Electric shavers have been a necessity for many men since there invention. Some men swear by them for the undoubted convenience that they can offer when used correctly, while others may well look down on them for providing what they perceive to be a second-rate shave. However, what this latter perspective overlooks is that there is a technique that should be followed for how to use an electric shaver correctly.
Far too many men still believe that electric shavers can just be buzzed around dry, unprepared skin to good effect. Unfortunately – they cannot, at least not when the objective is a close and comfortable shave. In this electric shaver guide, we’ll go through all the steps necessary to ensure that there’s no excuse for any man not to know how to use electric shaver correctly.
The most important decision is choosing between a foil or rotary electric shaver. Foil shavers are usually larger and noisier than rotary – they work by basically lifting the stubble from the face, and thanks to usually having four blades they are the best choice for anyone looking for simple speed and efficiency. On the other hand, rotary shavers, usually comprising three rotating blades, are better for offering a more complete, precise, and comfortable shave. Both have their merits, it really comes down to personal preference.
Regardless of which style of shaver is selected, there’s no point knowing how to use an electric shaver without understanding how to care for the device. Blades need to be replaced around every year or so, you can tell when it’s time for a replacement as shaving will become noticeably less effective and may even start to cause the skin to come out in a rash. Generally, foil shavers last a little longer than rotary on average.
It is also essential to keep the shaver clean. This needn’t necessarily mean a total scrub down after every use, just be aware that ever couple of weeks or so just a couple of minutes deep cleaning the mechanism can make all the difference. An old toothbrush is a useful tool for scrubbing out around the blades.
Preparation Is Essential!
Just like using a normal razor it’s important to prepare the beard for shaving. A hot shower is perfect, or if time is short just wash the face, ideally with a cloth that can be held against the skin for a few moments. This stage is important because heat will make the stubble much easier to shave.
An important qualification should be made at this point. Most electric shaver guide books fail to mention that it takes time for the skin to adapt to an electric shaver. This is one of the main reasons why many men struggle with them and give up too early. It can take at least a fortnight for natural skin oils to become used to electric shavers. For this reason, it’s a good idea at least for the first few weeks to try and use an alcohol based pre-shave product (gel or powder, usually fortified with vitamin E that promotes healthy skin). This will help reduce the chance of developing uncomfortable chaffing or rashes.
Effective Shaving Technique
It may sound surprising but one of the most common mistakes men make when starting to use an electric shaver is simply not using the correct motion. For rotary bladed shavers to be effective they need to be used in a gentle circular motion. Foil shavers need to be used more akin to a traditional razor blade, with a consistent up/down linear motion. Take care not to press the electric shaver into the skin as this will invariably lead to skin irritation.
Most men prefer to use their dominant hand to hold their shaver – this is fine but don’t forget to use the spare hand as well! It’s often helpful to use the spare hand to gently stretch/flatten the surface of the face, and go against the grain to achieve as close a shave as possible. Holding the skin tight also forces the beard to ‘stand up’ straight rather than lie flat on the face, again helping to make for a more effective overall shave.
The Perfect Shave
OK, so let’s assume we have a perfectly clean and charged electric razor and have just enjoyed a nice hot shower, and applied a little pre-shave lotion. Here’s the best way to ensure an effective shave:
* Begin with the cheeks. Remember to carefully go against the grain for a closer shave, but be careful not to apply unnecessary pressure to avoid chaffing or even cuts.
* Move onto the sideburns and lower neck areas. Take care with these and remember to stretch the skin nice and taught. Use a mirror to ensure that they are of matching length.
* Now move over to the mustache. This is usually the area where it’s easiest to get cuts and chaffing as for many men the beard tends to be thickest and most stubborn here. A useful tip is to stretch the top lip to make as flat a surface as possible.
* Now for the chin and lower lips. Once more stretch the chin out as flat as possible, especially if using a foil blade. Rotary electric shavers really come into their own here, as they’re designed to work over troublesome contours.
* Finally, the neck and jaw. This can be awkward as to stretch the skin taught it can be difficult to keep an eye on the mirror at the same time. Often there is a deceptively large amount of hair around the neck so take your time, especially if the growth is particularity thick.
* Even the most careful man will usually find that they’ve missed a spot. Apply a splash of water to rinse away any loose hairs, and then carefully look at each part of the face searching for any errant hairs. There’s bound to be one or two – shave them off, wash again and moisturize. Shave complete!
Hopefully this electric shaver guide will have provided a solid overview on how to use an electric shaver. Don’t forget that every shaver is different so take your time and be sure to read plenty of reviews before selecting a suitable product.