Shaving can be unpleasant and even painful for some of us.
But apart from the common problems we all face, black men often have to deal with some specific issues due to the particularities of their facial hair.
Therefore, choosing a suitable electric razor can have a major impact on the quality of the shave and reduce some post-shave skin issues.
Finding what would ideally be the best electric shaver for a black man is a matter of understanding the specific problems that may arise and choosing the shaver accordingly.
Not all shavers are made equal and some of them are simply better than others in certain situations.
And there’s also the problem of budget constraints; luckily, there are electric razors available at various price points, some of them offering excellent value for money without making significant compromises.
In this article, we’ll go over the most common problems faced by African American men when it comes to shaving and also check out a few suitable electric shavers.
Table of Contents
- Black men and shaving: what are the most common problems?
- What are the hallmarks of an electric shaver suitable for black men?
- What are some of the best electric shavers for black men ?
Black men and shaving: what are the most common problems?
Even though men of all ethnicities may have to deal with the unpleasant side of shaving, African American men seem to be affected to a higher degree.
The main reason for that is their curly, wiry, coarse facial hair and its tendency to become ingrown, leading to painful razor bumps and irritation.
A razor bump forms when one hair that was cut close to the skin starts growing and curls back into the skin.
To make matters worse, a typical shaver will cut the hair at an angle (since the hair often stays flat on the skin), leaving the stump extremely sharp and making it even easier for the hair to penetrate back into the skin as it grows.
The body then sees the ingrown hair as a foreign object and an immune response is triggered in the form of an inflammatory process.
It’s easy to see why hair that naturally curls is much more likely to cause razor bumps.
However, there’s also the situation where a hair that was cut at skin level gets covered by skin tissue and can’t emerge at the surface, leading to a similar outcome.
In more severe cases, these bumps can break out all over the face and neck, and shaving before they heal can even cause scarring. In this case, seeing a dermatologist is highly recommended.
What are the hallmarks of an electric shaver suitable for black men?
Considering the above-mentioned aspects, along with other common requirements for sensitive skin, here are the most important characteristics of an electric razor suitable for dark-skinned men:
It must capture flat-lying, wiry and curly hairs efficiently.
As mentioned previously, the fact that a typical shaver will cut the hair at an angle, leaving it sharp and prone to penetrating back into the skin will only increase the odds of becoming ingrown.
A suitable electric shaver will lift the hair and cut it clean and straight. Also, it must effectively catch and cut longer hairs that grow in different directions.
Someone with sensitive skin may have to wait a few days before shaving again to allow the skin to heal.
Therefore, the shaver must be capable of capturing and cutting longer hairs as well.
This is usually the Achilles’ heel of most electric razors and because the hair of black males also has a natural tendency to curl, it will only make things more difficult.
Also, multiple passes over tricky areas like the neck can irritate sensitive skin.
Fast motor, sharp blades, and gentle to the skin.
Hairs getting pulled instead of cut is usually the result of a low-quality shaving head, dull blades and/or a motor that is not quite up to the task.
A suitable shaver will provide fast and smooth shaves, will need little to no pressure applied and won’t get hot during operation.
Also, changing the blades and foils regularly is a must, especially for men with sensitive skin.
It is a vicious circle: dull blades won’t cut hairs efficiently, thus requiring additional strokes and increasing the chances of irritation and razor burn.
A razor that doesn’t shave very close may be beneficial to black men.
We all agree that closeness is important and for some users, it is a key factor when choosing an electric shaver.
And if someone doesn’t have any issues with ingrown hairs and razor bumps, it makes perfect sense to get one.
However, black men usually have these issues and using an electric shaver that cuts the hairs at skin level can often make things worse.
As we saw, a really close shave makes the hair more likely to become ingrown.
For this reason, choosing an electric shaver that doesn’t shave extremely close would be recommended.
In my experience, Braun electric shavers represent an excellent compromise between closeness and comfort.
They still shave adequately close while remaining gentle and providing a comfortable shave.
Dry and wet shaving capabilities.
Even though this feature is not a must, it can improve the shaving experience for some men.
Using a quality shaving cream with your electric razor can yield better results in terms of both closeness and particularly comfort.
Some will say that wet shaving pretty much defies the purpose of using an electric shaver and it’s a fair point.
