Grooming The Best Straight Razors: Barbershop Closeness At Home Everyone loves a
Harry's Razors Review
Let’s face it — shaving can feel like the most monotonous of all chores. Keeping skin silky smooth daily while avoiding rashes, razor bumps, and discomfort would make anyone want to be beardly beautiful. It’s not easy finding the best razor for a clean, close shave at home. With grooming kit options now so ubiquitous on the internet, how is it possible to know which works best?
Analysis paralysis is real. Trimming out the competition to find an affordable shaving kit that doesn’t focus on over-designed nonsense but instead features simple, high-quality products is the goal. So what about this Harry’s you keep hearing about?
Harry’s claims not to compromise on the world’s finest materials and ingredients to ensure top performance and great results. The days of standing in front of a locked case at the drugstore, waiting for an employee with the key are over. The big question is, is it worth it? Check out our Harry’s Razors review below.
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What is Harry's and What Do They Offer?
Traditionally, the razors purchased from the drugstore aisles are cheaply made but designed to look expensive. There is a slew of cartridge options, whether it’s three, four, or five blades. Recently, within the last decade, new razor companies began nicking their way into the industry with a new vision – mail order shave kits. Harry’s is one of these.
Harry’s launched their subscription mail-order service in March of 2013 when founders Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield could not find an uncomplicatedly designed razor to fit their barbering needs. In January of 2014, they acquired a German razor blade factory to manufacture all aspects of their endeavor, which would be up to their simple standards. Harry’s razor starter kits are a fair price, starting at just under ten dollars. The initial box comes stocked with a weighted rubberized handle, shaving gel, a five-blade razor cartridge, and a travel cover. Let’s break down each product:
Whether shaving at the bathroom sink, or in the shower, the handle is perfectly weighted not to slip out of anyone’s hand. There are two handles to choose from: the Truman handle is covered in a rubberized material with a matte finish with a textured pattern is designed for grip; the Winston handle is made of die-cast zinc and polished chrome with a rubberized grip.
When it comes to the razors, it’s simple — each head consists of five German precision blades. The cartridges include a lubricating strip that promises a smooth easy glide, a precision trimmer, and a flexible hinge with great rebound.
Foaming Shave Gel
This mildly fragrant gel can foam for a thick lather and a close, comfortable shave. The aloe-infused ingredients allow a little bit to go a long way, as it hydrates and refreshes the skin one stroke at a time.
Travel Blade Cover
Harry’s razor cartridges are shaped differently, so this travel cover is a fantastic (and practical) inclusion. This clamshell cover is designed to guard each blade against the elements, drying the blades for guaranteeing prolonged use.
Harry’s vs Gillette
With all this in mind, is Harry’s simple razor model real competition for a company like Gillette? The answer is simply, yes. The Gillette Company was founded in 1901 by King Camp Gillette, the inventor of the OG safety razor. With over a hundred years of innovation under their belts, Gillette started the blades race. They’ve had a handle on the grooming market for years – they have made it all. Most recently they have dipped their toes in the direct-to-consumer method, offering three options on their platform. Unfortunately, they are coming off as dull as dishwater, or as the old dog trying to fit in with the younger generation causing razor blindness.
Harry’s razor company has narrowed down the competition with nothing more than the basics. Since being launched, the model has never veered away from simplicity; when it comes to men’s toiletries, what you see is what you get. Recently, a second handle has been added to their program, but all replacement razor cartridges are the same. From their product to their marketing and prices, it is obvious Harry’s has their customers in mind. With this fresh view on an old market, Harry’s is giving Gillette a run for their money.
Gilette Best Bundle – $57
Includes: Razor, handle, stand, 8 blade refills.
Harry’s Truman Set ($15) + 8 refills ($16): $31
Includes: 3 blades, Truman handle, shave gel, travel cover. Add-on of 8 refill blades (for a total of 12 cartridges).
