Whether it's for achieving silky smooth legs to go with your LBD or getting rid of your terrible attempt at a beard, most of us have a razor in the bathroom. With years of being told being hair-free and groomed from head to toe is the socially desirable option, it's no surprise that we do. The majority of people opt for disposable razors to get the job done and due to their multi-material build they can't be recycled and end up in landfill. So what are our options? Carry on 'disposing', opt for a reusable razor or, god forbid, get hairy...
The Impact of Shaving
I started shaving when I was around 13, there was a big debate at school fuelled by who did and who didn't have hairy legs in PE. Some girls would flaunt there smooth legs and some would claim shaving just made your hair grow back thicker and longer (not true, in case you were wondering) but it ended up irrelevant anyway, as we would all eventually fall into the habit of doing it. Since this time, I've burned though a hell of a lot of disposable razors, they are cheap, easy and safe so why not? I never really thought about how bad they are for the environment.
The issue is that disposable razors are made up of various different types of plastic and other materials so they are very difficult to recycle. What happened to the days when men used a blade to shave their beards and women remained carefree in hairy happiness? Overtime we got hooked in. Plastic, easy-to-use razors arrived for men and it wasn't long until the rest of us were taunted in by pink handles and ridiculously overpriced, replaceable, soap covered heads. In 2018, 5.5 million people in UK were using disposable razors - take a guess where they are now. Considering this is UK alone, the amount of waste they are creating worldwide is crazy. So, if like me, you never thought about the impacts of your razor, it might be time to ditch disposable.
Safety razors are the sustainable alternative to shaving. They are made up of a metal handle and two plates which you pop a blade between and screw on, leaving only the edge of the blade bare. It's best to use shaving foam/soap to reduce irritation and hold it at around a 30 degree angle between the razor and your skin, then shave in the direction of the hair growth.
I got my razor from UpCircle and I was a bit worried I was going to cut myself but it was actually really easy to use - it's a very pretty unisex face and body razor. I've only used it on my legs so far and they felt so soft! Safety razors only have one blade so it causes less skin irritation than multi-blade razors, like most disposable models. Another benefit is that they are so much cheaper, after the initial cost of the razor (£24.99), which isn't much more than a new pack of disposable heads, then all you need to do is replace the blades. 10 blades from UpCircle cost £3.50 and if you send back old ones to be recycled you get money off future packs, it's a win win!
I still have my disposable one from before as it has some more life in it yet and since the most sustainable things are the ones you already own I'm still using it a little. I figured I'd take the time to perfect my safety razor shaving on my legs before I try anywhere else... which might take a little getting used to. If you fancy making the switch there are so many options out there from metal to bamboo razors. You can check my UpCircle safety razor using the link below - plus you can get 10% off the whole website with code GREENER10!
Never shave again
The most sustainable option would just be to not bother shaving anymore! Hair growth is a natural process and there's no reason not to embrace if that is what you want to do. Tuns of celebrities such as Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Adele and Julia Roberts have already given up their razors showing off their body hair to the world. I mean, I'm not sure I can pull of hairy armpit as well as them but maybe one day I'll give it a shot. Take it all off, let it grow, shape it or trim it just whatever you are comfortable with. Why can't you rock that LBD with hairy legs?
I was stood with my £12, 4 pack of replaceable heads, each slotted into a plastic pot, then individually wrapped in plastic and made of plastic... all I could think was waste and expense. My safety razor arrived a few days later. I don't know if it was just me who was ignorant to the environmental impacts that shaving has but I hope you found this post helpful either way!
Join me on the path to smoother, irritation free, and planet friendly shaving or just give it up all together. Whatever you decide, hopefully disposable razors will become a dark memory of the past we don't return to.
As always, thanks for reading!