If you're like me, you change your razor head whenever it stops working properly or starts irritating your skin. When exactly that is—after 10 uses? 20?—is anyone's guess. And while you may have heard that you should be changing your razor more often, that's probably just a locker room myth, right? (See also: The Surprising Food You Can Use to Shave Your Legs)
Well, not really, according to Deirdre Hooper, M.D., a dermatologist based in New Orleans. "You should change your razor blades every three to six shaves," she asserts. Um, what?? "If you have coarser hair, you may need more frequent changes because they cause tiny nicks in the blade to a greater degree than fine hair." Dr. Hooper, STOP. (BRB, looking into laser hair removal.)
Fortunately, the worst that can happen if you push it between shaves isn't that bad, or at least, not in my book. "A less sharp, less smooth blade is more likely to give you an uneven shave as well as nick you. The irregular blade surface can irritate sensitive skin, leading to razor bumps," Hooper says. Give your dermis a little extra TLC pre- and post-shave, and you can maybe squeeze out one or two extra uses if you really need to, though you should reserve less-than-fresh blades for less-coarse areas like your legs. (Read before your next shave: 6 Tricks for How to Shave Your Bikini Area) In the meantime, you may want to stock up on blades, or sign up for a delivery service like Dollar Shave Club, which ships you fresh razor heads on a set schedule so you're never left with a dull blade and no backup.