Shaving with a safety razor is a fantastic decision. It’s a great way to reduce your plastic waste, as well as improving the quality of your shave. Safety razors are a more traditional form of wet shaving than cartridge or disposable razors so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on safety razor shaving for women so you can feel confident using a safety razor.
There’s a lot of information out there to help men get the perfect wet shave with their safety razor, but not so much for women. This often leads to women lacking confidence in trying out a DE razor, but we want to put an end to that. Using a safety razor can help you improve your environmental footprint, get a smooth and close shave, and enjoy shaving!
What To Expect
A double edge safety razor is comprised of one sharp blade held within the razor head. A comb protects your skin from full contact with the razor blade, minimising the risk of cuts. It’s a very different experience compared to shaving with a cartridge, disposable razor.
It results in a closer and superior shave when compared with a disposable as it is able to cut the hair much closer to the base, just below the skin.
Because a DE razor is different to a cartridge, it may take a little while to get used to the change although you should have no trouble after a bit of patient practice! You have to shave a bit differently, holding the blade at a 45 degree angle for example and letting the weight of the razor do a lot of the work.
Does it take longer to shave with a safety razor?
While you’re getting used to the razor, it may take longer to shave than with your previous cartridge razor. To start with you need to be a bit more careful to avoid nicking your skin, so it’s important to take it slow. As you get more familiar with your razor, it’ll become much faster to achieve your shave and shouldn’t take too much longer either.
If you have thicker hair, you might want to try a multi-pass technique. This is popular for men when shaving their facial hair, but works equally well for women. It means shaving with, then across, and then against the grain of the hair for a really close shave.
While it can take a bit of time to get used to the razor, it does come with numerous benefits. One of the key reasons many women choose to switch to a DE razor is the environmental benefit. Unlike disposable razors which create a large amount of waste due to their non-recyclable nature, a good quality DE razor will last for years. The blades, which are changed regularly to ensure they stay sharp, can be recycled too as they are not ensconced in plastic.
The environmental benefits aren’t the only great thing about safety razor shaving for women. While the eco-friendly reasons are often why people start using these razors, they continue using them for the quality of the shave. The DE razor will help you get smooth skin and a really close shave.
Choosing a DE razor will also save you money. While the razor itself is often more expensive than the initial cost of a cartridge, the razor lasts for years. The replacement blades are also extremely cheap, so the ongoing cost is much less than with a cartridge or disposable.
How to Get Started
Choose a Safety Razor
The first step is always choosing a razor. There are specific safety razors for women. These usually have longer handles than men’s razors to make it easier to reach different areas and to give you maximum control.
It’s always recommended for people getting started to choose a closed comb razor. This minimises the risk of cuts and nicks.
When you’re buying your razor, it’s always worth investing in spare blades so you’re ready to swap them over whenever your blades become dull. It’s worth trying a few different brands of blades to begin with to find out which combination of razor and blade suits your skin and hair type the best.
Start with your Legs
We would recommend that you start with your legs as the skin will be less sensitive than other areas such as your underarms, and the shape of your legs makes it easier to get used to the control of the razor.
If possible, try running a bath for your first few goes as this will both help to soften the hairs and skin and it’s a lot easier to start sitting down. Once you’ve tried it a couple of times, there’s no reason that you can’t usually shave in the shower.
We have a more detailed guide on how to shave your legs with a safety razor if you want more information!
It’s vital that you use shaving soap or cream with your safety razor as this provides essential lubrication to protect your skin. Without it, the razor blades will cause irritation and there’s a higher chance of cuts.
You can use the same shaving soap or cream that men use when shaving their faces and a shaving brush to whip it up into a lather. Alternatively, your normal bar soap will work, but only if it has a rich lather that will properly protect your skin. Esbjerg soap and creams have a lovely fragrance that isn’t too masculine.
Safety Razor Tips for Women
When you’re shaving around your ankles or knees, the awkward shape can increase the chances of nicks. Our tip is to slow down here and use very short strokes of the razor.
Shave towards the end of your bath or shower as the hot water will help to soften your hair and make it easier to cut. You’ll find it produces a much closer shave.
Let the razor to the work. Don’t put downward pressure on the razor, but instead rely on the weight of the razor. Pull across your skin without pushing down.
Safety Razor FAQs
How Often do I Need to Change the Razor Blade?
It depends how often you shave, the blade you’re using, and the coarseness of your hair. If you shave every 3 days, you’ll probably have to change around two weeks. We have another guide with top tips on how to keep your blades sharper for longer which you might find helpful.
Can I Shave Areas Other than my Legs?
Yes, definitely! We recommend that you try shaving your legs first so you can get used to the razor, but you can use the razor in other areas too.
We’d recommend using the ‘three-pass’ technique for other areas, as the hairs tend to grow in less regular directions. This means shaving with the grain (usually downward), then across, then against. It ensures that you get the closest shave possible. Do remember to reapply your soap between each pass!
Is it Appropriate for Sensitive Skin?
Yes. Many women actually say that a safety razor has proved better for their sensitive skin than a cartridge or electric razor. It cuts the hairs more cleanly with only a single blade as opposed to the multiple blades and cushioned gel strips of cartridge razors. As a result, your skin experiences less abrasion and therefore less irritation.
Is it Safe?
Using a safety razor is safe. They’re called safety razors as they were invented to help people shave safety at home without needing to go to the barbers or use a straight razor. They come with a slightly greater risk of nicks than cartridge razors, but this isn’t significant and once you’re used to the razor, it becomes just as easy to have a safe and comfortable shave.
When you first start out, you could always buy an alum block which helps to stem the bleeding of cuts if they do occur.
Safety Razor Shaving For Women
Using a safety razor is a great way to improve your shave and help the environment. If you have any more questions, we would love to hear from you. You can comment on this post or give our expert team a call.