CLEVELAND — Up until World War II, shaving was primarily a man’s thing. That’s because clothing styles for women kept them mostly covered up, and even when they started to show more skin, they covered their legs with thick stockings.
But when the war left stockings in short supply, women turned to shaving, some using the first electric shaver for women, marketed by Remington.
But hair removal methods for men and women have come a long way since then, and what were once called “cut-throat razors” have now become a cut-throat business.
In fact, one of the latest and most popular products is the Finishing Touch Flawless for the face. This battery-operated gadget, which sells for around $17, is engineered to microscopically spin away hair. The commercial says, you’ll have "No nicks, burns or irritation. Just perfectly smooth, flawless skin."
Melissa Moulton, who has dark, dense hair, and normally uses depilatory creams to remove her hair, agreed to test it. Because she says the creams burn her skin.
Vanessa Brown Garrett, who has coarser hair which she usually shaves, also agreed to be a tester. She told us, "I need to find an easier way to shave than using a blade and cutting myself."
After giving the Flawless a spin, Miranda said, "It removed all the hair on my lip within seconds." And she liked how she could simply use a circular motion to make her skin smooth.
Vanessa also said her skin felt silky, but she wasn't ready to shelve her shaver. She told me, "If it's hot, like you're sweating, it (the Flawless) doesn't want to turn good. It keeps sticking to the face."
So we broke out the Riwa Rechargeable Beauty Trimmer. It costs about $46, but it also works on legs, bikini lines and arms.
The Riwa was the winner for Vanessa, who said it worked better than shaving. And she liked the floating blade, which you glide over your skin in a straight line, instead of the circular motion needed for the Flawless.
Miranda would stick with a regular razor over the Riwa. While she admitted it didn’t leave any bumps, which she often gets from shaving, she still thought it “wasn’t as clean” of a shave as a razor.
But their hair problems were basically peach fuzz compared to carpets on some men. It’s why we broke out the BAKblade 2.0 Plus, which you can get for about $27. It works manually to get those hard to reach places.
And now men are shaving more than their faces. In a study done just two years ago, 59% of respondents ages 18 to 29 said they regularly shave their body.
Rob Ryan, who agreed to try the trimmer is one of them. He says, "In the summertime you want to go without a shirt and not scare people with the amount of hair you can have."
Since you can use the BAKblade wet or dry, he tried it on one side with soap and water, the other side he tried dry. And it was smooth sailing both ways when it came to taking off his hair. Although, with Rob's sensitive skin, he had a little redness and irritation after using it dry.
But for sexy, summer skin, all three of the shavers are smooth operators.