Harry’s Social Mission
Harry’s co-founder Jeff Raider is no stranger to adding a philanthropic feature to an entrepreneurial venture. He is also the co-founder of Warby Parker, a company based on the buy-one-give-one business model. Carrying over that successful trait is another reason why Harry’s is a fan favorite — they care for people, beyond their customers. When the company was founded, they had a mantra: “We Give A Shave.” This acted as a reminder that customer care and the surrounding community were equally important.
The first organization they partnered with was called ‘The Mission Continues,’ which helps recently returned veterans reintegrate to civilian life through continued service. They provide six-month fellowships for veterans to serve at non-profit organizations, renew their own sense of purpose, and better the community. Harry’s recognized the hard work of participants during the transition and how it impacted each individual mentally.
Today, Harry’s now pledges 1% of all sales every year, donating to charities that provide mental health care support to men. Men are affected by suicide at a monstrous rate, a serious issue that is nothing short of an epidemic. The emphasis on the old societal norms of “manning up” and not expressing emotion is officially in the past. The company has partnered with at least ten organizations that help vulnerable men who feel voiceless and are on the verge of crisis. Harry’s employees also receive five days of paid time off to volunteer with a registered non-profit organization.
Is Harry's Worth It?
Harry’s is most likely leading the subscription-based razor industry. The simple approach, the quality product, and customer care have gone far beyond the limits imagined. How else could a sharp startup take on multi-million dollar conglomerates like Unilever and Procter and Gamble? Harry’s saw a problem and found a solution – all while giving back to the same community that supports them. Another flex on their success is the company’s launch of a women’s line, Flamingo, in October 2018. Their mission allows room to grow and evolve, and their blade manufacture factory gives them the freedom to be in control from A to Z.
One setback with Harry’s razors is the hinge that connects the razor blade cartridge to the handle. The advantage of this contraption is that both a Harry’s razor or a Flamingo razor will fit on any handle. However, the downfall is that this piece is made of plastic and isn’t as sturdy as desired. One small flick or a tiny amount of pressure in the wrong direction can cause the blade to fall out of place, which might lead to unwanted nicks and cuts.
The biggest benefit (beyond price) is the accessibility to replacement products. Replacement blades come in boxes of 4, 8, or 12, ringing in at around two dollars apiece, and can be acquired in a couple of different ways. The simplest way is the perfectly-curated subscriptions boxes, however, as of late, Harry’s products are also available in two local big box stores: Target and Walmart.
Harry’s direct-to-consumer program goes far beyond receiving a box in the mail every so often. The simple design, attention to detail, and giveback programs have all in all helped this company grow into a billion-dollar company. In the spring of 2019, Harry’s was approached by Edgewell Personal Care, the same company that owns the Schick brand of shaving products, in hopes to merge both companies by 2020 – until the Federal Trade Commission blocked the acquisition.
When it comes to a personal experience like shaving, no two routines will be exactly the same. Factors such as skin sensitivity, face shape and preferred applied pressure will affect your shave quality. While some have reported skin irritation, the razors are generally favorited for their price and sharpness. All in all, Harry’s is definitely worth a try. Their affordable product line covers everything from face to shower products.
Harry’s razors can be purchased on their website, where it is possible to sign up for recurring shipments. Shaving equipment and men’s personal care products can also be purchased via several retail locations, including Kroegers, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and more. The newest store to purchase a Harry’s starter kit is Costco, where 1 Truman handle with 13 replaceable cartridges will ring up just under $30.
Harry’s was founded by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider. Edgewell Personal Care company tried to purchase Harry’s razor brand in May 2019, but the Federal Trade Commission blocked the acquisition. The reason behind the blocked merger states support for disruptive companies such as Harry’s, and how eliminating them would eliminate growth in competition among suppliers in the shaving industry and would cause significant harm to their consumers across the United States.
In January 2014, Harry’s purchased Feintechnik in Eisfeld, Germany — a razor blade manufacturer founded in 1920. By owning the entire process, even grinding high-grade steel, the company can continue to innovate and evolve, making shaving an even better experience – all while keeping products simple at a fair price. Harry’s razor handles are manufactured in China.