(This blogpost is also available in German / auf Deutsch)
I don’t live 100% plastic-free, I try to find alternatives and use them right away, especially if it’s an easy switch. Today it’s all about a zero waste safety razor that promises a gentle, easy and plastic-free shave.
Disposable plastic razors and even reusable plastic razors have long been a thorn in my side. For one thing, women’s razors cost more (just google Pink Tax…), and on the other hand they are a huge waste for something that is not absolutely necessary.
Nevertheless, I was always a bit afraid of safety razors to be honest. I’ve cut myself regularly using my fancy plastic shavers, especially on “bony” areas like the tibia, ankle and knee. I shave only my lower legs and yet it has always taken me very long, so that I have often ended up cutting myself due to my impatience. Therefore, I thought that with a safety razor it would be even more difficult and I have avoided the switch for a long time.
On my last visit to the US however, I discovered the Leaf Shave, a safety razor with a moveable head that promises the most gentle shave. The razor comes at its price, but I wanted to invest the money anyway, thanks to the many positive reviews I had read. And to be honest, the copper look also convinced me 🙂
The first time shaving with it I could hardly believe it: It was really the most pleasant and gentle shave! I just used normal soap and just moved the razor carefully (but not overly cautious) along my leg. I didn’t have the typical shaving feeling, the feeling that a knife really “rattles” along my skin, at all. On the contrary! Soft as butter, the blades slide along the skin and you do not feel that you are shaving. And this is not paid advertising or anything. I bought the razor myself! Why am I writing about it now? Before, it was not available in Germany and I did not want to rave about something that you can’t buy in Germany (most of my readers are from Germany). But now I finally discovered it in the Woodberg Shop! For my American readers, get it here!
A few facts for you:
The head swings back quite a long way, so it adapts to different contours. It does not swing to the side. For me, this moveable head is super comfortable and easy to use because I don’t have to worry about keeping the safety razor at a certain angle. The razor automatically does that for me. I also don’t have to put pressure on, but really only slide it along the skin. I only use normal soap and that’s enough for me (edit by Jesse: I should definitely not only use soap but shaving cream!).
Handle made of zinc and stainless steel
Here I see the only drawback (in addition to not being affordable for everyone) in the Leaf Shave: The handle is relatively long and thin, which feels good in your hand, but I would like a little bit more grip.
Single-edge blades vs. Double Edge Blades
The Leaf Shave uses single-edge blades – meaning the blade has only one shaving side. These are actually quite conventional double-edge blades, which you just break (while still in the paper) in two halves (just buy blades that have a break in the middle) – voila, you have two single edge blades!
Positioning of the blades
You can decide for yourself if you want to use 1, 2 or 3 blades in the razor head. With the number and positioning of the blades you can determine how “aggressive” the shaving should be. You can read more about this here in the Woodberg Shop or on the leaf shave youtube site. I used 3 blades right away and am super happy with it, but I think I have less sensitive skin.
Leaf Shave for shaving your beard
At the same time, Jesse actually also bought a Leaf Shave, but in black. Here’s his feedback: “I love the leaf shave because with it I get one of the best shaves of my life. The blades are also much cheaper than a plastic disposable head shaver. I have only two negative points 1. Since the handle has no grip it can get slippery when wet 2. The head is a bit bulkier than something like a Gillette mach 3 so it’s sometimes harder to get a nice straight line at my jaw line. ” (PS: Leaf Shave is developing a Twig Razor just for this challenge)
Storage & Care
Each razor should be rinsed off after shaving and stored in a dry place. Personally, I don’t do that but simply lay the razor on a dry surface. Otherwise it would be too complicated for me and it works fine for me like that. Don’t dab the blades, but only rinse them with water. Here you will find a stand for the razor, which could be really handy for us. Here I tried to picture how the color wears off a tiny tiny bit, but I have to say that we don’t take the best care of the black razor:
Yes, the Leaf Shave is expensive. We bought it directly in the US and therefore it was a bit cheaper. However, I would still recommend it for 84.90 euros. The quality is great, such safety razors last forever and you just have to buy the blades and exchange those. It’s recommended to replace the blades after approx. 15 shaves. Honestly, I rarely change my blades. It always depends on how thick your hair is and how often you shave. But what I want to say: Despite the high price of the razor, the purchase paid off for me after just one year. That’s how I calculated it, because I rarely have to buy blades and I had to buy plastic blade heads much more often.
I did not actually cut myself with the Leaf Shave (I have it since last October), not on the shins, not on my ankles, nowhere. That really came as a surprise to me. Even shaving in the intimate areas works fine, although I’m very careful there, of course. I only cut myself once on the finger while I unpacked the razor before shaving and put it from my left hand to my right hand. When shaving normally the blades are positioned at an angle that you cant cut yourself, but here I was not paying attention at all and since the razor hit my finger sideways, I cut myself pretty badly on the finger. So beware when handling it before shaving! I only realized how sharp the blades really are when I cut my finger!
The replacement of the blades
Since this is the “most dangerous” part, I want to leave it to professionals. Laura from The OGNC explains here (in German) wonderfully what you should pay close attention to (even with other razors, you should be careful not to touch the sharp part of the blade, but only on the short side, which is not sharp) and in the videos from Leaf Shave directly, you’ll find very descriptive instructions:
Disposal of the blades
It is best to collect the blades in a small container and then return the collected razor blades to your local recycling center. They are not meant for household waste!
I have only tried the Leaf Shave so far. But you can find more info about safety razors in general here on The OGNC. On The OGNC you will also find more information about the Leaf Shave here. Both articles are in German!
You see, I’m a big fan of this razor. I really was not paid to write about the Leaf Shave (and if so, I’d be a fan anyway and you would read the same thing …), but now that it’s finally available in Germany, I really wanted to share my experiences with you.
Have you already tested zero waste safety razors, maybe even the Leaf Shave? What are your experiences ???