by Laura McIlwaine October 14, 2018

Safety razors are an eco-friendly, economical and healthy way to shave.

If you’re keen to learn how to make the switch to a safety razor, read on! In this post I’ll share the advantages of shaving with a safety razor and how to use and care for your safety razor.

What Is a Safety Razor?

A safety razor is a shaver with a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. They were initially invented to reduce the skill required for injury-free shaving, which in turn reduced the reliance on professional barbers.


What Are The Advantages of Shaving With a Safety Razor?

Traditional wet shaving with a safety razor reduces skin irritation, shave bumps and ingrown hairs that are common with cartridge or electric razors. This is because with safety razors, you only have one blade against your skin at any time. The less amount of time you pass blades over your skin, the happier it is going to be!

While shaving with a safety razor may take more time, its single blade means you’re left with a smooth, clean, non-itchy shave.


How Are Safety Razors Environmentally Friendly?

When you buy a quality safety razor, you’re buying a razor for life. You only need to change out the razor blade when required, and the stainless steel blades are recyclable!

This compares to disposable plastic razors, or even razors where you’re frequently changing the entire head.

Furthermore, our range of reusable safety razors are 100% plastic free! They each have a genuine brass frame and are coated in chrome, which is corrosion resistant.


How Do Safety Razors Work?

If you’ve always used disposable or electric razors, you may feel a bit apprehensive switching to a traditional safety razor. The good news is that safety razors are easy to use and care for!

Follow these steps to get started:

How To Prepare Your Safety Razor

  • Screw the handle clockwise to open the razor head like a butterfly.
  • Select a single razor blade and carefully unwrap it, holding the blade at the short ends rather than from the long, sharp sides.
  • Place the razor on a clean cloth and run down the blade and safety razor with some rubbing alcohol. This disinfects the razor for your first shave.
  • Place the razor blade through the metal bar in the open razor head.
  • Once the blade is sitting level, screw the handle anticlockwise to close the head, turning it tightly to secure the blade.
  • The blade should now be protruding from under the head cover (or the “butterfly wings”) and is ready to use.

How To Shave With a Safety Razor

  • Warm up your skin with some hot water or a hot towel to soften your hairs and make for an easier shave.
  • Warm the blade up under warm water.
  • Apply as little pressure as possible throughout the shave. Your metal safety razor is heavy enough for the blade to work without needing any extra pressure, which may cause you to cut yourself.
  • Angle the blade as far from your skin as possible. Many users recommend a 30° angle, but experiment to find the right angle for you. Because safety razors have a single blade and the razor head doesn’t automatically pivot or contour to your skin, you need to do the contouring yourself.
  • Shave with the grain. If you don’t cut all the hair with your first pass, go over it again softly a few times. Shaving against the grain is more likely to result in ingrown hairs and irritation, and increase the chance of you cutting yourself thanks to pulling the skin with the hair you’re going against.
  • Rinse the razor regularly so hair doesn’t clog the blade, and take your time.
  • When finished, rinse your shaved skin with cold water to close up the pores.
  • If desired, apply a natural, nourishing lotion or coconut oil to your skin to rehydrate and protect the skin.

    How To Care For Your Safety Razor

    Follow these steps to care for your safety razor and ensure it lasts a lifetime:

    • After use, twist the handle and open the razor head. Remove the blade by the short, sides and rinse both the blade and razor to remove soap suds and hair.
    • Completely dry the razor and blade, reassemble the safety razor and store it in a dry place for next use. If desired, wipe the razor and blades with rubbing alcohol to further disinfect prior to storage.
    • Avoid storing your safety razor in a soap dish or shower, where it could stay moist and start corroding. While safety razors are made from quality chrome that’s unlikely to corrode, the razor and blades will last longer when stored in a clean environment.


    How To Care For Your Safety Razor Blades

    Use a single blade until it becomes blunt or starts to rust. At this point you can choose to either store the blade for recycling or sharpen it for future use.

    To safely store a blade for recycling, make your own Blade Storage Unit by reusing a tin (eg. Drinking chocolate tin) and cutting a slot into the lid to easily feed the blades through. Be sure to label the tin with ‘Razor Blades’ to ensure people know what’s stored inside and keep out of reach of children.

    Place redundant blades into the tin when blunt or rusty, and when the tin is full, tape over the slot and take to your local transfer station or recycling facility.

    Where Can I Purchase a Safety Razor?

    At Sustainahome of course! 

    We stock a wide range of quality reusable safety razors for men and women as well as chrome and stainless steel razor blades. 

    Click HERE to view our range of safety razors and blades.


    Final Thoughts

    A plastic-free, zero-waste shave is possible! By switching to a reusable safety razor you’ll save money, waste and get a cleaner, healthier shave.

    If you're after more tips on how to reduce plastics in your bathroom, click HERE.

    Over To You!

    Have you made the switch to (or have always used) a safety razor? Share your experience in the comments below!


    Want to Learn How to Reduce Plastics in your Home?

    To kick-start your plastic free life, click HERE to join our 5-day Plastic Free Challenge (it's FREE!).

    Plastic Free Challenge  

    About the Author:

    Laura Trotta is an experienced environmental engineer, award-winning sustainable living educator and the founder of Sustainahome. She’s dedicated over two decades of her life to the sustainability cause and her personal mission in life is to make green mainstream.

    A passionate believer in addressing the small things to achieve big change, and protecting the planet in practical ways, Laura lives with her husband and two sons in Adelaide, South Australia.

    Laura McIlwaine
    Laura McIlwaine

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