Society can breathe a collective sigh of relief as it appears that the recent facial hair trend is seeing itself, albeit drunkenly, to the door. So in honor of this facial-frock-free backlash let’s take a look at the feasible routes to get from Tom Selleck to Charlie Villanueva.
You can go the cheap disposable razor route or you can go with the Mach 17 Titanium Supersonic Shave System that costs $25 per blade. The blade is only slightly more expensive to make than the cheap disposable razors, but Gillette has to pass through the cost of the NASA engineers they hired to design it and the 3 athletes employed to pitch it. If you are looking for the power move of the facial hair removal scene you can join an expensive barber club and get your Mad Men on for $60 per shave.
In an effort to cut costs you can get a shave from your local barber, but beware of a razor blade in the hand of a shaky old man mere millimeters from your jugular. If you’re the over 50 demographic you most likely use a Remington or Norelco electric shaver with a 30 HP engine and 120 foot pounds of torque that has been handed down for 3 generations. Then there is the new guy in town. Gillette and Schick’s pesky little cousin is Dollar Shave Club (DSC), a mail order razor club that sends you razors at a predetermined frequency for, you guessed it Einstein, a dollar.
The “Best” Option
Dollar Shave Club has three options: The Humble Twin, The 4X and The Executive which have 2, 4 and 6 blades respectively. Unlike the fitness club you joined with intentions of getting back into intramural shape, but have never stepped foot in, there is no initiation fee to join this league of extraordinary gentlemen. For the cost of 4 buffalo wings at happy hour, you can save yourself a trip to Wal-Mart or CVS. The entry level model costs $1 per month, the middle management costs $6 per month and the C-suite is going to run you $9 per month. In a seedy-eBay-seller move, the $1 per month package has a $2 shipping charge. The two upper echelon deals ship for free. Depending on what you shave with now, all of these deals are tough to beat.
Personally I like companies that are run by people like me: competent enough to run a business but still cool enough to want to go to happy hour with. Much like Kim Kardashian’s fame, DSC’s fame stems from a viral video made by its co-founder, CEO and former comedian, Michael Dubin. He has continued to use viral videos and other humor to set his company apart from it’s competitors. Any company whose main competitive advantage is inappropriate jokes is one I want to buy from. And 1.1 million of my closest friends agree.
But first, a Zack Morris timeout.
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I went with the eponymous subscription, the “dollar shave club” because I wanted to see what $1, er $3, a month really got me. I was skeptical to say the least. The $1 trend that has swept America has been plaguing our society with inferior products from toilet paper to fast food for years. After watching roughly 10 hilarious videos on their website, I decided to sign up, which was really easy.
You pick your blade, any add-ons and wait patiently for it to come in the mail. It came surprisingly quickly and included a handle and 5 blades plus some shaving balm and some light reading material that acts as a respite from 2012 SI Swimsuit Edition sitting atop your throne. Like a breath of fresh air, their shave gel wasn’t chemically died blue, packaged in an aerosol can and didn’t smell like Hollister cologne. The cleverly named Dr. Carvers Shave Butter even has an ingredient list that reads like a who’s who of your girlfriend’s beauty regiment: golden barley, organic prickly pear cactus, and vitamins A, C and E.
Sooo, is Dollar Shave Club worth it?
The actual handle is a bit flimsy and appears to be made of the same material as mechanical pencils. In fact, mine actually broke when I was traveling, but the nice folks over at the DSC shipped me a new one right away. The blades however are real metal and actually shave your face pretty incredibly. They do the same if not a better job than comparable razors made at a sweatshop down the street from DSCs.
Like all razors, after a few uses they get dull but luckily for you, DSC is one step ahead of you and shipped 5 of them. One of the biggest perks is that since you only have one handle you don’t have to inspect the 4 disposable razors you have lying around your bathroom to decide which one has the least use and will be least likely to perform reconstructive surgery on your face.
Go for it. The blades aren’t necessarily better, but I can’t find any discernible reason that they are worse. Plus they are cheaper and sent to you every month. And did I mention that Michael Dubin is much more awesome than the irrelevant athletes other companies hire to peddle their face smoothers? Of course, discounted monthly delivery isn’t a novel idea as Amazon has been doing this for a while, but the clever marketing coupled with the cheap and decent blades makes for a deadly combination. Some critics might argue that you can buy in bulk at wholesale clubs but have you ever been to a COSTCO on a Saturday afternoon? It’s like feeding time at Jurassic Park. And who has room for 150 razors in the converted 400 square foot apartment they share with 2 roommates?
Dollar Shave Club has hacked out a niche in the razor market by zeroing in on all millennials weaknesses: laziness, trendiness and cost effectiveness … and I’m sold.
Visit Dollar Shave Club to check it out.
Note that I am not getting paid by or in any way affiliated with Dollar Shave Club, but will happily take free product from them as a thank you for the windfall of business I am sending their way.