Shaving is the primary grooming skill every suave man should know. However, your ability to shave yourself is just as good as your tools. Should you do it electrically or go old school? Consider these eight merits of electric vs. regular razors.
Electric and manual razors come at different price points, but the former is more expensive by a mile. Low-end electric hair clippers, trimmers and shavers will set you back a bit, while high-end models can cost hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, you can buy a pair of quality safety razors with a sleek finish for less than a Benjamin. You can also order four stainless steel shavettes for the same amount.
However, regular razors require wet shaving. A decent shaving brush and a rustproof stand are usually one-time purchases, but you’ll need to budget for preshave, shaving soap or cream, aftershave and replacement cartridges occasionally. The cost to replenish your supply will add up over time if you’re not smart with your purchases.
Meanwhile, electric clippers, trimmers and shavers generally work without other products because they only need dry shaving. They can last for years, but you may need replacement parts when some of their components break. You’ll also need a stock of cleaning fluid to prevent premature foil and blade wear.
Moreover, having one electric razor may be insufficient for your grooming needs — especially when you have plenty of facial and body hair. You may need a trimmer or a shaver paired with a hair clipper if you want to do all your shaving. More gadgets mean higher expenses.
Are electric razors better than regular ones regarding efficiency? In a way, they are. Machines can get the job done faster, but you may need to go back over areas multiple times to cut more hair.
Conversely, shaving with a traditional razor is typically more time-consuming. You must prep the areas first to reduce the friction between the blade and your skin. When you’re ready to shave, you must take time to glide over areas smoothly and safely.
Shaving the traditional way is the best way to achieve a clean look. A conventional razor has multiple blades designed to lift the hair from the follicle upon contact before cutting it. The result is the closest shave you’ll get.
Trimming messy stubble with an electric shaver can make your face look neat, but expect a five o’clock shadow. A slight growth of beard and mustache can make you appear more masculine and mature, but it’s the closest to a shave an electric razor can do. You’ll have to shave more frequently to keep whiskers unnoticeable if you want to do it electrically.
Traditional razors are useful for any area you want to shave cleanly. Most barbers recommend them for your face, chest, abdomen and legs. In contrast, every type of electric razor has a specialty.
Trimmers can be helpful for shaving different body parts. It’s suitable for cutting finer and shorter hair on your face. This tool can come with various attachments to expand its shaving capabilities. It can have a precision detailer for trimming your beard, sideburns and eyebrows, a reciprocating head for edging and grooming hairy ears, and a rotary head for cutting nose hair.
Hair clippers are perfect for trimming long hair. You’ll need one if you have a scruffy beard or want to cut the hair on your head down to one-sixteenth of an inch. Shavers are primarily for facial hair. You can use a hair clipper and a rotary shaver alternately to trim your bushy beard, but you’ll need a foil shaver to remove as much hair from your skin as possible.
Consider the tool’s design when determining the upkeep of electric vs. regular razors. A no-frills safety razor is easy to maintain. You can rinse it with warm water and pat it dry to remove mineral buildup and lather residue. When changing blades, wash and wipe the inside of the head. On the contrary, a straight razor needs more care since its blade dulls with use. You can sharpen it with a strop, a natural or manufactured stone, or a lapping film.
Electric razor maintenance is usually stress-free. Built-in vacuums and self-cleaning settings will make your life easier. If your model has no set-and-forget automatic cleaning station, you can clean it with running water fuss-free and dry it afterward.
Lubrication is an extra but straightforward task to keep your electric razor in good shape. Applying a few drops of light oil before you groom will:
- Prolong the life of your shaver’s foil or blade
- Reduce friction-induced heat during operation
- Help cutting components move with less resistance
- Boost your electric razor’s performance
Spraying a cleaner on your shaver is optional, but doing so can help neutralize hard water and lubricate your tool.
Manual razors have a reputation for causing irritation and abrasion because they interact with the skin directly. However, applying shaving cream or oil can make your grooming experience pleasant, even with sensitive skin. Dermatologists recommend having a clean-shaven look to prevent razor bumps.
Electric shaving is generally safe for the skin but can still cause itchy and unsightly ingrown hairs. That’s why it’s wise to use shaving cream when grooming to add a protective layer between your skin and an electric razor.
Shaving is a lost art. Traditional razors will help you hone your grooming skills more effectively. Learning how to wield a razor will help you better trim a distinct beard neckline. You can define your facial hair’s lines well with muscle memory using an electric trimmer, but a tool you can hold with just your fingers will give you more control over the shaving process.
Whether manual or electric, your grooming gear will eat up luggage space. Some say that traditional shaving kits are less convenient when traveling, but a mechanical tool needing a charging and cleaning station and requiring wet shaving can also be bulky.
All grooming tools have pros and cons but complement each other. Despite advancements in men’s electric shaving tech, traditional razors have persisted. It’s evidence that they can do what sophisticated gear can’t, so invest in a kit to round out your grooming toolset and maintain your desired look.