I like trying new things so I was pretty excited about the idea of going back to the good ol' days of safety razors. I wasn't really sure how people shaved before they threw razors away. I figured that society must have made the switch to disposables because safety razors were just too dangerous. Guarantee you that my 14 year old sister could handle one of these bad boys just fine with just a little direction. We do things on a daily basis that required training at some point in order to do them well, like driving. If we can figure out at 15 yrs old how to drive a 2 ton metal vehicle I think we can all figure out how to shave with a tiny metal razor, am I right?
I had a fairly easy transition and I've used two very different safety razors. One with a more dull/gentle blade made by WoWe and one with a sharper one by Albatross. You can buy that one here or check local shops for vintage shops that will fit the blades we carry. I've read they're fairly easy to find. I chose to stick to Albatross because it gives me a super close and smooth shave and is a slightly more light weight than the WoWe razor.
GET A GOOD LATHER
Shaving cream is just one of those things to me that isn't necessary. I'm a hairstylist of 11 years. I've been duped into buying so many products I didn't need over the years that just created trash.
A good lathering soap will do just fine. Most natural soap bars are made with coconut, olive, or almond oil, have vitamin E in them and work well with warm water to soften and moisturize hair so it can be cut easily. (Remember to look for palm oil free to save monkeys and trees!). As long as you get a good lather you'll find that you get similar results and spend less money, time and space on more products.
Check with your local farmers markets or Whole Foods for locally made soaps! We also love Plaine Products Body Wash!
KEEP AT A 20-30 DEGREE ANGLE WITH SLOW STROKES & LET THE BLADE DO THE WORK
If you hold the handle closer to your skin at a shallow angle (pic below) you will be less likely to cut yourself since the guard is touching your skin first. I made the mistake during one shave of trying different angles and ended up with a few nicks at a steep angle. Holding the blade handle far out from the skin will put the blade right on your skin rendering the guard below it useless.
Start with short strokes in the direction that hair is growing. I shave pretty fast now though (and I have shaved EVERYWHERE :). However, you'll feel more comfortable if you start off with slow, shallow-angled strokes.
KEEP BLADE CLEAN AND DRY
Your razor should last you a lifetime if you take care of it. I have mine hanging in a shower caddy and there are no signs of rust at a year of use. I loosen the blade to rinse it under water when I'm through and shake it dry before I hang it. It dries pretty fast but if you are worried about it rusting, you can pat it dry and put it away in a drawer.
I still have an older plastic preserve (recycled and recyclable) razor I can take while traveling with only carry-on luggage. I've flown twice since I've had my safety razor and just put it in my checked bags in the sack it comes in.
RECYCLE THE BLADES
Most Recycling centers won't accept stainless steel blades. However, Albatross does. You can collect your used blades in the envelope they came in. When you’ve gone through a pack of blades, seal that envelope and insert it into any other envelope at least 3.5” X 5” large (USPS minimum) and send to:
PO Box 2254
Berkeley, CA 94702
From Albatross: "It is important for us to re-utilize the stainless steel our blades are made of at the highest level possible. We aim to recycle the steel into a potentially higher value product in terms of CO2 mitigation and energy savings than the original blades themselves over the long run. If you use non-Albatross blades, we will accept your blades too. You can store and ship your blades in a variety of containers, such as used pill bottles, a used soup can duct taped on one end, or by using a heavy weight internal envelope inserted into another envelope as is our standard procedure."
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!