When I started shaving as a young lad, I'd never considered an electric razor and was using blades and cream like everyone else.
I was able to get a close, comfortable shave on my face, but every time a blade went anywhere near my neck, razor burn ensued.
Nasty, painful, whitehead-riddled, ingrown hairs that just get cut the next time you shave.
I tried every shaving technique and razor ranging from 1,2,3, 4, or 5 blades paired with gels and creams, but nothing helped.
After several years of misery, my dad gave me a Braun Series 3 electric razor for Christmas. Thanks to Pops, I experienced an immediate increase in comfort and a reduction of ingrown hairs.
Within a month or so, I was able to achieve a baby butt smooth shave everyday or every other day with minimal irritation.
After a little more trial and error, and some luck, I discovered the secret ingredient to a close, irritation free shave.
If you’re tired of the torture and want relief from the daily pain in the neck, this guide is for you.
To get started you will need:
- Electric razor (pick your own level of fanciness, but I rock the base model)
- Clubman Pinaud Talc
- Beard trimmer (if needed to assist with 3+ days of growth)
Step 1 – Prep
It's best to use an electric razor with about one to two days of growth. It’s possible to shave with more, but will be a little much for the razor to chew through.
If it's been a few days since your last shave, run over your face with a beard trimmer first to take the growth down a notch.
Don't shower or rinse your face at all. You want the skin to be as dry as possible at this point.
Step 2 – Apply the secret ingredient!
Buy yourself some talc powder. I use Clubman Pinaud Talc because it works great and smells like a barbershop.
Put some in your hand and rub it in really well over your entire beard area until it's well coated. A
t this point, you should look like a raving madman with a powder beard.
I came up with this idea when I noticed that the electric razor would glide nicely over my face if it was dry, but if the humidity was high and I was sweating, the razor would stick, pull, and skip across my skin.
So it only made logical sense that if I could somehow make my face even drier, the razor would glide more smoothly.
Think about how smooth baby powder feels on your skin – that’s what we’re after.
I cannot stress enough the improvement I noticed by adding talc to my routine.
I have tried the gels made specifically for use with an electric razor, but all they did was foam up and prevent me from being able to see what I was doing and made my skin to slick to pull tight to get a close shave.
Step 3 – Shave
Think about gliding the razor over your skin without adding any pressure.
Unlike blade razors, using an electric razor requires that you go against the grain.
The hairs will be guided into the holes of the foil surface, and the cutter head does its work inside.
If you go with the grain, the hairs will just get pushed down against the skin and not make their way inside the razor where they can be cut.
It will actually take awhile to map the direction of every hair but the advantage of an electric razor is that, as long as you aren’t using too much pressure, you can go over a single area many times until you get it right.
Step 4 – Clean the electric razor
Remove the foil head, brush the cutter (with the little brush that will come with your razor), blow out the dust and you’re done.
It's actually a good idea to do this a few times during the shave because the hair and powder collects inside and can slow down the cutter head speed.
Step 5 – Shower
As I said earlier, avoid showering before you shave with an electric razor as the skin will be soft and tacky, causing the razor to skip and pull.
Showering at the end also gives you the advantage of being able to exfoliate after the shave and to apply moisturizer right out of the shower for a smooth, comfortable, healthy feeling.
Since you haven't actually removed the the outer layer of skin as with a blade, your face will be more resistant to over drying after using an electric razor.
Wrapping it up
Give yourself some time to learn the correct pressure and the direction of hair growth.
To get completely smooth, you’ll need to manipulate the skin by puffing your cheeks, pulling the neck, or curling your lip. This is part of the learning process and will be well worth it.
Give talc a chance.
I really think this is the main reason most men don’t like electric razors – guys are trying to shave tacky, post-shower skin as they might with a typical wet-shave routine. And it just doesn't work.
I've been using this technique since December 2001 and I'm currently on year 4 of my second Braun Series 3 razor.
The large upfront investment (compared to disposable razors) is well worth it in the long run as the cost per shave is almost non-existent.
And you can’t really put a price on not having to deal with ingrown hairs.
Oh, and did I mention it's fast? Yeah, I can achieve a baby butt smooth shave on my face and neck in less than 10 minutes.
Have you used a similar method?
Got anything better? Let me know in the comments section.
All the best,