The future of shaving might have nothing to do with blades at all.
A company called Skarp Technologies has developed a razor that shuns sharp metal for a heated laser. Skarp's futuristic spin on the everyday razor is designed for use by men and women alike, and its laser beam purportedly gets close enough to one’s skin to smoothly and safely melt through body and facial hair.
Skarp co-founder Morgan Gustavsson first conceived of the idea in 2001, but laser technology wasn't yet sufficiently developed to cut lighter shades of hair. He and co-founder Paul Binun collaborated over the next several years until they discovered a laser wavelength that could melt right through any hair color.
The razor runs on one AAA battery, which the company says will power the device for 50,000 hours of shaving satisfaction. It sounds like a personal care product out of Star Trek.
Skarp’s blockbuster Kickstarter project has handily cleared $1 million in crowdfunding from more than 10,000 individuals to kick off the manufacturing process at scale. There are still 18 days of fundraising to go, so those numbers will only climb.
If the finished product works as described and hits the mainstream, it stands to be environmentally and hygienically significant. Shaving with a laser-razor ostensibly avoids razor burn, skin infection, and irritation entirely, and Skarp says 2 billion razors and razor heads are thrown away every year in the U.S. alone; they can’t be recycled due to hygiene issues. With the Skarp razor designed to be long-lasting and resilient—it's even waterproof—it might just put a dent in a wasteful problem while preserving smooth skin.
This razor is purpose-built and non-disposable, so it's pricier than one might expect. At the time of this writing, a limited number of preorders are available for $189, and you can buy two razors at once for $299. Backers can expect to receive their laser-razors in March of 2016.