Sunday, May 25, 2014


This post is absolutely boring for women. If you are a woman, you may proceed to see cute cat videos.

If there is one FMCG category that seems ripe for disruption and some healthy competition, I frankly believe it is – shaving razors. Men’s shaving razors are essentially ruled by a monopoly – Gillette. I am aware that there are some local competitors here and there, but I have never come across a worthy competitor. At least not in this part of the world. There is a reason why it is the 23rd most valuable brand in the world. With a brand value estimated at $18.3 Billion.

Dollar Shave Club

And monopoly (according to Economics) stifles innovation and raises prices. That’s probably why we pay so high for the replacement shaving blades and the only innovation that we have seen in the last 25 odd years of men’s grooming is – addition of more blades.

Being the ultra-gullible consumer I have always been – I followed the trend. Advertising effectively made me numb (hail oh ye Marketers!). I started off with the single blade safety razors (and yeah was always miserable at it) 15 years ago! Progressed to the disposable twin-blade variety. Then got my first Sensor Excel and then graduated to the Mach 3, Mach 3 Turbo, Fusion, Fusion Proglide etc.

One early morning while I was shaving in a trance with my latest gizmo that vibrates on my skin; I had my own Archimedes Eureka moment when I realized, that having more blades on my razor were causing more harm than really giving me a close or clean shave as the handsome model in the advert claimed.

Here is my understanding : However good my razor is, to get a clean shave, I always shave a second or third time on the same area. So if I do it with 2 blades, I only effectively irritate my skin – 2*3 = 6 times. But when I do that with a 5 blade razor – I do it 15 times. I haven’t really come across a razor yet that can give me a close shave in the first pass.

Anyway, that day I decided, I would go back to my original twin-blade razor Sensor Excel. And that’s the day I realized that the old razors are not available any more in almost all shops in Singapore and India (that I know off!). I panicked and I purchased a bunch off Amazon and paid a bomb for the product and it’s shipping across the seas. I haven’t yet figured out if they are really out of production or is the Monopoly manipulating us into buying their new products by artificially not bringing their old razors into the market (mind you, the replacement blades are available easily). Sensor Excels are remarkable absent from their website.

Gillette Sensor Excel

Now I am back again to where I started off a long time ago. And I don’t find much of a difference in my shave. I am definitely happier with my skin though, cause it’s noticeably less irritated. And for the history buffs – The Gillette Sensor Excel was released in 1993. Yeah 21 years ago.

And last I heard, Gillette is launching another razor this year. And this time, it’s gonna be compatible with all the old blades that they have in the market.

Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall


  1. Hey, even my experience is exactly same. I liked Sensor Excel which they have stopped in market. Now using Mach. And machine is not useful at all. :)

    1. The handle is stopped. The blades are still available. If you have a handle you can still go buy the blades :)