For many men, electric shaving is the only way to elude some of the problems associated with traditional shaving.
After making the actual switch, some of us will be faced with the sudden realization that it isn’t exactly what we were hoping for: the shaving experience hasn’t improved to a significant degree or, even worse, it hasn’t improved at all.
Things will eventually get better once your skin adapts to the new shaving method and your technique improves, but there are still some simple and easy to implement tweaks that can really make a difference.
Most of these adjustments only imply correcting a few frequent errors.
So without further ado, here are 9 of the most common electric shaving mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Applying too much pressure.
An electric shaver will never shave as close as a blade; there is a physical barrier between your skin and the cutting blades in the form of a foil or guard/comb.
Some shavers will get really close, but the aforementioned aspect still remains true.
Therefore, in order to compensate for this drawback or to get a few stubborn hairs, you may be tempted to apply more pressure.
My advice is to absolutely avoid doing so; it won’t do much in improving the closeness, but it will give you painful razor burn and irritation.
If you constantly find yourself in this situation, having to press harder and go over certain areas multiple times, make sure that:
- The foils and/or cutting blades are still in good condition. Depending on your particular razor and shaving habits, these parts can wear out sooner than expected. Make sure to replace them when this happens.
- The battery has enough juice in it. A dying battery will have trouble powering the motor and cutting the hairs, forcing you to go over the same area multiple times. Pulling and tugging can also occur, increasing the chances of irritation.
- Your particular shaver is up to the task — which leads us to the next point.
2. Using a shaver that’s not suitable for the job.
The straight fact is that some electric shavers are simply better and more suitable in a particular situation than others.
I’m not saying that you have to spend big money on the most feature-packed razors; there are definitely some very capable budget-friendly shavers out there.
Remember, there isn’t such thing as the best shaver, but the one that is right for you, considering your personal needs and your budget.
3. Not giving your shaver a proper cleaning after each use.
Not all electric razors come with a cleaning and charging station. In fact, this is usually a perk of the more expensive ones.
If yours doesn’t have one, a manual clean is highly recommended after each use in order to keep your shaver functioning properly.
Hair, dead skin and dirt will alter the performance and are bad for the hygiene of your shaver.
Fortunately, almost all electric razors can be easily cleaned with warm tap water and optionally a bit of liquid soap (provided they are waterproof).
Just make sure you follow the procedure recommended by the manufacturer.
You can also check out my guide for cleaning an electric razor manually.
4. Not lubricating your shaver.
Lubrication is vital for a close and comfortable shave and will prolong the lifespan of your shaver’s foils and blades.
Unless your electric razor comes with an automatic cleaning station that also takes care of lubricating the cutting parts, you’ll have to do it yourself.
Fortunately, it’s an extremely easy operation.
You can use clipper oil or just a light highly refined mineral oil. I personally use clipper oil for all my shavers as it’s inexpensive and works great.
A drop or two on each foil is all it takes.
Having a properly lubricated shaving unit has multiple benefits: it will reduce the heat generated by the friction of the foils and blades, will prolong their life and improve the performance of your shaver.
As a rule of thumb, you should lubricate your shaver after each cleaning that involved the use of soap or once a week.
For more details, you can check out my complete guide on how to lubricate your shaver.
5. Not trimming your hair if it’s too long for the shaver to handle.
Dealing with longer facial hair continues to be one of the weak points of all electric shavers.
Trimming your facial hair with a basic hair trimmer prior to shaving is highly recommended if you have a long beard.
Electric shavers are designed to capture and cut short facial hair.
If the whiskers are too long, the razor will simply miss or pull them which is very painful and you can also get a few nasty nicks.
6. Not using a pre-electric lotion.
Keeping your beard and razor dry is extremely important for the comfort and closeness of the shave.
A pre-shave will dry the moisture from the skin, priming it for the shave, while also lifting the hairs and making it easier for the shaver to cut them.
Most users see a noticeable improvement when adding a good pre-shave lotion; they’re also relatively inexpensive and extremely easy to apply prior to shaving dry.
7. Skipping post-shave treatment.
Avoid the ones containing alcohol, artificial fragrances, and parabens as they can cause irritation and dry your skin.
8. Not giving wet shaving a try.
Ok, this is not an actual mistake, but more like something you could be missing out on.
Wet electric shaving can make a significant difference, especially if you have sensitive skin.
If your razor is suitable for wet & dry use then go ahead and add a quality shaving cream.
You can also check out my tips and recommendations for wet shaving with an electric razor.
If you think that all this hassle pretty much defies the purpose of an electric shaver that you just grab and start shaving, that’s totally understandable.
But if adding some lather can yield significantly better results then I think the extra work is totally worth it.
9. Switching back and forth between electric and manual razors.
A razor blade shaves off a thin layer of skin cells, while an electric shaver does not — at least not to a significant degree.
As a result, after shaving with a blade, the body produces replacement scar tissue and it takes around 2 to 3 weeks to get rid of it.
During this time you won’t get the best results shaving with an electric razor.
That’s why it’s highly recommended to stick to a method of shaving for at least 3 weeks before trying something else.
Over to you now: What was the most annoying thing about using an electric shaver in your experience? Please comment below.