Is a safety razor hard to use?
No. But I must admit that I was legitimately scared to try a safety razor.
A lot of that had to do with the how-to videos and posts you find around the internet suggesting that you will cut yourself on the first try. But the process seemed complicated, too.
For one, you need to hold the razor at a 30 degree angle, whereas disposable razors create that angle for you. Additionally, the razor is weighted so you don’t need to push down on the skin when shaving, another difference from disposables.
All of the theoreticals of the task – the information overload – made me feel like I could not possibly use a safety razor without bleeding out.
Friends, I am here to let you know that, not only did I survive, I am thriving…
Why Switch to a Safety Razor?
There are several possible reasons to switch to a safety razor, but I’ll name what was most important in my decision to switch.
1 | Safety razors are much more sustainable than the majority of razors you can buy at the drugstore or supermarket.
That’s because most razors are designed to be at least partially disposable, and the vast majority are made from plastic. According to EPA estimates, about 2 billion razors are tossed per year in the US alone, and razors have been found in the ocean.
Safety razors are a better option because only the blades need to be replaced (at about the same rate you would replace a plastic razor) and the metal can be recycled.
How to Recycle?
Most posts I read when researching for this post suggested that you:
- Contact your local recycling facility to ask how they prefer to receive blades, and/or
- Store used blades in a small container; when it’s full, take to your local facility for recycling.
What’s more, in the long run, a safety razor costs less per use than disposable razors.
2 | Safety razors are often more gentle on sensitive skin.
Unlike multi-blade razors, which actually shave hair below the surface of the skin, safety razors cut directly at the surface. While this may at first sound like a disadvantage, it can actually prevent ingrown hairs and other irritation.
This has definitely been my experience with “typical” razors. I have had near-constant bumps on my legs in the summer when I shave frequently and itching and redness on my underarms. See below how my experience was with the safety razor…
My Experience Using a Safety Razor
I really wanted to challenge this razor, provided by EcoRoots, by using it on legs that had not been shaved in weeks.
Typically, when I start shaving more frequently again after winter hibernation, I get a lot more bumps, ingrown hairs, and redness than I do later into the summer as my skin readjusts to the process.
Getting used to manipulating the safety razor versus a plastic one was daunting at first because I was afraid of cutting myself, so I started on my legs, since the nerves and skin there are less sensitive than my underarms.
After a few runs of the razor, I started feeling more confident and shaved a whole leg without any cuts. On the second leg, I was feeling out of control, high on the thrill of my newfound skill, which resulted in a small cut, but nothing a new plastic razor wouldn’t do. While I had a little irritation afterward, I have not had nearly the amount of redness or bumps I would have had with a plastic razor.
Tip: I found that it was best to use short strokes and rinse between each pass to achieve the smoothest results.
This thing is a miracle worker for underarms! I have a LOT of irritation with underarms due to deodorants and other factors (it probably doesn’t help that my clothes tend to fit close to the body, creating friction and perspiration).
I have the smoothest, most even-toned skin of my shaving life with the safety razor.
Tip: Make sure to shave with the grain of hair growth on the first pass. Then, take a second pass against it and you’ll be hair-free.
When I embarked on this experiment, I commented to Daniel that I don’t know why I subject myself to being a guinea pig again and again. But it turns out, this was the right choice, absolutely, and with the right information, you’ll be ready to adjust to this new-old tool in no time.
P.S. EcoRoots sells a curated collection of low-waste, sustainable grooming and household goods, with lots of great tips on their blog.
The EcoRoots razor was ergonomically designed for a comfortable shave and the high-polished finish helps prevent corrosion (you should still store it in a dry place when not in use). The razor comes with 5 blades for easy replacement and more can be purchased here.