Saving the planet with each shave

Most males blessed with facial hair have to live with the reality of buying disposable razors – to keep themselves tidy and kissable. But how many shaves are these razors expected to last? If, like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you believe the answer is 42 you are not far from the truth!

A good while ago I came across an online forum where this very point was raised and debated. One contributor stood out from the crowd of men prepared to buy a new disposable razor after two or three shaves. He said something I considered outrageous. His razors apparently lasted at least six months – the trick being he only shaved after a shower. I treated the guy’s claims as internet noise but somehow convinced myself to buy a new razor and started shaving after showers, mainly to avoid cuts. That was seven months ago and I am still using the same blades.

My inner engineer is still in disbelief but softening the facial hair with a combination of hot water and steam in the shower is enough to change the shaving experience from borderline traumatic to effortless. After five minutes in the shower my seven months old razor still feels like brand new – no catching or snagging whatsoever, no cuts. There is also no rust on the blades. Something else I noticed before starting this experiment is that the cartridge which comes with original handle lasts a lot longer than the replacement ones available in packets of four or five. I guess the suppliers want to get you hooked on the quality product and then peddle a volume of disposables which blunt quickly.

Considering the environmental footprint of disposable razors (high grade alloyed steel, fancy plastic handles, packaging, handling, transport) it is important to make them last as long as possible. Since, for obvious reasons, the suppliers will not tell you how to do it, da-boss is keen to step in:

  • Buy a quality multi blade swivel head razor with a sturdy handle and single cartridge on
  • Shave only after proper showers – at least 3-5 minutes with hot water
  • For best results apply some shaving cream before getting in the shower
  • Rinse the razor during shaving so the blades do not clog up
  • Rinse and shake the razor head dry when finished
  • When the razor starts catching hair buy a new handle with a single cartridge on it – not a packet of replacement cartridges.

By following the above steps you should extend the life of your razor cartridge to at least six months. Not bad for a disposable product, eh?

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2 Responses to “Saving the planet with each shave”

  1. Nick B Says:

    I ALWAYS shave after a shower, otherwise I get very irritated skin. A Gillette cartridge like the one on your pic never serves me longer than two months. So I think it really depends on the thickness and the density of the hair of a particular individual. What can really prolong the lifespan of the blades is fully drying them by blowing on the blade with the hair drier for 10 sec or so. I read about it in some respectful paper (don’t remember which one) a couple of years ago and do it since then. Not sure if it really works as I had’t measured the blades longevity before I started doing it but there is simple physics behind it. It just prevents the thinnest parts of the blades from rust. You can google this article probably.

  2. da-boss Says:

    Yes, I have come across the blade drying recommendation but it seemed a bit tedious to me. From my experience the top quality swivel head razors come with the blades made of high grade stainless steel which will not rust. I am stunned by the results I got but you are absolutely right – it all depends on how thick your bristles are 🙂

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