Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to be an Eco-Shaving Yogi(ni): Overshare

Have you ever wished that you were hairless? No seriously, I'm sure that I can't be the only one. Keeping oneself hair-free is not only annoying but can become chemically and energy expensive. That said, I could never go completely "au naturel" and prefer to keep my legs (and armpits) shaved. Especially as a yogini, nothing is more awkward than getting an assist in shoulderstand when you have furry legs. Whereas typically in the wintertime I would wait longer between shaving my legs and armpits, my hair-removal strategies are now dictated by my yoga schedule.

Now, I know many of you enjoy the wonders of waxing and the epilady. I have tried both and have discovered that I am a huge wimp. I barely got through an inch of my leg in a two hour time span with the epilady, and waxing would be painful as well as too expensive. So razors it is.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I've always hated shaving my legs in the shower. I usually get goose bumps, or slip and nick a knee... it's just annoying. As well, it takes me on average an extra 10 minutes to shave my legs (what? I'm methodical). Every minute I spend in the shower I use between 15-30 litres of water (Ecoholic 2006). That's 150-300 extra litres of water when for the most part I try to keep the water OFF my legs.

So, for the longest time (ok until last year) I would take a bath to shave my legs. Although an average bathtub holds 80 litres (less than what that extra shower time would use) it still seems pretty wasteful to use 80 litres just to shave my legs.

Finally, about a year ago, I finally changed my shaving habits to be as ecological as I can make them. Wanna know something? I actually prefer this method!

How to be an Eco-Shaving Yogi(ni)

1. Ditch the shaving cream. Shaving cream/gel is filled with synthetic ingredients and nasty chemicals, many derived from petroleum, all mixed in with skin penetration enhancers so your body can absorb them easier.
Instead: Try some locally made, moisturizing soap. Seriously, you'll be shocked that your skin doesn't erupt in a crazy, burning rash like those shaving cream ads would have you believe. I adore BirchBark Soap's Bay Rum scented shaving soap (all her soap is made without synthetic scents or palm oil!).

2. Try recycled plastic razors... however I gave them a go and was very disappointed. Personally I found that they gave a terrible shave. But... if they work for you that would be best! I try to use my blades a few times before replacing them- not so much as to risk infection, but more than once.

3. Use the bathroom sink to shave your legs. Place a towel on the floor. Taking care to use your amazing yogi balancing skills, ground in one foot and balance the other on the counter near the sink. Using soap, lather your leg and shave. Periodically turning on and off the tap to rinse out the hair. (DO NOT leave the tap running!!). Using a handful of water, rinse the soap off and use the towel to dry your leg. Repeat on the other side.

This strategy actually works more quickly, especially if I realize 15min before I have to leave for a yoga class that I need to shave my legs! It also results in the least amount of water used!

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Aaaah, not gross at all!
    I'm kind of forced to be eco about shaving in my new apartment, and after a few months - I prefer it!

    My shower won't allow me more than five (ok...maybe seven) minutes of warm/hot water trickle before it turns into an icy waterfall of hatred so I've learned to get myself clean quickly. Afterwards, I put the plug into the tub and put juuuuust enough water to be able to rinse the razor.
    I've tried to shave my legs in the sink before but the combination of being short and a huge klutz put the kibosh on that pretty quick.

  2. My boyfriend and I both have a vintage Lady Gillette double edge razor. The blades are super cheap to purchase online. Gives a close shave and I assume it's ecological since each blade has 4 razor edges on it!

  3. I dislike waxing anything other than my eyebrows and the epilady can STAY THE HECK AWAY!

    So I am old school with the razors, too.

    I mostly do my legs at the sink because I think I can see what's going on better that way. Tap is always off!

    I use my shampoo instead of shaving cream. It doesn't take a lot and I'm very satisfied with the result. And since I always use the conditioner at a faster rate than the shampoo, this works well for me.

    I find if I do my legs before showering, I don't even bother rinsing my legs while shaving. I just rinse the razor.

    And yes, I do wish I was hairless (legs and bikini line only!).

