Slave of the blade
I got myself a safety razor! I do go back and forth with shaving but I figured since I do shave from time to time and Giac's disposable blades that I've been borrowing got my skin pretty irritated, I wanted to commit to the good ol' safety razor.
It took me a long while to pick one.
Last Christmas I got my dad one from Amazon that claimed to be sustainable and had a bamboo handle and stuff, but I'm trying to stop supporting Amazon AND I was hoping to find something locally produced to avoid shipment. I had my eyes on a couple of options but wasn't 100% sold on the design (I wanted something that would be visually pleasant as well as serve the purpose).
Eventually, I found this company. Unfortunately it's not New Zealand based, but I figured I would compromise in favour of a product I was hopefully going to love.
After strenuous months of research, I knew I wanted a double-edge (for more shaving surface), three-piece design (the two-piece sounded difficult to clean and the one piece scared the shit out of me). I also wanted one with a detachable head that you have to unscrew to remove and change the blade, as opposed to one that unscrews at the bottom, because I watched a video of someone saying that with the screw-bottom you can accidentally screw it open while using it - as if I wasn't terrified enough already.
So I ordered this one (it's still on sale by the way!). When it arrived a couple of weeks later, it looked like this:
The packaging had zero plastic, the razor itself came in a lovely hemp bag, and it included ten individually wrapped (in paper) double-edged razor blades (officially the freaking scariest thing I've ever handled).
I tried it straight away. My first attempt took place in the shower, and was only limited to the lower half of my legs. It sure was a peculiar experience.
A safety razor is way heavier than a regular disposable razor, and needs much more attention and focus when used. It took me the longest time and my vision was blurred by sweat dripping down my forehead into my eyes.
Eventually, it was over. I only managed to cut myself twice, on both ankles - which to be fair is not an unusual occurrence every time I use a fresh new blade. The final result was not spectacular - I had high expectations after a friend told me safety razors give a much closer shave than regular razors, however my skin felt bumby and definitely not as smooth as I was hoping.
(I also missed some spots accidentally - see below - and some purposefully - my knees. Too bony.)
A couple of days later, I tried my thighs. This time it felt easier. I'd read that the best way to use a safety razor is to orient it at a 35 degree angle or something, but had no idea what that meant until I figured you basically just need to press the flat part of the head against your skin (this is where the blade peeks out from the head). Except, you don't have to press! The weight of the razor does all the job. You can literally hold the handle between two fingers and GENTLY slide it up your legs, and if the orientation is right the blade will pick up all your hairs.
My thighs ended up much smoother than my calves, but the hair up there is also thinner, so I'm not sure where the merit goes. So far I haven't ventured any higher that that - and to be fair I don't see anything as sharp as that devilish blade going anywhere near my pubes.
I reckon I need some more practice, but so far I'm quite satisfied with the experience. My favourite part is probably how easy it is to clean: you just have to unscrew the head, take the three pieces apart, and rinse them. You need to be extra careful when handling the blade, but it's still much neater than having to pluck the hairs off the back of a disposable razor.
I will let you know if I ever take a chance on my pits (but I doubt it). Honestly, I don't think I shave enough to justify a full review of a safety razor, but at least now my conscience is clear.