Photograph — KickStarter

Aptly described as “the future of shaving for Men & Women,” the Skarp Razor is the first ever razor, powered by a laser, for an irritation free, incredibly close shave. The bladeless razor, made of 6061 aluminium, can last for around 50,000 hours, and it runs on a single re-chargeable AAA battery.

“Shaving has been using essentially the same technology for 5000 years. To make any real progress, we needed to take a radical new approach … it’s time to bring shaving to the 21st century,” said the founders, Morgan Gustavsson & Paul Binun.

The founders are no strangers in the field of laser hair treatment. In 1989, Morgan invented & patented IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) which is still a preferred method of hair removal and dermatology treatments to this day.  Gustavsson had the idea for a Laser razor in 2001, but the laser technology was not available at the time. So he spent the next decade investigating, and made a breakthrough in 2009. Paul Binun joined the process development two years ago, and they made quick progress.

After years of testing the product which is now fit to hit the market, the founders turned to crowdfunding to raise capital for mass production. So far, with 19 days to go, the Skarp Razor project has been a crowd favourite, with 13,659 backers and over $2.5 million pledged, surpassing their goal of $160,000.

Prototypes of Skarp Credit - KickStarter
Prototypes of Skarp
Credit – KickStarter

“Wavelengths of light had already been discovered that could cut through dark hair, but finding a way to cut light hair was proving incredibly difficult. After years of research & development, they discovered a chromophore in the hair that would be cut when hit with a particular light wavelength. Chromophores are particles that absorb certain wavelengths of light. This identified chromophore is shared by every human, regardless of age, gender or race.”

Like the traditional shaving stick, Skarp requires no water, but it can be used with water anyway, for example, when in the shower. With Skarp, there are no accidental cuts, razor burns, itch or infections. Shaving becomes smooth and effortless, with no waxing or depilatory creams needed, and to top it all, it is environmentally friendly.

For African men, conventional shaving has being an issue, as most mass market shaving products aren’t made for nappy hair. Over the years, traditional shaving sticks and even clippers have left black men with facial bumps and irritations, Skarp seems like the perfect solution to this age long problem for men of colour.

The Razor is set to be launched in March 2016, and will cost around $159 which is about N31000 plus shipping. While this is a great innovation that obviously has huge market potential in the West, the market reception for it in Africa won’t be as good, mainly because of the pricing. Shaving sticks cost N50 to N500 in this part of the world; that is about 25 cents to 3 dollars. So as the world is asked to “join in the shaving revolution,” the average African or Nigerian is sure to pass up on this one.

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