By Rayy Zar
It’s a question that many men have asked:
We can put men on the moon. We can make computers small enough to carry around in our pockets. But we can’t make a razor blade that stays sharp longer than a week?
This time it is columnist David Lazarus, writing in the business section of the Los Angeles Times. He continues:
It sounds trivial. But the utter lack of progress on the razor front raises fundamental questions about America’s industrial might. Has the sun set on the age of innovation in this country? Is it possible that American ingenuity has met its match in a relatively modest personal-hygiene product used by millions of consumers?
He assumes it’s a conspiracy by Gillette and Schick – who together command a 90 per cent market share for replacement blades – and he interviews a medical equipment maker, Jeff Grant, who says that it would be possible to make a ceramic blade that costs $100 and lasts for years.
Well, that sounds good. An eight-pack of Gillette Mach3 Turbo shaving cartridges — one of the more popular razors — runs $24 at Walgreens. If you figure on changing the cartridge once a week, that would mean spending $156 each year on razor blades. So, yeah, I’d spend $100 for a blade that lasts for two, three or more years.
And that, Grant told me, is exactly why we’ll never be offered such a chance by Gillette or Schick. “They’d sell you one blade and they’d be done,” he said. “It’s a business decision.”
Of course, you do not have to buy your blades from Gillette or Schick. Alternatives include the new Dollar Shave Club, cited in the article.
Or take a look at an article from Time magazine, Get an Edge on Razor Manufacturers: 8 Strategies to Save on Shaving. It suggests sharpening your blade on a pair of jeans, or even on your forearm. Seek out coupons and discount blades. And if all that is still too expensive, try Tip #8 – stop shaving.
Going bearded works for hipsters and pro athletes like San Francisco Giants’ closer Brian Wilson, and there are also indications that men are more likely to respect men with beards. Alas, unfortunately, women tend to find men with beards less attractive than guys with clean-shaven faces. But at least you’ll be saving money on razors!