When thinking of classic wet shaving, you may take yourself back to a time when chivalry was to be expected, class was never overlooked, and life seemed a little sweeter. Not everyone goes back this far, but it’s safe to say many men still don’t know the glorious experience of a perfect shave. That trend is certainly changing, however, as classic wet shaving has undoubtedly been on the rise. Some would say it’s a resurgence, others claim a revolution. Regardless, this new found popularity is partially indebted to the “Razor Wars” of the early 2000s.
In March of 2003, Gillette was sitting high above its competition. With control over 70% of the disposable razor market, the company refused to admit there was even a battle. In the next two years, that same company – due to market pressure caused by competitors – would release four new major shaving systems. By the end of 2003, a small company called Schick-Wilkinson Sword was purchased by the ever-so-reliable Energizer. This acquisition challenged Gillette (owner of Duracell) to up its ante, causing a power struggle within the razor industry.
After Schick’s four blade Quattro, Gillette released the industry’s first “micro-powered” shaving system in 2004. The following year Gillette released the Fusion system including a powered blade system on the front, and precision trimmer on the back. Later that year, the M3 Power line and Nitro made their ways to the shelves. Competitors soon found themselves in an arms race consisting of more blades and technology. But after more and more unnecessary “shavetech” was added, men started scratching their heads and asking, “Why am I paying for this?” Looking at the timeline, it’s incredibly interesting that the resurgence of classic wet shaving occurred around the height of the razor wars in the early to mid 2000s. Check out the Google Trends data:
Since the razor wars, a conclusion among thinking men has been made; adding more shavetech and blades doesn’t equal a better shave, just a lighter wallet. From 2009 to 2014, popularity of classic wet shaving went up 1000%! Men have been ditching their plastic, gel covered, four and five bladed heads for the quality, comfort, and savings offered by premium safety and straight razors. And the wet shaving community is growing by thousands every day.
It’s no doubt the razor wars of the early 2000s are still raging (when will we see the six bladed razor?), but there is no need for you to become collateral damage in this battle. You’ll be sure to find yourself happy and victorious in the classic wet shaving camp.
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Gillette product timeline
Beginning of War
Reemergence of Wet Shaving