For many men, electric shaving is the only way to bypass 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 will adapt to the new shaving method and your technique will improve, but there are still some simple and easy to implement tweaks that can really make a difference.
And these adjustments mainly imply correcting a few typical errors.
Without further ado, here are 9 of the most common electric shaving mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Applying too much pressure and doing unnecessary passes.
An electric shaver will never shave as close as a blade; there is a physical barrier between your skin and the cutting blades. Some shavers will get really close, but the aforementioned fact 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 pretty fast. 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. Not using a shaver that’s suitable for the job.
The straight fact is that some electric shavers are simply better and more suitable for a particular situation than others.
If you have a two days beard for example, with coarse stubble and different growth patterns you’ll definitely feel the difference when using a powerful and advanced razor.
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 all the above aspects and your budget.
3. Not giving your shaver a proper cleaning after each use.
Not all the electric razors come with a cleaning and charging station. In fact, this is usually a characteristic of the more expensive ones.
If yours doesn’t have one, a manual cleaning is absolutely mandatory after each use in order to keep your shaver functioning properly. Hair, dead skin and dirt will alter the performance and aren’t good for hygiene.
Fortunately, almost all electric razors can be easily cleaned with a bit of liquid soap under running tap water (provided that they are waterproof). Just make sure you follow the procedure recommended by the manufacturer.
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 lubricant like sewing machine oil. I personally use the latter for all my shavers as it’s inexpensive and works great.
A single drop 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.
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.
6. Not using a pre-electric lotion.
Williams Lectric Shave or Afta by Mennen are two of the most popular products and they do a good job of drying and also lifting the hairs that lie flat.
7. Not including a post-shave treatment.
Avoid the ones containing alcohol, artificial fragrances and parabens as they can cause irritation.
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 in your shaving experience, especially if you have sensitive skin.
If you think that all this hassle pretty much defies the purpose of an electric shaver that you just grab, use & job done, I can totally understand. But if it can yield significantly better results then I think the extra work is totally justified.
9. Switching back and forth between electric and traditional shaving
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 with an electric shaver. That’s why it’s highly recommended to stick to a method for at least 3 weeks before trying something else.