Using an electric shaver can save you money and time, but if you are not satisfied with the shave it is all a waste. Whether you have just purchased an electric shaver or have been using an electric shaver for a while, here are a few steps you can take to ensure you are getting the best shave possible.
Don’t have an electric shaver? Check out our list for the best electric shaver.
Prepare Your Face for a Shave
Some shavers are capable of shaving in the shower or with shaving gel, but we recommend most people shave when your face is dry for the closest shave.
Taking a shower or washing your face with warm water can be enough to prepare your beard and skin for a good shave, but some men prefer a pre-shave product such as Lectric Shave. We have found that Lectric Shave does deliver on its promise to raise up hair to let you get a closer shave.
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Examine the Hair Growth
Whether you are shaving with a foil or rotary shaver, it can be quite difficult to get a good shave if the hair is not properly trimmed down. Before using the shaver, examine whether or not you can physically grab the hair between your forefinger and thumb.
If this is possible, then more than likely you are cutting hair which is greater than 3/16-inch and may require a trim before beginning your shave.
If you shave every day or do not have any stubble that needs to be trimmed, skip the next step.
Trimming the Longer Hair
Before getting straight to work with that “clean” shave, you’ll need to make an outline of what you’ll be shaving, i.e. you will need to trim the longer hair in order to guide you through smoothly into the next portion.
If you regularly let your beard grow out before shaving it, you may want to invest in a separate trimmer. Trimmers are usually not costly, typically ranging from $5.00 to $25.00, and they may be a crucial step in making your shave bearable, and worthwhile.
Our recommendation for a great trimmer is the Philips Norelco Multigroom Series 7000 which provides some accessories to trim or shape a beard.
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First, you will begin by trimming the outer edge of the hair you want to rid the area of. It’s always much easier to work from the outside in, than the inside out. If necessary, you may use the trimmer to make vertical lines into the hair, as a general guide for where to stop, just in case you feel like you will over-do it.
Trimming ‘against the grain,’ or in the opposite direction the hair is going, is often more irritating than trimming along the lines of the hair. Follow the hair in the way that the hair flows from root to end. This will make the trimmer grab much less, and be much more tolerable. Trim down the area as necessary, not worrying about whether or not the stubble is uneven. We’ll get to that later.
Time to Shave!
After you have either completely trimmed all of the hair in the area provided, or have trimmed down a decent outline, you are now ready to clean the area up. If there are still hairs which can be grabbed, go ahead and trim them from end-to-root, or ‘against the grain,’ so that they will be much shorter, and easier for the shaver to do its job.
Depending on whether you are using a rotary or foil shaver you will use a different technique.
Shaving With a Rotary Shaver
The rotary shaver is can be a bit harder to maneuver than the foil shaver and is a little more prone to erroneous cutting. To fully get this shaver to work to your advantage, you will need to begin shaving in a more unnoticeable area, where you can figure out how far the blades shave inwards. NOTE: If the blades catch at any time, you may need to trim these hairs down yet again.
Take your time, working slowly against the grain, and in a circular motion. This assists the skin in standing the hairs much more vertically. This will ensure a much closer shave. Work close to the areas which you will not be shaving, and watch carefully as the hairs are cut. Shave in a broad pattern at first, then come back to the areas which need more attention.
More of a visual learner? Remington put together an excellent video on how to shave with a rotary shaver.
Shaving With a Foil Shaver
The foil shaver is much more forgiving than the rotary shaver, and cutting with it is very simple. Tilt your shaver at a 90-degree angle and work your way against the grain. Try to stay about 1/8-inch away from the areas which you are not cutting. Continue against the grain to ensure the best and closest shave in whatever areas are still stubbly. Foil shavers typically perform best when they are first turned on. For this reason, you may want to consider shaving the neck and jawline areas first.
This Braun video covers the Braun Series 9, but the same technique can be applied to most of the Braun foil shavers, including our top pick, the Braun Series 7 790cc.
Still looking to perfect your shave? Check out our 5 shaving tips to ensure you continue to get the best shave possible.