April 7, 2008

The Silk'n Laser Hair-Remover

silk-hair.jpgIf Dr. Evil invented a hair-removal system, it would undoubtedly include sharks with lasers. And given that the FDA has a poor history of approving products with sharks, he'd probably end up with with just the lasers. Cut to the Israeli company Silk'n (Dr. Evil front?) which has just won US FDA approval for their Home Pulsed Light (HPL) product.

The patent pending Home Pulsed Light™ technology (HPL™) of Silk'n™ is a new and innovative light-based technology designed exclusively for doing safe and effective removal of unwanted hair at home.

HPL - is that the good kind of cholesterol?

So basically this is an alternative to shaving your legs, or elipation. Not intended for a man's beard, and not clear if you can use it "elsewhere" (for all you people with your heads in the gutter). Does it work? A key quote from the press release:

An average reduction of 50% in the hair count was monitored three months post three bi-weekly treatment sessions. No adverse effects were noted in the course of the study, and the users of Silk'n™ recorded an extremely high level of satisfaction with the device and their results.

So I think it's cool that their measuring results in addition to gauging customer satisfaction, but 50% hair count reduction? That ain't going to cut it. Imagine if you used a product which reduced your beard hairs by 50%. Would you be satisfied? Hell no. You'd still have to shave every day.

Via Engadget.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

April 1, 2008

Gillette Attempts Hostile Takeover of Schick

schickGillette.jpgHere's one I did not see coming - Gillette's parent company Procter and Gamble is making a bid for Schick's parent company Energizer Holdings. According to this New York Times article:

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is offering $100 a share for Energizer Holdings (NYSE: ENR), a 10% premium over the stock's Monday close. Sources close to the deal expect a tough road ahead. It's likely that Energizer's board will reject the initial offer, however the recent rash of shareholder lawsuits in the Microsoft/Yahoo deal might make them think otherwise.

The two companies would form a consumer goods behemoth, and that might spell trouble when the Federal Trace Commission examines it for anti-trust issues. Already the European Union has expressed concern that a joint P&G/Energizer would create a monopoly in the razor and battery market, leaving the consumer with few alternatives.

I for one would not like to see this happen. Competition is a good thing. (Somebody please bring FiOS to my neighborhood so I have an alternative to Comcast.) A single razor giant would stifle innovation, and I for one have been looking forward to my eight-bladed razor ever since I fantasized about it two years ago.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 31, 2008

March 2008 Wrap Up for Shaving Stuff

In like a lion, out like a lamb. March has marched on.

Big set of reviews of Mensgroom products this month. If you missed them be sure to check out all seven (!) starting with Shave the Males Shaving Cream and ending with Time Fighter Face Cream. Great products for the witty, sarcastic shaver.

Currently up in the ShavingStuff test kitchen are products from Sharps. Look for our review of those soon.

Web 2.0
Schick is ready to make you and your YouTube buddies famous by looking for the best video on shaving with the Schick Quattro. They seemed to have run out of free razors when I tried to sign up, but I got word late last week that their stocks are replenished.

Web 1.5
A recent Wired magazine article had an excellent primer on King Gillette. A must read for any shaving history buff, and a fascinating look at today's Web 2.0 business models.

Web 1.0
Thomas Goldsmith's article Men Drawn to Shaving Wars came out this past month. I had the privilege to talk to Thomas a couple months ago as he was gathering material for his investigative report. Good stuff in there about the reality behind the claims of Schick and Gillette.

Big month for celebrity facial hair. Baron "Boom Boom" Davis's ibeatyou.com site went live, where he's issued the beard-growing smackdown to all fans. Emilio Navaira survived a horrific bus crash, perhaps with the help of his mustache. And I personally made amends for my previous ragging on Ben Affleck. Some days I need to come down off my horse.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 25, 2008

Men Drawn to Shaving Wars

newsObserver.jpgGot a call from Thomas Goldsmith of the North Carolina newspaper The News and Observer a while back. Thomas was looking to write a story on the reality behind all the claims of "world's best shave" and world's closest shave". How do they really know that?

Well, Gillette and Schick like to play their cards close to their vests. Pretty much the only scientific evidence around is in court hearings where the two companies sue each other (quite often, in fact). Goldsmith found that

deep in federal court records, it seems that the companies do get down to measuring micrometers of whisker length, if sometimes only as part of litigation. In 2005, Schick carried out its own tests to successfully challenge Gillette's claim that its M3Power razor caused facial hairs to "stand up," producing a better shave.

"Schick's study took place over three days and included 37 test subjects," a verdict in Schick's favor said. "With respect to each test subject, twenty hairs were measured before and after strokes with an M3 Power razor." Science did not support Gillette's "stand-up" claim, the court found.

Totally fascinating. I'd love to know more about the study.

