The 4 Best Sustainable Alternatives to Disposable Razors
Updated: Mar 10
Having hair in multiple places on your body is completely natural nevertheless, most of us prefer not to have it in some places. Men often shave the hair on the face and sometimes in other places, while ladies often get rid of unwanted hairs on their legs, armpits, and bikini line.
Did you know that 2 million disposable razor blades are thrown away worldwide every year? These disposable blades are not recyclable because they often consist of multiple different materials; metal, plastic, and rubber. In addition, they are extremely sharp, making manual removal for recycling a dangerous activity. Unfortunately, this is not often done. So it makes sense to switch to a more sustainable alternative to hair removal than disposable razors.
Did you know that more and more women are not shaving their armpits these days? About 1 in 5 don't shave and it is undeniable that in the past 2 years this number has probably risen sharply. Many have embraced their body hair and find it incredibly liberating to be completely themselves. They are done with feeling ashamed of something completely natural and have started to love themselves more the way they are. For them, removing body hair was often something that (male) society expects from female society. By stopping this, they give themselves power and freedom from the weekly (sometimes daily) time-consuming activity.
I admire women who do this, but it's not for me. I feel more confident if I remove the hair on my legs regularly. So I'm going for another sustainable option for hair removal. Now I have to admit that I am naturally blond and the hairs on my legs are too, so even if I don't remove them no one will see it.
Both my boyfriend and I have a safety razor. He shaves his face with it and I use my safety razor for my armpits (for my legs I use a different method).
A safety razor is made entirely of chrome which is fully recyclable. The blades can be replaced when they are dull and they can also be recycled. In addition to being a lot more durable, a safety razor is also a lot cheaper. Although disposable razors seem cheaper because they are only €1-4,- per razor. While a safety razor is an investment of about €25,-, on the other hand, it lasts a lifetime. A new blade costs around €0,25 each and lasts about a month. In short, a safety razor is cheaper in the long run.
I shave wet under the shower without using shaving soap, but not everyone likes this. If this isn't for you, you could go for a bar of shaving soap. This is of course much more durable than a can of shaving foam and it also lasts longer. By the way, did you know that your conditioner bar also works very well as a shaving soap? This saves you from another product in your bathroom and is cheaper too.
An epilator is not a very popular method to remove hair however, it is the method I have used for years. Although it is partly made of plastic, this device lasts for years, which of course makes it a lot more durable than disposable razors.
I have to admit that the first time I used it, it was not completely pain-free, but this became less with each next time I used my epilator. Once you get used to it, it's not painful at all as long as you don't wait too long between different epilation uses.
The big advantage of epilation compared to shaving is that the hairs become thinner and thinner, they stay away longer and some even disappear completely. I used to use my epilator once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during the winter.
I used my epilator right after showering when I've scrubbed my legs well. I could use my epilator both wet and dry, but I didn't like using it in the shower (and it's sustainable because you save water). Using the epilator took some getting used to but it worked great for me.
This is the method I use today for my legs. When my epilator broke I had to consider whether I should buy a new one or go for a different method.
I decided to give sugar waxing a try to see if it was for me. This is quite easy to make yourself and if you don't like it, at least I didn't spend a lot of money. Several videos can be found that show how the sugar wax is made and in most cases, it is very simple, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Although making it yourself is very cheap and the first time I made it, it was successful, however, I have never been able to make good sugar wax after that. So I'll be buying a can from now on.
The use of sugar wax takes some practice and, like epilation, is a bit painful at the beginning (in both cases you pull the hair out, root and all). I, therefore, recommend that you watch several videos carefully and study the technique well. Also, do not start on a sensitive spot on the body, but only do this when you have mastered the technique well. The wrong technique can cause bruises (I have experience with that) and you don't want that in certain places. Only if you can do your legs well should you continue with the bikini line or armpits if you want to do these too.
By now, I like the use of sugar wax because it guarantees that I only have to do my legs once a month and don't have to worry about it. It does take a while before I have completely done my legs, it takes me about an hour, but after that, I don't have to worry about it for weeks.
Other options for permanent hair removal are electric shaving, removing everything with tweezers, or IPL, but I have no experience with that. What is your favorite way to remove unwanted hair?