Shaving black skin is challenging in manifold ways – you have denser beard to deal with accompanied with sensitive skin and aggravated with ingrown hair.
Razor bumps, skin irritation and burning sensations are all too common. So how exactly do you counter challenges of shaving black skin?
In a modern manner, we say. Advanced foil shavers are among the best tools for shaving black skin.
We went through a series of different models and came out with five top-notch, true-breed shavers that are custom built for black skin. Also included, are some do’s and don’ts on shaving black skin in general.
Contents (Jump to your preferred section)
Top 5 Electric Shaver for black men “comparison chart”
|Image||Name & Brand||Tech||Display||Charge & Run time|
|Braun 790cc Editor's choice||Intelligent Sonic||Lcd (6 Level)||1hr & 50 min|
|Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV81-K||Linear Motor||Lcd (10 Stage)||1hr & 40 min|
|Panasonic Arc4 ES-LA93-K||Linear Motor||Led (Multi)||1hr & 40 min|
|Braun Series 9 9095cc||Intelligent Sonic||Led||1hr & 50 min|
|Panasonic Arc4 ES8243A||Linear Motor||Lcd (10 Stage)||1hr & 40 min|
Why shaving is a pain for black men?
- Because of Ingrown and curly hair: Black men have the Afro-American beard type. Ingrown hair is common for people with such beards. This makes shaving very difficult for two reasons. First, the hair grows under the skin and you can’t really shave it off conventionally. This will lead to exertion of more force, which in turn causes razor burns and frequent irritation.
- Because shaving bumps: Most people with healthy skin free of sensitivities never get to know about shaving bumps. But this is an everyday reality when shaving black skin. Shaving bumps occur when the razor glide over the skin is not smooth enough. These become more visible on black skin because of the uneven skin texture and razor burn.
- Nicks, cuts and scratches galore: You are bound to get a few nicks and scratches and cuts if you are shaving black skin. Shaving black skin is also difficult because these keep happening daily. You will not find that one perfect angle of razor glide or blades that will save you from further nicks and cuts. Meanwhile, scratches seem to become a norm when shaving black skin.
- Because of black skin sensitivity: Believe it or not, black facial skin is often more sensitive than other skin types. And this is one of the basic problems that many are set to ignore. More often than not, shaving black skin results in razor bumps and cuts. A large portion of the blame goes to skin sensitivity issues.
Why Black men need an advance foil shaver
- Greater motor speeds means lesser hassles: When the motor works close to 14,000 cuts every minute for a single blade, it all happens in a jiffy. On most occasions, you wouldn’t ‘even notice how fast and what cut you. This will automatically take the pain and suffering from blades out of the equation. Also, with greater speeds, you can rely on the motor to give you faster results.
- Blades: many and sharp: Most electric foil shavers make it a point to use the best blades out there. You will notice how many sharp blades act on the skin at the same time to give you better shaves that are nearer to perfection. Also, the number of cutting actions in a minute multiplies with the number of blades, giving you all the more traction.
- The additional pop-up trimmer: The pop-up trimmer is another important part of modern shavers that has an indispensable function in most cases. These trimmers are present inside the shaver and give you that additional lift and cut for mustaches, lips and sideburns. You can also use the trimmer to make important style adjustments from time to time.
- More juice in the battery: The extension in battery life is another important consideration that electric foil shavers throw at you. Most new foil shavers come with really long battery lives and enhanced performances. You can easily extract about 20 uses from them on a single charge. This is also perfect when you are looking for a shaver that is also a travel aid.
- Better grip with picot-action head: The pivoting head of the shaver is another great thing that you will find when looking for electric shavers. The pivot action head makes it a lot easier to maneuver the shaver on the face. It also increases traction when you are shaving rather difficult areas of the face.
- Modes of personalization: Yes, a lot of personalization has gone into foil shavers, especially for the ones that are meant for black skin. The new ones that we meet today are meant for doing great shaves in less time. And that happens chiefly because of the kind of personalization modes that goes into each model.
- Easy cleaning like never before: Cleaning foil shavers is easier than ever before. You can open up the head and keep them under running water and watch the action unfold. Some higher-end models also come with dedicated cleaning stations with alcohol-based cleaning mechanisms. Either way, there is plenty of room for better cleaning your foil shaver.
Top 5 Foil shaver reviews
The 790cc Series 7 Braun comes with Integrated Intelligent Sonic Technology that helps increasing power on areas that are difficult. This is one reason the 790cc is such a maverick when working on black men.
