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Hair removal: Your guide to a zero-waste grooming routine

Hair removal: Your guide to a zero-waste grooming routine

Hairy Potter and the non-biodegradable razors

Text: Redzhanna Jazmin


Image: Image: Hey Lila Hey

Ladies (and gentlemen), this sustainable body hair removal guide is your one stop shop for baby-smooth skin without breaking Mother Earth's back.

It’s no surprise that your shaving routine is a real bummer for the environment with all the plastic pollution and whatnot, but even your regular waxing routine takes its toll. Think about it: single-use cloth and paper strips, countless wooden applicators, and, of course, the very-difficult-to-decompose wax all add up to a lot more waste going to landfill.

Either way, as it stands, the way it all adds up currently doesn’t bode too well for Mother Earth. However, rather than forcing you to skip the shave all together, here are a few ways to maintain your silky-smooth demeanor sans the negative environmental impact.

Invest in an epilator

These bad boys will last you a long while and they do a stellar job of keeping you silky smooth. The pain factor really depends on your personal pain tolerance levels, but generally it’s around the same level as a regular wax—and it gets less painful the more regularly you do it. Plus, if you’re the type who has to head to the salon every other week, an epilator is a great investment to save you time and money.

The only thing is that it can’t be used on your intimate areas or your face—for that, you’ll still be needing your threading/waxing lady, or a nifty electric shaver. That said, it’s fair game for your pits, legs and tummy, and there are even multipurpose epilators out there that function as an epilator, an electric shaver, an exfoliation brush and massage pad. Dreamy!

Switch up your shave routine

Invest in a double-edged safety razor

The Hive’s Butterfly Safety Razor and its accompanying double edged blades is the perfect companion for your eco-friendly grooming routine. A safety razor has the same effect on your beau’s face as it would on your legs—a smoother, closer shave, reduced razor bumps and less ingrown hairs.

The anti-irritation benefits arise as a result of the single-blade system; with a regular razor, the typical 5-blade system causes the tugging and pulling of the hairs as it cuts so that the hair gets cut at under the skin rather than at its surface, so when it may cause bumps as the hair grows out.

This is avoided with the safety razor, which makes it the perfect companion for those more sensitive areas (read: your intimates). So, although it takes some getting used to and requires a little more TLC than you’re used to with your regular razor, once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll never go back! Here’s a nifty guide to get you there:

Where to recycle your blades

This is still a very new development in the global movement towards sustainability, so the only options to recycle your used razors currently are Gillete’s Razor Recycling Programme, which takes all types of razors (including the disposable razor cartridges); or taking your double edged blades to your nearest metal recycling plant.

Try out sugar wax

Sugar waxing (or, sugaring) is the perfect, natural alternative to traditional body hair removal. Originating in Persia, the process is essentially the same as traditional waxing—only that the actual ‘wax’ is made of nothing more than sugar, lemon juice and water.

The paste can be applied by itself and reused until it loses its stickiness, or it can be applied in the traditional method, with strips of muslin to aid its removal. The best part is that you can simply wash the sugar off your skin once you’re done (since it’s water-based and water soluble), and any sugared muslin strips can be chucked in the laundry to be reused again. If you’re interested in DIY-ing your own sugar wax, check out this nifty tutorial:

Take to threading

Note: This tip is (hopefully) clearly for smaller areas of hair such as your eyebrows and upper lip. Of course, you could always go to your regular salon if you’re not feeling too confident (just wait for the MCO to pass!). Although it seems intimidating, threading is actually relatively easy to achieve on your own. Granted, you may not be as skilful as your professional beautician, but if you’re caught with bushy brows between appointments, the DIY thread method works wonders in a pinch! Here’s a great tutorial to walk you through the process:

There you have it; a few ways for you to eco-fy your hair removal routine. Enacting small changes in your grooming routines may not seem like it will change the world, but every little help brings us towards a more sustainable future! 

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