Whether you shave your face, legs, underarms or head, if you use a disposable razor, you can accumulate a lot of waste. Swapping out your disposable razor for a metal safety razor that uses traditional razor blades is a low waste option.
The initial cost of a safety razor can range from $15 to $200, but the razor blades are inexpensive. I purchased 100 blades for $15. That’s $0.15 per blade, and each blade should last you 5-7 shaves. This is not only a great low waste swap, but a money saving one as well.
Shaving with a safety razor requires a bit of relearning. Because there is only one blade you have to go over the skin multiple times. For me, the most effective way has been short strokes where I don’t apply any pressure, just the weight of the razor, and keep the blade on my skin during and between each stroke.
The Leaf is a newer style that uses 3 blades and has some excellent reviews for being similar to a traditional disposable razor. I haven’t tried it, as I had already bought mine by the time I’d heard of it, but I recommend checking it out.
For shaving cream, you can use traditional shaving cream with the safety razor, or you can try another low waste option, the shaving soap bar. One way to use the soap bar is to cut off a bit and microwave it with water in a small bowl, then take a shaving cream brush and whip the liquid until it turns into shaving cream. I did this once, but with a fork instead of a shaving cream brush, and it ended up being too much work for this lazy human. My current method is to get the shaving bar wet and rub it on the skin I will be shaving, it leaves a silky soap residue that works just as well as shaving cream for me. I even know a few people that are happy using a regular soap bar to do the job.
As for electric razors, I personally don’t have any experience with them so I can only offer advice from a waste reduction view. They range in price similarly to the safety razor but the electronic component has a higher risk of breaking, and for the end of life of each product, electronics can be more challenging to recycle than an item that’s all metal.
I love my safety razor and shaving cream bar soap, I especially love that the only waste is the metal blade which I can save and take to a scrap metal dealer.
Will you try either of these low waste swaps? If not, what are your barriers?