Skip links

Human Centered Shaving Design

While shaving this morning, I had several “ah ha” moments. I decided to quickly jot these down on my blog for mere entertainment and fun. I’m probably not the first person to think about these things, but none-the-less, here they are for your reading enjoyment.

Day 305 - Mono Y Mono
image courtesy of lintmachine

[note: this post has absolutely nothing to do with anything that I’m actually working on]

HCSD (Human Centered Shaving Design) Principle 1

In putting myself through college, I’ve living in several fairly crappy (according to the 1st world) apartments. Most of them have had terrible water pressure and even worse water heating. I had always heard that you want to use nice hot water when shaving. However, since my water did not get very hot, I never had actual experience with the difference that hot water can really make, which caused me to hardly ever shave. The shaving principle is that the warmer your skin (from the hot water), the easier it is to cut those hairs off. So, you jump out of the shower and splash some nice hot water on your face in order to prepare for shaving. But then, you slap on some shaving cream that has been sitting in your cabinet at room temperature, thus bringing your skin back down in temperature. So, why can’t my shaving cream contain some kind of warming concoction to it?

HCSD P1: Shaving cream should warm up my skin for easier shaving

HCSD Principle 2

Along the lines of HCSD P1, having some nice hot water in which to rinse your razor great improves the shaving process. It helps keep the razor at a good temperature in order to slide smoothly, with the help of shaving cream, over your face. Razors have long had “glide stripes” along to the top to enhance the smoothness of shaving, so why doesn’t my razor keep itself at a great shaving temperature?

HCSD P2: Razors should keep themselves at an appropriate temperature for shaving.

HCSD Principle 3

While shaving your face, it often helps to have a mirror, less you end up with a mangled face. Furthermore, most gentleman shave just after showering, to help with problem 1 and 2. We then hop out of the shower and stand in front of our sink, to help with problem 2, and in front of a mirror. However, and especially in colder temperatures, the mirror is often fogged up from our shower. I believe this is especially true in the ever so small apartment bathrooms that lots of us use. Why are these bathroom mirrors not automatically fog proof?

HCSD P3: Bathroom mirrors should never fog up.

So, as you can see, we have three major problems facing men while shaving: skin temperature, razor temperature, and foggy mirrors. By addressing each of those problems in a human centered fashion, we could greatly enhance the experience of shaving for all men, and thereby likely enhance the experience of woman (or other men) interacting with mens’ faces (which I know I desire).

So big name and small name companies out there handling the above items: let’s make the world a better place by applying my 3 Human Centered Shaving Principles as standards in new products.

Leave a comment

  1. You’re in luck with Principle 1. It has been solved. Years ago when I got my hair cut at a real barber shop, they would include a shave (sideburns and back of neck) with the hair cut. Their shaving cream dispenser (which looked like it was from the fifties) produced a nice foam which was hot. If you get your hands on one of those, at least one of your 3 problems will be solved 🙂

  2. Andrew, ya there are some “add-on” solutions that solve this, but they are expensive. Why can’t the shaving cream itself heat up? Think Icy Hot. Surely chemists can solve this minor problem.

  3. P1 They have it, it’s not that great, the real warmed stuff is better, alternately I use very hot water with old fashioned shaving soap and a horse hair brush to lather it up. It’s very nice.
    P2 I put my razor back into the hot water to rinse it between every stroke. Personally I’d rather have the simplicity of that vs a razor that has batteries or somethingelse.
    P3 This exists too, some work better than others.

    If we’re talking Electric shavers then P2 comes back into play and I think you’ll find that the temp stays pretty consistent through your shave, at least that’s what I’m told, personally I hate electric shavers. I’ve seen A LOT of work done on men’s shaving here at Philips. They’ve really studied out the whole experience of it.

    I really love that you’re reflecting on things and finding principles, it’s great.

  4. I’m glad people are thinking about these very important topics. Shaving is an experience and I would like it to be amazing.

    If these things are readily available (rinsing razor doesn’t count for me), they should be more accessible. Or maybe I’m just ignorant in the ways of shaving.

  5. Tweets that mention John Wayne Hill : Blog – Human Centered Shaving Design --