Since I've spent the last year or so working — and just existing — at home, I abandoned quite a few of my regular maintenance routines. No makeup, bare nails, minimal hairstyling — you probably get the point. Though I'm back to playing around with eye pigments and dyeing my hair, I've barely bothered to resume the sometimes annoying task of shaving my legs.
My legs have remained in their naturally hairy state minus the one or two times I've reached for a razor. While I enjoy smooth, hairless legs, shaving is just not enjoyable. I'm either doing it in a hurry because I left it to the last minute, or I'm practically hacking at my leg for a clean shave with a disposable razor. But after discovering the single-blade Hanni Weighted Razor, my hair-removal routine is 10 times better.
I recently met with the founder of Hanni, Leslie Tessler, who shared how the single-blade razor would change my shaving experience. It took several different designs before her team landed on the final T-shaped razor, which was inspired by traditional safety razors and constructed of long-lasting aluminum.
"The custom single blade, made from Swedish stainless steel, gives such a close shave that you can actually hear the hair being shaved and feel the superficial layer dry skin being sloughed off — we call it the Hanni crackle — making it not only incredible for hair removal but also for physical exfoliation," she tells Allure.
As a newbie to single-blade razors, I was pretty worried about accidentally cutting myself due to impatience or clumsiness. I'm definitely not alone, which Tessler understands, so the brand has easy how-to instructions with illustrations on its website to help users out. The key to using this razor, which officially launched in May, is tilting it at a 30-degree angle without adding any pressure. "It's made from aluminum and built to last a lifetime, but the weight of the handle also serves a very functional purpose," she says. "The only thing you have to remember when using it is to apply no pressure and let the weight of the handle glide across the skin." This will result in a cleaner, smoother shave.
Pennslyvania-based board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas tells Allure that single-blade razors like this are great for sensitive skin types or anyone who has a tendency for ingrown hairs. "With a single blade, the likelihood of ingrown hairs is reduced," she says. For a smooth, nick-free shave, she recommends hydrating the skin thoroughly with shaving cream, but instead of shaving against the grain, shave in the same direction as your hair growth for the first pass; this helps shorten the hair. Then, you can go against the grain to achieve a closer shave if desired. (Just don't forget the shaving cream for the second pass.)
For beginners like me, she says it's important to remember to not apply too much pressure and to slow down your shaving speed. These razors require a bit more care because their sharp blade is no joke, so if you press too hard, use the wrong angle, or go too fast, you risk cutting yourself.
When I finally got to test the Hanni Weighted Razor, I could feel its heft, which wasn't hard to get used to. The T-shaped razor is available in a super cute millennial pink, which is the one I own, and a vibrant burgundy. To accompany the razor, Tessler developed the Shave Pillow, a gel stick that replaces your shaving cream or foam. The Hanni shaving system is simple: Swipe the gel stick on the skin, rub in the formula, and then glide the razor.
Before I could start shaving, I had to add the blade. This razor was designed specifically to make replacing the blades super easy. "Our intention was to eliminate any potential blade intimidation by making the loading mechanism as simple and convenient as possible," Tessler shares. "I was frustrated seeing so many products, especially for women, that were over-engineered or overdesigned without actually enhancing the experience or improving functionality." The process was easier said than done — it took several designs and rounds of prototyping to arrive at the final product.
But the brand did it successfully. At the bottom of each tool is a twistable knob that opens the blade compartment. I love how it simplified the process and made it less intimidating since I don't have to worry about potentially slicing myself or adding the blade incorrectly.
After twisting the knob, I placed the blade and turned it back to close. Then, I rubbed the Shave Pillow all over my legs, making sure that they were well-coated. It's packaged in a deodorant-like tube, so when you open it, you'll notice a white-ish gel substance that transforms into a hydrating liquid film when it touches the skin. I glided the Weighted Razor across my skin in short strokes with no pressure, watching the hairs completely disappear. It was so easy.
I continued working in short strokes, rinsing my razor underneath the water to remove any stuck hair as needed, until my legs were smooth and hairless. My shaving routine felt so much better and painless. Since no pressure is needed, I didn't have to work too hard, and its blade is sharp enough that I didn't have to go over the same spot over and over.
Admittedly, when I shave, I tend to use body wash more often than shaving creams or foams, but I was pretty intrigued and impressed by Shave Pillow's formula. It can be used on wet or dry skin and even as a moisturizer, according to the brand, so you can drop it in your bag and apply when needed. I really enjoy its liquid consistency, which doesn't feel like any of the creams or foams I've used. It applies clears and doesn't develop into a rich lather or foam.
I did notice a few suds here and there, which cosmetic chemist Ginger King tells Allure is most likely due to the sodium stearate (an ingredient used for making soap to help thicken and foam) and three other surfactants (isethionate, glutamate, and sulfonate) in the formula. The surfactants are pretty mild, she says, which is why it doesn't produce a big lather. It's also formulated with a bunch of moisturizing and soothing agents like cactus water, glycerin, olive fruit oil, and mushroom extracts. Cactus water and adaptogenic mushrooms help soothe irritated skin with their anti-inflammatory benefits, while olive fruit oil moisturizes, according to King. "Glycerin also helps with moisturization, as well as enhancing the preservation of the product," she shares.
I have to admit, the Hanni Weighted Razor and Shave Pillow did transform the way I shave. I also love that I don't have to buy a new razor every time the blade gets dull since the Hanni tool is designed to last. I keep the razor for as long as I want and toss the blades when it's time, which Ilyas says should happen after three to five shaves, depending on the hair's coarseness. She also recommends making sure the blade and razor are dry when not in use to discourage potential rust and cleaning the razor thoroughly every month or so with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
I can definitely feel the difference with this single-blade razor. My smooth, nick-free legs are so thankful for the pain-free, non-strenuous shaving experience that, honestly, I don't think I'll be going back to a disposable, multi-blade razor ever again.
The Hanni Weighted Razor retails for $38 and the Shave Pillow for $22 and are available now at heyhanni.com.
$22.00, Hey Hanni
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Originally Appeared on Allure