The current shaving industry is a wasteful and environmentally unfriendly industry.
I was thinking about slowly moving into this statement but I couldn’t find an easy way to basically say what I think. Most of us buy disposable razors, use chemically produced face creams and are literally throwing away money with each and every disposal.
It doesn’t have to be this way but it has become the norm and we generally just accept it. Built in with fashion statements and, possibly, false claims of each new razor giving an even closer shave, we are surely all being sold into an effective scam designed to hook us into becoming lifetime recurring customers. We are worth a lot.
You can’t forget, humans have been shaving, very successfully for an extremely long time without all this fancy throwaway stuff.
Do you ever remember seeing James Dean or Marlon Brando with a patchy uneven shave?
It’s very likely that these Hollywood greats, as well as your old Daddy used the old school method of shaving with a cut throat or safety razor…… They never had a problem looking great! So was it ever a problem that needed fixing? The shaving companies still had a product that would sell to us recurring customers over and over, albeit at a slower rate.
I am scared witless of the cut throat razor. I used to sit in the barber chair in fear that the old Greek man would sneeze and slide a hole in my throat! But the safety razor on the other hand is a perfectly safe device, hence it’s descriptive name.
Gillette introduced the safety razor in 1903 and if I had it my way they would have stopped there and never introduced the full on plastic disposable monstrosities that sell so well today! In fact the company has grown so huge that they sold to Proctor & Gamble for a massive $57 billion in 2005, there are countries worth a lot less than that!
Cost Comparison – Gillette Fusion vs Safety Razor
I have had my little rant. I believe that using an old style safety razor and just replacing the metal blade (much less waste) is not only environmentally better, it’s also cheaper. Let’s take a look at the costs and try and work out how much cheaper.
Prices correct at time of writing.
You can get Gillette’s current fashion razor the Gillette Fusion Proglide Power Razor on Amazon for around $10.94. It comes with a blade storage case and one battery to power the micro chip powered vibration system. Gillette also owns Duracell so they make money from you buying new batteries too!
Then onto the the blades!
Amazon currently sells a pack of Gillette Fusion Proglide Power Cartridge 6 Count for $24.99.
So how much are cheaper double edged safety razor blades, 95% cheaper?
Amazon has a pack of 100 for sale for $10.36 and if you want a branded name that you know there are plenty of options of 100 blades for under $25, the cost of just 6 Fusion cartridges. You can even pick up multi-packs of branded razors so you can find your perfect blade.
Lets assume 1 cartridge is equal to 2 double edged safety razor blades. On the blades alone that shows that cartridges are around 95% cheaper if using the cheaper safety razor blades. That can’t be denied as a HUGE saving!
The saving is massive, so massive that in some ways you should probably start wondering why you never realised before! Advertising is why! Brands like Gillette and Wilkinson Sword have done a phenomenal job at making us believe we need disposable razors in our life.
So how do these cheap razors help the environment?
The latest fashion razors are absolutely filled with un-needed plastic components and plastic packaging. Every cartridge you toss in the garbage includes 5 blades and a platic case. Each pack of blades comes with a plastic holder.
Safety Razors come in a simple cardboard or plastic pack. The blades then often come paper wrapped in a small cardboard box. You only throw away the metal blade and easily recyclable packaging so there is a huge saving on waste.
I wish I could find the figures (i’m guessing no one has done the research or it is well hidden) but if everyone switched to safety razors the savings of plastic would be huge.
The actual safety razor cost
Obviously there is the cost of the safety razor itself. This should be a one-time investment and if you stick with one that has good reviews you shouldn’t really be going wrong. The cost of a safety razor, often with some free blades, can be around the same cost as buying a fashion razor that likely won’t last forever.
A solid well made metal safety razor won’t cost you over $35 but can be got for less than $10. Your Grandpa / Dad may even have a spare one he can give you and you’ll be stylin with your vintage razor! Hipster deluxe! Here are some options from Amazon if you do have to buy one.
Of course there is absolutely NOTHING to stop women using these razors for their shaving needs. The product does not have to look feminine to give a good shave.
Concerns of using safety razors
Safety razors seem old fashioned and people tend to shy away from old-tech. Shaving with a safety razor does involve a little learning such as how to flatten the skin and can lead to a few cuts for a newbie but it’s not hard to get to grips with.
The most dangerous part is handling the blades from the packet into the razor but a little care and it’s really a quick and easy swap. As long as you properly wrap and dispose of the blunt blades you should have no troubles.
The beauty of the web is that tips are never far away and YouTube is full of advice for the new safety razor user, such as this video below:
Oh, what about the soap? - I would advise you buy natural soap but sadly this isn’t always a money saver. However buying soaps like Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap isn’t expensive and some people have had success using olive oil, eco-friendly shampoo, eco-friendly dish soap and home-made options.
Conclusion, you HAVE to give safety razors a try
I hope I have convinced you to give the humble safety razor a try. Most people I know are in love with their razor and having the solid reliable bit of kit on hand makes them feel comfortable about their clean and close shave.
For $10 you can buy a razor with blades and give it a try. If you really love it but think you need a better razor then an upgrade will hardly break the bank and any money spent will be recovered in a pretty short amount of time. Even if you shave every single day and use one side of a razor per shave it will still cost you less than $30 per year. That’s probably your expenditure per month on cartridge razor blades!
Have I missed anything important? Do you have any arguments against the safety razor to bring in? Is my logic flawed? Do you agree with me and do you use a safety razor yourself?
I look forward to your input.