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History of the Safety Razor and why you want to discard the disposable razor for good.

Have you ever looked at an item and wondered where its name came from?  

I looked at my safety razor, and started down the rabbit hole of research.  Who knew it has such an interesting history?

For decades the safety razor was considered "old school" and had a reputation of being dangerous, tough to shave with and overall, just something to avoid.  I  admit I used some bad safety razors in the past and also believed many of the statements, but recently my opinion has changed. The safety razor is back baby, and better than ever!

What are the top 3 reasons to switch to a safety razor today?

1) Less waste - the blades are easier to recyclable and the razor itself could last a lifetime.

2) Save Money - the replacement blades are only .13¢!

3) The new Henson Safety Razor is beautiful and will enhance your bathroom decor (for all of you that like taking bathroom selfies, this is definitely a win).

So, why the return of the safety razor?

As we age we recognize fashions are recycled and I believe the safety razor is back for good this time.  What is the driving force behind its return and popularity? Simple, the waste that disposable razors has created for the past four (or so) decades.

It is tough to get stats for Canada but easy to find for the United States.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2019 it was estimated that 20 billion disposable razors are thrown out each year.  In the United States there are approximately 258 million adults, and in Canada 31 Million adults, so 12% of the U.S adult population.  For easy math, in Canada, we throw out approximately 240 Million (12% of 20 billion) disposable razors per year. 


The first safety razor was invented in the 1800's. Prior to this, men would visit their local barber shop to have a professional shave them with a straight blade - this was NOT an activity you attempted on your own at home.  This was not practical or affordable, so the first safety razor was invented.  It was a simple design to protect the exposed blade, making it much safer.  Hence: Safety Razor

In 1885 Gillette introduced a new version of the original and introduced the disposable blade option.  This was more convenient and also safer then sharpening (hopefully correctly) your razor blade.  

The safety razor continued to be the go to option for a few more decades until electricity was more accessible and the electric razor became the #1 choice.  But, as we know, trends come and go and in 1962 Wilkinson Sword entered the shaving ring creating the first disposable razor and not long after in 1970, BIC came up with the classic and well remembered yellow and white disposable razor (I remember these well and removed a lot of skin with them).  

Throughout all the changes, women started showing more skin and the razor which created an even hotter and more demanding market.  From the 1970's - 90's the landscape of women's shaving evolved everywhere from electrolysis, waxing, depilatory creams to shaving.  As more women entered the workforce, while managing a family, their shaving option needed to be fast, affordable and effective.

The disposable razor and razor heads continued to evolve but one thing remained the same.....disposable razors were not recyclable and the disposable blades with the mixture of metal and plastic, also impossible to recycle.

Finding the right razor can be tricky.

At Roots Refillery, we do the research and test the products so you don't have to. This month we found the last razor you will ever need to buy by Henson.  Whether you are a "calm" shaver or the fast and "spazzy" shaver (like me), the design of this razor ensures no knicks and provides you with an incredible close shave.

When you run out of disposable razors we recommend you consider switching to this safety razor, you will not be disappointed.