Image Source: Skarp Technologies/Kickstarter
For thousands of years, we have used the razor to shave and get rid of unwanted hair. With technological developments in pretty much every field, somehow, the humble razor has been ignored. Razor brands, at most, add an extra blade or try to play around the ergonomics of the razor. But there has been no innovation when it comes to the most important component of the razor, the blade itself.
This is what drove California based Skarp Technologies to create a razor that has no blade at all. Kickstarter project that was launched on 21 September aimed at raising $160,000. At the time of this post, it was funded $1,000,626 and shows no signs of stopping.
The American Environment Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 2 billion razors are thrown away each year in US alone. They end up in garbage dumps continuing to take up space with other waste, as they cannot be recycled due to health risks. Besides the environmental factors, shaving with blades has always been cumbersome resulting in burns, irritation and even infection.
With these challenges in mind, Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun founded Skarp Technologies to create a razor that doesn’t cause irritation, shaves smoothly and can help reduce waste. According to the Kickstarter page, Gustavsson has been working in the medical and cosmetic laser industry for three decades. He had the idea for a laser razor in 2001, but the technology wasn’t available.
Wavelengths of light had been discovered that cut through dark hair but not light or gray hair, so it wasn’t until 2009 that he found a wavelength that could cut any color hair.
Image source: Skarp Technologies/Kickstarter
The Skarp Razor laser specifically targets a molecule called chromophore, the only continuous structure in hair that is shared by every human regardless of age, gender or race. The laser melts the hair shaft right at the surface of the skin, so the roughness caused by traditional razors, which cut at an angle, are no longer a problem.
If you are worried about the laser damaging your skin, Skarp says that the laser doesn’t enter the skin or cause complications that can happen from traditional laser hair removal. It doesn’t emit UV, and the power of the laser is too low to cause damage.
Skarp can be used with water, but it’s not necessary, which means users can also reduce the amount of water they use when shaving and lathering. The laser has a life of 50,000 hours and is powered by a AAA battery.
The project still has 18 more days to go and it has already received overwhelming support with over 6,255 backers who have pledged more than 1 million dollars.