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What are the real pros and cons of safety razors?
Are there any better than the disposable ones, and if so, why?
In this article, you will find ALL of the benefits of safety razors, as well as the disadvantages. By reading this article, you can decide if it is something for you.
Now, let’s begin!
First off, how does a safety razor work?
Safety razors have a built-in safety mechanism to avoid accidental cuts; the razor head sticks out past the blade’s edge, which prevents the blade from making direct contact with the skin.
When the razor is held at about a 30° angle to the skin, the protective bar exposes the blade just enough to cut the hairs and work effectively.
The razor blade is sharp, so you don’t have to push the safety razor to the skin. Instead, all you have to do is slide it gently, use short strokes to prevent nicks and cuts, and follow the direction of the hair.
Pros of safety razors:
Unsurprisingly, there are many fantastic benefits of using safety razors, both for you and the environment. Let’s take a closer look at each benefit:
Using a safety razor is much cheaper than a disposable razor – one costs between $30-50. While the initial cost is a bit higher, if you take good care of your stainless steel safety razor, it can last you a lifetime.
Even if you switch once or twice, you will spend $60-$90 in total. The only thing you need to keep buying is the incredibly cheap razor blades. For a pack of 100, you will pay around $8. ($0.08 for a single blade). That is –
- $0.24 if you change it 3 times per month
- $2.88 for the whole year
- $14.4 for 5 years
Now let’s make a quick estimation on how much you will spend with disposable ones.
4 Gillette disposable razor blades cost $5.97 ($1.49 each). A single one lasts approximately 3-10 shaves. So let’s say you shave 2-3 times a week.
It is recommendable to use one disposable razor, not longer than two weeks. For a month, that’s around 3 disposable razor blades. For a year (if one is $1.49), that’s ~ $53.64. For 5 years, it is $268.
While it doesn’t sound like that much, remember that most people shave for many, many years.
An estimation for 50 years of using disposable razors vs safety razors:
- Disposable razors – $2,682
- Safety razor – $90 (if you change it 1-2 times) + blades $144 = $234
All in all, safety razors are much more affordable and durable than plastic ones. Best of all, some companies like Rockwell offer a Lifetime warranty covering manufacturer defects, accidental damages, accidental damage, and replacements!
Reduces razor burn:
Did you know that a safety razor reduces the chances of experiencing a razor burn?
That’s because the safety razors have just one blade and offer a greater level of control over the angle at which hair is cut.
A razor with multiple blades is extracting and pulling the hair follicles leads to razor burn.
So, you can avoid both ingrown hairs and razor burns by switching to a safety razor and practicing your shaving technique!
With 3, 5, or 12-blade cartridges, your skin is subjected to a blade more times, which often causes more irritation. A safety razor has only one blade, which causes far less irritation to the skin.
More blades don’t necessarily mean a better shave. A single, sharp, clean safety blade can shave as good (if not better and smoother) as any three- or five-blade razor cartridge. As a result, the shave feels smoother and more effective.
No hairs will stick between the blades:
Safety razors are super easy to rinse, and there are no clogs. If there is too much shaving cream or soap, you can always unscrew it (open the top part) and wash it with a bit of warm water.
Additionally, there are two sides to the razor, so you can flip the razor over and continue with a fresh blade, which means – less frequent rinsing and less hair clogging up between the blades.
Sustainable & low waste:
Disposable razors are incredibly unsustainable since they are for one-time or very short-term use. Yet, according to a new report by Statista, 163 million consumers JUST in the US used disposable razors in 2018.
Ultimately, this creates tons of unnecessary waste because they are challenging to recycle. That’s because disposable razors contain mixed materials (often plastic, silicone & steel).
Best of all, even if the safety razor breaks or it’s no longer usable, they have no plastic and are 100% recyclable.
By switching to a stainless steel safety razor, you will stop wasting disposable razors, which will be so much better for the environment and for your pocket, too.
Easy to clean:
Safety razors are super easy to take care of. There is enough space so water can freely pass through and rinse any residue away.
And the best part is that you can always unscrew the head of the safety razor and wash it thoroughly in a matter of seconds.
Once you are done shaving, you can dry off the safety razor and the blade and keep it somewhere dry.
Cons of safety razors:
Requires “getting used to” time:
You might need a bit of time and a couple of shaves to get used to it. Luckily, you can master a shave with a safety razor fairly quickly.
It takes longer:
To avoid cuts, you have to be slower and careful initially, especially until you get the hang of it. That means shaving might take a little bit longer than usual (at first).
Cuts and nicks are possible:
But this goes for any other razor. If you are not careful, you can cut yourself even with the cartridges and the single-use ones. The key is not to rush when shaving with a safety razor.
Requires more care:
If you want to keep it for a very long time, you need to take extra care of it. That means always drying it well and keeping it somewhere with no moisture. Even though it is stainless steel and shouldn’t rust, you want to make sure you keep it dry to last you as long as possible.
If you want to fly with your safety razor, you must keep the safety razor and the blades in the checked-in luggage. If you travel with carry-on luggage, you can have the safety razor with you on the plane, but not the blades. This can be a bit annoying because you’ll need to look for & buy the blades, and they aren’t accessible everywhere.
The BEST safety razor for beginners:
- Jungle Culture Safety Razor – This affordable three-piece double-edged safety razor comes with an organic white jute travel pouch. It has a textured grip and an extra-long chrome handle. Jungle Culture is a member of the 1% for the Planet Foundation.
- Eco Roots Safety Razor – A two-piece safety razor made of zinc alloy and stainless steel. It comes with 5 blades. Eco Roots is also a member of the 1% for the Planet.
- Rockwell Double Edge Safety Razor – A three-piece razor, which is adjustable – it has 6 settings for a perfect shave! It comes with 5 razor blades.
I have more recommendations for the best safety razors for beginners in my article, so feel free to check it out and find more options.
Can you use shaving cream with a safety razor?
Yes, you can. You can also use regular soap and water (that’s what I use). Some great shaving soap to use with your safety razor include:
- Eco Roots Organic Shaving Soap
- Ethique Solid Shampoo Bar and Shaving Bar
- Nettles + Clay Natural Soap from Plum Brilliance (find it at Earth Hero)
Are safety razors safe?
Yes, they are. Even though small cuts are possible, it depends on you and how careful you are. Whenever you use a safety razor, take your time, and remember that there is a learning curve at the beginning.
Is shaving with a safety razor better?
In short – yes! Shaving with a safety razor is better because, in most cases, it reduces skin irritation ingrown hairs and leads to smoother shaving.
All in all, even though safety razors have a couple of things to get used to, the fact that they can last you a lifetime and are so much more sustainable and cost-effective, for me, it is worth it.
What do you think? Will you make the switch?