Men’s vs women’s razors: is there a difference?

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In this blog post, I will show you the detailed differences between men’s razors and women’s razors.

YES, there are many differences between razors for men and razors for women. They differ by their arc, the angle of blade, colour, handle, head and lubrication. And above all, the costs of women’s razors are much higher than men’s razors.

“The difference in the razors isn’t about dullness or the ability to cut hair close to the skin for a smoother feel. It’s about the head, handle shape, rotation, and how it fits within the contours of the skin,” says Dr. Jody Levine, celebrity dermatologist and director of dermatology at Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC, also a spokesperson of Gillette and Venus. Scroll on to read the detailed differences between men’s razors and women’s razors.

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The arc of men’s razors vs the arc of women’s razors:

Women have much softer hair than men’s hair. Women often shave areas like armpits, bikini, and legs. In order to avoid cuts and nicks, it is really important that they see the area they are shaving on. This is why women’s razors have a much bigger arc so that the head of their razors will not block their view. While men’s razors have a flatter shape.

The angle of the blade of men’s razors vs the angle of the blade of women’s razors:

The angle of the blade is different on men’s and women’s razors. Men shave the dense, hard facial hair, so their razors have a greater blade angle for a better position. Women’s body hair is quite softer so their razors don’t need the same great blade angles.

If a woman uses men’s razor on her body, the blade exposure due to its greater angle can increase the risk of cuts. Women must replace the blades on their razors more often as they get dull faster. While the blades on men’s razors are a bit long-lasting.

“Many women assume men’s razor blades are sharper and better than women’s because men tend to have coarser hair on their face and shave every day,” says Dr. Jody Levine.

“The razor blade cartridge shape on women’s razors is also different from men’s razors,” adds Levine.

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The colour of men’s razors vs the colour of women’s razors:

For decades now, feminine and masculine products are displayed in pink and blue, respectively. Well, this is more of a marketing trick. Women are lovers of pink colour so they can’t resist but pick a pink product at first sight.

Colour is also a basic apparent difference between men’s and women’s razors. Men always prefer black, blue, grey and white-coloured products. Women’s razors always come in pink, purple and pastels.

The shape and size of the handle of men’s razors vs the shape and size of the handle of women’s razors:

“The handles on women’s razors are very different from the handle on a razor for men. When you think about all the ways women have to hold a razor to reach those tricky spots and then add in a shaving gel or soap and water in the shower—things can get slippery. It’s no wonder women need a different kind of handle.” says Levine.

A man mostly just shaves his facial hair, so a straight handle is convenient on his razor. He doesn’t need to turn, twist and rotate his razors around contours and tricky areas. While the handles on women razors are thick and have a rounded shape.

It offers a strong grip from all angles and around all contours. The dimensions of the handle are so easy to use that she can shave easily around her legs, bikini line and armpits without slipping the razor again and again. This shape of the handle makes it a lot easier to turn and rotate it in all directions.

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The head of men’s razors Vs the head of women’s razors:

“The oval shape suits women’s shaving better than the square head of a men’s razor because it fits better into the curves such as behind the knee and underarms. It helps pull the skin taut, so even areas like underarms get a close, smooth shave. The women’s razor head also pivots with individually adjusting blades that flex, so it’s easy to shave hard-to-reach spots” says Levine.

“The pivot of the razor head is also designed differently to allow the cartridge to follow the contours of a woman’s body—which are very different in comparison to the contours of a man’s face” she adds.

The lubrication of men’s razors vs. the lubrication of women’s razors:

Women’s razors have lubrication which comes in different forms like, bars of shave lotion or strips of shave gels along with their blades. Women will not have to worry about cutting their ankles, knees and other private areas.

“On men’s razors, there tends to be one moisture strip that goes over the skin after the blade does, says Levine. “For women’s razors, we get the blades encased in a head with a solid moisturizer or between two strips. Besides, our skin isn’t as coarse as men’s. We need that extra hydration and soothing so our skin doesn’t become irritated with razor burn—the worst!”

Levine suggests you swap soap for shave gel. “It creates a layer between the blade and your skin, allowing your razor to glide easily and help to protect you from nicks, cuts, and razor burn.”

Why are women’s razors more expensive than men’s razors?

According to some experts, if something costs more to make, it costs more to buy. It is really complex to add pink colour to plastics as compared to other darker colours. Plastics come from oil and for all other colours, it just needs treatment to remove those to leave the desired colour.

The pink colour needs that all other colours are removed and then it is added to get the dye into the pellets. Women’s razors are expensive due to the higher production cost involved in the pink dying process. While men’s razors come in far cheaper colours.

Blades on men’s razors are flatter, lighter, smaller and thinner. They are made out of a very small quantity of steel which is far cheaper than the steel on women’s razors. Blades on women’s razors are made out of a thick layer of steel, again having higher production costs.

Some brands like Gillette subject their products to a gender price gap, called the “Pink Taxprices Melissa Karis, a spokeswoman at P&G Canada, which produces Gillette razors, Secret deodorant, and Old Spice, said in an email that pricing is influenced by many factors.

“There could be several differences between the features of two products targeted at different consumer groups, including, but not limited to product ingredients, formulation technology, or size,” Karis said. “These differences make it challenging to simply compare two different product list costs.” She also noted that retailers ultimately set product prices, regardless of whether or not a retail price has been recommended by a manufacturer. Personal care is a highly competitive category for both men and women, so naturally, there is a lot of market activity affecting prices, such as specials and coupons. There are also multiple tiers to give shoppers a breadth of choices in price point and quality.” What exactly is the “Pink Tax”?