  4. Love this :) I use nothing except water---in the shower this has always worked well for me. A leg flung up foot against the wall for balance and since I'm "blessed" with fast growing hair, it's an almost daily event....thus it takes 3 mins flat or less. Shaving in the sink does cause razor rash for me however. Best trick: I learned the hidden secret of using a man's razor which is contoured for their round faces and I rarely cut myself now---bonus! I also have used the recycline razors and haven't been much of a fan. Even though it's not the eco-best, I use one of those Mach--whatever # their on and the swap out heads. Works great!

  5. This post reminds of when I sugared my legs. Oh what fond memories I have of that experience, LOL!

    I'm still using the Preserve razor - it is definitely not as good as say, a Venus, but I don't mind. I've really learned how to handle it quickly in the shower and I don't mind not having such a close shave.

  6. How could I resist a post with a title that included "overshare." However, by Internet standards, I hardly think this constitutes an overshare (although my mother would probably disagree). Personally, I use a regular electric razor (not an epilady, but one intended for women). It doesn't give you that silky smooth feel, but I don't have to keep buying razors, use shaving cream/soap, or get razor burn. I do have light-colored leg hair, so you can't see it even if it's been a few days (or even weeks) since I shaved. I still cringe at the thought of some of the razor burns I gave myself. I use an electric razor (different one) for under my arms as well. It should also be stated that I really don't care much about my appearance at the moment.

  7. I too wish I was hairless so thanks for the tip!

  8. You said you don't like to shave in the shower due to wasting water but I find that not to be the case for myself.

    When you shower just suds your body up like you normally would but instead of rinsing off right away turn off the water completely and just shave your legs with whatever body wash in left on your legs. No need to use water again until you're completely done.

    Now to be fair I don't know if perhaps keeping the soap on your body may case skin irritation. This is something everyone's going to have to try themselves. For me personally, though, my legs come out velvety smooth with little to no irritation.

    Granted I still need to figure out a better body wash than stuff I find at the store even if it says natural but as a poor person I can't be too picky at the moment.

  9. maybe it is years of showering in campground showers, where you can pay the royal sum of 25 cents for 5 minutes of almost hot water, but I have learned to be very quick. Not that I time myself, but I think I complete my whole shower in about 10 minutes - I am obviously not so careful. I should get back in the habit of turning off the water while I shave - another trick learned in campgrounds, where you can very quickly run out of hot water.

  10. I use hot wax - no strips. Lasts longer. I hate shaving, I get rashes and cuts and yick

  11. I was shocked to read that you only use a razor blade a few times before throwing it out. That's so unnecessarily wasteful. I use my blades for 2-3 months--until they become dull--and I would guess (and hope) that that is what the majority of people do as well. You're essentially washing your blade with soap and warm water every time you use it, so where's the risk of infection in that? It's such obsessive fears of bacteria that have resulted in so many people overusing antibacterials to a dangerous degree.

  12. @Anonymous Jan 23rd: Ah yes- i do feel some twinges when I throw them out. That said- two or three months actually DOES drastically increase the risk for infection.
    I'm generally not a germophobe (seriously), however when it comes to blades that can cut and bacteria build-up I don't take risks.
    Yes i rinse off my blades w soap and water, however i use a three blade razor. That means that there's always soap and hair that gets stuck in there, no matter how thoroughly I rinse it out (I'd need a little brush to clean the blades, I've even tried tweezers before!). And that's the hair and residue I can see.
    If there's any bit of bacteria on an increasingly dull blade I really don't want to risk putting that directly into my blood stream from a cut.

    So- I use my blades as often as I feel is safe, which may be more than 2-3 times.
    To be honest, I replace my blades every 2-3 weeks, as I don't shave every day (I average about 1.5x a week for some seasons). I also don't worry about replacing the blades after I shave my underarms as it's such a small amount.

    Anyhoo- just to give you a rundown. But I appreciate your concern.

  13. I used to shave my legs before yoga class (well, just below the knee). Then I had a boyfriend who liked hairy legs. It felt strange at first, but gradually I realized I liked myself with or without hairy legs. Now I only shave when I start looking like a wild jungle animal (about once/month). And to hell with what the person on the next mat thinks. I'm much happier!


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