What you need to know about zero waste shaving

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Safety razor

Hardcore hippies? Yeah us neither…

So. This week we’re going to have that conversation about zero waste shaving. Old-school barbershop style razors are really coming back into fashion of late, and not only are traditional safety razors (you know the type your dad or gramps might have once used) better at giving that close shave to get those oh-so-smooth-and-silky legs, they’re beautiful too. Yes, they’re no longer just for men – ladies, many even come in gorgeous girly colours and styles too if that’s your thing. But why bother when you’re maybe already using one with replaceable heads, or when the plastic ones are dirt cheap? Well, here’s why we think you should get your very own safety razor:

  • They give a closer shave that lasts longer
  • Less irritation and razor burn caused by blunt blades and snagged hairs – winning!
  • It’s a ‘buy me once’ thing, look after it and it will last you years
  • Despite the initial cost of the razor, it works out way cheaper in the long-run than throwaway alternatives
  • They’re more stylish than throwaway razors – why would you ever buy another cheap plastic one when you can buy something beautiful AND sustainable to take pride of place on that bathroom shelf?
  • It’s more hygienic – you can easily take them apart to clean every little nook and cranny, so no more annoying trapped hairs or dead skin

We know, you’re probably still a bit sceptical (we were too), but stay with us. In the UK, we throw away millions of plastic razors each year, and in the US that figure is closer to 2 billion! Even one person can make a big difference, to the planet AND to your bank account. For a great visual breakdown of how the safety razor holds up cost-wise to a typical cartridge razor and for a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of safety razors, just follow the link below:

https://www.toolsofmen.com/shaving-with-a-safety-razor/

So, even though your actual razor might initially set you back anywhere between £10-100 (depending on what style and brand you go for, you can get a good one new for around £25 on Amazon prime), you make back your investment pretty quick. Blades are super cheap – for less than £10, you can easily get 100 blades (we recommend Astra for good quality blades that come in a cardboard box individually wrapped in mini paper sleeves), working out at less than 10p per blade! Depending on how often you shave they tend to last around a month each, or you can just replace them whenever you think your current blade is no longer up to the job.

Tip: If you want your blades to last longer, take your razor apart after each use and carefully wipe dry and to stop the blade going dull so quickly.

Our dos and don’ts

Do keep the blade on an angle of around 30° to minimise any accidents. Remember safety razors are generally not flexible like their more modern plastic cousins so bear this in mind when you switch. Take your time and you’ll be whipping that thing around like a pro in no time (ladies, we’d recommend getting one with a longer handle to help you get to the more difficult-to-reach areas).

Do work up a good lather to help that blade glide. You can buy the fancier soaps or, like us, just use your regular body wash instead!

Don’t apply any downward pressure on the blade at all, at least until you’re more confident and know how much you can get away with. No really, don’t do this. Not only are you less likely to cut yourself this way but it also means skin that is much happier and less irritated. Let the weight of the razor do all the work for you.

Don’t just throw used blades loose in the recycling bin. Collect them in a safe container and when it’s full, drop it off at a local scrap metal collection site where they can be safely disposed of without any poor unsuspecting recycling plant workers losing any fingers!

If you have any other useful tips for us, please share in the comments below – we’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve had any ‘hairy’ experiences!

P.S. Double points if you can buy locally or find an antique one in a second-hand shop 

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