Clean Beauty Featured self-care Wellness

What to Know Before Switching to a Safety Razor

October 14, 2020

A few months ago my friend (and skincare guru), Katie asked me if I had switched to a safety razor. I sheepishly responded with “no” knowing full well that I was being pretty irrational with my reasonings for not switching.

I’m someone who tries to lead a sustainable lifestyle and I know full well how bad disposable razor blades and heads can be for the environment. One time I almost stepped on a razor blade at the beach! Kind of terrifying but still I embarrassingly did not switch to a less polluting razor. But when Katie convinced me that safety razors really aren’t scary and that I should probably just suck it up and start using one I knew the time had come.

And so, I finally made the switch to a safety razor and I am NEVER looking back.

Full transparency: My husband switched to a safety razor years ago and seeing how thin and small the razor blade was and the process of putting it together totally freaked me out. I was terrified I would slice myself open. I also mistakenly believed safety razors were only for men (NOT TRUE!) so this post has been a long time in the making.

I also want to add that shaving is of course 100000% optional. I don’t shave all of my body hair and sometimes I’m infrequent about it. Shave if you want and what you want. More power to you either way!

What is a Safety Razor?

Safety razors were kind of the OG home razor to come onto the scene in the 1800s. They got their name because technically they offered a safer shaving experience at home to the straight razors often used in men’s barbershops. Safety razors are much sleeker than typical drugstore razors and are generally only a single (albeit very sharp) blade.

The blades come in several varieties including: closed comb, open comb, adjustable, and butterfly styles. The best safety razor blade for women is typically closed comb as women’s hair generally isn’t as thick as men’s.

Why Switch to a Safety Razor?

The two main reasons are sustainability and price.

Sustainability – Unlike typical drugstore razors, safety razor blades can be recycled. That means your razor handle is indefinitely reusable and all you’ll need to do is swap out the blade when it dulls down. You’re creating much less waste in general and also a very small metal blade that can be recycled.

Price – The initial cost of the safety razor aside, typical safety blades cost around 10 cents each so you’ll save a TON of money.

Tips for Using a Safety Razor

Using a safety blade requires a bit of getting used to but once you get over the hump it’s really quite simple.

Be careful switching the blade but I PROMISE YOU WON’T CUT YOURSELF – yes, handling a very flimsy, thin blade feels scary so use caution but I promise that if you’re careful and slow you will but totally fine!

Short movements – ignore everything those gillette razor commercials taught you…you should not be shaving in long movements (I.e. from your ankle up to your knee). Keep your movements short, covering just a few inches at a time.

Light touch – don’t press hard! It’s tempting but unnecessary. You’ll prevent cutting yourself if you keep a light touch.

Use a shave oil – I personally prefer shaving oil over cream which tends to be full of unnecessary additives. Plus shave oil leaves your skin moisturized after shaving so it works a double purpose. My personal favorite is the ODE Olio Healing Balm (use code HEALTHYMAVEN for 15% off) or the Oui The People Shave Oil.

How Often to Switch Your Blades

Typically you’ll need to switch out your safety blade after roughly 10 shaves. However, for women it really depends on the surface area you are shaving. If you shave a lot of body hair you may want to switch more often or less if it’s infrequent.

Brands I Recommend

Well KeptWhat I currently use. A little pricey but a great women owned Canadian brand.

OUI the PeopleAnother awesome women-owned brand with tons of other skincare products and shave accessories.

West Coast ShavingThis is what C uses but they offer longer handles for women which I recommend!

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