The not-so-secret trick to a smooth shave is using a fresh razor. So, why are women still suffering through dull (and unsanitary) blades instead of swapping out cartridges after every five to seven uses?
The answer falls neatly at the cross section of expense and convenience. And, while men’s shave clubs have been springing up to deliver fresh cartridges at a lower cost for several years, women are just starting to enjoy similar options.
But, before we look at which women’s shave club is best, it’s worth asking: Are those girly, pink razors any different from men’s?
What’s the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Razors?
According to these Quora answers, men’s and women’s models are designed differently to achieve the best results, based on the areas that each gender shaves.
For example, men shave a smaller area (their face), and are challenged with lots of contours and thicker, denser hair growth. That means, to get the job done right, a narrow cartridge head for maneuvering tight spaces and thinner, harder razor blades spaced in smaller increments are preferred.
The largest area women typically shave is their legs, so razors are designed to cover large, broad, and relatively flat (at least compared to a face) areas with increased efficiency. And, because your leg hair is likely finer than a man’s facial hair, women’s razor cartridges are equipped with thicker, softer steel blades that can hold a fine edge for longer.
Even when featuring a similar blade count, women’s razors offer around triple the shielding power of a men’s razor, aimed at decreasing the risk of cuts and nicks. Additionally, women’s blades are spaced farther apart and set at a slightly less aggressive angle.
Finally, women’s razors typically feature a larger moisture strip, which provides additional slip and helps the blades glide across the skin without pulling and tugging.
In short, we’re told that when shopping for a women’s razor, you should look for the following features:
- A wider cartridge head to cover a larger area.
- Wide-spaced blades that allow shaving gel to rinse through.
- Larger moisturizing strips to provide slip.
With these details in mind, it’s worth noting that—based on these answers—every one that claimed there’s a difference between men’s and women’s razors also sold and manufactured them.
Women’s Razors are Specially Designed to Trim Fine, Sparse Hairs
According to those who state there are differences between razor models, the risk of skin irritation is greater if a man tried to use a woman’s razor on his face, since the soft steel blades would ding on the first pass. Any additional attempts would just tug and rip hairs out at the root.
Since legs aren’t quite so sensitive, women can get away with using a man’s razor. But the hard, thin blades that are designed for brute force cutting will likely require multiple passes to trim sparser, softer hairs, potentially leaving your skin chafed and irritated.
Does that mean that women are left buying $8 hot pink, fruit-scented razors forever? Not quite. Next, we’ll compare women’s shaving clubs to learn which one offers the best price for your shaving needs.
Comparing Women’s Shave Clubs: Angel Shave Club vs. 99 Cent Razor vs. ShaveMOB
These three companies each claim that their lady-specific razors are a cut above the rest, offering the convenience of home delivery, plus savings on cartridge refills.
Angel Shave Club
Angel Shave Club calls itself a boutique shave club for women and claims to offer a fully customizable razor subscription membership. Customers can select the number of blades, handle color, and how often they’d like them delivered.
Your choices include:
The Little Lady: A three-blade razor with a pivot head and moisturizing strip. Choose between three handle colors (pink, blue, and rose bud). Costs $6 for four replacement cartridges every month (billed and sent bi-monthly).
The Angel: A five-blade razor with additional trimming edge. Choose between the same handle colors. Costs $9 for four replacement cartridges every month (billed and sent bi-monthly).
We couldn’t help but notice that Angel Shave Club’s base model, the Little Lady, costs twice as much per cartridge as the Dollar Shave Club’s two blade razor, the Humble Twin, and the exact same as DSC’s 4X, which features one additional blade.
In our comparison of men’s shaving clubs, we learned that blades work in pairs—a blunt blade will lift up a hair, so that the second, sharper blade can slice it close to the skin.
Since learning how blades work together and the supposed differences between men’s and women’s razors, we couldn’t help but wonder why a three-blade razor with a plastic handle costs the same as a four-blade razor made with hefty metal.
The answer, it turns out, is on their About page: Angel Shave Club “offers razors in colors appealing to women and delivers them in a beautiful box.”
There’s nothing wrong with spending extra on a razor handle that appeals to your aesthetic. After all, Harry’s offers men the same spin. However, we’re disappointed that Angel Shave Club didn’t mention any of the differentiating features that justify the higher cost of their women’s razors.
99 Cent Razor
99 Cent Razor promises great razors at a great price, and offers two different women’s models to choose from, both of which are available with or without a subscription:
The Pink Poodle: Described as a sassy starter razor for those who want a great shave, the Pink Poodle is a three-blade disposable model. It comes in packs of four, and costs $3.96 a month with a subscription. Also available as a one-time purchase for $5.
The Bernadoodle: Aside from being non-disposable with a slightly redesigned head, the Bernadoodle is basically the same thing as the Pink Poodle in a different color. It has three blades and an aloe strip. Oh, and you get a shower wall mount. The Bernadoodle is available for $4.96 per month, and you’ll receive four cartridges every 30 days.
