When I started shaving my legs I used one of my dad's disposable razors, and I can still remember the sound of a slice of my ankle coming off in the blade - ouch! I always ended up like he did, with bits of tissue stuck to red dots, feeling a bit sorry for myself.
Times changed and technology moved on and I got sucked into the 5 bladed, moisture stripped, bend to every angle razor, that robbed me blind while selling me the dream of perfectly smooth legs in the blink of an eye. I'm not going to lie, all that was working out pretty well for me for a while, but it didn't take long for me to find it galling how much I was spending on razor blades, when a Bic one blade did the same job (and didn't slice me to ribbons now I'd had a bit more practice).
I won't lie, it's only recently that I looked at my razor and thought 'what am I doing?' A chunk of plastic that is used a few times and then goes in the bin. And then it's in landfill forever, just so my legs aren't prickly. I mean, that's nuts right?!
A while back, I got my husband a safety razor for Christmas, and I remember buying 100 blades for him for pennies. Ok, the razor was £30, but it'd last forever. As well as being cost effective, it's also zero plastic and he assured me it did a great job. I suddenly wondered whether this might be an option for me.
A bit of googling and I realised that lots of women are using safety razors, and doing just fine thank you very much(!) - even in the fiddly areas. So for my birthday, at the age of 35 I have made the switch and so far I love it!
So how does it differ? Well, if you're used to the flexible, pivoting, whizz over your legs in the blink of an eye razors, this is going to be a bit of a transition. But don't be put off, because it's not rocket science. You just need to engage your brain a bit and take a little more time - think of it as practising a couple of minutes of mindfulness in the shower.
I guess my main tips are;
- have the razor at a 30 degree angle - the way the razor is made will guide it into this position anyway
- apply little to no pressure - the razor is really weighty so just let the weight of it land on your skin and that's enough to get a close shave
- take short strokes - this just helps you to adjust the angle to the contours of your body
- don't rush - as you get more used to it you will obviously get more confident and a way quicker, but take your time as you get used to it
And voila! Silky smooth and in one piece. I've been using this for a couple of months now and am getting on really well, even in the more fiddly areas. I 100% don't regret the swap, and I'm actually quite quick with it now. I just switched to a new blade as the first one had started to catch me on occasion as I guess it was a little blunt, but with the blades costing maybe 20p, it is great value for money in the long run!
The other plus points are that it looks way prettier, and it feels nicer too - really weighty and very tactile compared to disposable razors. If you get a good one, it'll last you forever, and blades are super cheap. The Muehle razor I have isn't zero plastic as it has a plastic safety cover for the blades, but that feels very sturdy and I suspect will last for years so I'll make my peace with that. Muehle blades do come in a plastic box, but lots of other brands come in card, so do shop around.
So my verdict? If you can afford the initial investment, then do it!