Some people are simply not able to use a manual razor and blade to shave. They either end up with a patchwork of tissue on the face and neck to stem the bleeding, or the cheeks and neck end up red as a beat from razor burn and heat irritation.
Let’s face it, shaving is a traumatic experience for the skin no matter what method you use. However, some methods are more tolerable than others and using a great electric razor shaving cream can really improve the process.
Take Electric Shaving to the Next Level
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Dry shaving with an electric razor has proven to be problematic for some people. The shave is generally not very close with a five o'clock shadow showing up as early as 3. If your facial hair is especially thick and fast growing, you start out with a shadow just after finishing shaving.
Thus, the move to electric wet shaving is the next logical move. As with all modes of shaving, there are techniques and tips from the experienced users that can help you raise your game up to the next level and bring that unruly beast of facial hair under your power.
This list, while not all-inclusive, represents a good start to achieving the perfection you seek. My plan with these tips is to present them in a somewhat logical and chronological order walking through the tips and techniques for a close electric wet shave.
Preparation is always paramount to pave the way to success. The first task is to choose the right electric razor. Don’t go out looking for an electric that only does wet shaving. They don’t exist. All electric razors are capable of dry shaving. Only a few are capable of wet AND dry shaving.
Find the one that has a good reputation and a solid set of reviews from actual users. Then, go out and do the touch and feel test. Is it comfortable in your hand? Are the controls convenient for one-handed operation or do you need two hands to control the shaver?
Does the razor have all the capabilities you want such as minimal recharge times (electric razors used for wet shaving can only be used in battery mode to prevent you from electrocuting yourself) and enough time per charge to do a complete wet shave job without you having to hurry it along.
Remember, every electric razor capable of wet shaving is not the same. Find the one that fits your needs and make it a personal choice. Your family and friends will tell you what they like and that’s not necessarily your best choice. Cost is always a factor as well. Find one that fits in your cost range and consider the replacement of foils, blade guards, and cutting heads in the mix.
2) Pre-shave Routine
Develop a consistent pre-shave routine. Keep in mind that we are seeking electric wet shave perfection. The pre-shave routine is one of the most overlooked factors for the perfect shave. Invest some time in the process because there is no free lunch. If you’re not dedicated to developing the process, you’ll try to do it as fast as possible and close the door to perfection. Thus, here are four basic steps to getting the best electric wet shave possible.
2A) Clean your face well before starting the actual shave routine. Either take a shower before shaving and let the hot water and body scrub do its job of removing impurities, opening up the pores, and softening the hair. Get yourself a non-fogging mirror for use in the shower and give some consideration to shaving right then and there. If you like to wet shave before your shower, wash your face well using plenty of hot water for all the reasons just stated.
2B) Use a pre-shave lubricant and a quality electric razor shaving cream or a shaving cream that does both jobs to get your face and neck ready for the shaving event. Don’t just slap it on and shave either. Let the shaving cream and lubricant sit on the face for a few minutes and allow it to do its job of softening the cuticles and opening the pores.
2C) Don’t overload the face and neck with shaving cream. You should use just enough to cover the hairs but still be able to see them. Massage the shaving cream into the skin to help lift the hairs away from the skin. After the thorough massage, you’re ready to shave.
2D) Make certain the shaver is fully charged before you start. There’s nothing more irritating than getting part way through the shave and having the razor stop because the battery has run low. Also, remember that it’s the speed of the cutting head that’s doing the shaving. The RPM’s of the cutting head may slow down as you hit tough spots of your beard if the battery power isn’t there to keep it spinning at speed.
3) Direction of the Shave
Shave against the grain of the hair growth. On some people, the facial and neck hairs do not all grow in the same direction. It is important using an electric wet shaver to shave against the grain of the hair.
That provides a lifting motion where the hair is pulled up a bit higher than the level of the skin because the cuticle is soft and allows that to happen. Let the razor do the work and don't apply any abnormal pressure. You'll only set yourself up for some razor burn and skin irritation.
Cut against the grain in small patches and do more than one pass if you see that the hair wasn't completely cut. Use a bit more shaving cream for the area that requires multiple passes as a protection for the skin. As time goes by, your technique will improve
4) Post-shave Routine
The post-shave routine is as important as the pre-shave routine. The purpose of developing an effective post-shave routine is to protect the face and neck from common shaving problems such as ingrown hairs and creating a breeding ground for acne as well as protecting the electric wet shaver as well.
4A) Wash your face again after shaving to remove impurities, shaving cream, and any dead skin cells finishing up with a cold rinse to close the skin pores. Its open pores and the presence of oils, dirt and leftover pre-shave products that can get into the open pore and cause problems.
4B) Apply the aftershave balm as well as a skin repair step. Never forget that shaving is a traumatic experience for skin of the face and neck no matter what method you use. Aftershave balm (which is not cologne by the way) has those healing products such as an astringent to calm the skin and make it recover more quickly. Avoid any aftershave product with alcohol in it as the alcohol will just dry out your skin and cause some discomfort as you apply it.
4C) Clean and lubricate your electric wet shaver after each wet shave. Shaving cream can clog the cutting head and foil or blade guard which will degrade the performance of the shaver for the time you shave.
Some razors come with their own cleaning station (at an additional cost) where all you have to do it put the cutting head into the solution and walk away. If not, follow the instructions for the device to get access to the cutting head internal compartment.
Use tap water and soap to clean the compartment using the brush that normally comes with the razor. You also get a small bottle of lubricating oil with the shaver. The soap and water will have removed the lubricant that was in the cutting head, Replace it with a dab or two of the replacement oil provided.
5) Rinse & Repeat
Plug the razor back in and start the next pre-shave routine on the right foot.
Wet shaving is a ritualistic event and needs to have the proper amount of time dedicated to doing it right. If perfection is your objective with shaving, then a wet shave is the means to an end. It does, however, take some discipline and the development of standard routines to provide the chance for the perfect shave. Thus, if you're the "hurry up and get it done type", wet shaving is probably not for you. Watch this video and understand the value of wet shaving from someone that does it every day.
- Read the Norelco 9300 Vs 9700 Rotary Shaver Review.
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