Should I shave with a traditional Safety Razor?
Seán here, owner of manlystuff.ie. I wanted to write an article on the common questions we get in relation to Safety Razors! Are they a good alternative to cartridge razors? Can women use Safety Razors? Is it safe to use Safety Razors on delicate areas? Are Safety Razors Expensive? Are Old Style Razors any good? Where can I get a Safety Razor? What’s the Best Safety Razor on the market? Can I use a Safety Razor to trim my Beard? Are Safety Razors good for course hair? Are Safety Razors good for the Environment? Any many more!
To give you a bit of background, I got the idea for Manly Stuff in 2014 when I got an expensive shaving set for Christmas – it was around €150 and although it looked great, I felt like I was cheating! It had a cartridge razor head which I used plenty at the start but got tired of the expensive blades. I’d never used a safety razor before but popped on to eBay and found what I was looking for – a cheap Parker razor. I received the razor in a really old school box with a couple of blades. The first time I used the razor I used some Gillette shaving foam – not a good idea, it just wasn’t a good enough quality foam to protect my skin, I didn’t get any cuts too serious but SWEET JESUS! My face was on fire. I looked in to Safety Razors more and saw shaving.ie but felt their prices were expensive so I thought ‘Why not start my own business’. That’s where manlystuff.ie started, by me going out partnering with factories to make my own range of shaving goods (same ones that produce Parker, Merkur, Edwin Jagger etc.). I applied the same principle of skipping distributors to pocket squares, ties, watches, wallets etc. and here we are – 4 years later!
To Address some questions around Safety Razors (comment below if you have any other questions):
Are Safety Razors, or traditional razors, DE Razors a good alternative to cartridge razors?
In short – Yes! A traditional razor is made of a single blade with two edges- hence a Double Edged Razor. Some people call these double edged cutthroat razors which isn’t quite correct, they’re actually a Double Edged Safety Razor. A DE Safety Razor is a great alternative to a cartridge razor for a couple of reasons:
- Price – Our Safety Razors start from around €18 and go up to €60, they’re built to last a lifetime and blades cost around .50cent a piece or less if purchased in bulk.
- Environmentally Friendly – A Safety Razor is a great way of eco friendly shaving – all metal, no plastic, reduced waste to landfill – winning!
- Smoother Shave – A cartridge razors cuts the hair below the level of the skin, this leads to irritation and razor bumps – A Safety Razor smoothly cuts the stubble at the surface of skin which means less irritation and a smoother shave!
- Quality Tools – Why play with plastic when you can use quality, handmade tools?
2. Can Women use Safety Razors? Even on delicate areas?
Did you know women were shaving with safety razors in the 1950s? That is, until manufacturers learned they could make almost any product quicker and cheaper with plastic. These were way more lucrative for manufacturers since they had to be replaced far more often. Shorter product lifespan = more purchases = more profit. Nevermind the havoc they were reaping on the earth by sitting in landfills. With access to cheaper materials, brands and advertisers began convincing women the more blades, the better.
As we said above, more blades leads to irritation, specifically razor burn and ingrown hairs. Dermatologists dig into the details in this New York Times article too. Multi-blade razors often cut through too many layers of the skin causing razor burn. Or they cut the tip of the hair too sharply, causing it to curl back and grow inwards creating ingrown hairs, aka razor bumps.
It’s important to note that not all safety razors are designed the same. Many are designed with men in mind but ours are designed for both men and women! Women have been using our razors to explore territory with a razor most men don’t and we’ve had great feedback.
With our razors, we made design tweaks specific to a both men and womens shaving needs – no matter where they shave. Here’s a breakdown:
- Metal: We made our razors from stainless steel and brass because they’rethe traditional metal of safety razors and lasts longer than most metals.
- Angle: Manly Stuff blade and safety razor head is designed to cut through the hair at a clean angle. This prevents hair from growing back sideways into the skin, which results in ingrown hairs.
- Weight: As mentioned, our razor is weighted so no added pressure is needed for a close shave. Multi-blade razors are designed with blunt blades so that you have to push in order to achieve a close shave.
- Handle length: We designed the handle for maximum comfort. Shaving your ankles is much different than shaving your face – sometimes you need a little more reach.
3. Are Safety Razors Expensive?
Yes and no! We pride ourselves on providing affordable Safety Razors for beginners and beginner shaving sets to boot. We also recently introduced our first All Brass Safety Razor for the price of €59.99 – if you wanted to go to any other shaving sites and get a full Brass Safety Razor you’re probably talking €200. Our Safety Razors start at €18.99, throw in a bulk pack of blades for around 20 quid and you’ve got two years worth of shaving sorted.
If you want to spend a fortune on a Safety Razor, you absolutely can (Celtic Tiger is back sure) or you can spend a modest amount and still get a quality shave!
4. What’s the Best Safety Razor on the market?
This is a very tough one! There are so many new brands popping up all the time selling similar designs to ours – there’s nothing we can do about it of course but quality always shines through.
Something like a Merkur is a popular choice, as are Parker razors, Edwin Jaggers are also a good razor with good feedback but we will only recommend what we know, and we know that The Knight is our most popular safety razor, we’ve sold hundreds of these beauties and it get’s a solid 5 Stars – here and on amazon.
The Best Safety Razor on the market is one that your tastes. All of our Safety Razors are perfect for beginners or more experienced shavers alike and the main thing to bear in mind is that a lot of the shave comes down to the blade! Everyone has different skin types and everyone will need a different blade to find the perfect shave.
5. Are Safety Razors an Eco Friendly alternative for shaving?
Yes! Top eco-friendly bloggers such as Zero Waste Home often preach the benefits of using a non-disposable, “lifetime” razor and the reduced impact of a hard shaving soap over a shaving cream. Plastic razors are known for having a much shorter life cycle than safety razors. In general, plastic razors contribute to a disposable, throwaway society. It is estimated that the average disposable razor cartridge should only be used about 6-9 times before being thrown away. This means that after every purchase of a disposable razor, in about 2-3 weeks, they’ll be on their way to the landfill.The bulk of a disposable razor is non-biodegradable, leading to billions of pieces of hazardous waste ending up in landfill every year.
Environmental Impacts Of Safety Razors:
Unlike disposable razors, safety razors are built to last a lifetime. Safety razor collectors purchase and use old Gillette safety razors from the early 1900’s, and some even claim to be using the same razor for over 110 years. Not all safety razors are indestructible, but they’re still a major improvement over disposable razors. When considering longevity, we recommend choosing a pure brass safety razor, like the Classic Brass Safety Razor. Since the razor itself lasts so long, only the razor blades need to be recycled. Unlike multi-blade razors, standard double-edge safety razor blades are fully-recyclable and eco-friendly.
Start shaving in an eco-friendly fashion today with our Plastic Free Zero Waste Shaving Set.
Conclusion on Safety Razors:
Well, we hope that all makes sense now and has cleared up some of the questions around Safety Razors and removed some of the taboos around traditional shaving razors. If you have any other questions that are holding you back from upgrading your shave then just leave a comment below! Remember ladies & gents – Shaving should NEVER be a chore.