The power automatically goes up when working in areas that have denser hair growth or are not as smooth as other parts of the skin. Unlike other shavers which shave very close to the skin, the 790cc comes with ActiveLift that can be used to capture hairs that lie flatly on the surface.
The ActiveLift technology of the 790cc actually works well to lift the hair before cutting them. The OptiFoil technology is perfectly capable of giving you shaves of closeness measuring around 0.5mm.
And the best thing is it does not irritate your skin in the least while doing this. The foil and the blades share a very healthy combined action to manufactures those perfect electric shaves for you. To top it all, the 790cc Series 7 is completely waterproof and can be washed too.
- Integrated with OptiFoil cuts.
- Comes with intelligent sonic technology.
- Perfect shaves with synergized blades.
- Completely waterproof.
- Can be cleaned under the tap.
- Great for Afro-American beard types.
- Not suited for all skin types.
- Noisier operation levels.
- Bulkier than most other shavers.
The Arc5 from Panasonic comes to you with its highly recognized award-winning technology and performance. You get a 5-blade shaving arrangement which is honed to precision at an angle of 30°. The angle gives you shaves that are closer compared to most electric shavers that specialize in black skin.
The linear motor employed in the Arc5 is the most powerful one built by Panasonic so far. It is perfectly suitable for taking into account all different types of skin, especially African-American beard.
The linear motor gives you about 14,000 cutting actions every minute, which becomes 70,000 cuts when you are dealing with 5 blades. The sensor in the motor is also great at detecting differences in densities of beards continuously.
The cutting power automatically adjusts while you save the different areas that make the contour of the face, including the neck and the chin. Plus, you get the Multi-Flex head that works on a pivoting system that glides smoothly on the face and chin.
- Multi-flex pivot action time.
- 70,000 cutting actions every minute.
- Comes with a precision pop-up trimmer.
- Shaves very closely on black skin.
- Arc5 sensor for even closer shaves.
- A little loose compared to others in the Series.
- Not better than rotary machines.
The ES-LA93-K from Panasonic comes with 2 motors and 4 heads to ensure super-close shaves upfront. The 30° angled nanotech blades by Panasonic give you the best angle at which the blade meets the skin.
The blades are also equipped to be very durable days and months and years into use. It is this durability that also makes it one of the best available for black skin. Each blade of the ES-LA93-K packs in 14,000 cuts in a minute.
The pivoting head of the ES-LA93-K is another reason you will have to watch out for the shaver in some detail. It enables the shaver head to stick very closely to the skin of the face when shaving.
The cutting action of the blade lifts the hairs before cutting them down. This way you make sure the shaver does not become too heavy on the skin. This is also among the most effective ways you deal with ingrown hair common with black skin.
- Award winning multi-flex technology.
- Delivers 14,000 cuts in a minute.
- Comes with 4 really well-placed blades.
- Includes charge and clean station.
- Also includes a built-in pop-up trimmer.
- Some manual razors do better.
- Not as close as expected.
- Heats up too fast.
If you are really looking for a one-in-all solution for shaving black skin, we recommend the Series 9-9095cc from Braun for you.
The device is all about one button – merely touching that lets you clean the device, charge it well, select the appropriate program for cleaning. In all, it feels like you are using a totally new device every day. The cleaning system is really what caught our eye. The cleaning action is far more hygienic than water cleaning.
Using the Series 9-9095cc is about making sure your skin gets the measure of comfort it deserves. It is hard not to notice the way it comfortably acts on the skin while you are at it.
Every time you charge the battery, you will feel the device has turned new again. Also, each time the device cleans itself, the blades get lubricated too. This gives you better and more comfortable passes each time you use the device. It is also the only existing 5-action, alcohol cleaning system.
- Ideal for shaving black skin.
- Alcohol based cleaning station.
- Blades lubricate with each cleaning session.
- Intel program selection for every session.
- Very expensive compared to others.
- Alcohol based cleaning.
- Misses some fine hair at times.
The Arc4 from Panasonic is another among our favorites when it comes to shavers for black skin. It is one shaver that gives you quick and dry shaves that are both close and comfortable.
The stainless steel and ultra-thin multi-fit Arc 4 foil is something that produces excellent results among all closeness. It is one shaver that moves with equal ease on your face, neck and chin. It also takes shaving the jaw to a different level of closeness.
The Arc 4 linear meter employed by Panasonic generates above 13,000 cuts in a minute and is able to hold up the peak power. This continues till the end of the battery charge.
You do not get any drop in battery performance once the charge is lower in the battery. You also get a 10-stage LED on the shaver. It shows the advanced stage of each razor. It gives you all the convenience irrespective of whether you are shaving wet or dry.
