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The safety razor has around since around since the 1800s and it’s fundamental design has barely changed since then. Incredibly simple using either a single or dual sided blade, this old fashioned razor deserves a lot more credit then it often gets.
This is not about tech, this is about an everyday solution that just works. Here are 6 reasons why you should switch to a safety razor.
1. It’s a better shave
Nothing beats a good old fashioned shave using a real blade. You don’t need layer after layer of blades to get the best shave ever. Just a single blade is all that it takes. You will also experience less razor burn with a safety razor. This is due to less damage on the skin when compared to a cartridge blade.
2. It’s less expensive
The longer you use it, the more you will save. A typical cartridge razor cost about $1.30 each and up. With a safety razor, you can shave for as little as $0.25 per blade. Now that’s a huge price change. Over the course of one year this adds up to a total of $164 in savings. This assumes a blade change every 3 days.
The cost of the handle is easily paid for in savings within a short time. You can get excellent quality razors like the iconic Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor. I personally use this razor and it works like a charm. It’s long handle enables it feel more like a disposable that you are likely used to. The handle is also laden with ridges for a good firm grip. If choosing this handle for example, it would be paid for in savings in under 2 months.
3. It’s easy to clean
All you have to do is to run some water over the blade and it cleans up easily. Compare that to multi layer cartridge razors. You might just get carpel tunnel trying to fling the debris out.
4. Great for men or women
It’s not just for men. Women can get silky smooth legs with less shave bumps with a safety razor.
Any cyclist who shaves their legs will notice the difference immediately.
5. It’s recyclable
Unlike cartridge razors that are difficult to recycle, safety razor blades recycle very easily. This reduces your carbon footprint and conserves resources. The package is recyclable too.
6. There is a lot less waste
Handles can last for decades. Unlike disposables, you don’t throw out the handle. Besides that, a pack of 10 blades is compact and easy to store. Compare that to drawer space needed for 10 cartridge razors.
Tips for first time users
Getting the right blade that suits you is important. You might have to try several manufacturers before you find the one that’s best for you. My advice is to buy a multi-pack of razors. I would also suggest considering Feather Blades. They are ridiculously sharp, provide a good clean shave and last a long time.
The first time you use a safety razor could be scary. Nicks and cuts are common to the untrained. With a little practice however, a safety razor is quick and easy and it won’t cut. To get to this point takes training and a little trial and error.
Start with short strokes and a light touch. Even the coarsest hair is no match for a platinum coated blade. Wash out the blade often and don’t try to do everything in one stroke. Pay close attention going over things, like your chin. Areas like this require extra care.
Shave with the grain of your hair, not against. This will reduce razor burn.
Hold the handle at approximately 30 degrees from your face. The aggressiveness is related to the angle.
Be sure to use a high quality shaving brush. Apply either shaving cream or high quality shaving soap to soften and lubricate the hair. A good brush makes a huge difference.
I would recommend a badger brush. They come in various grades but even the lowest grade beats a common boars hair brush. Grades range from pure (lowest), best, super badger, and silver tip badger (highest).
In a later post I’ll talk more about types and grades of brushes and accessories.