Men use various means to remove their facial hair. There are different shaving tools on the market and choosing the right one can be challenging. There are so many things to consider starting from skin sensitivity to the need to save time and money.
There are two main categories of shaving technologies – dry shaving and wet shaving. Knowing the difference between the two can help you know which among them will meet your shaving preferences.
Dry shaving vs wet shaving
Wet shaving refers to the use of a straight blade or a double edge razor to cut facial hair after the application of shaving cream or soap on the skin surface. Dry shaving is different from wet shaving as it involves the use of an electric razor and does not require wetting before shaving.
Each shaving technique has its unique pros and cons. Before we get to know the pros and cons of each of these techniques, let us first understand the fundamental differences between the two.
The basics of wet shaving
Wet shaving refers to the use of manual razors to cut facial hairs. Hand-operated blades can be anything from safety razors, disposables, cartridges, and straight razors.
In wet shaving, the blade cuts the hair of the beard with a single strike. When the razor touches the hair, it lifts it from the follicle before cutting it, which results in a closer shave.
Some razors have more than one blade. Most of them have two, but there are others like Gillette Fusion5™ ProGlide Shield that has five. These blades are to give you a more smooth and comfortable shave. The more they are, the more smooth shave you get.
The basics of dry or electric shaving
An electric razor has two main parts for cutting hair: a perforated metal foil and a set of small blades (undercutter) that move back and forth to cut hair. The small holes in the thin metal foil that comes into contact with the skin are smooth on the outer side, but sharp on the inside to enable them to cut the hair easily as they act as the second blade.
Electric shaving takes advantage of the skin’s elasticity to give you a closer shave. When you press the shaver on your skin, it forms a bow wave shape that allows for close contact between your skin and the holes on the foil. After the cut, the remaining hair pulls back into the skin to give you a smooth shave.
Advantages of a wet shaving
1. You get the closest shave possible
Whether you are using a straight blade, double edge, or a cartridge razor, you will get a closer shave than when using an electric shaver. With quality products, proper prep work, and comprehensive technique, wet shaving will give you great results without compromising your comfort.
2. It is cheaper
A multi-blade cartridge is expensive, but double edge razors are cheap. Using a double edge razor is the most economical shaving method. Despite being cheap, double edge razors are sharp and long-lasting.
3. Exfoliation benefits
Applying your favorite shaving cream or gel on your skin before shaving with a blade will give you an exfoliation like no other. It helps remove the top layer of the dead skin. Wet shaving can make your skin look more refreshed and healthy, especially if you are using a sharp blade.
Disadvantages of wet shaving
1. It takes more time
Wet shaving requires much prep work than electric shavers. Apart from prep work, the actual shaving takes a lot of time. After shaving, you will also spend some other few minutes cleaning your shaving arsenal. It also requires you to carry tons of stuff such as the alum, extra blades, shaving cream or gel, and pre-shave oil when you are traveling.
2. It takes practice
To make your hand steady and get a closer cut without cuts, you will need to practice. It is practice and the use of the right tools that will give you a smooth cut.
There are higher chances of getting cuts and nicks, especially if you have razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Electric shavers are the most viable option for people with sensitive skin.
3. Replacement costs
To prevent shaving rash, you need to replace the blades as soon as they start getting dull. The need to frequently replace the blades and cartridges makes wet shaving costly in the long run.
4. Shaving cream can be expensive
Traditional shaving requires you to wet the area first before shaving. You can use your favorite soap, but shaving cream does a better job. You can apply shaving cream before using an electric shaver, but it isn’t necessary.
5. No control over your beard length
A double edge razor and a straight blade are great when you are looking for a smooth face. If you are looking for a tool that will let you cut your beards to a certain length, an electric razor is the best option for you.
Advantages of an electric shaver
1. It saves time
One reason why many people are now switching to electric razors from traditional shaving is that they no longer need the time-consuming prep works before shaving. No lathering is required when using an electric shaver. You will also not spend minutes cleaning and maintaining your shaving arsenals after use. All you need to do after shaving is to plug into an automatic cleaning and charging station. Not all electric shavers come with a cleaning station, but they are easy to clean by rinsing them with running water. An electric razor can help you save about two to three minutes every morning.
2. You have control over your beard length
An electric razor can give you a much closer shave like a straight blade or a double edge razor. It is best if you are looking for a shaving tool that designer stubble looks. To get a designer stubble look with wet shaving, you will have to shave a night or day before.
3. You can still apply shaving gel
Some electric shavers are waterproof. You can use them with your favorite shaving creams and gels. Applying shaving creams can even help you achieve a closer shave with an electric razor and also reduce the risk of a shaving rash.
4. It is cheap
The upfront cost is pretty high, but the maintenance cost is affordable. Electric shavers are also durable and will only require you to replace the blades and foils once in a year.
5. No more cuts when shaving your beards
If you have ingrown hairs and razor bumps, an electric shaver is the best for you. No matter your experience, it is less likely to leave you with as many cuts and nicks as the traditional wet shaving.
Disadvantages of an electric shaver
1. They are expensive
A good electric shaver will cost you anything from £60 to £250. There are many cheaper options, but just like other low-cost products, they won’t last long. Cheap electric razors are also known to cause pimples when they catch and tug at your hair.
2. Your skin can take long before adapting
For the first time, an electric shaver is likely to leave you with a razor burn. Your skin can take up to three weeks to adapt.
3. No closer shave
An electric shaver is not able to give you a closer shave as the wet tradition shaving does. Because it doesn’t give you a closer shave, it can be the best option for people who have sensitive skin.
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