How to use an electric shaver
Differences between shaving with a manual razor and an electric razor
If you commonly shave with a manual razor then you will be used to the idea that you should always shave with the grain – at least on the first pass. You will also probably be familiar with using shaving foam or cream, and cleaning your blade during the shaving process to remove any hair that gets caught or clogged in the blade.
Conversely, with an electric shaver you don’t need to worry so much about shaving with the grain, depending on the type of shaver being used. Because electric shavers stand the hairs up they are easier to cut even when shaving against the grain. The shaver therefore does the work for you, meaning less of the irritation that you may experience with a manual razor if you go against the hair growth. In addition, although there are plenty of electric shavers that are designed to be used for a wet or a dry shave, electric shavers are generally used for dry shaving, so you don’t have to use shaving foam. However, we would generally advise that if you have sensitive skin and/or suffer from razor burn then you may be better off looking for an electric shaver that can be used for a wet shave! Finally, although you should definitely clean your shaver once you have finished shaving, you will not need to do so whilst shaving – as long as you are dry shaving!
Wet or Dry Shaving?
As we have mentioned, there are a number of electric razors which can be used for a wet or dry shave. Bearing in mind that many men move to electric shaving to save time, and it is generally quicker to dry shave with an electric shaver, it may seem counter productive or pointless to buy an electric shaver and continue to wet shave. However, whether wet or dry electric shaving is right for you depends on your face and your facial hair. If you have more sensitive skin it might be easier and more comfortable to wet shave, using foam or gel and will still be quicker than wet shaving with a manual razor. Bear this in mind when buying an electric shaver and if you think that wet shaving might be more comfortable consider paying a little more for an electric shaver with that option! According to the leading rotary shaver manufacturer, Philips, a wet shave is best after a bath or shower but at the very least you should wash your face with warm water to get the pores open, then apply your favourite gel or foam and shave, cleaning your shaver of foam every so often. Finally, once you have completed your shave, rinse your face again to close your pores.
Young man shaving using electric shaver
Foil and Rotary Shaving Techniques
You are probably aware that there are two main types of electric shaver; foil and rotary shavers. Given the quite different design it may come as no surprise that the actual method and technique of shaving is different depending on the type of razor that you are using.
The leading manufacturer of foil razors, Braun, suggest that you shave before washing your face, as the skin absorbs moisture and swells slightly after washing.
You should always start by shaving any areas of your face that are most sensitive, as an electric shaver can heat up a little during use, which will cause a higher level of irritation.
Use your free hand to stretch the skin and make for a smoother and closer shave.
Shaving with a foil razor has more in common with shaving with a manual razor. When using a foil shaver, you should shave against the hair growth and should avoid repeatedly going over the same areas in order to reduce the level of irritation – the fewer passes you can make the more comfortable the shave will be. With a foil shaver you should also try to maintain the razor at a strict 90 degree angle to your face to make for the closest shave.
If you are more used to manual shaving then this technique may take a little more getting used to. Because the blades on a rotary shaver rotate in a circular motion, you should move the razor in the same manner – small circular movements, making sure not to press to hard on the skin, or go over the same area too many times.
Adjusting to Electric Shaving
All shaver manufacturers recommend that it may take a few weeks for your skin to adjust to shaving with an electric razor rather than a manual. This also applies if you are switching from a foil to a rotary shaver or vice versa – so don’t write off your new shaver if you are finding it a little uncomfortable at first. Stick with it and follow the tips we have suggested to have the best chance of avoiding discomfort when getting used to your new shaver.
Using an electric shaver is not difficult and it can save both time and money over using manual blades. For the smoothest and most comfortable shave we recommend the Braun 760cc. This is a great foil shaver and is our top recommendation.
If you suffer from razor burn or sensitive skin then you may want to consider Philips 9300 S9311/84. This shaver is a Wet/Dry shaver meaning you can use shaving foam with it to give a more comfortable shave.