But if you’re not seeing the improvements you were hoping for, you should at least give it a try.
If wet shaving is a no-go, using a pre-electric shave lotion could improve the results of a dry shave.
Now that we have a clear picture of the common problems and the traits of a suitable shaver, let’s take a look at some of the best electric razors for black men.
What are some of the best electric shavers for black men ?
1. Braun Series 9 9390cc
The Series 9 is a powerful foil shaver from Braun and has taken over the Series 7 as the company’s new flagship shaver.
While the recently launched Series 9 Pro is a slightly improved shaver, the standard (and cheaper) Series 9 is still an equally good option in most cases.
In fact, in my experience it is actually a bit gentler, so I would even recommend it over the Pro models in this case.
The Braun Series 9 is a highly capable razor, especially in the areas we’re most interested in.
With an improved shaving head, an additional cutting element designed specifically for capturing longer, flat-lying hairs and a powerful motor, the Series 9 would be a top choice for black men provided it fits within your budget.
While it manages to offer close shaves, this doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. On the contrary, the Series 9 is arguably one of the most comfortable electric shavers you can currently buy.
Even the latest Series 9 Pro, a slightly more powerful version of the standard Series 9 at number 1 in our list, isn’t quite as forgiving and gentle.
Due to its unique shaving system, the Series 9 deals with longer hairs better than most other foil electric shavers on the market.
So shaving daily is not a requirement here in order to get a smooth, clean shave. You can safely give your skin a break for a few days before shaving again.
This, along with its powerful motor and the skin-friendly shaving head make the Series 9 an excellent choice for black men.
It deals impressively well with wiry, coarse black hair.
The Series 9 is available in several variations, all of them offering the same shaving performance.
You can opt for a model with a cleaning station like the 9390cc or 9370cc, or go with a cheaper solo model like the 9330s.
All current Series 9 variations are suitable for wet & dry use.
Regardless of your preference for dry or wet shaving, I recommend choosing a variation that includes an automatic cleaning station (these are the models ending in cc).
Braun cleaners are very practical and do a great job of sanitizing and lubricating the shaver.
Your overall costs won’t increase by a whole lot (there are very cheap third-party cleaning solutions available) and you can extend the use of a refill a lot by following these simple tips.
While the Braun Series 9 is arguably one of the best electric shavers for black men, it is pretty expensive.
The replacement shaving heads are also rather pricey, but on par with the parts needed for other high-end shavers from the competition.
Let’s now take a look at some alternatives that cost less.
2. Braun Series 7 7865cc
The Braun 7865cc is a wet/dry variation from the highly popular and acclaimed Series 7 line that was widely regarded as one of the best electric shavers you could buy.
This razor builds upon that already great foundation of the dry-only Series 7 790cc by being completely waterproof, thus suitable to be used for wet shaving.
It takes all the positive aspects of the 790CC and adds the benefits of wet shaving. However, the Series 7 is extremely comfortable even during a dry shave.
So if wet shaving is not your thing, you can of course use the 7865cc dry or even opt for a dry-only model like the 790cc, especially if you can get it for a better price.
Like its predecessor, it features the same ActiveLift system that lifts and cuts flat-lying hairs.
And it pretty much works as advertised. In the context of dealing with curly hairs that tend to grow at an angle, it’s easy to see why this shaver would be a suitable option.
Also, it comes with a powerful motor, a triple-blade cutting system and a thin foil that was designed to be gentle to sensitive skin and to capture hairs very efficiently.
The micropulsations technology of the Series 7 makes the experience of shaving feel more like a gentle massage.
All of the above features help maintain the number of strokes to a minimum while providing close and comfortable shaves.
Being an advanced and feature-rich razor, the 7865cc is not exactly on the cheap side, but the performance and comfort are excellent.
That, plus the fact that its price is usually quite a bit lower compared to a Series 9 for example, makes it in my opinion the right pick for most users.
It’s also worth mentioning that it comes with a cleaning and charging station that uses an alcohol-based solution and does an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing your shaver.
For more details, make sure to check out my Series 7 7865cc review.
UPDATE: Since Braun discontinued the Series 7, this shaver is getting very difficult to find in 2023. I recommend the Braun Series 8 as a widely available alternative.
