Last week I flew across the country for a shave. It was a barbershop shave, done by a real barber, in a makeshift barber’s chair at Katy’s Palace in Kramerville. There was a posse of celebs in attendance, and 5FM’s DJ Warras kept the guests entertained. I flew back to Cape Town the next day. Now that all sounds very rock ’n roll, until I tell you that it was all for the launch of a new BIC razor. And that’s where you’ll click the Close Window button, because really, who wants to read about a product launch – especially for a disposable razor?

Stay with me here. This isn’t just any disposable razor. It’s the best value for money razor to hit the South African market in ages – and at Men’s Health we like it so much, we even put it on our cover (it’s a free gift, packaged with our November 2015 issue in select regions). Here’s why: there are three things – three C’s – that a man looks for in a razor. You want a close shave, a clean shave, and a comfortable shave. BIC ticks all three boxes with the Flex 5.


It has five flexible blades (so “Flex 5” is more than just a clever name), which adjust to the contours of your skin. And those blades are very sharp indeed… hence ticking the “Close” box. Then there’s an extra blade on the back, which does precision jobs. I asked Bridgette Mandava, BIC’s Marketing Manager: Shavers & Lighters; Southern, Central & East Africa, about it. She said: “On the other side of the razor we’ve got an edging blade: it’s the first edging blade offering in South African disposables. It helps with that last clean finish, if you’re just cleaning or neatening your beard.” So that’s “Clean” ticked as well.

The “Comfortable” box is ticked by those five blades. Sure, it’s getting ridiculous now – after all, men survived for centuries with just a single blade, and now you’ve got razor manufacturers trying to outdo each other with Twin Blades! Triple Blades! Five Blades! (Why don’t we just to ten blades, and be done with it?)

But those five blades make a difference – and it’s one that guys like me really appreciate. I have sensitive skin, so for me to drag a twin blade razor across my skin five times is a recipe for razor burn and ugly rashes. Do the maths: two blades five times does the same slicing job as five blades two times… just without the repetitive skin irritation. So yeah, laugh it up about the over-the-top five blades. At least you don’t have to worry about shaving rash.

This might sound like an official endorsement or an advertisement masquerading as an editorial… and it’s not, I swear. (All I got from BIC was a shave and a few drinks at the event.) But every once in a while, a product comes into the Men’s Health office that just makes sense. BIC’s Flex 5 is one of those products. It’s pitched – in Bridgette’s words – at “middle to high LSM South African male consumers who are looking for something more premium. He understands his shaver, and he understands the needs of his skin.” That’s exactly the Men’s Health Guy.

But what we really like about it – beyond those three Cs and beyond my free shave – is the value. The recommended retail price is R49,99. For a pack of two five-blade (six-blade, if you count that extra one!) premium razors, that’s a seriously good deal.