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Wet vs Dry Shaving


Q: Wet shaving is getting too expensive, painful and time-consuming so I’ve decided to buy an electric shaver. Is an electric / dry shave better than a wet shave or is it the other way around? Which models should I look at? Are the expensive models worth the cash?

Duncan, Leeds

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

The 25 per cent of men that opt for an electric shave over a wet shave usually do so with good reason: it’s quicker, mess free and considerably less likely to end in a bloodbath. While there is little truth to the talk that one method is more ‘effective’ than the other – it really depends on your beard, how your skin reacts and your shaving technique – it will take a couple of weeks for your skin to readjust to the new method.

You might find that your skin is a bit raw and red during this period, so don’t freak out if your first electric shave doesn’t go as smoothly as you hoped. Using an electric pre-shave prep such as Anthony Logistics’ Electric Pre-Shave Solution (11.20 for 118ml from feelunique.com) or Lab Series’ Electric Shave Solution (£20 for 100ml from labseries.co.uk) rather than going completely ‘dry’ might help make the transition from wet to electric less gruesome. Avoid chopping and changing from wet to electric shaving - just choose one method and commit to it so your skin doesn't flare up.

There is, however, one crucial decision you’ll have to make when investing in an electrical razor: rotary or foil blades? Again, one is not necessarily ‘better’ than the other; it all boils down to personal preference at the end of the day. Rotary shavers work with two or three spinning blades that are usually pivoted so they can adjust to the angles of your face. Foil blades, on the other hand, have a linear block of blades that move back and forth underneath a flat, perforated steel cover.

Philips and Braun are the leaders in rotary and foil blades respectively. The Braun Series 7 has strategically placed holes so there’s less uncomfortable ‘tugging’ of hairs and their top end model (Series 7-790cc-3 for £306.37 from boots.com) comes with bells and whistles including an interactive LCD panel and a Clean&Renew system which kills 99.9 per cent of the germs festering on your foil.

Philip’s SensoTouch 3D (£300 from philips.co.uk) is one of the best rotary shavers out there. It has three circular blades that can pivot at every angle imaginable to tackle odd corners like your jawline more easily. Different shaped slots are designed to catch hairs of varying lengths and positions, including those pesky hairs that insist on lying completely flat so as to avoid being snipped. Best of all, its waterproof seal means you can even use it for a ‘wet’ shave with your favourite cream / foam / gel without blowing up the circuitry.

If those models blow the budget, hold out until Christmas when they usually get reduced considerably.

Find Ahmed at theexfoliator.com

(Image: Getty)



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