Electric shaver usage in Japan


How thick do you think your beard is? graph of japanese statisticsWith Father’s Day being next weekend, here’s a timely look with DIMSDRIVE Research at a popular gift for this time of year, electric razors.


Between the 13th and 28th or May 2009 9,897 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 50.3% of the sample were male, 1.0% in their teens, 13.0% in their twenties, 34.4% in their thirties, 30.3% in their forties, 15.1% in their fifties, and 6.2% aged sixty or older. 63.5% of the sample were married, although I don’t know if that has any significance towards the results.

Both my electric shavers have been presents from the wife. The first was a rather naff Hitachi single-headed alkali battery-operated one that required me to use a razor once a week or more to catch all the bits that it missed, and my current Braun was free via credit card mileage points. I use shaving gel to set up my skin, and barring quite poor performance around the Adam’s apple area, I’m quite happy.

You’ll note that there is no question “do you have a beard, thus no need to shave?”, or even asking how the beard trimming features of the shaver is.

Research results

Q1: How thick do you think your beard is? (Sample size=4,977, men)

Rather thick 10.3%
A little thick 24.2%
About average 41.1%
A little thin 17.0%
Rather thin 7.0%
Don’t want to answer 0.4%

Q2: About how often do you shave with the following implements? (Sample size=4,977, men)

  Razor Electric shaver
Twice a day or more 0.9% 1.9%
Once a day 24.0% 38.9%
Five times a week 8.0% 8.5%
Twice or thrice a week 15.9% 10.5%
Once a week 9.2% 4.5%
Less than once a week 15.0% 9.5%
Don’t use one at all 27.0% 26.2%

The above table is a bit difficult to interpret without absolute values of those who don’t use razors at all, etc. However, the next question implies that there are 68 men, or 1.4%, who do not usually shave, although whether that is due to having a beard or not having facial hair is not clear.

Q3: What problems do you have when shaving? (Sample size=4,909, regular shavers, multiple answer)

Left-over unshaved bits 46.0%
Razor abrasions 25.7%
Evening stubble even after shaving in the morning 23.4%
Tingly skin after shaving 22.9%
Unskilled at shavings 19.1%
Razor cuts 18.6%
Thick stubble 15.4%
Difficult to shave morning stubble 13.5%
Dry skin 11.9%
Can’t find an electric shaver that suits me 6.5%
Can’t find a razor that suits me 3.6%
Other 0.9%
Nothing in partcular 21.6%

Q4: Which maker’s electric shaver do you mainly use? (Sample size=3,198, electric shaver users)

Panasonic (National) 36.1%
Braun 29.5%
Hitachi 6.7%
Philips 6.0%
Sanyo 5.4%

Q5: How many blades does this shaver have? (Sample size=3,198, electric shaver users)

Single blade 13.3%
Double blade 33.4%
Triple blade 30.9%
Four blade 3.5%
Don’t know 18.9%

There was a significant trend towards more blades for those with thicker beards.

Q6: How much did that shaver cost? (Sample size=3,198, electric shaver users)

Under 5,000 yen 21.7%
5,000 to 9,999 yen 30.9%
10,000 to 14,999 yen 16.6%
15,000 to 19,999 yen 7.8%
20,000 to 29,999 yen 6.4%
30,000 yen or more 2.0%
Bought myself, but forgot the price 6.6%
Didn’t buy it myself 8.0%

The thicker the beard, the more people spent on their shavers.

Q7: Which points did you refer to when selecting that shaver? (Sample size=3,198, electric shaver users who bought their own shaver, multiple answer)

Price 53.5%
Maker, brand 36.0%
Water washable 28.9%
Good cutting blade feel 14.2%
Number of blades 12.2%
Can give a close shave 11.3%
Blade drive type (rotary or vibrating head, etc) 10.8%
Easy to clean 9.9%
Shop staff recommendation 8.7%
Design, shape 8.4%
Automatic washing function 8.0%
Doesn’t leave behind unsaved patches 6.7%
Latest features 6.6%
Kind on skin, no tingly sensation 6.0%
Advertisements 5.6%
Battery life 5.2%
Hugs the skin 5.0%
Easy to shave morning stubble 3.6%
Other 3.3%
Nothing in particular 10.0%

By maker, Sanyo was most often chosen on price (and price alone!), Braun on brand, and Panasonic on water washability. Phillips score well for blade drive type, gentleness on skin, and face-hugging ability. Hitachi had no stand-out features.

Q8: How satisfied are you with your shaver? (Sample size=3,198, electric shaver users who bought their own shaver, by manufacturer)

  Totally satisfied Somewhat satisfied Can’t say either way Somewhat dissatisfied Totally dissatisfied
5.9% 53.5% 30.3% 8.4% 1.9%
5.4% 49.0% 36.3% 7.9% 1.4%
6.3% 58.8% 20.8% 12.5% 1.6%
2.8% 38.6% 40.4% 16.3% 1.9%
1.1% 38.5% 42.6% 16.7% 1.1%

There was also a definite increase in satisfaction according to price paid, from just 36.0% of those having paid under 5,000 yen to 73.4% of those paying 30,000 yen or more. Those who hadn’t bought it themselves, or those who had forgotton how much they paid were both around 45% satisfaction.

Q9: Have you ever bought an electric shaver as a present for your husband, father? (Sample size=4,920, female)

Yes, on Father’s Day 19.1%
Yes, but on a different day 13.5%
No, never 67.4%

Q10: How did you select the electric shaver you bought as a present? Choose the single most appropriate answer. (Sample size=1,605, those buying a shaver as a present)

Just chose whatever 19.8%
We chose it together 18.2%
Chose the one recommended by staff 15.9%
Chose the one with lots of features 10.3%
Chose the one he asked for 9.5%
Chose the one with the latest features 8.9%
Chose the expensive one 1.9%
Other 2.7%
Don’t remember 12.8%
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1 Comment »

  1. Janne said,
    June 16, 2009 @ 13:46

    If you have a beard, don’t use an electric shaver or a hair trimmer. Get a real beard trimmer; it’s like night and day. The shaver trimming thing is completely inadequate, and hair trimmers can’t really cope with the thicker, shorter beard bristles that find themselves into the mechanics. I’ve had my beard trimmer (a Braun) for eleven years now, and it’s still going strong.

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