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What's the story of the electric razor?

Thirty years after the development of the safety razor, a man named Jacob Schick realized his long-held goal of creating a dry shaving system that eliminated the water and soap necessary for shaving with a blade. He achieved this by inventing the electric razor.

To get there, Schick first had to envision shaving in a different way. Whether straight or safety, a razor blade cuts the hair by slicing it, as a knife slices through butter. The electric razor, however, would shear the hair, similar to a pair of scissors.

Now, anyone who tries to shave with scissors quickly realizes it doesn't work, because the shears can't get close enough to the skin. Schick solved that problem by introducing an extremely thin, perforated piece of metal called the foil is what touches the skin. The hairs poke through the holes and are sheared off by a blade on the foil's other side.

But Schick faced a second problem. At the time of his first design in the 1920s, no electric motor was small enough to fit in a handheld device. As a result, his awkward solution was a grapefruit-sized motor in a separate case, connected to the shaving head with a flexible shaft. By 1931, Schick was able to release his first handheld electric shaver, with a small internal motor.

Over the next few decades, electric razors got more sophisticated, and more popular. Some used Schick's original design of oscillating blades; others, like the Norelco, used spinning blades.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.