Between the unruly locks on faces, in armpits, along legs, and “down there,” most of us have turned to razors for hair removal. In 2020 alone, this meant that Americans used 158.10 million disposable razors. This is where reusable safety razors come in. Using a safety razor isn’t just an easy way to produce smooth, hairless skin, but because they can be used for decades, they’re far better for our planet, too.
What is a Safety Razor?
But first, what is a safety razor?
Think of a safety razor as an old fashioned razor—one that’s been around since at least the 1700s. They’re not disposable, nor are they generally made from plastic. They get their name because they have a protective device that’s positioned between the blade and your skin.
In fact, when they were popularized in the early 1900s by King Gillette, it was because they could replace a trip to the barber! The safety implement reduced the amount of skill required for injury-free shaving, which allowed people to shave from home, instead of paying for a professional to do it.
This may have you asking, are safety razors good for beginners?
Yes, they’re actually perfect for beginners. The best safety razor for beginners are those that have a mild aggressiveness. This means that there’s less of a space between the bottom part of the razor head and the top part, leaving less of the blade exposed. Fortunately, most of the womens and mens safety razors on the market today are mild and non-aggressive.
But is a Safety Razor Really Better?
So, is a safety razor really better? YES! They’re better for you and our planet.
Safety Razor for Sustainable Shaving
Often made from stainless steel—which is one of the world’s most recycled materials—safety razors are durable and can be transformed into something new after they’re used for up to 50+ years!
Instead of replacing the entire cartridge—or even entire razor—safety razors just require blade replacements for optimal performance. While they can’t be recycled in most curbside programs, the blades are made with recyclable metal, so they can be sent to a recycling center that accepts them—meaning you could have a totally zero waste safety razor!
Compare this with conventional shaving tools, which are estimated to result in around 2 billion razors ending up in US landfills every year. And this doesn’t even take into account the plastics that leach dangerous chemicals as they slowly degrade over hundreds or thousands of years, nor the plastic wrapper that most disposable razors come in.
We should also mention that moisturizing strip that comes on most disposable razors is made from polyethylene glycol, a dangerous chemical that’s known to cause irritation and potential system toxicity. It’s also associated with known carcinogen and possible human carcinogen, ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.
Safety Razor for Smoother Skin
Not only are safety razors free of petroleum-based compounds, but they’re also associated with a better shave!
Using a safety razor has been known to reduce some of the negative side effects reported with disposable razors: ingrown hairs, shave bumps, and skin irritation. Especially with a single blade safety razor, just one blade is against your skin during shaving—as opposed to 3 or 5 blades that all pull and tug at your skin in different ways.
Safety Razor for Budget-Friendly Shaving
While the best safety razor for men and women may have a higher up-front cost than a disposable razor, it’s important to think of it as a long-term investment. Used and stored properly, there’s really no reason that a safety razor wouldn’t last an entire lifetime.
Then, after getting a Safety Razor Kit, all you need to consider is the ongoing costs: the razor blades. You can use each blade around 6-10 shaves, depending on how coarse the hair is. Refill blades are around $10-15, and this is the price for 100 of them!
Compare that with $8-15 razors that have to be replaced every couple of weeks (and pollute our environment in the process), and there’s a clear winner.
How to Use a Safety Razor
While there’s a slight learning curve, understanding just a few basic steps will help you become a safety razor pro in no time.
- Follow the direction of hair growth: “Shave with the grain” to minimize irritation.
- Use shaving cream: When you have something like a shaving puck handy, it will allow the razor to glide over the skin, producing a smoother shave with less irritation and redness.
- Hold the razor at a 30° angle: Because safety razors come with that protective bar, holding it at this angle exposes the blade and allows the razor to work more effectively.
- Shave in short strokes: Do short, less-than 1-inch strokes to prevent tugging, knicks, and cuts.
- Let the razor work for you: Unlike a disposable razor, there’s no need to press into the skin to slice through stubble. A safety razor is more heavily weighted for a reason! Allow this weight to work on its own, while just applying gentle pressure against the skin.
Final Thoughts on Safety Razors
When it comes to the safety razor vs disposable debate, there’s a very clear winner. Safety razors are better for our planet, better for you, and better for your wallet! Be sure to add one of the best safety razors—a Safety Butterfly Razor—to your cart so that you can experience its benefits firsthand.
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