Updated: Dec 4, 2020
As you likely know by now, I have spent the last couple of years decluttering our home. In doing so I have many goals. To live #zerowaste as much as is possible; to live the life of a #cozyminimalist; by following my rules of finding health and happiness through “Simplicity and authenticity”.
Every little step counts. Any little thing we do makes a bigger impact than we may believe.
One of the many steps I have taken is to ditch the plastic razors (once it was well used) and purchase a safety razor. The razor itself will last me a lifetime. As for the blades? It is cheaper to purchase safety razor blades. They last long, they have a small impact on the environment, they are not made out of plastic, they are cost effective and give me a nice smooth shave.
Ladies, you may be wondering about your bikini line and armpits. I use my safety razor for those areas also.
Here are a few tips to get you started. These are things I have learned along the way and have made my switch to using a safety razor well worth it. (Scroll down and read tips below)
Should I get a double edge or a single edge safety razor?
I found the double edgesafety razor to be safer and faster to shave with than the single edgesafety razor. The double edge razor has two, usually identical, shaving sides. By using both sides, you will spend half the time rinsing the razor, which means less time shaving. Another important point for me was that a double edge safety razor is not as sharp as a single edge safety razor. Let’s avoid the nicks and cuts, yes?
What kind of blades should I get?
If you are just starting out, I would look for a less sharp blade. You can gradually work up to a sharper blade as you become more comfortable shaving with your new safety razor.
Where can I purchase a safety razor? And the blades?
Now that safety razors are become popular again, you can find them almost anywhere. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and even Best Buy carries them.
How long does a blade last?
This depends on a few things. It will depend on how much surface you shave and how often you shave. For example, whether you shave only your legs every 3 days or shave legs, bikini area and armpits every other day. It also depends on how coarse the hair is and whether or not you use shaving cream/oil, or if you wet shave. A guestimate would be between 5 and 10 shaves if you are looking at having a smooth shave every time as a wet-shaver. I used to be a wet shaver but found that I get more out of my blades by using shaving oil. I now get between 15 to 20 smooth shaves using shaving oil.
Edit January 17th, 2009: My favourite blades are Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge. Smooth shave, glides easily, and no nicks and cuts!!
How do I take care of my safety razor?
Most of the safety razors out there are built to last. You should look forward to owning your safety razor for many years, if not a lifetime. Taking care of it is pretty simple. All you have to do, once you finish shaving, is to be sure you rinse the razor and that you dry it out well. Easy peasy, right? I like to wipe my blade in the opposite direction that I would shave with it, using a dry bath towel. By doing so, I am realigning the blade, removing any leftover water, shaving oil, skin oil, etc, that can cause wear and tear to the blade. I have found my blades to last much longer by doing this simple step.
How do I dispose of the blades?
When disposing of these blades, we must be careful and do so with care. We do not want to put anyone at risk, including the sanitation workers. Never, ever simply throw away a blade. An easy solution is to use the slotted compartment on the bottom of the plastic dispenser that your double edge blades came in. Do so until the compartment gets too tight (full) to insert more. Never force the blades in, you don’t want to end up cutting yourself by doing so. Once it is full, you can throw it out in the trash.
However, not all blades come in this type of container. Mine came in a cardboard box where each blade was individually wrapped in paper.
So what to do in this case? Make a blade bank. Try to find something sturdy, something which nothing can poke through and that won’t break should it be accidentally dropped. Also make sure to label it “USED BLADES”. It should have a lid too. You could even cut a small slit in the lit for the blades to be inserted. Once full, duct tape the sucker shut (make it safe) and discard with the trash.
Keep your blade bank somewhere secure yet easily accessible for when you are shaving.
When you first start shaving with a safety razor, you may feel a little apprehensive. That’s ok and totally normal. So, let me share a few tips that will make this first experience a great one.
Like I said, I used to be a wet shaver. I would shave in the shower using nothing but the water as my skin prep. However, I found that using a safety razor in this way, I had a higher chance of nicks and cuts… not to mention that the safety razor handle is metal and can easily slip out of my fingers… sharp blade… no thank you. Solution? Take a shower as usual but omit the shaving part. You will cut down on your shower time and water usage. Win-win.
First prep your skin with some shaving cream, or in my case, shaving oil.
When you shave, the angle of the razor and the weight of your hand will be what gives you a smooth shave. Keep the razor at a 30-degree angle and use only the weight of the razor itself.
Avoid using any pressure from your hand, especially when the razor blade is new, or you will end up with nicks and cuts. Trust me on this one.
Be patient as you shave and use short strokes as you go. Simply allowing the weight of the razor to do the work for you.
Once you are done shaving, you will want to moisturize your skin. If you do so by using after-shave lotion, make sure that it is alcohol-free. Alcohol might sting a bit and also tends to dry out skin. I personally make my own skin cream using coconut oil. I am left with a smooth, healthy looking skin. Love it!
Well friends, that is pretty much it. I fell in love with the safety razor after just one shave. It may take one to three shavings before you feel confident with your new safety razor. I have say that there is no turning back for me now. I absolutely love the results!!