Friday, September 5, 2008

The "Best" Shave

Part of my evolution in walking more gently on the earth has been to take a look at everything in my life ... the things I do, the things I buy ... and consider all the options available, with an eye to reducing my footprint. Recently, I received an email about disposable razors and how they aren't environmentally friendly. Personally, I rarely buy anything labeled "disposable". To me, it just conjures up images of landfills being filled with products that never decompose ... like plastic.

While I don't buy or use disposable razors, the subject got me thinking about the alternatives and which is the best choice. At first, I thought one of those shaving "systems" would be best ... you know the ones ... they have a plastic handle and one changes the blade every so often. But wait ... the blade is usually encased in some kind of plastic. Then I thought about an electric razor ... it lasts for a long time but ... it uses electricity. There's also the safety razor ... no plastic ... a blade made of metal that can be recycled ... but, harder to use. So which is best?

I started searching the Internet for answers and found pros and cons for each shaving method. After a lot of reading and investigating, here's how I think razors stack up:
  • The best option, of course, is not shaving at all ... no razors to even think about. This can mean becoming hairy or using a hair removal system like waxing or sugaring. A note of caution here ... some hair removal systems have a real "Ow Ow Ow" factor.
  • Next comes the Safety Razor ... no plastic, lasts practically forever and all parts can be recycled. The downside: safety razors take some practice and are harder to use (be prepared for a few nicks and cuts).
  • The third best in my list is the Electric Razor. It lasts a long time and doesn't use much energy, especially if one only charges it up as needed and doesn't leave it constantly plugged in.
  • Fourth on my list is the Razor "System" with a reusable plastic handle and blades that last quite a while. It will eventually find it's way to the landfill but it takes awhile to get there.
  • Last is the Disposable Razor which has a short life and ends up in a landfill. One note if this is your choice ... I've read that placing the head of a disposable razor in a cup of olive oil will extend it's life. After each use, clean it well, dry it and place it in the cup. Supposedly it will not only extend the life of the razor but offer a closer shave as well.

I'd love to know what choice you make and why ... so drop me a line.

2 comments :

  1. I purchased a metal razor many years back for the same reason. The razors themselves, (merkers) are disposable, but not plastic.

    I can trim my beard down to shaveable length with scissors.

    Then, the most important part for me is not using nasty pertroleum products in the shaving cream. So, usually, i just lather up with some good soap (i use dr. bronners, but NOT peppermint!)

    Then, shave away, without using any plastic or toxic chemicles.

    Of course, i've only used it maybe three times in the last three years since i bought it.

    see page below for examples http://www.fendrihan.com/merkur-handle-barber-pole-razor-blades-p-214.html

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  2. As for me, the old style safety razor, won’t pull the hairs and cut them below the skin level as is the case with multi-blade catridges, taking better care of your skin and your beard. Also, with an old style razor you have the luxury of choosing the sharpness of the blade; so you can find the one that fits you best.

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