The future is here, and along with it comes the latest in shaving technology. According to a report from Mashable, engineers at Skarp Technologies have invented the first-ever razor that shaves and trims using a laser. The project soared past its $160,000 Kickstarter goal just two days after it launched on September 21, earning an initial $790,612 in funding.
Skarp touches on a function of everyday life that has largely been unchanged for the past century. Sure, men’s grooming razors have entered the six-blade and beyond territory, but we still rely on metal blades to get the closest shave possible.
These can produce cuts, ingrown hairs, and stubble in the same day. But the big problem with razors is waste – The EPA estimates that Americans throw away 2 billion razors each year.
Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun, the founders of Skarp, wanted to create a razor that eliminates irritation and waste while providing a smooth, clean shave.
Gustavsson has worked in the medical and cosmetic laser industry for the better part of 30 years, their Kickstarter page says. He invented the Intense Pulsed Light in 1989, which is still used today in many hair removal and dermatology treatments. He first conceived of the laser razor in 2001, but had to wait a few more years until the technology became available.
In 2009, Gustavsson discovered a wavelength of light that had the ability to slice through any color hair, with the help of a molecule called chromophore. This is the only continuous structure in the hair that every human produces regardless of age, sex, or genetic history. The laser melts through the hair shaft and splits the chromophores when they come into contact with the specific wavelength.
The laser is totally safe for human use, and does not emit any ultraviolet radiation. It doesn’t ever enter the skin, eliminating the possibility of cuts and nicks.
It also reduces the amount of water used while shaving, which contributes massively to waste. It has a life of 50,000 hours and runs on a AAA battery.