What is the difference between mens and womens razors? Really?
Well, there is quite a bit...
Parking the simple and rather reductive argument of ‘it’s just a bit of marketing’, the companies that make mens and womens razors have done a lot of work to tailor their products to how people have traditionally shaved.
Typically narrow head, with a lubrication strip (ok, that bit is just marketing), and multiple blades, these razors are tailored to facial shaving. Men mostly shave in a hurry, so multiple blades are set at gradually shorter distances from the skin to help create a fast shave experience. Grooves at the front of the blade help lift and position hair for easy cutting and less drag or pulling.
The downside of these multiple blades and smaller head is that they can clog up quickly, and the narrow head means often strokes are repeated, increasing the chance of cuts when shaving at speed. But we guess the manufacturers largely think their customers can ‘man up’ on their way through it! The image above is Gillette, the market leader in the UK.
Colours, moveable heads and a greater amount of moulding around the blades all make womens razors appear more feminine, and – in their words – “designed for curves”. It’s almost as though those lucky men don’t need to deal with any curves at all right?!
But there are clear benefits to having a rounder, moulded head, with blades set further inside. Women do choose to shave awkward areas where the skin might not be as tight or resilience (as on the face) like armpits, knees and ankles. And having a razor that spreads the pressure over a broader distance, helps reduce friction and increase glide even over curvy and sharp corners. This means that there is less chance of cuts and scratches. The Dorco Eve shown above appears a popular choice.
What mens and womens razors have in common
The razor, having multiple razors and technology to smooth the skin beforehand all help improve the quality of the shaving experience. Both products have this – so really the difference is colours and a bit of extra moulding on the head. We know men who easily shave with womens razors, and women who shave with mens razors – and it’s not a huge amount of difference.
The elephant in the room – plastic razors
All the leading brands want to encourage disposable attitudes wrapped up as convenience. Sharp razors that can easily be replaced, with multiple blades that can easily clog. We have estimated that 57 million razor blade heads are discarded each year in the UK alone. Some 280 million a year in the US. That is a lot of unnecessary waste.
Many people are turning to plastic free double edged metal razors. We have our own, called the Kairn pencil razor. We’ve sold these to men and women; all of whom love it. There is technology to prepare and align the skin, and when used properly can provide one of the closest and most friction free shaves around. There are differences, and it isn’t perfect all the time, but it comes into its own if you want to reduce overall waste and invest time in your shaving and skin. We even think shaving should be mindful!
Whether you choose a mens razor, womens razor or unisex razor like the Kairn pencil razor, we think there is huge opportunity to make the blades last longer. By keeping them cleaner and honed, you can double the lifespan of your razor blades. That’s what our customers tell us who use the Blaidmat.
It’s a small leather strop which can be used in between shave strokes, to remove gunk from the razor, and also act to keep the blade edge sharper for longer. To see our Blaidmat, or learn more about how it works, take a look at our product section.
Mens and womens razor products from Kairn
We offer shaving oils, balms and skin scrubs to help ensure wonderful skin, friction free shaving and plastic free living. Take a look at our plastic free shaving range for more information.