Shaving with a Safety Razor

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Zero Waste Shaving | The hardest part of shaving with a safety razor is getting over the fear of cutting yourself. You won’t – I promise, at least not as much as you do with disposables. I mean why else would it be called a “SAFETY” razor? I waited for the longest time before I finally committed to one. I would turn my house upside down, looking in every bathroom drawer and old suitcase to find a straggling disposable razor since I was terrified of using the safety razor. I look back and laugh at myself because now, I have a pretty deep love affair with my reusable safety razor.


But lets talk about the environmental ramifications of disposable razors for a second. According to the EPA, about 2 billion disposable razors are discarded every. single. year. Necessary? No. A waste of our hard earned money? Yes.

So to help you get over your fear of ending up in the ER, I’ll give you my tips on how to ease into shaving with a safety razor and make you a pro in no time! Trust me, you’ll never want to buy another disposable again after this. Wink – wink!

Turn off the Water

Because you want to take your time while you shave, I recommend plugging the drain while you wash your hair and using that water to shave your legs. We have to save water, too ya know. I keep a cup in the shower to rinse off my legs. A good use of old plastic containers if you’re looking for other uses for them around your home.

Lather Up

Get your legs good and moistened with some homemade shaving cream, shaving bar, or a conditioner bar – I use the conditioner bar. And I’m not going to lie, I shave without anything most of the time. I live dangerously I know – I don’t recommend that.


It’s not a race, seriously. Especially for your first couple of shaves, slow it down to get a feel for how it is. You’ll notice that you don’t have to press down like you did before with disposables. Let the weight of the razor and gravity do the work, that’s all you’ll need. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to go faster and shave places that you’d rather not think about during your first tries. Aren’t I just a hoot?!

Shave in Sections

I find it easier to shave in sections. I don’t really like pulling the blade all of the way up my leg as that can cause irritation so I shave half way up my shin – all of the way around, then the rest. But I basically divvy my leg up into 3 sections each. That’s probably way more detailed than this needs to be but I thought, hey, why not. I’ll throw this in here.

Clean the Razor

Once your done and rinsed, I highly suggest cleaning the razor thoroughly – not with your fingers – but with a rag and keeping it upright to dry. I just rinse mine with water – nothing special. This will keep the blade in tip top shape, prevent it from rusting, and extend the life of the blade dramatically. If you need a stylish, wooden razor stand for your bathroom I have them in my shop!

Recycle the Blade

Yes, the steel blade is made from recyclable material but being able to recycle blades is a different story – of course, like a said above, if you take care of your blades, they will last a long time. Blades are considered to be hazardous waste so check with your local recycling facilities to be sure you can recycle them there. If not, take them to a local scrap metal facility.

Convince your Friends to Switch

Probably the most important tip, right? Show your friends and family that shaving with a safety razor is not only more environmentally friendly but better for their wallets, easy, and probably the BEST shave they’ll ever have. The next time they look at a disposable their noses will turn up!
And that’s it my friends! See, I told you it wasn’t that bad. I would not recommend any zero waste swaps that were so difficult no one could do it. If you’re still not completely on board, that’s fine. No worries. There are other options! Sugar waxing can be done in replace of shaving or if you just want to stick it to stereotypical assumptions of how women should look – stop shaving entirely. The decision is completely up to you.

I hope this helps! What are your favorite safety razor brands?

This article may contain affiliate links that helps support this blog. πŸ’š


Zero Waste Nerd




27 thoughts on “Shaving with a Safety Razor

  1. What about…nooks and crannies? I'm slightly more “high maintenance” with my lady area preferences. This is the one thing holding me back. Not so much worried that I'd bleed to death, but more wondering how a blade that looks so cumbersome could be effective.

  2. What about “nooks and crannies” for those of us with “high maintenance” lady area preferences? Wondering how such a cumbersome looking blade could be effective.

  3. It works – trust me. It just takes more time considering you really don't want to rush through that. Of course, you could always try sugar waxing, too. πŸ˜‰ Just ease into it. Get comfortable with legs first.

  4. I bought the viking razor also but was getting razor bumps and not close shave. So after a week i bought astra blades bc viking co said those were beginner blades and to get a sharper blade. However they dont sell those on amazon so i went with the astra brand. Didnt work any better :(. Ill try the conditioner bar and see if that helps bc ive just been using dr bronners and tried adding coconut oil. I really want it to work so i dont have to keep using plastic razors!!!

  5. I only just recently converted to a safety razor from using men's razors and love it. My razor is much better made suddenly, the blades are cheap as chips, they are actually sharp…. I probably won't have to buy a new razor for years to come. If ever…

  6. Thanks! Is it the “Godfather”? I only ask because I was kind of put off of safety razors after a bad experience with an antique store purchase. I'm hoping it was the razor and not my technique! Your experience makes me excited to try again, but I think my best chance for success is with a razor that is easy to use! Thanks πŸ™‚

    so I was hoping if I got the same one that made the process easy

  7. The blades I use are the Astra superior platinum double edge. The one tip that was the make or break for me was that you have to let the weight of the razor do the work. You absolutely cannot push down while you shave because that might cause too much irritation. Also, the angle is important. If you go really slow and slightly angle the razor as you pull you can feel it cutting the hair. I would also look into some shaving creams to see if that helps you. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  8. Yes it's the godfather – my husband picked it out. πŸ˜‰ We also use the Astra superior platinum double edge razor blades. Just be gentle, go slow, and let the weight of the razor do the work. πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks! You know, I tried that antique razor again (extra determined this time) and I didn't get a single cut, for the first time ever!! You must have imparted some Good Luck, thanks πŸ™‚

  10. How often to do you change your blade? I’m new to the safety razor game, which I’m loving, but I’m unsure about how quickly the blade dulls.

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