It’s an “income-generating scenario for private companies who found a way to make their product look either more directed to or more appropriate for the population and saw that as a moneymaker,” explains Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, a lawyer, vice president for the Brennan School of Justice at NYU School of Law, and co-founder of Period Equity.“I think the motivations around the pink tax come more explicitly from a classic capitalist stance: If you can make money off of it, you should,” she continues.

According to a study of gendered pricing released by New York City Department of Consumer Affairs shampoo and conditioner marketed to women cost an average of 48 percent more than those marketed to men, while women’s jeans cost 10 percent more than men’s, and girls’ bikes and scooters cost 6 percent more than boy’s. Overall, the study found that products marketed to women cost more 42 percent of the time.

Women, who statistically already make less money than men on average, may pay a premium for items marketed to them simply because they aren’t aware of this so-called “pink” tax. “Manufacturers can find some consumers who are not aware of price differences or are willing to pay for something that’s really the same as the male version,” says Ian Parkman, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Portland. “With razors, the blue version (might be) $1.99, and the pink razor (might be) $2.50, but pink plastic versus blue plastic can’t explain the price difference.” Pink Tax exists due to several reasons like product differentiation and product discrimination. Product differentiation can account for a portion of the difference between the costs of women’s products vs men’s products. A pink bike costs more than a black bike because it is more expensive to paint a bike pink than black. They are considered a “special edition” because black bikes are the larger production and pink bikes are a minor production.

Services like dry cleaning and haircuts are also subject to the Pink Tax. In both cases, it is justified. Women’s haircuts and hairstyling are more labour-intensive and time-consuming so they tend to be costlier than men’s hairdressing services.

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Women’s clothing is harder to clean and press due to the great variations found in them, while men’s clothing is uniform and easier to clean and press. Dry cleaners have to hand-press women’s clothing which is too time-consuming than machine pressing men’s clothing.

And just because men may tend to pay less for an item doesn’t mean gender discrimination is always at work, says Catherine Liston-Heyes, an economist at the University of Ottawa who has studied differential pricing. Sometimes an item or service costs, on average, more to provide for women than men, so that is reflected in the pricing, she explains

Marketers have studied that female customers are far less cost-conscious than male customers. To marketers, their female consumers are less price elastic meaning they are willing to pay higher prices especially for personal care products and services, like razors.

Sarah Johnson, a market researcher and brand strategy consultant at Toronto-based Athena Brand Wisdom, Research and Planning, said marketers might have ascertained that women are less price-sensitive than men are when it comes to buying personal care items. Marketers typically conduct “price elasticity” studies to determine what certain consumers are willing to pay for goods, she said. “They might have figured out that women are willing to pay more,” for personal care items, Johnson said. “If something is more price elastic, people are going to buy it regardless of what it costs. They just see it as essential

Among the other pricier products for women: Razor cartridges and razors cost more for women than men by an average of 11%, according to the NYC study of similar women’s and men’s products, and body wash costs 6% more. “Of all the industries analyzed, personal care had the highest premium for women, with products costing, on average, 13% more than personal care products for men,” the study concluded.

On the first day of California’s 2016 legislative session, Cristina Garcia announced Assembly Bill 1561, which proposed an end to the tampon tax. “I just want people to realize this is not insignificant,” said Garcia, a Democrat. “Especially if you’re on a tight budget. And this is just the first step on a long discussion we need to be having,” she added. “Basically, we are being taxed for being women,” Garcia said in announcing the bill. “This is a step in the right direction to fix this gender injustice. Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by women and women of colour are particularly hit hard by this tax. You can’t just ignore your period, it’s not like you can just ignore the constant flow.”

In California, Garcia jointly authored the new proposal with assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, a Republican, who told The Post in a phone interview: “Bottom line is, this bill is about tax relief for women. Government is taxing women for something that is totally out of their control,” Chang said. “Feminine hygiene is not a choice and should not be taxed.” Chang has called the tax a form of “regulatory discrimination.”

Some products marketed to women not only cost higher but also contain a smaller quantity of the product. Such items are smaller and feminine-looking. Manufacturers call this approach “shrink it and pink it”.

“Yes, sometimes women do need smaller versions of things, and for jeans and other clothing, we want different cuts and different fashions,” says Christine Whelan, director of MORE: Money, Relationships, and Equality at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “But the idea that equates to somewhere between a 30 to 50 percent price hike is simply playing on the socialized culture that says women need to look a certain way

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Why are razor blades so expensive?

Erin Lash is a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, an independent investment research firm. She covers Gillette (owned by Proctor & Gamble), one of the two dominant players in the razor market.  Schick (owned by Energizer Holdings, Inc.) is the other company.

Lash says part of the reason razor blades are so expensive is that consumers are loyal to the brand.“Once you buy a particular razor, there’s no substitution for the razor blade,” she said. “Companies have a great ability to charge up for the blade once you’re locked into the actual product,” she said. Despite controlling most of the razor blade market share, Lash believes Gillette and Schick still operate in a highly competitive market.

“I think there is a degree to which they keep each other in check. You’ve seen that from the perspective that they’re both looking to garner a large slice and they’re both meaningful competitors,” Lash said.

“There are only a couple of companies out there who make high-quality razor blades that people would want to use and they’ve been able to charge a lot because there haven’t been a lot of alternatives,” Harry’s co-founder Jeff Raider said.

In order to conclude this entire blog post, I would say that, YES, there are multiple differences between the razors for men and razors for women. The differences are meant for customer satisfaction. “It is absurd that while men’s razors, children’s nappies and even products like Jaffa Cakes, exotic meats, and edible cake decorations are free from VAT, women are still having to pay additional costs on what is already an expensive yet vital product,” said SNP MP Alison Thewliss.

I would recommend that Pink Tax can be easily avoided if women buy men’s shaving gel, men’s deodorant and men’s bikes instead of showing an irrational craze for the pink colour.