Laser hair removal isn't an entirely new thing, but current devices have a host of limitations that would prevent them from becoming useful as a laser razor. Particularly challenging, reports Tech Times, are the light gray hairs which are often difficult to remove with any existing laser razor technology.
It is reported that Skarp, the Swedish laser razor start up, hopes to change that with technology that works differently from previous attempts at building a laser razor. Instead of heating up the hair, the New York Post notes that the laser razor targets a specific particle in the hair, called a chromophore. The laser razor will cause hair to simply shear away when hit by the light from the laser razor.
This means that unlike traditional laser hair removal, which works best on dark hair paired with light skin, the Skarp Laser Razor will be effective for all skin colors, hair colors, and for all body parts. The company claims, therefore, on their KickStarter page, that the Skarp Laser Razor is suitable for all races, sexes, and ages, unlike previous attempts at building a laser razor.
As many have pointed out, "crowd funded" campaigns have a mixed track record, but the laser razor has been a huge hit so far, with over $3 million raised against the initial target of $160 thousand, with two weeks still to go. That means there are over 16 and a half thousand investors eagerly awaiting their laser razor next year. Skarp acknowledges the risks, with the laser razor containing small micro components, and requiring "unknown levels of fine tuning" and facing "quality control" challenges.
The laser razor should also please environmentalists, as the company reports that the Skarp laser razor doesn't require water to function, and also will reduce the strain on landfill sites.
"2 Billion razors or razor heads are thrown away each year in the US alone! Due to the hazardous nature of the blades, they can't be sorted & no individual municipality or district produces enough to make specialized collection cost effective. So they end up in land fills & garbage dumps."The laser razor will only require a single AAA battery for power for a full month of "regular use," Again another opportunity for the environmentally conscious, as naturally, a single rechargeable battery could power the laser razor for several years before needing to be discarded. The laser razor itself is planned to have a usable life of approximately 50 thousand hours.
The benefits of using the laser razor will also extend to reduced irritation from shaving. Traditional shaving is blighted by cuts, irritation, and sometimes even infection, Skarp claims, for many. As the laser razor doesn't heat the hair, there is not only no burning smell, but doesn't penetrate the skin, or emit UV light, significantly reducing any risk of irritation from the laser razor.
"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."Shaving with the laser razor should take the normal amount of time, saving a little as no "lathering up" will be required as part of the shaving process. CNET points out that the price of a long-lasting laser razor is going to be significantly higher than a traditional blade. However, volume will likely see the laser razor become more affordable in future, especially if laser shaving is a runaway success and competitors come to market.
In a world with sonic toothbrushes, electronic cigarettes, and self-driving cars, perhaps a laser razor is just the next step in the road to an easier future.
[Images Courtesy Skarp via KickStarter]