Sunday, February 26, 2006

better shaving through technology

gillette fusionI remember watching my dad shave when I was little. I couldn’t wait to copy him despite his suggestion that it was much better to be a boy and not have to shave. He was right – shaving sucks. The worst part is that other than growing a beard there is no way to avoid it. Shaving after sporting that Miami Vice look is even more irritating than the 3 or 4 days worth of grooming skipped would have been. Fortunately, technology keeps advancing beyond the safety razors our fathers’ used.

Usually, I don’t get sucked in by excessive marketing hype. OK, that’s not true, but I have been content with the Mach 3 for 7 years now. I resisted the upgrade to “Power” and I never contemplated the switch to Schick Quattro. However, despite the horrible television ads and the impossible to load flash website, at the end of last week I decided to try the Gillette Fusion.

Gillette’s newest razor (launched at the beginning of February) comes in 2 versions: orange (battery powered) and blue (normal, if any razor with 6 total blades can be called normal). I opted for blue. Both feature the same cutting heads: five-blade shaving surface; wider flexible cutting guard; and, a bonus blade on the back for trimming. It turns out that the Precision Trimmer is handy for tight spots like under the nose, but the real charm of the razor is the way the cutting guard works with the blades.

The improvements over the Mach 3 are most noticeable for the neck area and the chin. For these hard to shave regions, the Fusion seems to glide much easier resulting in less pulling and irritation as well as a closer shave. The wide guard also makes it easier to position the razor at the correct angle. I like to shave in the shower, and with the Fusion I feel much less of a need to keep my mirror fog-free.

Thus far, the Fusion has provided me the most comfortable shaves I have ever had. The only downside is the high $3 cost per cartridge. But, Gillette has to find a way to recover the more than $100 million they plan to sped marketing their newest innovation.

Neutrogena Razor Defense GelMore affordable and even more enthusiastically recommended is Neutrogena Razor Defense Gel. I used to use Edge Gel, but a few months ago I tried the Neutrogena and I haven’t looked back. There are 3 things I really like about it. First is the rich lather. You only need a small amount for excellent coverage. Second are its lubricants. They are both non-irritating and very slick. Finally, a small thing: the can won’t rust, a problem with normal metal containers.

Bonus link: hysterical and prescient parody of the blade arms race at the Onion
Bonus link for the ladies: Try Gillette’s
Venus Vibrance razor free


At 3:46 PM, Anonymous David Jensen said...

To quote Todd, "Still shaving with 2 blades? What are you, some sort of barbarian?!"


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