3. Braun Series 8 8457cc
Deal alert: If you don’t need a cleaning station, you can check out the Braun Series 8 8417s instead.
Since the Series 7 above has been phased out, the next best thing is the newer Series 8.
While the performance should be superior for a Braun series with a higher number, the old Series 7 was however slightly better.
But the differences are rather minor and the Series 8 represents a very compelling option in the mid-range segment.
The price of a Series 8 is significantly lower compared to the number 1 choice, the Series 9.
You can save even more by getting s solo Series 8 model like the 8417s and cleaning it manually, but I think the station is a useful accessory.
Just as important, the replacement shaving head for the Series 8 costs less than what would you pay for a Series 9 shaving head.
The Series 8 still offers the same excellent shaving performance, being very gentle to the skin.
Since its shaving head is almost identical to the Series 7, the Series 8 is also a capable and suitable option for black men.
All Series 8 models are suitable for wet/dry use.
My recommendation would be to buy the cheapest you can find as the actual shaving performance will be identical.
That said, the models starting with 84 (like the 8457cc) come with a better cleaning station than the 83 Series 8 (like the 8370cc).
Precisely, the station included with the 84 Series 8 has 3 cleaning modes and an active drying system that helps the cleaning fluid evaporate faster from the shaving head.
The S8 would be the mid-range pick of 2023, however, if you’re after a budget-friendly option, check out the next shaver.
4. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s
Finally, the most cost-effective option in my list of recommended shavers for African American men is a model from Braun’s Series 3 ProSkin line, the 3040s.
The Series 3 is Braun’s entry-level range of electric shavers.
While their performance can’t really match the one of the Series 7, 8 or 9 above, they can definitely be a viable and budget-friendly alternative, especially when used daily.
Despite having a dedicated cutter for capturing longer hairs that lie flat on the skin, the 3040s doesn’t quite manage to do so without additional strokes.
It’s therefore recommended for shaving more often when it will give you the best results.
You can however get away with using it less frequently, especially if you have a light to medium beard.
If your budget is limited, the Series 3 ProSkin is probably your best option as it is the most comfortable entry-level electric razor out there.
Moreover, this particular variation is completely waterproof and can be used both wet and dry.
This also means that you can clean it with ease by simply rinsing it under the tap.
The replacement shaving head (32b) is inexpensive and should only be replaced once every 18 months.
The list above doesn’t include any rotary razors as I find foil shavers to be a better choice for sensitive skin.
However, if you know from previous experience that a rotary shaver would be more suitable for you, then by all means you should stick to using one.
But in most cases, a capable foil electric shaver would be a safer choice.
As we saw, the facial hair of black men has certain particularities that make choosing an electric shaver somewhat challenging.
This article aims at putting you on the right track and helping you narrow down your options.
There are of course other excellent electric shavers in addition to the ones listed here, so consider it a starting point and also check out my reviews.
Last but not least, your technique and prep are just as important, so make sure to take a look at these resources as well:
If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience, please leave a comment below.
36 thoughts on “What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Black Men (2023)?”Leave a comment
As a black man will the skull shaver give me a closer shave on my head
I wouldn’t necessarily say that it will give you a closer shave, but it will definitely be a lot easier and more enjoyable to shave your head with the Skull Shaver compared to any other regular electric shaver. The way you hold it makes it very practical to shave your head, even those hard to reach areas where you’ll be struggling with a normal shaver.
Will the 7 series be good to use without bumping for black men
It is one of the better options out there if you’re dealing with razor bumps.
Good article and thanks for putting it together. I am returning my skull shaver as it doesn’t work and leaves very big patches of hair which I have to go over again and again. Would not recommend it at all
Thank you for your comment, Ben. The Skull shaver is not ideal as a face shaver, especially if you’re dealing with ingrown hairs or bumps. A mild & forgiving foil shaver would be a lot better in this case.
Do you have recommendations for budget friendly travel shavers for black men?
If you’re referring to compact, single battery-powered mobile shavers, I’m afraid not — they’re just not good enough. Most of them have trouble with less problematic facial hair, so I wouldn’t recommend them to black men. A Braun Series 3 ProSkin like the 3010s would be the absolute minimum in my opinion — it’s not a travel shaver, but has a reasonable price.
