Zero Waste Shaving with Safety Razors
Safety razors are a plastic-free, durable, and reusable choice for both men and women. We offer safety razors in our retail store AND you can also bring us your used blades for recycling! Read on to learn more.
So, What's a Safety Razor?
First of all, they're called 'safety' razors to contrast them with the scary-looking 'straight razors' sometimes used by skilled professional barbers. They're made of stainless steel, sometimes with a wooden handle, and you replace only the metal blade, not the entire razor or razor head as is the case with disposable razors.
Double edge, closed comb razors are the most common form of safety razor on the market today. The blade is exposed on each side of the razor head allowing the user to shave from either side. When the blade on one side is covered with soap, you can simply swivel the razor in your hand and use the other side.
'Closed comb' refers to the fact that, instead of the blade being completely exposed, the safety bar on top of the razor is still there and protects the skin from the blade. In an 'open comb' razor, the blade is exposed except for the comb’s teeth, which guide the hairs towards it. We offer both types at our store.
I won't go into too much more detail here, but if you'd like a more detailed discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of each type and which might be right for you, go to https://bespokeunit.com/shaving/safety-razor/types/
Zero Waste Shaving with Pink Elephant Products
We offer a full line of safety razors, zero waste shave soap pucks, disposable razors, shave creams and more at our retail store. Whether you choose to use a safety razor or a disposable razor, you can bring us your blades, razors, and even razor packaging for recycling. We're an official retail drop-off point for Terracycle's razor recycling program. You can learn more about our recycling program and our Zero Waste Champion club on our website at https://www.pinkelephantproducts.com/wecanhelpyourecycle
How to Use a Safety Razor
New to safety razors? Here are some great tips for smooth shaving with a safety razor (yes, you can also shave your legs, underarms, and groin area with a safety razor!):
SHAVING YOUR FACE
1. Invest in your razor A weighted razor handle will give you the right amount of balance and force for the shave—for a process that you need apply no additional pressure. This isn’t something you should undervalue, so please put your dollars into the razor handle! 2. Practice proper blade hygiene Replacement safety blades are so inexpensive, that there’s no reason you should reuse them. Simply unscrew the head, toss the used blade in the trash bin (perhaps wrapped in some toilet paper, to prevent any accidents), and only install the new blade when you’re ready to shave. Also, Pink Elephant Products takes back ALL used razor blades and ALL disposable razors and packaging for hygenic, safe, sanitary recycling in partnership with Terracycle, so if you're local, please bring your used blades back to us! Consider storing them in a lidded container near where you shave until next time you come in. 3. Prepare the skin as usual Readying for a safety razor shave is no different than prepping for a cartridge shave. You need to soften the skin and whiskers with warm water, then apply a pre-shave oil, shave cream, or shave soap to nourish and condition both for the shave. Do your best to lift the hairs when you apply the shave agent, which might be easier with a shave brush. (Bonus points if its faux fur and not real badger.) 4. Pull the skin taut Here’s where we get into the actual shave. First things first: Keep the skin tight as you shave. You don’t want to drag the razor, lose your grip, or accidentally apply pressure. You can do this by maintaining a smooth, steady surface. So, turn your face, angle your neck, and pull the skin taut. 6. Shave with the grain Another thing to remember as you shave, is to track the direction your hair grows. You need to shave with this grain, not against it. You might need to study your growth patterns in advance of shaving, or shave with a translucent gel or oil. Your hair doesn’t all grow in the same direction, either, so pay close attention. Doing this will prevent ingrown hairs. 7. Use short, straight strokes Last but not least, you want to shave in small, steady spurts, rinsing between. Minimize dragging. Do a single pass over a small patch, then lift and resume with the patch below it. You can rinse between, and switch sides of the blade, but do your best not to re-shave any single patch of skin, as the single attempt should do the trick if you follow all the above rules. Minimizing shave passes is the easiest way to avoid irritation, too, 8. Rinse with cold water and apply post-shave balm It’s business as usual on the other end of the shave, too: After shaving, close the pores with a splash of cold water, then apply a refreshing, cleansing, and protective layer atop the skin, in the form of a post-shave balm. It’ll cool and soothe the skin, and prevent any additional irritation and infection.
SHAVING YOUR LEGS
Shaving your legs with a safety razor is different than shaving with disposables in a few key ways. When shaving with a safety razor there are a few simple tips to keep in mind to ensure you get the best shave: 1. Make sure to keep the angle of the blade about 30 degrees relative to the surface of your skin. Safety razors do not have pivoting heads so you’ll want to control the angle of the blade as you shave. 2. Take short, smooth strokes to prevent too much build up of hair and skin on the blade. This will significantly decrease your odds of cutting yourself and developing razor bumps while maintaining a close shave. 3. Don’t apply any downward pressure as you shave. Safety razors don’t require any amount of pressure to get a great shave and applying pressure increases your odds of nicks and cuts so be sure to use only the weight of the razor with your strokes. 4. Do not shave over an area that does not have shaving soap on it. Most people are used to shaving over an area of their leg a second time without needing to reapply shaving cream. This is a no-no with safety razors so be sure to quickly re-apply some shaving soap or cream if you’re going to make a second pass. 5. Practice good blade hygiene. Depending on the blade you’re using and the coarseness of your hair, you’ll typically need to change the blade about once a week. If you shave less than every other day or you have light hair, you can get away with changing the blade about once every two to three weeks. Once you’ve gone through a few blades you’ll know the optimal time to switch out the blade for you. SHAVING THE GROIN/UNDERARM AREA When shaving in these sensitive areas it’s best to use the “three-way” method. First, shaving “with the grain” going along with the direction the hair is growing. Then, “across the grain”, shaving horizontally across the direction of the hair growth. And finally, “against the grain”, going in the opposite direction of the hair growth. This will ensure you get a close shave while reducing or eliminating the irritation that can come when you shave these sensitive areas. If you have particularly sensitive skin, stick with the “two-way” method and skip the final, “against the grain” pass. Do Women Need 'Special' Razors?
No. The fact that a safety razor is in packaging with flowers on it, has a rose gold handle, or is marketed with pastel colors has absolutely nothing with its shaving performance. However, you may wish to explore the different types of safety razor heads to see which one is best for you.
We believe that much of the personal care products market is unnecessarily gendered. This is especially annoying when women's products cost more simply because they're a different color or scent, or worse yet, cost more but don't perform as well. The pink tax is the extra amount that women pay for everyday products like razors, shampoo, haircuts, clothes, dry cleaning, and more. This “tax” applies to items that span a woman's entire life, from girls toys and school uniforms to canes, braces, and even adult diapers.
Women's products tend to be highly fragranced, but we don't use synthetic fragrance so that's not an issue with our products. Men do tend to have thicker, oily skin and denser hair growth while women have less fuzz but thinner, drier skin, so some skin care experts suggest that different facial care regimens may be useful. However, ALL people, regardless of gender, benefit from gentle cleansing, a moisturizer, a toner, and sun protection with antioxidants and SPF. Beyond that, everything else is mostly just fragrance and marketing.
And anyone who shaves can benefit from zero waste shaving! Pink Elephant Products and Events L3C Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.