October 27, 2017

Behold the first razor designed to shave someone else.

  By Eric March

"It takes me like a half an hour to shave my father because I have to be so careful," a middle-aged man declares.

The man, identified as New Jersey native Kristian Rex, presses the razor to his elderly, disabled father's face — a face he loves. With great care, he glides the blade across his father's chin, upper lip, and cheeks, taking pains to listen and follow instructions.

"He's really particular about his sideburns." he says, as his dad smiles.

The ad, which recently won six Lion Awards at Cannes, is the centerpiece of the launch of Gillette's Treo, which the company calls the "first-ever assisted shaving razor."

The blade, which is designed specifically for a caregiver to use on clients or family members, is currently in testing. The company plans to distribute 10,000 razors free as part of the trial. The data they gather will help inform the final design.  

"When we spoke with our partners like [the American Society of Aging], we learned that the primary goal of family members and professional caregivers alike is to help maintain a sense of normalcy and to support lost functions — like the ability to shave oneself," Melissa Monich, Procter & Gamble's vice president of research and development, global grooming, said in a news release.

Adapting the Treo for caregiver use meant redesigning the company's traditional blade to optimize for one person shaving another.

The most drastic change is to the handle, which works "like a paintbrush" and includes a divot that operators place their fingers on for a steadier shave. The handle also contains built-in shaving gel, allowing caregivers to lather and shave in one motion.

Some caregivers plan to waiting and see if the Treo will really work as advertised.

While others are cautiously optimistic.

The company hopes the innovation results in a "dignified shaving experience" for those unable to shave themselves.

"We were struck by how important these day-to-day activities are in supporting the dignity, pride, and morale of those who need assistance," Monich said.

Soon, a few thousand people will have a chance to see if the blade delivers that boost — and a clean shave, to boot.

People interested in receiving a free razor as part of the pilot program can register here through Nov. 30, 2017.