How I Made My Shaving Habits More Sustainable
Women’s beauty standards have come under much scrutiny in recent years, and one of those is the seeming need to remove all the hair except on our heads from our bodies. For me, the main outcome of the debate was that women should be able to choose to shave, and to not feel compelled by any societal expectation. I shave my armpits regularly (when I remember at least) because as a pole dancer and the more skin I have to grip the pole the better.
Most women buy disposable razors, and I have bought many a packet of the pink handled blades. One day I realised just how unsustainable I was being. The packaging alone was ridiculous! I recently inspected my latest buy: it came in a thin plastic wrap, to cover the hardened shell plastic cover and the actual (plastic) razors sat in another disappointing plastic mould. Before I’d even got to the actual razor, I’d thrown away at least 3 pieces of the offending material. Not only did the bright pink handle start getting on my nerves (check out the ‘pink premium’), I just couldn’t deal with the fact that I had to throw away such a chunky (and expensive!) piece of plastic after a few uses. Shaving was costing me approximately £8 ($12) a month and even though it’s a small amount in the grand scheme of things, it’s just an unnecessary spend.
My saving grace has been my epilator. A gift to myself at 16 in effort to get shiny, smooth model legs, it was a cheap £25. I didn’t think it would be of good quality or last very long considering there are much more expensive ones, but it’s probably the best £25 I’ve ever spent. It still works perfectly to this day and I’ve had it for 5 over years!
It’s essentially a mechanised tweezer that plucks hairs out of your legs very quickly. The pain is difficult to bear at first and can take a little while to get used to, however now I have legs of steel and don’t even flinch. The best part is I don’t throw anything away at all! I’ve found that areas of my leg hair have stopped growing back due to many years of plucking, and my legs don’t get that weird itchy-bumpy-red texture from shaving. The hairs take a few weeks to grow again and when they do, I barely notice due to the softness of the tip. Compared to shaving; when my leg hairs used to grow back you could pop a balloon on those thorns.
I do still have one problem, and it’s my private areas. Epilating is not recommended on your pubic regions (I tried it once and the pain I still remember to this day), and I like it smooth down there for ‘sexual activities’. I bought an at home waxing kit to try and I used it a few times but trying bringing yourself to wax your own vagina more than once. Not happening. My armpits I could summon the courage to pull but in all honesty there was something about throwing away the wax I didn’t like.
My partner has been using an old school razor for a year now and he inspired me to try the reusable safety razor. Unfortunately safety razors aren’t marketed towards women so it took a lot of tutorial watching and my boyfriend convincing me that I won’t cut myself and bleed to death. It does look scary at first but once taken apart I realised it was a really simple piece of equipment that is designed to work. It was a challenge at first but I got the hang of it after a while and now I’m a pro. I’ve found the shave I get is much closer and smoother, and I can recycle the little blades with our metal household trash. No waste is generated at all and I’m so happy! Even the little paper wraps the blades come in I recycle. I’m a big fan of shaving oil instead of creams or foam, and I love concocting my own recipes and experimenting with essential oils. Try this combination out, it’s my favourite!
· Tea Tree Essential Oil
· Lavender Essential Oil
· A light carrier oil (my favourites are Sweet Almond or Argan for shaving)
· Aloe Vera (optional – if you do add, store in the fridge and use in a few days. Otherwise pump some into your hand and mix with the oil whenever you’d like to use it)
· (You can add any other essential oils that you like especially for smell!)