I get considerable mileage out of my razors but the time does come when one needs to buy new. This time, instead of getting the usual disposable plastic heads, I opted for a metal safety razor. I’ve got to say, it feels rather luxurious to use such a beautiful (and weighty) object for personal grooming, but also very appropriate. My approach to personal grooming might be minimalistic but that doesn’t mean I prefer inferior products or neglect aspects of hygiene. Not that shaving is anything more than a cultural expectation. So if you choose to shave, the metal safety razor is a great, long-lasting option that will save you a bucket load of money and reduce waste.
My safety razor cost $30, but you might be able to find one second hand. A pack of razor blades cost me $5. If you look after the blades (clean and dry them after use) they should last a long time, and being double edged, you can get double the use out of them. If you compare these costs to buying the disposable heads for other razor types, you can see how much money you will save very quickly.
When I was researching if the blades could be sharpened to increase longevity, I discovered that both safety razor blades and disposable razor blades can be sharpened by pushing the razor twenty times in one direction along a piece of denim on a flat surface. Luckily I hadn’t thrown away my disposable razor yet, I’ll get more use out of it now. Some people claim that they have been using the same blade daily for two years!
If you are buying a safety razor new, don’t forget to look for one with as little packaging as possible. I went with a mostly cardboard box that I will keep as a case. Also ask for your razors to come in cardboard and paper rather than plastic. Make sure you talk about your requirements with a sales representative before purchasing, as safety razors are not all the same. The sales assistant will likely try to sell you shaving lather, a shaving brush and a shaving stand too, but I think this is all unnecessary. I just use soap as my lather. If you do want the lavishness of a complete shaving set, look around for ones made of natural materials and in sustainable packaging, or second hand. They do exist.
I use the safety razor to shave my legs, underarms and bikini. No razor burn so far even though this is something I’ve experienced a lot in the past. My skin is super smooth from such a close shave but I did nick myself around the ankle the first time. I did this occasionally with the other razors so nothing new, I just need more patience.
Don’t forget to save water when shaving by not leaving the water running. If you shave in the shower, turn it off while you shave. I like to do my legs sitting on the side of the bath tub so I can turn the tap on when needed.
When it comes to disposing of the razor blades you will need to consider the fact that they are sharp, so call your local council to find out where to take them.
Finally, my husband uses an electric razor which can be expensive to buy. Obviously it requires electricity to recharge but I think it’s minimal and he saves on water, lathers, and waste.
Fun fact: Safety razors were invented in 1904.