Forget the race to cure cancer; for more than 100 years, the fastest advancing field of scientific research seems to have been ‘How can we overcomplicate the process of scraping fluff off men’s faces?’ Yes, ever since American inventor King Camp Gillette – seriously, look it up – patented the first disposable razor in 1901, men everywhere have been caught in the crossfire of an arms race between companies desperate to provide new skin-skimming gimmicks.
It seems this battle has reached its logical conclusion with the catchily titled Philips Nivea For Men Shaver, a washable electric razor that oozes a lubricating balm onto its blades to provide a smooth, clean cut. After much scouting, we found ourselves a suitable guinea pig.
While our tester is already well-versed in the use of electric shavers, he’s not usually one for this level of technical trickery, so, after much cooing over the fact that he could now shave in the shower (irrespective of the fact that he doesn’t have a mirror in there), we patted him on his head and sent him home for a two- week trial.
Sadly, the results were not all that favourable; while our guinea pig was impressed by the sci-fi contours of the shaver and the efficient – if slightly icky – balm application system, the results were definitely less impressive than those from his old electric shaver.
We’ll forget about the occasional bouts of rash that plagued his face (that kind of thing is fairly common with new shavers), but no matter how careful he was, and how long he took, he was never able to get a truly close shave, and the lack of a catcher for the cut hairs could cause a little bit of a mess if he wasn’t careful.
He also disliked the fact that, as well as new shaver heads, the user will have to splash out on 75ml applicators of shaving balm and, occasionally, a balm holder – both produced exclusively by Philips. Worse, the heads are only available from Al Gandhi Electronics. Not a good choice for those hoping to cut budgets as well as stubble.
Philips Nivea For Men Shaver, price from Dhs389, razor head set Dhs180, 75ml refill and balm holder sold together for Dhs49. Available at Carrefour branches (04 409 4899, Mall Of The Emirates). Razor heads only available at Al Gandhi Electronics Showroom (04 337 6600, taxi: near Maktoum Bridge, Umm Hurair Road, next to DHL office).