Ever since the emergence of the electric shaver, men around the world have been constantly debating and comparing the pros and cons of wet shaving vs. dry shaving, globally!
Even if you sport a full beard, men across the globe spend a good amount of time on a regular basis shaving, trimming or oiling their facial hair as part of their grooming routine.
Wet vs. dry shaving has been a debate among men for a long time and people still can’t seem to reach a conclusion on which is ultimate shave!
There are plenty of reports that say old-school wet shaving is best for a close shave, while others prefer using electric shavers to do the job. Both are effective, but which is the best?
In this guide, we’ve prepared a guide on wet shaving vs. dry shaving to help you come in terms with the method which suits you best and why.
Hopefully, this article will put an end to this never-ending debate.
Let’s dive in.
Wet vs. Dry Shaving – Comparison
|Features||Wet Shaving||Dry Shaving|
|Equipment||Razor, shaving cream or soap & shaving brush||Electric shavers (Battery powered or rechargeable)|
smooth &close shave
|Modern; quick shave, |
trim or beard styling
|Speed / Convenience||Time consuming & requires a certain level of expertise||Quick, simple and easy to use|
|Blade Replacement||After 2 or 3 shaves||Not required if properly oiled|
|Nicks / Cuts||Common, but not frequent||Very rare|
|Razor Blades||The razor blades are exposed so care is needed||The cutting blades are hidden so safe for all|
|Maintenance||Low||Medium to High|
|Versatility||Clean shave only||Offers full shave, stubble shave and even longer beard styles|
Wet Shaving: Everything You Need To Know
Wet shaving requires quite a few shaving accessories such as shaving cream or soap, the razor itself, a shaving brush and of course, water. If you are a fan of the traditional wet shaving experience using a shaving brush to create a nice, thick lather to soften the beard, then you must take care your time.
Also, good luck to you, sir!
Most guys simply use the off the shelf shaving foams or shaving gels and use their hands to create the lather and spread to it their faces. There are different types of razors for wet shaving, including straight razors and cartridge razors.
While the battle of the old school wet shaving and modern-day shaving is crucial – we will leave that for another day!
The Basics of Wet Shaving
Razors have blades which cut the facial hair through a process called “hysteresis”. The term is just the academic way of saying when a blade touches the hair, it slightly lifts the hair from its follicle before cutting it.
Modern razors now have a second, a third and even a fourth blade. These blades are positioned in such a way that the process is efficiently repeated within each stroke. All in an effort to you that perfectly clean, smooth shave without running the blades back & forth repeatedly.
Advantages of Wet Shaving
A Close, Clean & Smooth Shave
Most men prefer a wet shave because it gives them a close, smooth shave. Any man would wholeheartedly agree with this. A traditional wet shave using a high-quality shaving brush, a shaving cream and a traditional razor will give you the best shave.
Many modern, branded razors on the market today are made of high-quality, state of the art technology with multiple blades. These get very close to your skin to give you the smoothest shave without any causing any skin irritation.
The Ultimate Shaving Experience
Nothing beats the experience of a traditional wet shave.
We aren’t talking about shaving with one of those run-of-the-mill cartridge razors. We’re talking about the whole rituals of traditional wet shaving experience.
You start by filling your sink with steaming hot water, lathering your face using a high-quality shaving brush, and taking the time to shave slowly and meticulously with a uniquely crafted razor.
You can’t think of a more masculine and intrinsically luxurious activity of taking the time and activity for a traditional wet shave.
Wet Shaving Is Easy and Cost-Effective
The market is filled with a vast selections of quality wet shaving products. You can have a perfect wet shave in the comfort of your own bathroom cheaper and easier than ever before.
Bonus: Skin Exfoliation
Shaving is an intimate and gruesome activity for your skin. But believe it or not, a proper wet shave can do quite a lot of help when it comes to exfoliating your skin. When you lather your face with a quality shaving brush, you exfoliate your skin.
When you shave with razors, the blades remove the dead skin cells of the very top layer of your face and exposes new, smooth skin.
The thing is a proper wet shave gives you a similar result to a facial using a facial scrub.
Disadvantages of Wet Shaving
Low Upfront Cost That Adds Up
One of the significant disadvantages of wet shaving is the ongoing expenses, or the accumulated cost of the luxurious experience. You need to buy the cartridge razors regularly as the blades get blunt after a few shaves.
If you want a sharp shave, then you can only use a cartridge razor for only 1-2 shaves.
Sure, the razors are pretty affordable, but if you keep buying replacement cartridges packs every 2 or 3 weeks, the costs will add up in a flash. Then there is the need to invest in a shaving brush made of high-quality bristles and a quality shaving cream or soap to create a good, creamy lather for a comfortable shave.
You should always use good-quality shaving cream, or else the lather won’t give enough lubrication and protection between your skin and the blade. A good lather will also make the razor glide smoothly across the face reducing razor burns, redness and other irritation or side effects.
Again, the cost of these products will add up over time.
Risk of Nicks & Small Cuts
Another notable downside of wet shaving is those annoying nicks and cuts. You will hardly find any guy who did not cut themselves while shaving.
You may or may not have stuck small pieces of tissue paper on your face, but you must have felt the burn or noticed tiny little blood drops on your face at one time or another after a wet shave.
No matter how carefully you shave, you will have some nicks and cuts on your face sooner or later.
Modern cartridge razors with 4-5 blades and adjustable heads are all created in an effort to make the process safer. It allows shavers to easily navigate around the various folds and contours of the face, which help reduce small cuts, but not entirely.
