5 Great Reasons to use a Safety Razor
Updated: Feb 28
Did you know that, as early as 4000 BC, women used arsenic and other dangerous substances to remove hair from their bodies? They did this to prevent the spread of diseases or harmful animals such as lice and even the ancient Egyptians removed hair from their bodies. They waxed themselves instead of using harmful substances. Both men and women removed all their hair from head to toe but purely for aesthetic reasons.
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After World War I, also known as the roaring ’20s, women become more independent and felt freer in their bodies. This was accompanied by the rise of the hair removal industry as bodily hair became the symbol of self-neglect. The marketing of hair removal products increased, beauty salons started to offer hair removal services and new permanent hair removal technologies were developed.
Whether or not you want to participate in this hair removal trend is up to you. I greatly admire women you are confident enough to go au naturel but it is not for me. I would like to remove some of my bodily hair but I want to do that as sustainably as possible.
Unfortunately, most razors nowadays are disposable meaning after a few uses, they end up in landfills and contribute to the waste problem. Did you know that each year 5.000 billion (that is 5.000.000.000.000) disposable razor blades are used and disposed of worldwide? This amount is incredible and the fact that we still produce these types of razors is astonishing.
This is completely opposite to the first razor ever made. Gillette’s first razors were made completely recyclable and plastic-free. A little over 50 years ago they decided that adding plastic to their design was a great improvement and to make them disposable as well so people no longer had to change that sharp blade avoiding touching the blade and making it safer to use. Back then, using plastic was innovative and a great step forward. These razors were easy to use and much more convenient as they could be thrown away after use. Back then the impact their choices have on the environment was never even considered as convenience was much more important.
Now we are more aware of how our choices affect the environment we live in. Now we know that razor blades like these are very hard to recycle because they are made of lots of different materials. This is not only plastic, which in itself is hard to recycle, there is also metal and rubber present in a disposable razor. Next to that, they are also hazardous to work with because they are so sharp and therefore often end up in landfills as it is too much work to safely take apart and properly dispose of.
What makes this even worse is that these disposable blades often come individually wrapped in plastic and these individually packed razors are again wrapped in another plastic package. So both the manufacturing of the razor and the packaging require a lot of materials and energy for production.
Fortunately, we now know better and once you know better you can do better. So we know not to use disposable razor blades but there are more reasons to switch to a safety razor.
It is better for your skin
The first one is the fact that because a safety razor has only one blade, there is less skin irritation, shave bumps, and ingrown hairs that are common with cartridge razors.
If you use a 5 blade cartridge razor and go over an area of your body or face 3 times, you have now exposed one area of your skin to 15 passes of a blade. In comparison, if you are using a safety razor, you are only exposing the skin to one blade each time a blade passes. The fewer times that you use a blade so close to your skin, the less it will be affected and the happier your skin is going to be.
It is cheaper
Yes, the initial investment of a safety razor is high but once you have made that purchase, the costs for a safety razor will be very low. A new blade for your safety razor will cost about 50 cents. This will obviously depend on the brand you choose.
The first year a safety razor might cost you €30 for a new razor and €26 for a new blade each week (€0,50 x 52 weeks). So €56 for the first year but for the next 10 years, a safety razor will costs you only €26 a year as you no longer have to purchase the razor but you only need new blades.
Disposable razors will costs you about 2 euro a piece (again this differs greatly per brand) and a new razor each week will result in €2,- x 52 weeks= €104 euro each year for disposable razors.
These exact same costs will return each year as disposable razors obviously are disposed of and can not be reused so they have to be purchased again.
They are better for the environment
They are more eco-friendly as you could read above, disposable razors create an immense amount of waste worldwide while a safety razor is much more eco-friendly. Once its lifetime is over, which is usually over 10 years long, the razor is completely made out of steel and therefore can be completely recycled.
I hope this blog post gave you some encouragement to switch to a safety razor to make your bathroom a little more sustainable.