In the United States, women alone spend approximately $191.4 a year on shaving products according to a study done by the American Laser Center. That´s a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere! Part of that high number is due to the unfair difference in sale price for women´s hygiene products over men's (you can read more about the “Pink Tax” here). Additionally, the most common razors are disposable ones requiring a user to purchase expensive cartridges again and again. And then, there´s the waste part!
A typical razor nowadays is made from mostly plastic with a disposable razor blade head. Unfortunately that means a lot of plastic is being thrown away with many people shaving daily and changing razor blades monthly. A safety razor is an alternative to this. Safety razors are made from 100% metal and have recyclable blades that can be replaced. In this way, it eliminates the use of plastic as well as any trash produced! What could be better?
I did quite a bit of research before deciding to invest in one, and I suggest you do the same. The reason being that there are a variety of different styles of safety razors and each one has its pros and cons. You may find the following articles helpful in deciding which safety razor to choose. I got a Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor which I love!
If you have looked into this at all, you have probably heard the horror stories of bloody knees and nicked ankles. But don´t you worry too much, safety razors aren´t going to kill you and just take a little practice. There are many articles online describing techniques for shaving and YouTube videos with tutorials. My suggestion is the first few times you use it, make sure you have plenty of time. Rushing through it is what will leave you with a little blood in your bathwater.
Also, don´t push down. Don´t press. Let the weight of the razor do the work. I was surprised when I received mine to find that it was actually much heavier than my old disposable razors! In that way, the razor is heavy enough to create enough pressure against your skin to do the work for you!
I additionally recommend keeping your last old disposable razor while you adjust to the new safety razor. At first, while you take your time getting the hang of it, the cartridge razor will allow you to still get that quick shave done without risking cuts. You can give yourself some time to adjust to the new feel of a safety razor and slowly experiment with the sensitive areas. And yes, a safety razor will work on your legs, armpits, face, and bikini area! The only part I have found that I need to be extra, extra careful with is directly on my knee caps. And once you have adjusted, ditch that disposable razor for good!
In terms of recycling the razor blades, you should check with your local system first but I’ll tell you what I do here in Whatcom County, WA. I am allowed to collect the used razor blades in a safe container and once I have a few, put them in a cardboard box next to my recycling containers that is clearly marked “Scrap Metal”. It is very important that you do not directly put the razor blades in the trash or recycling because they can easily cut the workers who process it later.
If you still need convincing on why you should invest in a safety razor, let´s return to the financial incentive I started with. I know that the upfront cost of a safety razor may seem a little high - $50 or $60 if you buy a high quality one. But let´s check out this graph Hair Free whipped up for their article The Complete Guide to Safety Razor Shaving for Women. The calculations are rough and every person´s situation will differ slightly but I think it highlights quite well how investing up front isn’t actually that much of an investment.
If you’re ready to invest in a safety razor, you may have to purchase it online directly from the company or from Amazon. Check locally first as some health stores or big box stores may carry them for men. And after that, if you have any questions or doubts, just google, google, google! You´ll soon be getting the best shave of your life and paying a fraction of the price. And did I mention that you would eliminate your trash? Yeah, I think I mentioned that in there somewhere…