- Wet and dry shaving advantage.
- 13,000 cuts in a minute.
- Power peaks at all battery charge levels.
- 10-stage LED in-built.
- Great on black skin.
- Blade performance slightly off.
- Slightly problematic power button.
- Does not shave well below the nose.
Special note: tacking ingrown hairs
Out of all genuine black skin shaving problems we spotted, ingrown hairs seem to be the most relentless. Now, ingrown hairs are when hair does not grow out of the skin. But instead, they start growing inside the skin.
A shaver cannot possibly run blades inside the skin and get these hairs out. Most people apply too much pressure to shave off these hairs. While the hairs cannot be shaven off conventionally, it definitely produces a lot of traction on the skin, causing all the irritation and bumps typical to black skin.
Now, dealing with ingrown facial hair is not easy either. There is a lot of symmetry that needs to be applied simultaneously.Let’s explore some of these:
- The razor angle is important: For most of the razors or even electric shavers that are meant for black skin, the ingrown hairs are tackled heavily through the blade angle. While these hairs may grow inside the skin, a minutely right razor angle shaves off the beard without really getting ‘into the skin’. This is one reason to look at the razor angle very closely when choosing.
- Teaming up with other shaving essentials: When fighting ingrown hairs, especially on black skin, it is very important that you get other shaving tools firmly in place.Equipment includes shaving cream, shaving brush and the after shave as well. If you are using a shaving brush, make sure the ends are not hard on the skin. This actually takes care of a lot of the problem.
- It happens without extra pressure: There is no need to deal with ingrown hairs with added force. As already touched base on, this will only add more strain to the skin and leave you with lesser options. If you have all the other things in the right place, you will just need to glide the shaver down your skin and boom – ingrown hair no more.
- Plucking works best when avoided: Many of our readers have in the past resorted to plucking hairs using sharp steel aids. Take it from us – it never works. You will only make wounds on a part of your skin. Plus, shaving will become extra painful if you have dug a hole on some part of the face.
- Proxies do not work: Do not try other innovative and DIY stuff while trying to shave off facial hair from the skin. They will never work. If you are serious about getting over the problem, you will have to deal with the healthy way; the conventional way. Let’s just put it this way: do not try anything out of the league. It won’t work. Period.
Our personalized tips to comfortable black skin shaving
- Lotion, not soap: This is a rather straight one. When shaving black skin, it is imperative that you will need more from the ingredients of the shaving solutions you are using. Here, it is imperative that a lotion will have perform better than soap.
- Clean dry and then sterilize: The issues faced during black skin shaving are also partly due to inefficient cleaning. It is always imperative to clean the shaver dry and then sterilize it well to make sure it doesn’t infect your skin with bacteria. We will say here that the alcohol based cleaning system works really well here.
- Replacing blades when new ones are due: The life of blades is limited in almost all shavers, including the foil shavers. When you replace the blades with new ones, make sure you are doing it with the right parts. Faulty or “after-market” blades can leave your shaver in a lot of jeopardy.
- After-shave lotions are important: Most of the irritation that occurs on the skin is after the shave. Here, you will have to note that good after-shave lotions do a lot to soothe the skin and make sure you do not feel any burn. It is important that you use a good after-shave lotion to close the pores of the skin once shaving is complete.
- Go slow and conventional: The machine has its own speed. You do not need to add any more. Just be slow with the maneuvering and let the device do its own bit. If you get stuck somewhere in the face, it is best to choose wet shaving over dry. Lather up well and things will be smoother.
Hear it from a black soldier
Life at the army is difficult if you have tough beard, black skin and sensitive skin. You will need those through military shaves every morning and do your best to avoid skin irritation and razor bumps. They say in the military: “you are either a shaven soldier, or not a soldier”. Things appeared grim really. But the Braun Series 7 really made life simple for most of us.
Shaves started becoming interesting and I personal got the best results with ingrown and difficult hair. Within a few weeks of shaving, the problem areas were not as sensitive as they used to be.
(This is a true, narrated account by a black soldier of the U.S. army.)
So here’s the callThe 790cc-Series 7 from Braun is in our view the most eloquent electric shaver of black skin. The OptiFoil integrated into the shaver offers thoroughly comfortable cuts.
The Intelligent Sonic technology makes it easier to bring through cuts as well. The synergy between the foil and the blades is another thing to watch out for.
The shaver is completely waterproof and can be cleaned very easily under the tap. Above all, it is simply perfectly suited for the black skin type.
The Final Word
Shaving black skin has some unique challenges. But the right shaver for black skin can go a long way into making sure you get most things right about the process.