Shaving’s a part of most men’s daily hygiene regimen. We each do it a little differently, though, following the routines we’ve established over the years. The question of what kind of razor to use—traditional razors versus electric ones—is something we’ve probably all thought about at one point or another since we started shaving.
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The Morning Shave
Although it’s pretty obvious, the goal of shaving is to remove facial hair, leaving a clean, fresh look that’s also smooth and comfortable. The time and method of the shave are important, as most men prefer to delay the “5 o’clock shadow” from coming too early in the day, and that’s an important consideration for what kind of razor to use. Disposable, cartridge, and straight-edged razors each have their respective advantages and disadvantages; electric razors, though, are a different matter.
Electric Razors—What’s Good About Them
If you’re usually in a hurry in the morning, electric razors definitely will save you some time. First, there’s no need to moisten your face, and second, it’s almost impossible to cut yourself with an electric razor. Consequently, you can shave a lot faster, using a single hand and without looking in the mirror. Electric razors are great for travel, as most can either be battery-charged or plugged into a wall when you reach your destination.
Electric Razors—What’s Bad About Them
Despite their conveniences, electric razors do have some downsides. Everybody’s different, of course, but many guys complain that electric razors irritate their skin, causing burning, itching, and blotching throughout the day. But perhaps the biggest drawback is the fact that electric razors just don’t cut as close to the skin as traditional ones do. So, if your whiskers tend to grow quickly, you may have to use your electric razor more than once a day if you want to keep a smooth face.
By comparison, non-electric razors get right to the surface of the skin—which also makes you more prone to nick yourself if you’re not careful—but the job they do will probably last you for the rest of the day. The bottom line is: it’s all really a matter of preference.
If you’re really thrift-minded, the cost of your shaving apparatus could be a game-changer for you, but that can be a tough call to make. Electric razors obviously cost more than traditional razors, and a really good quality electric one could run you about $50-$100 or even higher for the top of the line. The tradeoff is that, after the initial investment, they are cost-effective and will give you years of use.
On the other hand, traditional razors present a much smaller initial outlay, but of course then you have to regularly figure in shaving cream, new razor blades, or the cost of disposal razors, all of which can add up over a lifetime. The straight-edged razors are probably the most cost-effective, but they’re tricky to use and require occasional sharpening, which will eat up a little of your time.
Electric Razors and Your Skin
Any razor, electric or otherwise, can irritate your face, especially if you have extra-sensitive skin. Electric razors, however, do bring some additional challenges, such as:
o Razor burn, which sometimes occurs if the razor head is applied repeatedly to the same area; you have to be careful not to re-shave already smooth areas;
o Dry skin, which can develop, especially since you don’t have to wet your face like you do with a traditional razor. This can generally be avoided, however, by dampening the skin before shaving.
o Bacterial infections, which sometimes occur if the blade is not kept clean, resulting in folliculitis, when hair follicles become infected. So add a razor-cleaning session to your morning routine.
Regardless of whatever type of razor you favor, healthy skin can be boosted by using a high quality non-perfumed aftershave, and by applying a cold wet towel to close pores after shaving. Of course, fragrance-free moisturizers containing natural ingredients can also be used to moisturize and fortify your skin at any time.
What’s Best for You?
When you consider all these factors—how close you want your shave, how long you want it to take, and what fits your budget—you can decide what kind of razor to use. And feel free to experiment; you’ll never know what you like until you try it!
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