Green Shaving

Preserve Razors

I have to warn you first that I won’t be an enormous help in this area. I only have limited experience with green hair removal. (That sounds gross, doesn’t it?)

So here we go…

Shaving is a tough one. People argue that it isn’t the most earth-friendly option, because, no matter what, you’re using up too many resources (the razor/replaceable heads). Some have argued that the absolute best, greenest way to deal with unwanted hair is electrolysis. But I won’t be doing that anytime soon.

Waxing has its pros and cons. The average commercial brand is full of chemicals I wouldn’t want anywhere near me. Here’s a list of ingredients from Veet and Nair, respectively:

-Triethylene Glycol Rosinate, Glyceryl Rosinate, Silica, Fragrance, Isopropyl Myristate, BHA, Green 6, Mentha Piperita Leaf Extract

-Triethylene Glycol Rosinate , Glyceryl Hydrogenated Rosinate , Microcrystalline Wax , Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract Matricaria , Glycine Soja Oil Soybean , Bisabolol , Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil Sunflower , Achilea Millefolium Extract , Fragrance , Mineral Oil , Ethylhexyl Stearate , Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate , Isopropyl Myristate , Bisabolol , Chamomilla Recutita Extract Matricaria , Methylparaben , Ethylparaben , Propylparaben , Butylparaben , Isobutylparaben , Fragrance

Mineral oil, parabens, fragrance? No thanks! Even products that look eco-friendly are often just the result of greenwashing.

I have heard that there’s a great product out there called Moom, however, that is supposedly very eco-friendly and effective. DIY sugaring is supposedly easy and effective, though a friend, who shall remain nameless (unless she pops up in the comments to talk about this) said sugaring didn’t give her the results she was looking for. Here’s an interesting video on the sugaring process:

However, if you’re like me, you have zero interest in pulling hairs out from their roots. (I pretty much made that decision after using the Epilady for the first time in 1989. “Whisks hairs from the roots,” was the understatement of the decade. “Whisks?!” Yeah, right!) That leaves us with two options:

1. Shave with the greenest razors you can find. I personally use Preserve. The handles are made from recycled plastic, and are, themselves, recyclable. The heads, unfortunately, have to be thrown away, but if you’re like me, you’ll use them longer than you should! ;)

The downside: No one really likes these razors, including me. Of all the eco-shaving adventures I’ve read online, we all love our Venus. Nothing beats the Venus. BUT…I’m willing to make sacrifices in the name of Mother Earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a better green razor out there – if you know of one, please let me know!

If you are on a no-plastic-whatsoever mission, then you can look for other options. I read about this one on Fake Plastic Fish and am contemplating about going this route in the future…

2. Don’t shave. Now don’t run off in horror and vow never to come back to this crazy, no-poo, shower-every-other-day blog. Hear me out: Ever since I heard Mo’nique talk about her no-leg-shaving policy (and saw her wearing a dress and putting it right out there on national television), I thought: Damn! Good for her! Why shouldn’t we embrace our body’s natural state and stand tall in the knowledge that yes, we are beautiful! Why shouldn’t we decide what is beautiful instead of letting our society do that for us?

And I don’t think this is so uncommon. I know a LOT of women (myself included) who “fudge” shaving for long periods of time. You certainly don’t need to shave every day, or even every other day in the winter, when your legs are covered up with pants.

As for shaving creams, ditch them! They’re full of chemicals, and are often packaged wastefully. I mix up a 1:4 mixture of liquid castile soap and water and keep this in the shower. Just shake, squirt onto the legs, and shave. It makes a really good, slippery (but not dangerously so) surface to help get a close, non-irritating shave. Remember to turn the water off or down while you shave to save some H2O.

Let me know if you have any other green hair removal (there’s that gross-sounding phrase again!) tips!

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11 thoughts on “Green Shaving

  1. I can’t believe that you still use that razor- I admire you so much!!! I totally caved.

    But you know, I shave my legs about once a week during the winter… and in the summer. well I reuse the blade for as long as possible.

    I also have given up on shaving lotion. Conditionner (if you are uncool like me and still use reg shampoo and conditioner) OR if you are trying to use up conditioner you don’t like cuz you ARE cool and you have moved to the ‘no poo’- it works great.

    haha, sorry for the ramble! :)

    • I was totally thinking of you when I wrote this! I’m definitely not crazy about that razor, but since I bought refills, I didn’t want to spend as much buying refills for the Venus. So when I use up the razors…I may try something different. I’m even thinking about sugaring. I don’t know – I’m scared! ;)

      I have heard that conditioner works well, too.

      Shaving is really kind of a small issue in the green movement, I think. I’m actually more concerned with all those chemicals on the market (waxing, and those hair removing liquids – can’t remember what they’re called) than I am with disposable razor heads. I say, if you love Venus and can’t give it up, don’t worry about it! (I still have mine. Dull as heck, but it’s still there in the shower.)

  2. Am I still the only one using a Mach 3 razor that I got like how many years ago? Ha ha. (I wonder if it’s 10 yrs old yet? I change the blades, but not very often.) I was using shave gel, I tried conditioner, but I’ll probably stick to using a bar of soap once I run out of my last can of shave gel.

  3. I’ve been thinking about eco-friendly shaving. I tried sugaring once, but didn’t get enough hair out. I think I cooked my sugar too long. I searched on YouTube for sugaring and found a lot of videos about it by Nina (aka RedFootWalking). I used the ball method, which doesn’t use cloths. It really isn’t painful. I was expecting it to be like waxing (which is excruciatingly painful to me), but it wasn’t at all like that. If I could get the technique down, I would sugar sugar sugar.
    I also saw the article about the metal razors on FakePlasticFish. I don’t understand why those blades can’t be resharpened somehow, instead of throwing them away. That just seems wasteful. One thing I love about the sugaring method is can be soaked in water at the end and washed down the sink.
    I have my leftover sugaring mixture from the first batch sitting on the counter, just daring me to try again, so maybe I’ll give it another shot in a few days. Maybe the cloth method would be better with this batch…hmmm…

  4. wow, thanks for this, hair removal is near and dear to my heart but at the moment i just shave.

    i love mo’nique for her stance on this. growing up on an island not shaving was not such a big thing and i didn’t even start till i went to university in canada.

    however, once i started i couldn’t seem to go back… except for a brief period when i was in an ashram… i have very dark hair and relatively lighter skin so it’s not a great combo… maybe when i was a teen it was dif cuz i was darker from being outside all the time and also not so very hairy! :)

    anyways… i also wanted to thank you for the moom link through which i’ve finally found a ref for why rubbing alcohol is not a good thing for the skin http://www.moom.com/why_botanical.php#alcohol

    yikes… that really kills my current deodorant regimen! oh well it hasn’t been working that well recently anyway, it’s the hottest dry season on record and we’re officially in a drought. :(

  5. Hi gals.

    I have been plagued by facial hair for so long and have tried creams, electrolysis which left a black marks on my skin, waxing etc until I found this amazing little tool called Epicare. It is just a lil spring with handles on either side. I love, love, love it. It is so affordable compared to laser where there is still no guarantee that facial hair will be totally gone. For gals who are used to threading this is the perfect D.I.Y. tool. Got mine at http://www.epicarehome.com. I have been using mine for 8 months now.

    Sham.

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