Men with beards have invented a razor which shaves with a laser.
Californian startup Skarp is the brainchild of follicle boffin Morgan Gustavsson, who has worked on medical devices for hair removal.
Skarp Technologies says its razor is powered by a small laser, which cuts through hair for a shave which is closer than using a blade and doesn’t suffer from irritation, razor burn, cuts or ingrown hairs. The AAA battery should last about a month and the device about 50,000 hours. It’s waterproof and can be used in the shower, but it does not require a lather.
Founder Morgan invented IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) in 1989, which is a preferred method of hair removal and dermatology treatments to this day.
A major challenge was finding a laser frequency which could cut any colour of hair, a requirement which makes the device quite expensive. The mass market for cheap lasers comes from Blu-ray players and needing a special frequency reduces the availability. After years of research and development, they discovered a chromophore in the hair which can be cut when hit with a particular light wavelength.
Chromophores are particles that absorb certain wavelengths (colours) of light. The chromophore they identified is shared by every human, regardless of age, gender or race.
Skarp claims it’s safe: “The wavelength we're using doesn't emit UV. The power of the laser is too low to cause damage. But more importantly, the laser doesn't enter the skin, it only enters the hair. So there is absolutely no risk of developing any complications or damage.”
The name Skarp comes from the Swedish word for “sharp”, as Gustavsso was brought up in Sweden.