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Dry Shaving vs. Wet Shaving: What you need to know

The washing machine, the automobile, the PlayStation…OK, maybe not that last one, but generally, technology saves us hours and hours each day.

One of those wonderful time-saving devices is the electric shaver. No need to shower beforehand to open your pores up. No need for shaving foam, cream, soap or anything else that bubbles up all over your face. Nope, you can just grab that shaver and bid farewell to your excess facial fuzz.

Some people prefer the feeling and closeness of a traditional wet shave. But if you’re not one of those people, you’ll want to hear more about this dry shaving thing. We’ve prepared some dry shaving dos and don’ts, just for you.

DO: Find the right shaver

Foil or rotary, wet or dry, mains or battery-powered…Arrrgh! So many choices.

But it’s well worth spending a bit of time figuring out what suits you best. For instance, foil shavers tend to be a little gentler on the skin, whereas rotary shavers are often more effective on rougher, lumberjack-style beards.

DO: Prep your skin

We know we said that electric shavers let you get to work immediately, but there are a couple of optional things you can do to get a smoother shave.

Unless you’re using one of those slightly magical electric shavers that can do wet and dry shaving, it always helps to dry your face first. Just a quick dab with a towel can mean less irritation and redness.

Another way to achieve this is with talc-based or aloe vera-based pre-shave products, which dry and straighten the hair, ready for shaving. Surely your skin deserves it?

DO: Get the moves right

Got a foil shaver? Simply run it up and down your face and neck.

Rocking a rotary shaver? It’s small circular motions you want.

Whichever type of shaver you’re using, hold it at a right angle to your face and pull your skin taut to give the blades easy access to that unwanted hair.

DON’T: Worry about shaving against the grain

If you’ve been wet shaving since those first intrepid hairs popped up on your face, you probably know you should be careful about shaving against the grain. Although it’ll give you a closer shave, shaving against the direction your hair grows in can lead to irritation or pesky ingrown hairs.

But shaving against the grain isn’t a problem with dry shaving and it can even help the process along by lifting hairs off the surface of the skin. Nice!

DON’T: Give it up too soon

It can take your skin a little while to get used to dry shaving and you could get a bit of irritation at first. But your skin should get accustomed to it within three weeks or so. And by that time, you’ll also have a clearer idea of the best technique for you, which will help to minimise any irritation.

Then, once your dry shaving routine is nicely settled, you can bask in the comfort and convenience that comes with being a master of the electric shaver.

DON’T: Neglect your shaver

Just like other machines, big and small, electric shavers need a little bit of TLC every once in a while. 

Most shavers come with a little brush, which is just the thing for sweeping away hair and dust from the blades. To get to those blades, carefully lift the foil head frame or rotary head off. It’s best to do this after every shave.

Every few weeks, it’s a good idea to lubricate the parts inside your shaver. Carefully follow the instructions in your shaver’s manual when doing this, only using the lubricant provided by the manufacturer.

This little maintenance routine will make sure your trusty shaver keeps doing a great job for you.