The story of by Jon Farah the society, REEL, began by jumping down Google’s rabbit hole at 2 a.m. to try to figure out what causes razor burn and how to effectively reduce it. This rabbit hole led Farah to start a business to help men (and women) with their own razor burnt skin.
It was during this first Google dive that Farah discovered that about 50% of men in the United States suffer from razor burn after shaving. The condition, called pseudofolliculitis barbae, was something he had struggled with for years, the Greenville-based entrepreneur says.
“I’ve spent nearly $150 trying everything from, you know, shaving foam you bought off the grocery store shelf to high-end shaving creams and products that skincare brands women’s skin were making at the time and I was just trying to find something that worked,” Farah recalls.
Farah experimented with a variety of formulas. Like his search for razor burn relief on Google, he turned to another internet powerhouse, China’s global manufacturing website Alibaba, to find a formulation partner in China. He eventually found a partner and began working to perfect his shaving cream formula. Thanks to the company he hired, Farah finally found the perfect solution in two key ingredients: shea butter and cetearyl. Farah says RE-EL’s products meet international standards and are not tested on animals.
REEL then had its two flagship products: the shaving cream and the after-shave balm that the company sells today on its website. The company officially launched in 2019. Farah says the RE-EL name is a play on the word “real” since the product is “the real thing.”
The company has found that men between the ages of 20 and 35 are the target of the products, although Farah says some customers have said their female partners use it as an all-purpose shaving cream.
RE-EL also donates part of its profits to the charity Movemember which funds projects supporting men’s health ranging from suicide prevention to testicular cancer.
In early 2021, RE-EL launched its matte black safety razor. The launch, says Farah, brought company offers in line with the company’s goal of completely eliminating razor burn.
“Adding a safety razor to the shaving process significantly reduces friction and tugging compared to six-blade razors,” says Farah. A safety razor is a razor with a protective part between the skin and the blade. He claims that with the RE-EL razor, it is also much more cost effective per shave than the standard packs of razors that men buy from the store.
“Within two weeks, we saw a 277% increase in website sales and a 595% increase in visits. For us, results like these show that men are looking for a real solution to fire. They’re willing to make an unconventional change to find it,” he says.