I've been shaving my head for many years and have shaved with just about every type of razor on the market. The overwhelming amount of razors on the market make it very tough to determine which one is really the best. There are disposables, 3 blades, 5 blades, single edge, double edge, vibrating heads, aloe vera strips, ball technology, razors designed specifically for for shaving heads, and that's not counting all of the different brands that have their own versions of each.
The disposable and cartridge razor market is approximately a 3 billion dollar market in the U.S., so no wonder razor manufacturers are doing everything possible to set themselves apart from the competition with little gimmicks that they want you to believe provides a better shave.
Head to the razor section in any major retailer and it's very difficult to determine which razor is best to shave with not to mention specifically for shaving your head. Don't worry there is light at the end of this tunnel and I'll help you break down each type of razor along with pros and cons of each and by the end you'll be able to pick out the best razor for your head.
The criteria that I will use to choose the best razor will be the cost of initial purchase, cost for replacing blades, lifespan of product, features that improve the shave, and of course the quality of the head shave.
We will compare a disposable, the Gillette Mach 3, the Gillette Fusion, and the Headblade ATX. I believe that single edge razors and double edge razors really belong in a separate category, so checkout our article on the best safety razor for shaving your head if that's what you are looking for.
I decided to try out the BIC Twin Select disposables as the disposable razor to shave my head with. They are called disposables because you throw away the entire razor away when you are done using it. Most people use it for at least a few shaves (up to maximum of about 10 shaves) before tossing it out, but the bottom line is these things are not meant to last.
Cost of Initial Purchase: You can get the BIC Twin Select on Amazon for $10.23 for 3 packs of 10. Yes, that's 30 razors for ten bucks. That breaks down to 34 cents per razor and if you get 5 good head shaves per razor it comes out to 7 cents each time you shave your head. I'm giving this a full 5 stars when it comes to the initial purchase price.
Cost for replacing blades: Since these are disposable razors there isn't an option to replace the razor head. It's a single piece razor with the head built into the handle so when you are done the entire thing goes into the trash. Because of the low cost for an additional razor at 34 cents I'm also giving this a 5 star rating for replacing the blades or in this case replacing the entire razor.
Lifespan of product: Disposables are not meant to last, so this might not be a fair rating but it's the criteria being used so it is what it is. Some people claim to use these razors up to 10 times, but I feel that the quality of the shave reduces quickly and 5 times is the max I'm willing to use one of these razors. I think a 2 star rating is deserved for this razor when it comes to lifespan.
Features that improve the shave: There is absolutely nothing fancy about this razor. It's light, plastic, feels cheap, and there are no fancy aloe strips, rotating heads, or vibrating mechanisms to improve your head shave. The razor head contains 2 blades and that's about it. Another 2 star rating for features.
Quality of the shave: It all boils down to the shave and when it comes to disposables in general I really dislike them. I can't put my finger on why they provide such a bad shave, but they do. The BIC Twin actually provides a decent shave when compared to many of the other disposable razors I have used to shave my head, but I still really don't care for them.
Summary: If you are looking for a very low cost razor to shave your head, don't care about filling up landfills with plastic, and are ok with a below average shave then this might be the razor for you. I will not be using this razor unless there is no other options.
Let's talk about shaving your head with the Gillette Mach 3 vs the Gillette Fusion. When I first converted to shaving my head with a razor from using an electric shaver I used a gilette fusion for my first head shave. The first shave was scary and felt like I was going to slice up my head, but it went quite well and ended up using a fusion for quite a few years. When I stopped using shaving cream and started using shaving oils I decided to try out the Mach 3 since there are fewer blades to gunk up. I really liked it and that became my fusion replacement.
I'll focus on the Mach3 for the review here since in my opinion it is a better option than the fusion.
