The Lady-Razor Business Is a Total Racket

Ladies! Are you looking for a place to trim your budget? Here's an idea: Stop buying shaving products marketed to women, because they're a complete ripoff.

Unless you've got a hookup at the Gillette warehouse, razor cartridges are scandalously overpriced. Fashionista, curious why we're still shelling out so much for this drugstore staple, takes a deep dive into the industry and the startups who want to undercut the Big Razor:

According to Euromonitor International analyst Tim Barrett, the big companies have been getting away with charging those prices for so long because consumers didn't have any other choices. "Gillette, Schick and Bic basically have been riding the golden goose. It's very similar to how printers work, in that you get people to buy the handle and the system and you can just kill them on the refills because there are really no other options."

Dollar Shave Club, Harry's and others are trying to muscle into the market by offering a better deal. "The quality difference is negligible and the price difference is noticeable," according to Barrett. But they're targeting men. Who will rescue us damsels, Fashionista asks? "What are our options besides $6 hot pink, fruit-flavored razor cartridges?"

Here's an idea: Just order whatever's functional and priced to move and call it a day, because there's no such thing as "women's razors." There's just razors.

Of course, marketers go to great lengths to convince you there is such a thing razors for ladies. A quick survey of Amazon reveals varieties in "white tea" and "pomegranate," for instance. You can buy a cartridge that "lathers for lush smoothness" and a cartridge that's a collaboration with Olay. Ads for "new" razors that are really just incremental changes to existing products seem to keep half America's ladymags in business.

Not that men are exempt from marketing; blades seem to get more expensive the more MANLY the packaging. What mach are we on, again? Bad news, gents: No razor will make you Chuck Yeager. But generally, "gender pricing" ends with women paying more money for the same shit. (Probably because we're trained to believe grooming should be treated as a life-or-death matter.) Yet, as Fashionista points out, Karlie Kloss feels totally comfortable using Harry's.

And that's without broaching the subject of the single biggest ripoff in the drugstore: Women's shaving cream. Why does anyone purchase women's shaving cream? It all smells like Jolly Ranchers, and fragrance isn't even good for sensitive skin. Why does Skintimate even exist?

For years I've been shaving with Barbasol and, generally, razor blades stolen from my husband. I'm pretty confident I'm getting a closer shave, and I have yet to grow a dick. Try it sometime!

Image by Jim Cooke, source photo via Shutterstock.