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Dry Shaving Explained

Dry shaving is the act of removing hair from your skin without the use of water or shaving cream. This method primarily uses electric shavers or clippers, although you can use traditional razors with caution.

The Upside of Dry Shaving

While the type of razor may dictate whether you can dry shave, here are the benefits of doing so:

  • Save Time: Dry shaving saves time as it eliminates the need for a water source, pre-shave preparation, and post-shave clean-up. You can expect to save a few minutes with each dry shave.
  • Convenience: You can do it anywhere and at any time, as it doesn’t require water or shaving cream. This makes it suitable for home, travel, and even quick touch-ups on the go.
  • Cost-effective: Over time, dry shaving can save money as it doesn’t require the regular purchase of additional shaving supplies, including pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and aftershave.

Beware of These Side Effects Before Dry Shaving

Dry shaving has some potential drawbacks, such as:

  • Less Smooth Results: Since you aren’t softening the skin or opening the pores with warm water, it might not provide as close a shave as wet shaving. This may result in more frequent shaving sessions.
  • Potential for Cuts: If you are dry shaving with a safety razor, the risk of cuts to the skin increases as the lubrication from water or shaving cream is absent.
  • Irritation: Dry shaving may cause irritation to some skin types due to friction. This can result in dryness, redness, or even razor burn.

Can You Dry Shave Any Skin Type?

Dry shaving should largely be avoided by those with dry or sensitive skin as the friction caused by the razor can exacerbate dryness and sensitivity, leading to mild irritation on the skin.

These problems could be amplified during the winter months when the skin is naturally drier.

If you have oily, normal, or combination skin, then you may want to give dry shaving a try. However, be mindful of the side effects mentioned previously as you make passes with the razor.

???? Check out our guide on shaving different skin types.

What About Any Body Part?

While you can dry shave anywhere on your body, it is best to test it out on less sensitive skin such as the legs, chest, or arms first. More sensitive areas, like the face, underarms, and pubic region, may be more prone to irritation or discomfort and aren’t recommended for beginners to try dry shaving first.

Also, when dry shaving, it’s crucial to be extra careful around skin folds and creases; these areas can be easily nicked or irritated.

How to Dry Shave

As you might guess, dry shaving is fairly straightforward. Keep the following in mind:

  • Start by ensuring your skin is clean and dry.
  • Make sure you have a sharp blade for your razor or that your electric shaver is fully charged.
  • If using an electric shaver or clipper, move against the direction of hair growth. If your hair is longer than stubble, trim first before shaving to avoid tugging. If you’re using a razor, carefully shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation and cuts.
  • Pull your skin taut to make it easier for the razor to glide smoothly.
  • Use light strokes.
  • Wipe away the shaved hair with a clean, dry cloth between strokes.

Aftercare (Optional)

Although the whole point of dry shaving is to skip products, if you’re experiencing irritation after dry shaving, applying a soothing lotion or balm can help alleviate the discomfort. A product that contains aloe vera can be particularly beneficial due to its skin-calming properties.

Additionally, clean your shaver or razor after each use to prevent bacterial growth and extend the life of the blades.

Frequency of Dry Shaving

The frequency of dry shaving largely depends on individual hair growth and personal preference. Some people might need to shave daily, while others can go several days between shaves. This follows suit with the same principle as wet shaving.

As we noted here, shave to your aesthetic preference and comfort level. If you notice any irritation or discomfort, consider giving your skin a rest between shaves or switching back to wet shaving.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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