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Wet Shaving vs. Dry Shaving: What's the Better Shave?

Ever wonder if a perfect shave is achievable? Whether you're a shaving newbie or a seasoned veteran, I'm sure you've battled razor burn, nicks, cuts, ingrown hairs, and irritation.

The first time I dry-shaved with an electric shaver, I got a razor burn on my neck, which burned like hell. My mistake. I didn't know my neck area was sensitive to a close shave (I had previously used a hair trimmer). I now wet shave with my electric shaver and have not experienced razor burn since.

So, what's the better shave? Wet or Dry?

Let's find out. We'll discuss the pros and cons of wet vs dry shaving using an electric razor. We don't recommend dry shaving with straight razors, cartridge razors, and safety razors anyway (just imagining it makes me cringe!), so we'll focus on electric shavers.

Is it Better to Shave Wet or Dry with an Electric Razor?

bald man holding shave gel while holding scalp

The quest for the perfect shave may lie in choosing between wet and dry shaving.

To choose our ideal method, let's consider factors like skin sensitivity, time, shave closeness, and clean-up.

Wet shaving gives a closer, more comfortable shave but can be time-consuming. A dry shave allows for a quick and less messy shave for busy mornings but can irritate your skin.

Both shaving methods have advantages and disadvantages. The best way to know which method suits you is to try both and then decide. But we're warning you now: if you have sensitive skin, take it from the skin on my neck: don't even try dry shaving.

What is Wet Shaving?

bald man wet shaving with electric razor

As its name implies, wet shaving means shaving with warm water, shaving cream, or gel.

Pros of Wet Shaving

  • A Closer Shave: Warm water and lather work together to soften hairs, making it easier for the multiple blades of your electric razor to cut hairs. This results in a closer shave versus dry shaving.

  • Less Irritation: Shaving cream or gel helps minimize friction and irritation, which is a plus for sensitive skin shavers.

  • More Comfortable: Warm water opens pores and softens skin, allowing for a more comfortable shaving experience.

Cons of Wet Shaving

  • Time-Consuming: Wet shaving requires more prep work, like warming your face or head with water, applying cream or gel, and rinsing everything after you shave.

  • Messier: Wet shaving can be messier. A combo of shaving cream and hair clippings can be a mess and clog your drains if you're not careful.

Who Should Wet Shave?

  • Those Who Are Not in a Hurry: Wet shaving is a good choice if you are okay with the prep time and the slightly longer routine.

  • Individuals Who Prefer a Closer Shave: If you want a baby-smooth finish, the closeness of wet shaving can't be beaten by dry shaving.

  • Those with Sensitive Skin: Wet shaving can be a game changer for individuals prone to redness, razor burn, ingrown hairs, and irritation.

What is Dry Shaving?

bald man dry shaving

Dry shaving is the most straightforward and convenient shaving method using your electric razor. You shave without water, cream, or gel.

Pros of Dry Shaving

  • More Convenient: Nothing matches the convenience of a dry shave. Grab your electric shaver and shave away! There is no need to warm water, apply shaving cream, or anything else. This is perfect for busy shavers whose every minute counts.

  • Less Expensive: You may save money in the long run without buying shaving cream or gel.

  • Less Mess: Dry shaving gets rid of the mess factor. No clogged sinks and cleaning up shaving cream after a shave.

Cons of Dry Shaving

  • Less Close Shave: Dry shaving may leave a bit of stubble compared to a wet shave.

  • Potential for Irritation: Dry shaving may be harsher on the skin, especially those prone to skin irritation, razor burn, and razor bumps.

Who Should Dry Shave?

  • Those Who Prioritize Convenience: If shaving time matters, dry shaving is meant for speed and convenience. No prep, water, and mess. Grab your razor and shave.

  • Shavers on a Budget: Without spending on shaving cream or gel, dry shaving may be more cost-effective in the long run.

  • Individuals Who Prefer a Little Stubble: A dry shave isn't as close as a wet shave. If you're ok with some stubble, dry shaving is your best bet.

Dry Shaving vs. Wet Shaving: By Body Part

There's a difference between the skin on your face, head, legs, and pubic regions. This difference affects whether or not you should dry or wet shave.

Scalp skin is thick and has more hair growth. Face skin is thinner, and hair has finer and varying densities.

The skin on the legs is generally thicker, and hair is usually coarse. The skin on our pubic area is thin and delicate, and hair often grows in a curly pattern.

Let's determine how you choose between wet or dry shaving by body part.

Is it Better to Shave Your Face Wet or Dry?

man shaving face with electric shaver

A wet shave is better since facial skin is thinner, and hair may grow in various directions. To avoid irritation, you must shave with the grain and map out your hair growth. Read our article to learn more about how to map out hair growth.

Is it Better to Shave Your Head Wet or Dry?

bald man looking at electric shaver facing the mirror

While scalp skin is thicker than most, it is also one of the most sensitive.

Dry shaving is the more practical choice for head shavers as long as your scalp doesn't get irritated. If you prefer a smooth shave with fewer chances of irritation, a wet shaving routine is a better option. Learn more about shaving the right way here.

Is it Better to Shave Pubic Hair Wet or Dry?

man looking at private area while holding electric shaver

Wet shaving is the best technique for shaving your pubic area since curly hairs are more prone to razor bumps, and the skin in the area down below tends to be more sensitive. It's vital to prioritize comfort and minimize irritation, especially in this delicate area.

Is it Better to Shave Your Legs Wet or Dry?

man shaving legs

image via coachlevi

For most people, wet shaving is better than dry shaving for legs since leg hairs are coarser and more prone to ingrown hairs. Wet shaving shaves closer, which minimizes the chances of irritation.

Conclusion

The battle between dry vs wet shave depends on several factors we have already tackled.

Ultimately, the best way to know which shaving method is better for you is to try both shaving methods and then decide.

Whatever method is more comfortable, provides results, and fits your routine will win.

But wait, who said you can't do both and enjoy both worlds?

If you don't get irritated after trying both methods, you can pick one that fits your needs, depending on your situation.

Whether you wet or dry shave, the FlexSeries is a great tool and one of the best-selling electric shavers on the market. It's also designed for those with sensitive skin.

Get one now for only $39.95.

FlexSeries Shaving Kit

FAQs

Is it OK to Wet Shave Every Day?

If your skin can tolerate it, wet shaving daily is okay. Once you experience skin irritation, try every other day or longer shaving intervals.

Is it OK to Dry Shave Every Day?

Dry shaving daily also depends on how your skin will react. If you have tough skin that can tolerate daily dry shaving, then that's okay.

Is it OK to Shave with Just Water?

As long as your shaver is designed for wet and dry shaving, shaving with just water would be fine. It wouldn't give the same results as adding shaving cream though.

Is Hot or Cold Water Better for Shaving?

Hot water helps open pores, making your hair and skin softer as you prep for a shave. So, when you're wet shaving, prep with warm water is better.

Cold water helps tighten pores so it's ideal to finish your shave by rinsing with cold water.

What Should You Do After Dry Shaving?

Here are the things you should do after dry shaving with your electric shaver:

  • Clean your shaver with a shaving brush that most likely came with your purchase

  • Wash your face with cool water to close pores and soothe the skin

  • Pat your face dry (don't rub)

  • Apply a moisturizer or aftershave

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