Straight Razor
Straight Razor

How to Shave With a Safety Razor

The Most Metal Way to Shave

Welcome to your safety razor safe space

Where you can ask me anything and everything about making the safety razor switch.

If you’re a human who removes hair on any part of their body and you want to stop sending plastic to landfills after each shave this is the option for you.

Safety razors are easy to use, environmentally friendly, and best of all – they give me the smoothest, least irritating shave EVER.

In this post, I’ll be answering all the most common questions about purchasing, using, and maintaining safety razors.

Let’s get right into it!

Question 1: Are you able to use safety razors to shave.. ya know… everywhere?

Answer: Absolutely! There’s certainly a learning curve but once you get the hang of it, safety razors can be used from bottom to beard! Here are some quick tips:

  1. Don’t add much pressure! Safety razors are made entirely of metal so they’re a bit heavier. That means you really don’t need to push into your skin to get a close shave like you do with plastic razors.
  2. As you’re learning, try holding the razor at a few different angles and see which causes the least friction as it glides across your skin.
  3. For more difficult areas like armpits, I recommend you try holding your arm either straight up to the sky or lower it to form a right angle to your body. For me, lowering my arm works best because the tissue is a bit softer and flatter making it easier for the blade to run over smoothly.

Question 2: How do you replace the blade?

Answer: It’s super simple no matter which brand you go with! Mine is a three-piece razor which means exactly what it sounds like; it unscrews into 3 pieces.

Also, no one’s allowed to make fun of my chipping nail polish!

I simply unscrew the handle like so:

Safety Razor

The head has a smooth top and a bottom that sandwiches the razor and holds it in place.

Safety Razor

Once the head is separated, just remove the old blade, place in a new one, and screw everything back together.

Also, ALWAYS grab the blade by the shorter sides, not the longer sides… because… ouch!

Safety Razor

There are also safety razors with a “butterfly mechanism” which don’t break into different components. They simply have hinges that allow the top to open up so you can replace the blade. I haven’t used one but I’m sure they’re just as good!

Question 3: Do you get more nicks because the razorblade is so sharp?

Answer: I’ve actually experienced the opposite! I have incredibly sensitive skin and when I used conventional razors I’d get SO many razor bumps and cuts.

I think it’s because plastic razor heads are replaced less frequently. Plus, they were EXPENSIVE so I’d try to cut costs by using mine for wayyy too long. After a few uses, the blades would get worn down, cause painful friction, and snag the hair follicle rather than cut it clean off.

With my safety razor, I replace the blade every 1 or 2 uses which ensures I get a super close, snag-proof shave every time.

No razor bumps = smooth surface

Smooth surface = fewer nicks

Now I’m not saying I never cut myself, these blades are definitely sharp so you need to be careful around tricky areas like the ankle. But seriously, I’ve been shaving with my safety razor for 2 years and have only cut myself a handful of times versus EVERY time I used to shave with my plastic razor.

Just to be safe – you can watch this little tutorial by Net Zero Co. to make sure you do it correctly:

Question 4: Aren’t safety razors more expensive?

Answer: I don’t know how this misconception got started but let’s myth-bust this sh*t right now.

Here’s some quick math for ya:

Safety Razors

Cost of my safety razor: $28.88

Cost of 100 double-edged razor blades: $9.99

Cost of 4 tubes of shaving cream: $23.88

Total for 2 years of shaving: $62.75

(and I’ve only used about half of these razor blades so those won’t need to be restocked for quite a while)


Plastic Razors

Average cost of traditional shaving per month: $15.87*

$15.87 x 12 = $190.44

Total for 2 years of shaving: $380.88

*stats from a survey using online randomly selected respondents here


To tie it all together, that’s a savings of $318.13 in only two years!
~$160 saved EVERY YEAR… to have a better shaving experience!

I used to have to replace my plastic razor bodies too because they’d start to degrade and get really icky which would cost me even more money. That NEVER happens with metal.

I can use this exact razor for the rest of my life only ever having to buy shaving cream and blades (which cost a few cents each).

So yea, I’d say it’s worth the $28 investment!

Question 5: What do you do with the used razor blades?

Answer: Everyone has a different method that works for them but for now, I’m just popping them in this little repurposed glass jar. I store it in my bathroom so it’s super easy for me to toss them in whenever I switch out blades.

Safety Razor

I don’t have any little ones running around but a child-proof method to use could be to repurpose a fully sealed container (like a vegetable stock can) and cut a small slit big enough for the blades, dump out the liquid, and dry. Once you start inserting blades you can tape over the slip to be sure nothing can fall out.

Or, if you’re not the DIY type, you can purchase a blade bank for only a few bucks here.

It’s essentially a piggy bank but the coins are… dangerous.

Recycling

It will be quite a few more years until this little jar is full but once it is, there are a few ways you can get rid of your blades:

  1. Terracycle has a program that collects ALL kinds of razors, including plastic. Their system works by separating the plastic and the metal bits so by sending just your metal blades, you’ll be saving them a LOT of time. Find your local drop off points here.
  2. Look up spots in your city that accept hard to recycle materials – I’d seek out hospitals and pharmacies because they regularly deal with proper recycling of “sharps”.

The most important part here is that you have a collection point in your home and you DO NOT throw the blades directly into the trash or recycling bin because it becomes incredibly dangerous when workers sort through those items.

Next Step:

We all know the classic hippy, earth-loving look is a braless babe with unshaved armpits. It rocks so hard and you are under NO obligation to remove your body hair whatsoever.

But an environmentalist can look like anything. If you want to save the earth with every shave, it’s time to make the safety razor switch.

Bonus: safety razors are unisex so you can divest from the “pink tax” as your female-empowerment move instead of burning your bra. Or do both. Go wild.

Here’s where you can start

If you plan to shave your legs look for a long and/or textured handle, they’re easier to maneuver. These are a few recommendations

Net Zero Co.’s plastic-free shipping option – here

EarthHero‘s full shaving section complete with blades, razors, and shave soap.

I can’t recommend EarthHero enough. It’s a certified B Corp, part of 1% for the Planet, uses carbon offsets for shipping, and uses recyclable shipping materials. On top of all that, you can use code “altanthro” at checkout to get 10% off your safety razor or anything else you purchase, heck yea!

Or try out Amazon, I bought my first razor there:

      

For blades, I tried a multi-pack first to decide which blade worked best for me and then went for the 100 pack of my favorite, Super-Max.

      
Let me know if you have ANY other questions down in the comments below, I’d be more than happy to answer!

Your sustainable lifestyle coach,

*Note: some of these links may be affiliate links. These help me continue to share valuable content and products I believe in to help you create a more sustainable life. 

    1. Thank you! I was a bit nervous at first too but just take it slow the first few times and you’ll learn how safe it really is once you get the right angle. Feel free to reach out with any other questions you have!

  1. Thank you for this. I have a huge cut on my leg from the first time I used my safety razor! I was definitely not used to the high quality these razors provide and these tips will be super helpful to prevent future razor cuts 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh seriously?! I’m so sorry to hear that, I got a few nicks on the back of my heel the first couple times too. The weird thing was the blade is so sharp it didn’t even hurt and it healed up super quickly. You definitely can’t shave with them as haphazardly as with a conventional razor but once you learn that lesson they’re so great!

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