Monday, November 25, 2013


A reader requested that I comment on the pitiful state of men’s razors (excessive number of blades, outrageous cost, etc). As it has been quite a while since I have purchased a manual men’s razor (I have an electric razor I have used for years), I started to do a little research and discovered that things have indeed gotten out of hand. Gillette currently has no fewer than twenty distinct offerings under the banner of “Men’s Razors.”

With cryptic names like “Fusion ProGlide SilverTouch” it difficult to tell whether the product was designed to remove facial hair or provide intimate lubrication. My favorite Gillette offering would have to be the “Gillette Good News Pivot Plus Disposable Razor.” While the website offered no additional information on the unusual nomenclature, I choose to believe that the razor recites passages from Matthew’s Gospel with each successive stroke.
Fusion ProGlide SilverTouch
As creative as Gillette is with their branding, Schick’s offering sound slightly more masculine. Razors like the Quattro Titanium Freestyle and Xtreme 3 make shaving seem less like a grooming ritual and more like a lifestyle choice. For whatever reason, every razor manufacturer feels the need to incorporate a precious metal into their branding for men’s razors. I suppose this is to convey value and quality since the Gillette Pig-Iron Cinco doesn’t have a great ring to it.

It would appear that regardless of manufacturer, five blades remains the gold standard in modern razors. I assume that they have prototyped six blades at some point and realized that it compromised the structural integrity of the handle. Alas, the consumer may have to come to terms with re-shaving an area twice.

The innovations in men’s razors pales in comparison to the marketing gimmicks aimed at the fairer sex. My wife is currently using a joint venture by Gillette and Oil of Olay. In addition to having five blades, the entire cutting apparatus is surrounded by “VanillaCrĂ©me Scented Moisture Bars.” The result is a razor head with roughly the same surface area as a Yukon gold potato. It has gotten to the point that the business end of the razor is so large you can no longer visually access the area you are shaving with it.
Gillette Oil of Olay Razor

Not to be outdone. Schick offers the “Intuition Moisture Care System” which features a pomegranate serum extracts and looks eerily similar to a tazer. The Schick website even features recipes for pomegranate desserts, exhibiting an impressively comprehensive strategy based around a particular fruit. Unwilling to allow a non-existent problem to go unsolved, Schick also offers razors with “scented handles” that release a pleasing aroma while you shave. Their most popular offering in this category is the Xtreme3 Hawaiian Tropic Edition that claims to smell exactly like the famed tanning oil. 
Schick Intuition
It would be an absolute dream to produce an infomercial based on the scented handle concept. It would start with black and white footage of a woman attempting to shave her legs when she abruptly stops, lifts the handle to her nose, and reacts with visible disappointment when she doesn’t smell anything. At this point, a disembodied voice would say:

Are you tired of shaving your legs with same scentless plastic handles day after day? Maybe it’s time you upgraded your disposable razor and experienced Aroma-Grip Technology. Activated by thermal induction, the aroma-grip handles will whisk you away with exotic scents like Arctic Tranquility and Delaware State Trooper.

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