I saw a post from @sustainablylazy a while back about using a safety razor instead of buying disposable ones as a way to cut down on plastic waste. I knew my boyfriend had one, but the idea of changing up my shaving routine still seemed a bit daunting.
When you’ve only done something a certain way for years, its hard to put a stopper on it and try something new, especially when that thing includes putting a literal knife on your legs. However, when I left my plastic razor at my parent’s house last summer accidentally, I knew it was time to change my ways.
Metal safety razors are 100% recyclable, and are built to last, so they’re also an amazing investment in terms of saving money. The only things you’ll need to repurchase are the blades which you can buy in bulk very cheaply. Even these blades can be recycled, so there’s a stark contrast with the disposable option, especially when you consider the packaging that comes with it.
I was very concerned about cuts, but so far, I’ve only nicked myself as much as I would normally, and they’re not any deeper or scarier. If anything, metal razor are less likely to harbour germs, so they’re probably safer.
I’ve been using it for a few months now, so here are my tips for you:
- Read up on the type of razor you want. There are two main types, the butterfly and the multi-piece. I opted for the butterfly razor as its much easier to swap the blades – you twist part of the handle which opens up the head, so it’s less fiddly. With a multi-piece you have to manually take it apart every time. The plus side with this is there’s less change you’ll accidentally loosen the blade by twisting the handle, but this has never happened to me with my butterfly razor. Another main thing to think about is the length of the handle, and how grippy it is. A longer handle will be easier to hold and the grip means you’ll be less likely to drop it when you’re all soapy in the shower.
- Go slowly. Shaving with a safety razor is not something you can do in 5 minutes before you get ready for work. Set some time out of your day, so you aren’t in a hurry. The metal head does not tilt like most plastic versions, so you need to focus on making smaller strokes around curved areas like your knees and ankles.
- Do not press down. The blades are likely much sharper than you’re used to, so you don’t need to push down to get a close shave. Running it lightly over your skin will be enough as long as you have the right angle.
- Hold it at 45 degrees. As the head doesn’t tilt, you’re going to need to find the right angle for the optimum shave, but don’t worry – you’ll get it after a couple of goes.
- Lubricate! Please don’t try to shave with just water. I’m not the best for this either as I normally just use conditioner, but make sure you are sufficiently oiled before you shave and for the love of all that is holy, do not shave dry.
I got the Jagen David safety razor B40 in titanium, which has worked really well for me.*