I finally got around to buying myself a safety razor and I used it for the first time today, this is my review of its first outing.
Since I started shaving (no I haven’t grown a beard, I’m talking about shaving my legs) I have used disposable razors. It really hurts me to write that because disposable razors are so wasteful and unnecessary, but I didn’t know that there were any viable alternatives until I learned about zero waste living.
Disposable razors come in several forms, they are either molded with a single blade in the handle and when the blade goes blunt, the razor is useless and the whole thing has to be thrown in the trash.
Or, you can buy a handle and get replaceable blades, which is the better option but it is still really wasteful; the blades are usually made from a mix of metal encased in plastic and the two materials cannot be easily separated for recycling.
The option of buying a handle and then using replaceable blades can be hugely expensive and sometimes when the razor company launch a new razor handle they can often make the old ones obsolete. This means that they will stop producing the blades for your razor handle and you will have to buy a whole new razor and thrown away the old handle. I hate that so much.
Thank goodness that there are viable alternatives to these wasteful options out there:
The first is the safety razor (which I am going to talk about) and the second is the straight razor or (cut-throat razor). Now using a straight razor is a very skillful practice and can be quite dangerous if you don’t have any experience, however, it is the most sustainable of all shaving options because it allows you to keep one blade and sharpen it every time it gets blunted.
Until the day I take a course on how to use a straight razor safely then I will be using my brand new safety razor.
The razor I chose is made by a German manufacturer called Muhle and it is a three part safety razor, I bought it from Shave lounge and it cost me £30.65 with free shipping.
It came supplied with a single blade and the shave lounge had an offer to get an extra two packets of blades for free, so in all I got 16 blades with the razor.
I took it out of the box (which I will reuse as a gift box for a birthday or Christmas present) and I built the razor. To do this, you unscrew the handle from the top part of the razor and slot the blade onto three pins that sit between the two top pieces of the blade, you then stack the pieces back on top of each other and screw the handle back on. It was really easy.
The safety razor is a wet-shaving instrument and you need lather in order to prevent razor burn and skin irritation.
I haven’t yet bought a proper shaving brush and soap (my next purchases) and so I used some of my boyfriends shaving gel.
Now I found this shaving experience to be very different from using a disposable razor, I am going to need some more practice in order to get the same results as before. This is quite normal, can you a remember a time when you were good at something the first time you tried it? Me neither! So I am willing to keep going until I get the technique correct.
The key differences between this razor and my old disposable one are as follows:
- The safety razor has to be used at a very exact angle in order to cut the hair, this take some practice
- The safety razor is not flexible like the head of a disposable razor, this means that you have to change the way you shave around ankles and bones and under arms
- I was expecting to cut myself a lot, I didn’t cut myself once
- The blades are super sharp on a safety razor, you have to be really careful when changing the blade
- I found myself enjoying the shave a lot more with the safety razor, due to the quality of the razor I felt like I wanted to take my time with it, like I deserved to take the time out for this particular self-care routine
- The safety razor is SO beautiful, it was lovely to handle and feels really well engineered and made, it is so much nicer than the cheaply made plastic disposable razor
- The safety razor can be fully disassembled for cleaning and drying, unlike the disposable razor which tends to get dirty inside the top part where the blade joins to the handle.
- The blades on the safety razor are made from a single piece of metal and nothing else, they are fully recyclable, unlike the mixed metal and plastic blades from the disposable razor that have to go straight into the bin. I have a little metal tin that I am going to use to save my used blades before I take them to the metal recycling bin at the supermarket. I am going to keep them separate from the other metal items just for safety reasons, even though the used blades will be blunt, I don’t want to take any chances.
- The blades for my safety razor are £3-£4 for 10 double sided blades. The blades for my old razor are currently priced at £5.79 for 3! I am going to save so much money with the safety razor, even with the upfront price of buying it.
I am so happy with the safety razor and the waste-free shaving option that it gives me.
I would happily recommend a safety razor to anyone who has a desire to eliminate the waste associated with shaving and disposable razors.
NOTE: If you do decide to buy one, please be really careful about where you keep your blades, especially if you have children or pets.