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The reusable razor (aka the safety razor) has been around for a long time but up till recently, it’s been a man’s best kept secret. If you’re like me, you probably wouldn’t know it was a thing until you dug deep into the sustainable living world. Not our fault though, because most mainstream razors on the shelves are plastic disposable razors and we’re taught to go through them like hot buns in a bakery.
If this is your first introduction to reusable/safety razors, I’m going to tell you why you’d love them, how to use them and where to get yourself one asap.
Are safety razors better & How Safety Razors work
Going plastic free
Here’s what you need to know. The colourful plastic razors we see in the shops are not the most conscious purchase for the simple fact that they’re plastic.
I know you know this already, but anything made of plastic is going to be around for a long time even after it leaves our homes in the garbage. They take up landfill space, get into our environment, into the oceans, into our food supplies and eventually ends up right back with us, in our systems through the food we eat.
I’ve talked a bit more about the effects of plastic in my previous posts on metal straws, wooden toothbrushes and going plastic free with hair products.
Apart from the plastic element, how else are safety razors better?
In terms of actual usage, they do take some getting used to simply because they’re not as quick swipe as disposable razors. They’re certainly not ideal for a rushed early morning shave.
– The safety razor is very very sharp and so you need to be sure to apply a shaving cream, or something equivalent and shave in one direction because they don’t come with swivel tops.
The advantage is that the result is A LOT smoother than shaving with a disposable razor, if you manage not to knick yourself (it happens once or twice but you move on).
– Another thing to bear in mind is that safety razors don’t come with that little layer of cooling gel that a lot of disposable razors do, which means that it’s a good idea to moisturise after shaving to keep the skin smooth and healthy.
– Finally, safety razors cannot be packed in carry on luggage when travelling. So if you’re traveling with only carry on like I did when I went backpacking in Asia and Australia, this isn’t ideal.
One option would be to simply travel with the handle and purchase the blade at your destination. I would look beforehand at some store options to see if they’re easily available.
Can you shave everywhere with a safety razor?
I can only speak for women here, and from my own experiences but the answer is yes.
Legs, underarms, and even your lady bits can be shaved with a safety razor (carefully and softly!) You’ll get used to the feeling overtime and I actually found I get fewer razor bumps when shaving with my safety razor.
I know that for men you can also safely shave your beards and other bodily hair but I would be very careful taking it down there.
How much does a safety razor cost?
The initial investment is your only larger cost, but this is generally for the handle itself, which makes sense when you think about it because it is meant to last you for a good few years.
A first time purchase of a safety razor costs anywhere between £10-£60 but you might want to invest in one in the middle price range to ensure quality.
You’ll receive the handle of the razor (image 1 below) , which is the reusable bit often made of metal or wood, and maybe one or two actual razors blades (4) which are inserted into the handle.
The individual blades should be replaced every few weeks because they do rust, can go blunt and then become less safe to use. These will be a continual purchase since they have to be restocked but a pack shouldn’t cost more than £10.
Where can you buy one:
I bought mine from Bambaw.com when I lived in London, but you can get them from almost all your local or online eco conscious stores. You can also find various brands on Amazon.
How to dispose of a safety razor?
To dispose of your individual razor blade consciously, wrap it in a blade safe or metal container and seal it properly, before placing it in your metal recycling bin.
Happy conscious shaving!