Is the Freedom Flex electric shave a good choice for black men? I see it advertised a lot on Facebook.
I haven’t used it so I’m afraid I cannot say much about its performance.
Should I use shaving cream, if I get the Braun series 3. I am black man, using mainly for shaving bald head.
You definitely can do that with a wet/dry Series 3. Using shaving cream can make the razor more comfortable and improve the closeness, but some users don’t see significant differences, so the only way to know for sure is to try it yourself.
I have razor bumps from ingrown hair in my beard and I wanted to know what would be the best razor the 7 or 9
Both are suitable in my opinion, so it’s ultimately a matter of budget. The performance differences between them aren’t actually that significant. I would recommend the Series 9 though if you plan on shaving less often and have lots of flat-lying hairs. I wrote a detailed comparison between the Series 7 and 9 here if you want to check it out.
Hi, What about the Andis TS-1 Gold Titanium Foil Shaver for beard and head or the Remington Ultimate Series Head Shaver.
If you’re looking for an electric head shaver, the Andis TS-1 is definitely a really good option. It shaves very close and while it’s not too comfortable when used on the face, it will work great on the scalp. But the hair must be short in order to get the best results. You can read my review of it here. I am yet to try the Ultimate Series from Remington, so I cannot say anything about it at this moment.
Thank You Ovidiu
Thank you for this very informative article. This is a very difficult decision- wanted to ensure I purchased something that would work well and last. My nephew struggles with razor bumps and skin discoloration from shaving. Hoping he will fair better with this shaver. I used the link in this article and added it to my Amazon cart for purchase (Braun Series 7 7865cc). Thanks again and Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Thank you for your comment, glad you found the post useful. The Series 7 7865cc is in my opinion one of the better shavers out there for someone dealing with razor bumps. Just make sure your nephew proceeds slowly and with care since I assume this will be his first electric shaver. I would also recommend giving the user manual a quick read before he shaves for the first time.
Happy holidays to you as well!
I’ve been using the BRAUN Series 9 9390cc for two weeks now and my ingrowing hairs and razor bumps are coming back after 20 years!!! Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye on it.
I’ve been using previous Braun shavers before (like Series 5 8985) and I’m a big fan of the Braun shavers. Why? Because I haven’t had any ingrowing hairs and razor bumps for two decades. But I don’t know about this 9390cc. I just send Braun Customer Service an e-mail about my experience.
If there are other men having the same experience, please share your comment on this page! Thank you!
If the problem is in relation to you switching to the Series 9, I would suspect two things. Firstly, if the shaver cuts the hairs closer to the skin compared to your previous Braun shavers, that could increase the chances of getting ingrown hairs. Secondly, a subtle change in your technique when shaving with the 9390cc, maybe something you didn’t even pay much attention to, also had something to do with it. For example, maybe you pressed harder or went over an area multiple times (more than usual that is).
Braun customer support will probably reply with the standard answer that it takes a few weeks for the skin to adjust to the new shaver. And that is true, only that it’s usually a major issue when switching from traditional shaving to electric for example. Or from a rotary to a foil shaver.
Hope this helps.
The best electric shaver for black men that I ever used was the Remington ES 1000. As a retired army veteran, this shaver saved my face and offered a really comparable shave to a razor. Remington stopped production on these many years ago and to this day I don’t know why. Since I last had one I’ve been hesitant to try another electric razor, but based on the reviews I will try the Braun 9 series.
Thank you for your comment, Paul. I never got the chance to try the ES1000, unfortunately. However, I think you’ll be quite happy with a Series 9 or one of the previous generation Series 7 models (like the 7865cc mentioned in the post).
My husband is 72 and GROWS a FULL FACE BEARD of WHITE HAIR and a lot of us know white hair is harder to cut what would u recommend as an electric shaver for a black man with all white facial hair I notice in a lot of articles it’s always said black man with black hair or black hair no mention of the black men that have long lived out their black face and (head) hair we have tried 3 or 4 electric razors and not one of them had a chance against a black mans type of hair and being white hair on a black man just makes the challenge harder plz help me/us find him a good electric razor he works 120 hrs a wk at his age still driving log truck it would be nice to find a good razor for my hard working black man to give a little relieve from the time consuming standing in the bath rm mirror with shaving cream and razor something rechargeable that if need be can take on the move and shave when hes waiting in line to be loaded and unloaded plz help we’re/ I are desperately needing help and I happen to come across you and ur articles & U GAINED MY TRUST IN UR OPINION and I BELIEVE U R THE ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS lol WE BOTH ARE EAGER TO RECIEVE UR FEED BACK… THANK YOU, SILAS And MELANIE from Fl. HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
Thank you for your comment and kind words, much appreciated.
Grey and white hairs can feel wiry, coarse and drier as there’s less sebum produced compared to dark hairs. But for an electric shaver, it shouldn’t make a difference. That said, I think the Braun Series 9 or the Series 9 Pro (if it fits within the budget) will be a very good choice for your husband. Just keep in mind that in order to get the best results, shaving more often would be advised (every 3 days at most) as electric shavers are designed to capture and cut short facial hair.
I was struggling to purchase a shaver but with this information that you provided, I feel confident with it all. I’ll update you on how it works for me once I receive it.
That’s awesome, Kenneth, hope you’ll enjoy using your new shaver. Looking forward to your thoughts on it.
I’d like to buy one for a family member, but i can’t see if this one has the active lift: Braun Series 7, 70-N7200cc Electric Shaver – do you think it would be okay?
That one is part of the new Series 7 generation (360 Flex) and it’s nowhere near as good as the old generation Series 7 referenced in the post above. Unfortunately that one (with the ACtiveLift trimmer) was discontinued. I would suggest a Braun Series 8 instead, it doesn’t matter which model as all of them shave the same.
I am trying to find a good electric razor for my son to use. Right now he uses the manual razors and his skin is not good in the areas being shaved. It is kind of light purple and bumpy and he says it itches bad when it grows back. Which one will ai need to purchase and what cream can be used to treat the discoloration and irritation as well?
I would consider a Braun shaver depending on the budget kike the ones mentioned in the post above. However, given the discoloration and constant irritation, I strongly advise checking with a dermatologist as well. I am really not qualified to provide a recommendation for a complementary topical treatment. A dermatologist may even recommend a shaver/trimmer that doesn’t cut the hair quite at skin level to reduce the risk of razor bumps, like for example the Philips OneBlade.
Hope this helps.
No electric shaver that “lifts and cuts” is suitable for any black man who wants to avoid razor bumps. I find that the Brian shavers are woefully inadequate and over-marketed as being suitable for black men, when in reality that are inferior shavers. The only electric razor that I have had immense success with, is the Phllips Norelco Series 3000 rotary shaver. It is specifically designed for sensitive skin and specifically designed so as not to cut the hairs before the skin, while still achieving a close shave.
Thank you for the comment, Victor.
The lift and cut tech of Braun shavers is kind of improperly named and entirely different from the technology most of us think of — that double blade design on old Philips shavers that was eventually ditched, including for the Series 3000 you’ve mentioned. In some cases rotaries just work better and I understand that was also your experience. But most of the time a gentle foil razor will be more comfortable.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on a suitable electric shaver and your site has easily been the most helpful.
A little background, I’m a black guy of course so my hair is coarse and curly. I had a pretty mediocre experience with the Series 3, so I went with Norelco with their 3500 shaver which has been better performance-wise, but I don’t want to write off foil shavers all together since the Series 3 is a budget shaver after all and rotary shavers have been a little awkward for me to use thus far, especially on the sideburns. It seems like Braun’s new Series 5, 6, and 7 wouldn’t be suitable for me either. After reading your reviews, they basically seem like glorified Series 3s lol.
My question was, should I just get a Series 9 at this point, or could I get away with a Series 8? Trying to be budget-conscious here but if I gotta get a high-end shaver that’s what I’ll do.
Thanks so much for the comment.
I would also disregard the new Series 5, 6 and 7. Normally I always recommend the more reasonably priced option if the premium one doesn’t offer any major benefits. In this case however I’d say the Series 9 is worth the extra money over the 8. I would consider a solo Series 9 like the 9330s as those are usually cheaper. If you’re not in a hurry to get it, you could wait a bit longer until you can find a great deal on one.