reveal the secret of chip formation along specific regions of the edges of the razor blade. One of the other results showed that chipping was not from everywhere in the blade. Only specific locations of blades consist of chips. Now researchers start to get answer the question:

  • What conditions are responsible for chipping
  • Which ingredients become the reason for failure?

2. A Chip Off The New Blade

In order to get answers to the questions mentioned above, researchers again did more controlled experiments. The apparatus used for this purpose consists of:

  • Movable stage
  • Two clamps

One clamp holds the blade of a razor. The second clamp was used to anchor strands of hair.

  • Commercial blades were used to get the final result
  • All of this set up place inside the scanning electron microscope

With this action, he was able to see the picture of the blade and hair at high resolution. The same mechanism was observed again, regardless of the thickness of different hairs. Roscioli concluded that the edge of the blade chip due to hair only in a specific location.

He also observed that the perpendicular angle between the hair and blade doesn’t produce chips. Chips were produced when human hair was free to bend. Chips are produced in those locations where the edge of the blade interacts with the side of hair strands.

Now the question is, in which conditions do the chips form? To get an answer, many experiment team members gave their suggestions. They change different factors such as:

  • Cutting angle
  • Force direction during cutting
  • The material composition of the steel blade

The researcher concluded that how fast crack growth depends upon the heterogeneity in the material. In order to stop blade dullness, it is crucial to reduce heterogeneity. In this way, one can manufacture the razor’s long-lasting blade. Dull razors don’t work well; to maintain them, you should clean them after every use.

Essential Steps That Keep Your Razor Clean And Sharp?

We all know that cleaning a razor blade is necessary to keep the skin healthy and get a close, smooth shave. When you feel your razor gets dull, replace it as soon as possible. Follow the following step to keep the razor clean and sharp for the long term.

1. Clean With Hot Water

It is essential to rinse the blade with hot water before and after every attempt to shave. This action will kill all germs and bacteria that reside on the blade. After every use, clean it with water and also dry it correctly for subsequent use.

2. You May Use Alcohol to Sterilize

Using alcohol ensures that your blade is germ-free. Use this liquid with the help of a cotton pad. Furthermore, it is not a necessary step. You may skip it.

3. Dry Razor Properly

After shaving and cleaning, dry it properly. Store it in a cool, dry place. This will also stop any growth of germs on the blade.

4. Replace Dull Blade

When you feel your razor blade is not working well, replace it with a new sharper razor blade. It is good to change the blade after 3 to 8 shaves.

5. Don’t Share Your Blade

Do share your razor blade with your friend or any other person.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this informative article clears your mind about why shaving dulls the razor blade. Manufacturers can make better blades with the reduction of heterogeneity in the material. High-quality blades are a little expensive, but it is a long-term investment!