Cost of initial purchase: The Mach 3 can be picked up on Amazon for less than $10. Make sure you are looking at the cartridge Mach 3 and not the disposable ones because there is a big difference. The cartridge one will include the razor along with a single cartridge head. It's enough to get you started. This is a reasonable price for a razor and a cartridge especially considering the build quality compared to the disposables. I'll give it a 4 out of 5 stars
Cost for replacing blades: There are a variety of replacement cartridges for Mach 3. You'll fine the base cartridge, special ones for sensitive skin, turbo (whatever that means). They are packaged in anywhere from 8 - 15 quantity and the average price is about $2-3 per cartridge. That means a pack of 15 replacement cartridges will set you back about $30. This is cheaper than the fusion blades, but more than I really care to spend on a cartridge. It just doesn't make sense that a completely disposable razor is 34 cents and a flipping cartridge is 2 bucks. I'll digress and rate this as almost highway robbery and give it a 2 star review.
Lifespan of product: The cartridges are meant to be replaced, but I do get quite a few shaves out of them. Quite a few meaning far more than 5 or so a disposable provides. After a while I notice the blades just don't have the cutting power they did before and I find my head left with patches of hair that shouldn't be there and I know I've waited too long to replace the cartridge. The body itself has also stood up extremely well and taken many plunges from about 4 foot to the bottom of my shower. The razor is no doubt built well and I've put it through the ringer to prove it. A 4 star review, it would have received a 5 but since you need to replace the cartridge I just couldn't.
Features that improve the shave:
The fusion is full of features from rotating head to vibrating handle, but the Mach3 keeps things pretty simple. I honestly don't really care too much for gimmicks and that's what you get with the Mach 3, which is basically a straight up razor to shave your head. The different heads have lubricating strips on them, but I really don't think these make much of a difference. Gillette claims the blades are engineered to provide less irritation and less friction than others and I must say that I can shave my head very fast without much concern and finish without a cut or a knick. That must mean they have done something right engineering a razor and blade that an shave your head smooth and leave it irritation and cut free. 5 stars here
Quality of the shave:
I must have got ahead of myself in the previous topic and started talking about quality. The shaves really are great that I get with the Mach 3. No complaints here, so let's make it an easy 5 stars.
The Mach3 is good no doubt and it will leave your head nice and smooth, but the main downside is the cost of the replacement heads. It's not a crazy amount @ $2 per replacement, but when I compare it to a double edge safety razor it's crazy expensive. You can't go wrong with this razor, so if you wallet it thick buy one and you won't be disappointed.
The HeadBlade reminds me of a little sports car all aerodynamic and cool. The idea behind the razor also is quite nice, which allows you to shave your head as if you are rubbing your head rather than the awkward hand position of a regular handle.
Cost of initial purchase:
There are a variety of razors to choose from and start at about $15 on Amazon. It's about twice the cost of the major cartridge brands, so yeah it's a bit steep. I'm not sure if the higher cost is due to the wheels and unique design, so I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.
Cost for replacing blades:
There are aftermarket replacement blades popping up, but I haven't used them. The aftermarket blades are about $2 each while the original head blade replacement blades will run about $3 each. It's aligned with the cost of the Mach 3 with a slightly higher cost. Another 2 star review here.
Lifespan of product:
On par with the Mach 3 in terms of how long the blades last before replacing. A 4 star review is deserved
Features that improve the shave:
Some people like the design of the razor being made for guys that shave their heads, but I just couldn't get used to it. Maybe with time I'll change my mind, but for now I'll stick with a regular razor. Cool features just not for me. 2 stars.
Quality of Shave:
My head was smooth after shaving it, so no complaints here. 5 star
It's a totally different way to shave your head. Something that many people love and others like me that don't care for it so much. If it feels awkward using a regular razor on your head this might be the razor for you. I would give an overall rating of 3 stars for the headblade.
And the winner is.......
I've been using a safety razor almost exclusively for shaving my head and have been doing that for the last few years.
If I had to toss out my safety razor and pick from this list my decision would be the Mach 3 cartridge razor although the replacement cartridges are a bit expensive.
The shaving experience is far superior to the others and it is my favorite razor when I need to get a quick head shave.