Traditional straight razors are challenging to use safely.
So, if you’re one of those guys who are keen on picking up a traditional razor for wet shaving, expect a few cuts along the way. But the end result will be worthy!
Razor Burns, Irritations & Other Side Effects
Whether you prefer a wet shave or dry shave – shaving can and will cause a certain level of skin irritation.
But it’s common for wet shaving, especially if you have sensitive skin. With sensitive skin, dragging a razor blade across your skin will cause a significant level of razor burn or mild irritation, even if you lather properly using top-of-the-line shaving creams or soaps.
Additionally, the ingredients in the shaving cream can also sometimes cause post-shave skin redness and discomfort post-shave. Which is why, aftershave skin care products are a must have!
Dry Shaving: The Complete Guide
As opposed to wet shaving, you don’t need shaving cream or soap, razors, shaving brush or even water when dry shaving.
Instead, all you need is a good quality electric shaver that is designed for trimming or cutting the hairs just above the skin. Modern electric shavers are so good that you don’t need water or lubricants for a close shave.
Electric shavers and beard trimmers come in all different shapes, sizes and configurations. So, you can choose one which is most appropriate for you and well within your budget.
The Basics of Dry Shaving
An electric razor has a thin, perforated metal foil and an “undercutter”. This is made of tiny blades that move back and forth extremely fast below the foil. The minuscule, perforated holes in the foil, act as a second blade.
They look smooth from the outside, but no doubt, they are extremely sharp on the inside.
Electric shavers come in two variants: rotary and linear. Both systems have the same components and functions. The only difference between the two systems is the movement direction of the undercutter.
Electric shavers utilize the skin’s elasticity for shaving. The shaver presses down on the skin and moves it, which makes the hair become exposed and gets inside the holes of the foil. The hair gets cut, and the remaining hair contracts back into the skin.
Advantages of Dry Shaving
Easy To Use & A Time Saver
Undoubtedly, when it comes to dry shaving, the biggest advantage of using an electric shaver is the convenience combined with speed.
Using an electric shaver is easy and hassle-free. You don’t need to be extra careful or any extra training, whether day or night, if you’ve got only a few minutes – you can get your shave.
Got only an hour for an interview? Don’t have the time to get a nice clean shave?
Pick up your electric shaver and get rid of that stubble!
Electric shavers can be used anywhere and require no preparation, water, shaving creams, shaving foams or gels, or a shaving brush.
Dry shaving is the perfect solution for men always on the go or for when you are travelling.
Little To No Irritation Or Side Effects
Electric shavers are very safe. They are designed to cut or trim the hairs just above the surface of the skin as opposed to wet shaving, which removes a thin layer of skin each time.
Dry shaving is a godsend for men with sensitive skin because they don’t have to worry about skin irritation every time they shave.
However, some men have complained about mild irritation when using an electric shaver for the first time, but this usually dissipates within 2 -3 weeks.
Not every guy wants a clean shave!
Some prefer to sport a light stubble or a certain length of facial hair every now and then. With wet shaving, you have no option to do that, but electric shavers give you this option and more.
Electric shavers offer a clean-shaven finish and trimming functions and other adjustable features that enable you to control the length of your facial hair. If you’re someone who wants the freedom to change the look of your facial hair, then dry shaving is the best option.
Modern electric shavers are so advanced now, especially the high-end models, that you can now use them with water or while taking a shower, to get the best shaving experience.
Disadvantages of Dry Shaving
Don’t Offer A Close Shave
Modern electric shavers are incredible inventions packed with cutting-edge technology, but they can only cut the hair above your skin.
Because of the inherent limitation of the technology, it’s impossible to get the super smooth, close shave that you get with wet shaving.
However, high-end branded electric shavers do offer a comparable close, comfortable shave.
Fairly High Maintenance
Unlike cartridge razors and shaving brushes, you can’t just wash your electric shaver with water and call it a day.
Electric shavers and razors require routine maintenance and cleaning to keep them in a good working condition. Some electric shavers are super easy to clean, while others aren’t.
Furthermore, you may need to replace the batteries, or pay attention to not overcharge them.
Add to that; you may even need to promptly replace broken or damaged parts and replace the ‘cutting’ components every 18-24 months for keep getting the best performance.
Of course, it is often easier to just pick up a new electric shaver, but that of course comes at a significant cost.
High Upfront Cost
A quality electric shaver will generally cost more than $100 and may range up to $500. The price as it may appear is certainly quite a bit expensive than a typical cartridge razor.
Keep in mind that, if maintained and used correctly, an electric shaver will last for many years. So, it’s worth thinking about it as an investment for the long run.
In Conclusion: Which Is Better?
Men have been shaving their facial hair for thousands of years using various methods, but most of us are familiar with shaving with blades, and for as long as you can think back in the recent past – electric shavers.
Of course, all the different methods have their advantages and limitations, and it all boils down to one’s personal preference based on their hair type, skin type, ease of use and their overall grooming routine.
Take a closer look at the advantages and limitations of both options and decide which factors are essential for you.
When it comes to deciding whether wet shaving or dry shaving is best for you – It all comes to personal preferences.
If you have sensitive skin and experience redness and irritation with wet shaving, then dry shaving is the better choice for you.
However, if you enjoy the traditional process and experience of wet shaving for getting that perfectly close, smooth and clean shave every time, then wet shaving is the way to go.
Hope we have helped in making your decision-making process easier.
Be safe out there!