Best Shaving Technique: Wet Shave Vs. Dry Shave


There has been an ongoing debate over whether to wet or dry shave ever since electric shavers hit the market in the 1930s.

Shaving is usually an integral part of a man’s grooming routine and every man prefers to wear his style.

But when the choice comes down to wet shave versus dry shaveknowing which technique will result in a clean shave is key – both are hassle-free as well as irritation-free and suit personal grooming preferences.

In this article, we explore all aspects of wet and dry shaving to help you decide which is right for you.

What is a dry shave?

Man shaving dry beard with electric razor
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When shaving, you don’t need to use water or related products like gels, soaps or creams, as the name suggests. However, this also does not mean that you should shave your skin with a regular razor.

Use an electric razor specifically designed for dry shaving when performing this task. This is because electric shavers are designed to cut hair that exists just above the skin, eliminating the need for lubricants or water. You can prevent discomfort and irritation by skilfully trimming your facial hair just above the surface of your skin.

What is a wet shave?

Wet man shaving his beard
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Also known as the traditional shaving method, the wet shave is probably the most common and popular shaving method for men. Unlike dry shaving, this technique involves preparing the skin with water, shaving gel, soap or cream and using a straight razor with a sharp blade for a more precise cut.

Most traditional wet razors also use a badger brush to produce a lather that makes it easier to remove hair from the skin. There are many types of razors available in the market for wet shaves such as cartridge razors, disposable and DE (double edge) safety razors. However, for a more traditional approach to shaving, you can also try using a straight razor.

Wet shave vs dry shave

A man choosing between a wet shave and a dry shave.
© Shutterstock

Regarding the debate between wet shave versus dry shave, there are many factors to consider. You should try to choose the option that best suits your needs and provides a hassle-free and smooth shaving experience. Here are some of the factors you need to watch for some time to make the big decision:

Wet shave gives a closer shave than a dry shave due to the way the razor breaks the hair. It’s smoother and regrows slower, as you’ll notice.

  • When you’re late

Compared to wet shave, dry shaving is much faster and does not involve prepping and rinsing your skin. If you’re often pressed for time in the morning, it might be worth getting an electric razor so you can dry shave without any of the unfavorable (and uncomfortable) aftermath.

Due to their high upfront costs, electric razors can seem expensive to those who are used to buying cartridge razors. On the other hand, cartridge razors can increase in price over time because you have to replace the blades more regularly; in contrast, an electric razor can last over a year between blade changes.

With dry shaving, you also spend less on soap and shaving cream. Wet shaving with a safety razor is the most economical method.

While using a conventional razor to shave dry skin is a definite fail, using an electric razor may cause the least amount of irritation. Granted, your skin won’t be as smooth, but you’ll probably feel more comfortable.

After wet shave, the hairs that grow back can be extremely spiky and irritate the skin. Also, when you shave wet, the blade touches your skin directly, which can be uncomfortable for people with sensitive skin. Electric shavers protect your skin from direct contact with their blades for a more pleasurable result.

How to dry shave with an electric razor

Man shaving his beard with an electric razor
© Shutterstock

  1. Use cuticle scissors or clippers to cut long hair.
  2. Your skin should be completely dry. An electric razor’s ability to glide over wet skin can be impaired.
  3. One hand should hold your skin taut.
  4. Shave slowly, gently and in circular motions.
  5. Shave along the hair growth on your skin and not against it. This will help reduce the risk of cuts and burns and is a crucial step to consider when shaving.
  6. Use an alcohol-free moisturizer or aftershave as alcohol can irritate freshly shaved skin.

Having trouble deciding which electric razor is right for you? Here is a list of best electric shavers available on the market for a safe and comfortable shave.

How to wet shave with a razor

Barber shaving a man
© Shutterstock

  1. If you’re new to wet shaving, here are some expert-recommended tips that can help you get that hassle-free barber-like shaving experience.
  2. To have a smooth shaving experience, it is recommended to shave right after a shower or simply wet your face before operating the blade. This will keep the skin warm, free of oil and sebum, and any dirt that might clog the flow of the blade.
  3. Try using a good shaving gel or cream that can lather up nicely. The lather forms a soapy cushion on the skin, negating any risk of the blade dragging or slipping, resulting in a cleaner shave.
  4. Shave along the hair growth on your skin, not against it. This will help reduce the risk of cuts and burns and can help you get a closer shave.
  5. Don’t use the same blades over and over again. To reduce irritation, be sure to change your blades or discard disposable razors after about 5-7 shaves.
  6. If you have dry or sensitive skin, use an aftershave lotion, gel or cream to avoid any risk of irritation after shaving.

Do you have what it takes to master the straight razor to shave? Here is an ultimate guide for you.

The bottom line

Let’s be real here. Daily shaving can sometimes become a tedious process. So why not try something new if there is a way to make work more exciting? The main goal of grooming is to improve and upgrade while exploring other possibilities that might pique your interest and compatibility. Whether you choose a wet shave or a dry shave is entirely up to your comfort and needs.

Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. So, before drawing a conclusion on wet shave versus dry shavewe recommend you try them both and tell us which one Try these essential shaving tips it will help you achieve that clean look with much ease.


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