If you have not heard about safety razors you are either brand new to zero waste, not into zero waste or live under a rock. Which to be fair is about as zero waste as you can get!
The very first thing I saw when searching Zero Waste was about these types of razors. Stainless steel, old fashioned. They look scary and sound even more so. By the way some people write/talk about them, you expect trouble. The stories I heard in real life, down right scary.
But that price though! You simply can not beat the price of refill razor blades VS another whole new razor or cartridge. Around the price of $10 will get you 50-100 double sided blades. The average user of these razors say their blades last them about a month. You do the math, that's a life of shaving.
Is it worth it though? Is it easy to use? Does it beat waxing or epilation device? Really is it a step back?
I was curious to say the least. After a LOT of research and price comparing, I went with the Parker 29L long handled safety razor, double edged. It was around $27 with free shipping and 5 free razors. Figured that was a good enough price to test it out and see if the stories were really that bad.
When I say horror stories, I mean bad. Rusty razors no matter what people did, ingrown hairs like mad. Others online said they were great, easy to clean and long lasting.
Here's to my skin folks.
My first time testing it, I was very wary. I went slow AF and with the direction hair growth. Eh. It was okay. Nothing to write home or the inter web about but meh. Cool, at least it worked... on a leg. Don't get me wrong, I have muscular legs with hard lumps and bone to work around but let's just say I was taking the test to the ultimate level.
So, when people say don't apply pressure, I'm almost 99% sure they say that because it's so easy to slip in the wrong direction. Aka side ways, which would most definitely lead to a cut. I can tell you I didn't cut myself one time during this test. Not once. And I cut myself on safety SCISSORS. The odds were stacked against me.
I stopped paying attention to going slow, because I do that. I went against grain and ya, got a bit haphazard with it. Fight me. Smoothed shave I have ever had. Not saying you should do what I do, remember the safety scissors? This could be a fluke. Don't be like me. Take it slow at least.
I shaved with homemade clay soap first, worked perfect. Then, I tried shaving with my shaving oil blend, worked well but MESSY TO CLEAN. I swear getting the oil off that stainless steel was as painful as never ending finger prints on stainless steel appliances. Imo, the oil wasn't necessary. The soap and water alone were great. I think this would all depend on your soap as well. Find one that's nourishing not over drying.
Against the grain was seriously the closest shave I have ever had. Now, that being said. The angle is very important. Sometimes it felt like I was getting a great shave only to look and it missed some. It's all about the angle you have it at. Too much one way and it doesn't shave well. Too much another way and it gets a bit too close for comfort. You'll see, it's one of those thing you have to try it to understand. Not hard to get use to though!
I shaved it all. Everything a Smart Girl in Pants can shave. No issues. Shaved like a champ. Never got dull. I was shocked to say the least.
Clean up was a jerk though. Not cutting myself getting everything squeaky clean and dry was scary, but I had my drama Pants on that day.
My gripe of this product is the head of the razor twists off to separate the top and bottom and un-sandwich the blade. It did twist slightly when I was shaving but never enough to fall apart BUT it could give a bit of wiggle to the blade. Wiggle = possible cuts.
If I get another, I may look for one that the bottom of the handle twists to release the blade VS top.
To clean mid shave, I did untwist a bit, swish in some water and twist it back down firmly. I thought that would get it all! That's what we do with plastic cased razors, swish and bang them a bit. Nah, this still was messy when I took it apart at the end. So in that case, the twisty top was pretty handy to quick clean mid-shave.
1) I can definitely say I am happy I got a long handle. Short would be okay, maybe even better in SOME AREAS of private matters.
2) All the horror stories were a bit of hype to me now that I have done it. Rust? Yup, that will happen to ANY metal in the shower. Clean it. This is much easier to clean than a cartridge won't come apart on a disposable. Definitely go slow and test these yourself and don't get hurt. I'm a blogger, not a baby sitter. Not my fault if you act a fool and get hurt. Warned.
3) Is it better than a disposable razor? Yassssssss. I won't be buying those ever again. Without a doubt better than disposable.
4) Better than waxing or other root hair removal? Depends on the person I guess. I have an epilator, it's okay. Better than waxing (which I have not found a great vegan wax. I would love to try one.). Epilation takes soooo long to do. Results last longer with root removal but is it worth me wasting an hour of my life? Hell no. I'll stick to the razor and shave when I damn well please, thanks. I could see root removal if I know I'll be on vacation and know I can't bring my razor (they sell the blades at Walmart though!). With root removal, I always get ingrown hairs. No matter what. With this? No irritation or bumps.
I did use a clay soap and clay tea tree lotion, both which I make so that helps in preventing ingrown hairs.
5) Worth it or step back? Worth it. If you shave, give this a go. I will not be going back to expensive but cheaply made plastic razors any day, ever. I'd rather not shave at all.
I say give it a shot. Don't go too cheap on the purchase, though. I read that some razors feel light and don't hold up. In my experience now over a few weeks, the added weight of the razor it's self helps a lot.
Would I pay $70+ for a safety razor? Maybe if it was made of rose gold, shaped like fox (my favorite animal) and cured all my ailments. If it shaved for me, I would pay even more. Do your research, read reviews and listen to your gut. I won't say buy the one I have but I admit, I am in love. I can't wait for The Smart Guy to finally make our razor stand... it's on the honey-please-do list that's about as long as my arm.
So that's that. Be smart about these. They are extremely sharp and don't be careless. Really. These are an amazing tool but treat it like a tool not a toy. Be careful, feel it out and clean it! Cleaning it is kinda a pain but think about how GROSS the other razors are? Even mid-shave quick rinse wasn't enough to get this razor totally clean. There is NO WAY to get in every nook of those razors. That thought alone...
All that bacteria was definitely why I always got ingrown hairs with plastic razors, and I used a new one every other day.
If you don't shave and don't want to shave, cool. Idk why you are here but how ya doing, buddy? Do your thing. Not shaving is literally as zero waste as you can get and I'm totally all about your freedom to do you. Not shaving isn't gross. It's not dirty and it's not unsanitary in any way. Shaving can actually lead to irritated skin, cuts and entry ways for bad bacteria to get into our bodies.
For the non-shavers, please don't hate or superior yourselves onto those of us that shave... no matter if we are irregular shavers or every day, sleek as a seal's butt shavers. Some people have jobs where shaving is necessary to a business like esthetic. Judging people for shaving is just as silly as judging someone for not shaving. Why do I shave? Because I do. I don't need to have or give any other reason!
In the end, People like what they like. We all have our reasons why we like something or don't. If you have any opinion on hair or no hair, leave it below and why! Let's just be cool.
I give these a 5/5 Pants.
I didn't count off for the twist head bit because I have gotten used to it and use it to my advantage. Much as I have with life in general. Boom, life, that's right.
Less hair don't care,
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants