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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Six-Bladed Shaver Cuts too Close to Comedy

For all us guys who hate shaving here's a mystical, magical, metro-sexual all-purpose shaving tool that does everything!!! The only thing it doesn't do is convince me....

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A Six-Bladed Shaver Cuts too Close to Comedy
I’ve never been a big fan of shaving. As a rather hairy, full-blooded Italian I was cursed with the need to shave regularly during my early teenage years.

My collective hair follicles were so healthy during that formative period of my life, that my three sisters jokingly called me “Link” - as in the half-ape/half-man missing evolutionary link. Genetics can be cruel, as can sisters (sob).

As I said, I’ve never been a fan of shaving.

Emotional scars aside, I guess I never got used to the possibility of self-inflicting physical scars by pressing razor-sharp steel against my jugular in the name of socially-accepted hygienic standards. It’s a necessary evil, that I really hadn’t given much thought.

Mutually-Assured Destruction of Hair
However, that’s not the case for the corporate shaving titans Schick and Gillette, who have given the act of shaving a great deal of thought. They’ve explored deep science of “progressive geometry,” (no joke) as well as tapping technology from the semiconductor and automotive industries – all in an effort to separate dead hair cells from my face.

Both companies have built billion-dollar empires off the chins of millions of men. Their escalating follicle feud began decades ago in a Cold War-like grooming race:
  • It began with single blades;
  • Moved to disposable razors;
  • Jumped to double blades, then triple blades, then quadruple blade shavers;
  • Evolved with the addition of lubricating strips;
  • With a seismic shift to vibrating razors.
It’s an unending weapons race to assure the mutual destruction of every renegade hair on the face of…ahem, er…a man’s face.

According to those companies, shaving is no longer shaving. It’s more akin to gliding, hovering and skimming than dragging a blade across the throat. But in a comedic, surreal twist, the game may have changed.

The Latest Weapon Against Unwanted Hair
Enter the latest innovative, technological advancement in the assault against testosterone [insert drum roll, 21-gun salute and obligatory explosions here] – it’s called the ShaveMate®. The newest addition to a man’s grooming arsenal is a shaver with six-blades. SIX blades?? Really?? Do I need six blades to remove the hair off my face? That many blades seems like a comedic hoax or some kind of college-parody skit.

[NOTE: Here are razor-sharp video spoofs from Saturday Night Live and MadTV respectively to make the silly point of maximum blade technology.]

Do Men Need a Swiss Army Knife for Their Face?
Despite this seemingly tongue-in-cheek shaving blade escalation, the ShaveMate’s six bladed razor is a real product even though it seems like a parody.

If you visit the site, the guffaws build even more once the ShaveMate pitchman tells you that this razor has a tiny built-in shaving cream dispenser in the handle; flexible neck technology “to navigate the contours of a man’s face;” an Aqua Flow feature for easy cleaning; plus a lubricated gliding strip for comfort.

It’s like the metro-sexual’s answer to the multi-functional Leatherman® tool or all purpose Swiss Army® knife – both of which are great for camping but do I really need it for my face? Having said that, didn’t the pioneers that built this nation dry shave with a tanto-sharp axe that was then subsequently used to fell a tree? Would any self-respecting frontier fella be caught dead with a ShaveMate? I think not.

Razor Technology Has Jumped the Shark
I used to love the nostalgic show about the 50's called Happy Days with Fonzie and the gang. But the episode where the ultra-cool Fonz water-skied over the shark tank marked the downward spiral of that show – hence the phrase “Jump the Shark” which has come to signify when something has officially moved from the realm of the relevant to the ridiculous.

This latest shark-jumping entrant into the arena of razor gladiators seems more like a cartoonish, money-grabbing joke from the mind of Rube Goldberg rather than a benefit-rich product that solves problems.

If this is the state of “innovation” which our country has to offer, it’s little wonder that manufacturing jobs continue to be exported from the U.S. – by the way, the ShaveMate makes no mention that its six-bladed device is made on American soil. Strike six.

That fact alone just adds to my head-shaking and eyebrow-raising resignation regarding this product. Hmmm….that makes me wonder if ShaveMate might consider adding an eyebrow tweezers and nose-hair trimmer attachment as an upsell. I would buy it then – not.


  1. Six blades really. I think the name "ShaveMate" is one of the problems it sounds like something a women would buy not a manly man who needs to shave every two hours. Maybe they should have named "Blade6"? And why would anyone want to take the time to put shaving cream in the handle when it is just as easy to put it on your face...that is one less step. We are a three to four blade family who use their hands to apply shaving cream.

  2. @Lisa, great comment! My favorite part was the last sentence, "We are a 3-to-4 blade family who use their hands to apply shaving cream."

  3. Ya know, this isn't all that pertinent to me, but I do have to chime in and say this is insane. I'm one of those who thought it odd to see the 3 blade razors, followed by the quads. I don't mind them - don't get me wrong. I guess they could work well for some, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    I must admit, though, curiosity got the best of me. I had to look this up. Did you know that shavemate comes in two styles - for men (Titan6) and women (Diva6). They have a pretty pink one for women. They even talk about the compact cartridge so you can easily shave underarms and bikini area...yeah, ouch! No thanks - that's just a disaster waiting to happen!!

    Okay, sorry - didn't mean to go on and on. Thanks though - I did get a laugh for sure.

  4. @Laura, thanks for the comment, your additional "research" and the resulting chuckle!

  5. lisa mentions "a manly man who needs to shave every two hours"....
    is that another ape reference?
    i'm just sayin'...

  6. @mk, guilty as charged. I would have liked to let that slip by but your astute observation is duly noted. I guess it's true that the ones we love (sob)...(sniff)...hurt us the most ;-)