Considering the environmental impact of having disposable razors shipped to you, we think it’s difficult to get behind the Pink Poodle. Although, at $0.99 per razor, it’s definitely your cheapest women’s option. (Dollar Shave Club’s Humble Twin is a paltry $0.60 per cartridge, maintaining its position as the cheapest overall choice.)
Similar to the Angel Shave Club, we couldn’t find any gender-specific benefits to the Bernadoodle’s blades. It does, at least, feature a wider ergonomic handle to complement its pretty color and shower wall holder.
ShaveMOB Shave Club
ShaveMOB sells men’s and women’s razor cartridges in bulk, offering a bigger discount the more you buy.
Note that ShaveMOB claims their blades are made better, and only require swapping out half as often. Meaning, two cartridges are supposed to last one month, 12 cartridges six months, and 24 cartridges are considered a one-year supply.
The company offers three different women’s razors, including:
The Practical: This three-bladed replaceable razor features a lubricating strip, flow-through design, pivoting head, and non-slip handle. A two-month supply ($9.99) includes one handle and four cartridges; six-month ($14.99) includes one handle and 12 cartridges; 12-month supply ($24.99) includes one handle and 24 cartridges.
The Purist: A four-blade razor that otherwise matches the Practical in every way. Two-month supply ($10.99) includes handle and four cartridges; six-month ($17.99) includes handle and 12 cartridges; 12-month supply ($29.99) includes handle and 24 cartridges.
The Perfectionist: Features six blades, a lubricating strip, pivoting head, flow-through design—essentially the same as the previous two with more blades. Optional flexible head cartridges claim to provide a better shave around curves. Two-month supply ($12.99) includes handle and four cartridges; six-month ($22.99) includes handle and 12 cartridges; 12-month supply ($39.99) includes handle and 24 cartridges. Note that you can select cartridges without the optional flexible head for slightly less per piece.
Aside from the optional flexible head on the highest-priced product, we didn’t see any indication on the company’s website that their lady-specific razors are designed any differently from the men’s versions.
On the upside, at least ShaveMOB doesn’t charge more for women’s razors just because they’re pink.
A Side-by-Side Comparison of Women’s Shaving Clubs
Here’s a breakdown of how much each women’s shave club costs, down to the dollar-per-cartridge:
|Blades per Cartridge||Cartridges per Shipment||Price w/ Shipping||Price per Cartridge|
|ASC The Little Lady||3||4||$6 per month (billed bi-monthly)||$1.50|
|ASC The Angel||5||4||$9 per month (billed bi-monthly)||$2.25|
|99 Cent Razor The Pink Poodle||3||4 (disposable razors)||$3.96 per month||$0.99|
|99 Cent Razor The Bernadoodle||3||4||$4.96||$1.24|
|ShaveMOB The Practical (2, 6, 12-Month)||3||4; 12; 24||$9.99 (2-month); $14.99 (6-month); $24.99 (12-month)||$2.50; $1.25; $1.04|
|ShaveMOB The Purist (2, 6, 12-Month)||4||4; 12; 24||$10.99 (2-month); $17.99 (6-month); $29.99 (12-month)||$2.75; $1.50; $1.25|
|ShaveMOB The Perfectionist (2, 6, 12-Month)||6||4; 12; 24||$12.99 (2-month); $22.99 (6-month); $39.99 (12-month)||$3.25; $1.92; $1.67|
Do Women’s Shave Clubs Save You Money?
In researching women’s shave clubs, we couldn’t help but notice a few things: Ladies are presented with significantly fewer shave club options, and are offered fewer blades compared to similarly-priced men’s products.
Even then, do women’s shave clubs save you any money? To learn the answer, here’s how much popular cartridges cost in the store:
Gillette Daisy (two blades): $7.99 for 13 disposable razors. That’s $0.62 per razor.
Gillette Venus (three blades): $5.99 for the razor, then $22.99 for 8 cartridges. That’s $3.62 per cartridge initially, or $2.87 each (for the same number) when it’s time to refill.
Gillette Venus Embrace (five blades): $8.49 for the razor, $22.99 for 6 cartridges. That’s $5.25 per cartridge to start, and about $3.83 per cartridge for another six refills.
Based on these numbers, when compared to the cost of buying cartridge refills in the store, women’s shave clubs offer substantial savings.
But, you know what’s even cheaper? Men’s shave clubs.
And after reviewing the three women’s shave clubs listed above, we didn’t find a lick of evidence that those ubiquitous, pink-handled plastic razors featured any sort of special design that would warrant their increased cost.
We’re not the first to notice this, either. A number of popular websites with a primarily female audience have been making a note of the unjustified price difference, and have consequently been switching to men’s shave clubs.
If you’re interested in giving up the girly razors for a savings of roughly a dollar a week, check out our review of men’s shave clubs to find the razor that best suits your shaving needs. And, if the lack of an included shower holder is what’s holding you back, never fear! You can find one on Amazon for less than $10.