Sustaina-Mini: Safety Razor Edition
Do you shave your legs? Or other body parts, for that matter? If not, kudos to you for choosing the most eco-friendly solution to body hair: rocking it au naturel. While that appeals to me on several levels (anti-beauty-industry, anti-consumerism, feminism, pure laziness...) I'm not quite willing to give up the wonderful feeling of silky smooth legs in a summer dress. Inspired by going.zero.waste's Instagram account, I've recently swapped out disposable razors for a safety razor. After using it for several months, I'm never going back!
I got a Rockwell Razors Safety Razor - the "Rookie"- in white chrome from Zero Waste Bulk in Waterloo. It has a double-sided blade and a butterfly head that opens without coming apart into multiple pieces, so it's super-easy to change the blades. I thought this would be a good safety razor to start with, as it has only one setting, R1, which is the safest or "mildest" blade setting. It was also one of the least expensive safety razors I've seen at only $20. (There are other safety razors on the market for $40, $60, $80 and up.) Although it was only $20, it still looks, feels and performs like a quality instrument!
So far, I am really enjoying the experience of using my safety razor! Compared to disposables, there were just a few things I had to get used to:
the non-swivelling razor head, which shaves at a 30-45 degree angle (something I adapted to within the first few shaves)
using shorter strokes and going slowly
not applying any pressure, as the weight of the metal handle offers just the right amount of pressure on its own
shaving with the grain or perpendicular to the grain in more sensitive areas (i.e., bikini line) instead of shaving against the grain (however, I still shave easier areas like my lower legs in upward against-the-grain strokes)
the importance of keeping the shaving surface wet and slippery (usually with just soap and water), and reapplying soap/water before going over a spot a second or third time
learning how to switch the razor blades (which took all of five seconds)
My transition to a safety razor was almost nick-free (darn ankle bones and bug bites!). As with any new sharp tool, it took a while to adapt but as long as I go slowly and respect the blade, I tend to have great results. They say you get a closer shave with safety razors and that does seem to be true. The main benefit I see though is reducing the plastic waste of disposable razors and saving money by only needing to replace the recyclable razor blades, which can be purchased in 100 packs for $10-20. So far I'm only on my second (of five) blades that came with my razor so I think a 100-pack would last me quite a while!
For an extra $5 I also purchased a blade bank, a small metal container that I can store used blades in and return them to the store where I purchased the razor for proper recycling.
Have you tried using a safety razor? I'd love to hear about your experience and any tips you care to share!
Related Sustaina-Mini Posts: