What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Black Men (2021)?

Shaving can sometimes be an unpleasant and even painful experience for some men.

Apart from the common problems we all face when it comes to shaving, black men often have to deal with some specific issues due to the particularities of their facial hair.

Therefore, choosing a suitable electric razor should come as a priority.

Finding what would ideally be the best electric shaver for black men is a matter of understanding the specific problems that may arise and choosing the razor accordingly.

Not all shavers are made equal and some of them are simply better than others in certain situations.

And then there’s 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 the performance department.

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.

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.

Razor bumps. Image credit: Wikipedia
Razor bumps. Image credit: Wikipedia

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.

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 typical 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, curly hairs efficiently.

Braun shavers are usually very good when it comes to shaving difficult facial hair.
Braun shavers are usually very good when it comes to shaving difficult facial hair.

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 straight. Also, it must effectively capture and cut longer hairs that grow in different directions.

Someone with sensitive skin may have to wait a few days before shaving 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 the job more difficult.

Also, multiple passes over tricky areas like the neck can irritate sensitive skin.

Fast motor, sharp blades, and gentle to the skin.

The Braun Series 7, a shaver suitable for African American men.

Hairs getting pulled and snagged are usually caused by 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.

An electric razor that doesn’t shave very close may be beneficial to black men.

Braun Series 9, one of the best options for 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.

However, black men usually have these issues and using an electric shaver that cuts the hairs at skin level can often make things worse.

Precisely, a really close shave makes the hair more likely to dig back into the skin and 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 definitely 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 typical 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 [2021]?

1. Braun Series 9 9370cc

Braun Series 9 9370cc.

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The Series 9 is the latest and greatest offering from Braun and has taken over the Series 7 as the company’s new flagship shaver.

The expectations were high and the Series 9 definitely delivers, especially in the areas we’re most interested in.

With an improved and more advanced shaving head, an additional cutting element designed specifically for capturing longer, flat-lying hairs and a powerful motor, the Series 9 is one of the more capable electric shavers you can buy today.

The shaving head of the Braun Series 9 with the updated, Titanium coated trimmer.
The shaving head of the Braun Series 9 with the updated, Titanium coated trimmer.

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.

Due to its advanced shaving system, it deals with longer hairs better than most other foil electric shavers.

So shaving daily is not a requirement here in order to get a smooth, clean shave.

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 wet & dry model, like the new 9370cc or a dry only model like the (now discontinued) 9090cc.

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, like 9370cc, 9390cc, etc.).

The Braun Series 9 9290cc during the automatic cleaning process.

Braun shavers are more difficult to clean manually than other foil razors and the cleaning station does a great job at sanitizing and lubricating your shaver.

Your overall costs won’t increase by a whole lot (there are cheap third-party cleaning solutions available) and the station is genuinely useful and practical.

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 budget-friendly alternatives.

2. Braun Series 7 7865cc

Braun Series 7 7865cc

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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.

The Braun Series 7 7965cc, an ideal shaver for black males.

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.

3. Braun Series 5 5195cc

Braun Series 5 5190cc

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The Braun Series 5 represents a very compelling option in the mid-range segment.

Performance-wise, it’s very similar to the Series 7 above.

However, the price of the Series 5 is lower. Just as important, the replacement shaving head for the Series 5 costs less than what would you pay for a Series 7 shaving head.

The Braun Series 5 5090cc.
The Braun Series 5 5090cc.

The Series 5 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 5 is also a capable and suitable option for black men.

Series 5 and Series 7 shaving heads, respectively.

It is available for wet & dry or dry only use. You can also buy it with an automatic Clean & Charge station, which I also recommend.

Please note that the station is available only with the cc variations, like the 5090cc that we reviewed in great detail here.

This model used to be our pick for its reasonable price and useful cleaning station. However, since it has been discontinued, the Series 5 5195cc is now our choice.

Update: Braun introduced a new Series 5 line in 2020. However, the performance is a step back compared to the previous generation with models like the 5195cc. More details here.

4. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s

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Finally, the most cost-effective option in our 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 5, 7 or 9, they can definitely be a viable and budget-friendly alternative, especially when used daily.

The Braun 3040s, a budget-friendly electric shaver suitable for black men.

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 everyday shaving when it will yield the best results. You can however get away with using it less often, especially if you have a light to a medium beard.

Braun Series 3 3010s 3 blade shaving system.
The shaving head of the Braun Series 3 ProSkin, featuring a middle trimmer with micro-comb, designed to capture longer, flat-lying hairs.

If your budget is limited, the Series 3 ProSkin is probably your best option as it is arguably the most comfortable entry-level electric razor out there.

Moreover, this particular variation is completely waterproof and can be used both wet and dry.

Cleaning the a Braun Series 3 is very easy and straightforward.

This also means that you can clean it with ease by simply rinsing it under the tap.

The replacement shaving head is inexpensive and should only be replaced once every 18 months.

Final word

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 difficult.

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 out there than the ones listed here, so consider it a starting point.

Last but not least, your technique and prep work are just as important, so make sure to check out our recommendations as well:

If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience, please leave a comment below.

24 thoughts on “What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Black Men (2021)?”

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    • 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.

      Reply
  1. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
        • 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.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
    • 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.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • 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.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Hi Chris,

      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.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. 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!

    Take care!
    Jazz

    Reply
    • Hi Jazz,

      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.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
    • 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).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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