Anyway, check out the whole article here for a little shaving history, a presidential shaving faux pas, and a quote from yours truly.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 19, 2008

A Short History of King Gillette

kingG.jpgRegular ShavingStuff readers know that I'm a fan of Wired Magazine, and I often cite shaving-related stories from there. The recent issue of Wired had a great story by editor-in-chief Chris Anderson entitled Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. How is this related to shaving? Allow me to quote from the beginning of the article:

At the age of 40, King Gillette was a frustrated inventor, a bitter anticapitalist, and a salesman of cork-lined bottle caps. It was 1895, and despite ideas, energy, and wealthy parents, he had little to show for his work. He blamed the evils of market competition. Indeed, the previous year he had published a book, The Human Drift, which argued that all industry should be taken over by a single corporation owned by the public and that millions of Americans should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by Niagara Falls. His boss at the bottle cap company, meanwhile, had just one piece of advice: Invent something people use and throw away.

Got your attention? I thought so.

The first couple paragraphs cover the story of King Gillette, and then article takes a more modern turn and discusses how today's companies can give away services and still make money. (Think Google.) Definitely worth a read even though the rest is not shaving-related.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 3, 2008

February 2008 Wrap Up for Shaving Stuff

Not something we all want to admit, but the older we get, the more we grow hair in strange places. If you suffer from aging, and really, who doesn't, read our review of the Philips Norelco Nose and Ear Trimmer and get comfortable with the fact that you probably need one.

We checked out a couple grooming products from our old friends Zia for Men - specifically their Zia for Men's ActiClean Skin Clearing Face Wash and Zia for Men's Triple Action FACE/BODY/HAIR 3-in-1 Wash. Zia is a great brand even if don't care about natural or organic ingredients. These two products didn't disappoint.

This Just In...
Gillette introduced the Gillette Phenom Fusion Power Razor, the third incarnation in their powered Fusion line. No fundamental changes aside form color and styling, although the original and the Phantom appear to be phasing out.

Got some new shaving products in by Peter Thomas Roth courtesy of our friends at Details for Men. Still got a backlog of shaving creams to get through, so look for that review later.

I observed that famous film directors have beards. I got angry at Tom Petty. I took a cheap shot at Kevin Dillon. I have no love for Fidel Castro (or Raul, for that matter).

Misc, Myth, and Mex
Become a YouTube sensation with Schick's 15 Minutes of Fame contest. Treat razor burn with a tea bag. Treat yourself to shave ice the next time your in Hawaii. Mythbusters busted a mythical can of shaving cream. Don't shave and drive in Mexico.

Next up in the review process - MensGroom products.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

February 28, 2008

Get Your 15 Minutes of Fame from Schick and YouTube

I'm into nuggets, y'all!
I'm into nuggets, y'all!

Ever dream of being those guys who made a YouTube video and suddenly found themselves on national TV? Well now's your chance. Schick and YouTube are asking you to create a shaving video featuring the Schick Quattro Titanium and yours truly. No nudity, violence, profanity, yadda, yadda, yadda... You know what'll fly and what won't.

Upload your video to www.youtube.com/schick by March 18th. Vote on videos between March 25th and April 8th. Winner will be announced on April 15th. You could win $25,000! Sweet!

But more importantly, you could win cred. That's way more valuable than manna or linden dollars.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 19, 2008

MythBusters Busts A Can of Shaving Cream

mythbusters.jpgHere's a shaving-related myth recently addressed by the crazy MythBusters team:

If you freeze a can of shaving cream, cut it open, and then put the foam in a car, it will heat and expand to fill the car.

Hmm... Honestly, I've never heard that one. So is there any truth to the myth?

This myth was first tested with one can of shaving cream; there was little effect. Even with 50 cans of opened shaving cream in the car, the foam did not significantly expand. Lastly, the MythBusters tried putting a large quantity of polyurethane foam in the car, and it expanded to completely fill the car.

So for a great shave, lather up with a large quantity of polyurethane foam. (Kids, please don't try this at home.)

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 18, 2008

Shave Ice

shaveIce.jpgI don't feel like talking about shaving today. Scratch that. I don't feel like talking about shaving bodily hair. Let's talk about a proud and somewhat unique refreshing Hawaiian treat known as "Shave Ice".

And no, there's no "d" missing. It's really called "Shave Ice".

Shave ice is like a snow cone, only the ice is shaved much finer resulting is something which more closely resembles snow, (as opposed to a snow code which typically consists of tiny hail pellets). Like a snow cone shave ice is usually served in a paper cone, however as an added embellishment it's often served on top a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum! Pick your favorite syrupy flavor, or pick three. Rainbow shave ice is the way to go.

If you've got a trip to Hawaii planned, make sure you sample this delicacy.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 15, 2008

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Wired Magazine


Wired recently ran their 15th anniversary edition and as part of the retrospective they cataloged a few of the men with beards who have graced their cover. Here's a link to 14 covers, all featuring bearded men. Movie directors make up the majority, with George Lucas appearing three times, Steven Spielberg twice, and James Cameron also scoring the deuce. Basically, if you want to be a major movie mogul, grow a full beard.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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