Our examination of this issue, conducted with the naked eye, reveals that the main difference between men’s and women’s razors, at least the disposable type, is their pigment. Women’s razors are usually pink; men’s razors are found in more macho colors, like royal blue and yellow.
But the naked eye can deceive. Chats with representatives at Bic, Schick, and Wilkinson indicate that there are at least three significant differences:
1. The most important difference to the consumer is the “shave angle” of the two. A man’s razor has a greater angle on the blade, what the razor industry calls “aggressive exposure,” for two reasons. Men’s beards are tougher than women’s leg or underarm hair, and require more effort to be cut and, at least as important, women complain much more than men about nicks and cuts, the inevitable consequence of the aggressive exposure of the men’s blades. Women don’t particularly like putting hosiery over red splotches, while men seem perfectly content walking around their offices in the morning with their faces resembling pepperoni pizzas.
2. Most women’s razors have a greater arc in the head of the razor, so that they can see the skin on the leg more easily as they shave.
3. Women don’t shave as frequently as men, especially in the winter, when most wear pants and long-sleeved blouses. Schick offers a “Personal Touch” razor line for women that features guard bars that contain combs, so that longer hair is set up at the proper angle for shaving.
As far as we can ascertain, all the major manufacturers use the same metallurgy in men’s and women’s razors.
After enumerating the design features that his company incorporates to differentiate men’s and women’s razors, Fred Wexler, director of research at Schick, offered a rueful parting observation: Despite all of their design efforts, Schick’s research reveals that a solid majority of women use razors designed for men.