One thing to know about me: I hate shaving — a lot. My earliest shaving memories involved some Gillette Venus (I’m your fire!) and lots of nervous tears, but we’re now enjoying a golden age of shaving startups like Billie, Flamingo, and Athena Club that empower folx to celebrate body hair – as well as the removal of it. But just when we thought we'd seen it all, one notable brand, Oui the People, is doing something revolutionary by bringing back something as old-school as it gets: The safety razor. Originally invented to make it easier for people to shave their beards at home (and put barbers out of business), the super-sharp safety razor is only one blade with a protective cover. These days, disposable cartridge razors are more popular, but many people still swear by the shave you can only get with a safety razor.
As someone who barely tolerates shaving as it is, I had no plans to change my current razor subscription until I make room for the time (and cash) to get my gams professionally lasered. (I got my underarms done years ago — best investment ever.) However, when Oui dropped a limited-edition Brushed Chrome version of its signature rose gold The Single razor, I couldn’t help but be like, Okay she cute! Plus, the idea of a forever razor did appeal to me in a big way since I'm trying to be more intentional with what I buy nowadays.
Big Shaving always taught me that more blades = better shave, so when my razor arrived in the mail (along with a 10-pack of replacement blades and some shaving gel-cream), I was genuinely concerned; as a mixed-race, sort-of hairy woman of color, I don’t have the kind of baby-fine, light hair that most people wouldn’t be able to see from afar; my jet-black, medium-coarse leg stubble is no joke, and seemed like an impressive foe against a humble, lone blade.
If you’ve never used a safety razor before, don’t panic: Oui the People makes it very easy to learn the ins and outs of your new handle, and a QR code on the box links to a helpful step-by-step video that shows you exactly how to install the blade in. (Word to the wise: Single blades are very sharp, so handle them carefully when unwrapping them and sandwiching them between the razor head and bottom plate.)
Throwing caution to the wind, I hopped into the shower with my trusty razor and shaving cream. (Since Oui razors don’t have the moisturizing strip you are probably used to with most new razors, I highly recommend not skipping this step.) I won’t lie, I was low-key nervous when it came down to shaving. Worst case scenario: I slice my leg open and bleed everywhere. Best case scenario: My skin is baby smooth, and I feel like a badass. Surprisingly, the stainless steel handle felt solid (if not surgical) in my hand, and the weighted metal allowed gravity to do its thing (as opposed to me pressing the razor against my skin) and naturally glide as I swept cautious, upward strokes on my leg. Against all odds, I didn’t get a single nick — and my skin was baby-smooth in a single pass. The super-sharp single blade of the safety razor only takes off your hair and doesn't scrape any skin, so my legs also didn't feel dry or on fire afterward. While I'm not prone to ingrown hairs, reviews also note that safety razors are great for avoiding those pesky bumps. Finally, unlike the vast majority of razors on the market, both of the trendy and bog-standard drugstore variety, these razors are 100% metal, which can be recycled multiple times over their lifetime. I will say, Oui the People's shaving gel (which is pricey at $64) wasn’t my favorite, so I will probably stick with my Skintimate.
At $75 for the razor (and $11 for the refill packs), Oui the People’s razor is much more expensive than a $10 Billie one, or disposable multipacks you can buy at your local drugstore; however, my verdict can be summed up as this: Come for the best shave of your life, stay for supporting a Black, female-owned business.
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