A guest post by Kent of Inglewood
I started my war on plastic waste, as many do, in my washroom. I was shocked by how many plastic bottles, wrappers, and shaving cartridges I went through in a month. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my grooming routine and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on fancy products. It turns out one of the easiest and cheapest places to reduce waste is something we do several times a week: shaving!
Decades of good marketing made us believe that plastic razors were a safer, easier way to shave, ignoring the massive waste and incredible expense. It turns out, some things are best done the old way.
The double edge safety razor has been around for over a century. Despite being old technology it gives a closer, more comfortable shave with only a fraction of the waste. Many blade brands come packaged in recyclable or compostable cardboard and paper, and the blades themselves can be recycled after use.
Making the Change
The switch to traditional razors is more simple than you might think. It can seem scary, using a super-sharp single blade, but it’s incredibly easy. You’ll need to pay a little more attention to the pressure and angle you shave with, but the result will be the best shave you’ve ever had. They cut down coarse hair more easily than cartridges, and handle delicate skin with the utmost of care. Remember, you are only pulling one sharp edge across your skin, not five. Tried it once and didn’t get the quality of shave you expected? There are over 20 brands of blades with varying levels of sharpness and fineness. With a little fun experimentation I am certain you will find the perfect fit for your skin and hair. Whether you’re shaving your legs, face, or anything else, safety razors are the best high-comfort, low-waste option.
To get started you’ll need a handle. They start around $50 for one that can last a lifetime, and beyond. At this price point I highly recommend the Hoxton Knurled Razor. We love this razor for it’s sleek design and quality, but it also comes in recyclable packaging. Most handles come with a package of 5 blades, but we suggest trying a few different ones to find your perfect match. If you’re reading this, you are probably a conscientious person who doesn’t just want to chuck your sharp, recyclable blades in the garbage. We recommend a blade bank to store your used blades. In a few years when the bank is full, you can bring it to us and we’ll have it recycled properly, or you can take it to your local metal recycler. Finally, if your skin is prone to nicks, we recommend you grab an alum block to stop any pesky bleeding and to reduce the effects of razor burn.
Using the Razor
Like I said, using a safety razor is easier than you think. Especially if you follow our tips for the best DE razor shave possible.
- Warm your skin and hair before the shave. A hot shower or hot towel treatment will relax the skin and soften the hair, so you get a more comfortable shave.
- Use a lubricant such as shaving cream or soap. The best shave will always be with a shaving brush and shaving soap. Just make sure you use something to protect your skin and help the blade glide smoothly. If you’re not into the brush, give pre-shave oil a try!
- Angle the razor so both the upper and lower parts of the head are touching your skin. This will ensure the blade is pressed against your skin at a gentle angle. As your features curve, adjust the angle.
- Keep your pressure confident, but light. Let the razor do most of the work.
- Shave with the grain. Always start with the grain, as it is more comfortable and gentle on your skin. If you want a closer shave, shaving against the grain will provide that, but first shorten the hair by shaving with the grain, then clean up with an against the grain pass.
- Have fun! If you’re nervous, pour yourself a glass of wine or make some tea, and settle into a nice self-care moment. Don’t rush your first single blade shave.
And there you have it! The best shave you’ve ever had, with little to no plastic waste. While many folks get a wonderful shave with a safety razor and their lubricant of choice, you can make the shave even more luxurious with a shaving brush and a soap.
Level up Your Shave
Perhaps, now that you’re considering upgrading your routine, you want to try a truly luxurious shave. Well, you can have a barbershop quality shave and cut out your waste at the same time.
A shaving brush builds a big fluffy lather that protects your skin during the shave, but it also makes your shave less wasteful and more economical. A typical 4oz tin of shaving soap can provide well over 100 shaves when used with a brush, because you’re using a tiny amount of product and expanding it into a huge lather with your bristles. That means you can buy one tin of soap once or twice a year, instead of every month. A good shaving brush will also last years, even decades. It also helps you avoid throwing out the big aerosol cans of shaving cream.
If you want to talk about carbon footprint, we’ve got you covered there too. Edmonton-based brand Like Grandpa uses as many local ingredients as possible, and packs their products into containers that can either be (actually) recycled in the case of their metal soap and aftershave tins, or refilled, in the case of their shaving and beard oils.
So there you have it. Whether you’re taking the first step towards your zero-waste life or you’re well into your journey, there’s no reason not to switch to a double-edge razor and maybe even a brush and soap. It’s less wasteful, much less expensive, and much more fun.
If you’re considering switching up your shave, you can learn more by visiting our Kent of Inglewood shops in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa or Vancouver. You can shop online at kentofinglewood.com and enjoy free shipping over $60 in Canada. Happy shaving!
About this blog
This post was supplied by the team at Kent of Inglewood. Kent of Inglewood is one of our sponsors at our 2nd annual, Zero Waste Festival, this year online!