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Wet Shaving Vs Dry Shaving

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Wet Shaving Vs Dry Shaving

You’ve probably heard about wet shaving and dry shaving but what actually are they? 

Well, you’re about to find out. There are a lot of differences between the two as well as advantages and disadvantages for each.

Now, while this may seem a lot to take in and you’re probably thinking about all the research you need to do now so you can get the best shave, that won’t be necessary.

We’ve got all the information you could need on the topic right here so read on and you’ll know exactly whether you should be wet shaving or dry shaving.

Wet Shaving

Wet shaving is removing hair with a sharpened edge and water. Practically speaking, it’s really about shaving with a manual razor with water and some kind of product to lubricate and protect the skin.

Straight Edge (Cut Throat) Razors

The first choice of a manual razor is the traditional cut-throat razor. The user must control every aspect, from the angle at which the razor is held to the geometry of the blade. “Cutthroat” razors require regular, careful maintenance but there’s a lot of risks involved with these as they require a lot of care and practice to use. 

Double Edge Razors

A Double Edge Safety Razor, also known as simply a safety razor or DE razor, is the name for a shaving device with a protective barrier positioned between the edge of the cutting blade and the skin. Safety razors are probably your safest bet for wet shaving and you’re much less likely to get cuts and nicks which can lead to razor burn and razor bumps.

 Cartridge Razors

When we say cartridge razor, we’re referring to those multiple blade disposable razors that have become so popular in the last few decades. These are popular because they’re cheap and disposable but this should give you a hint as to the quality of these razors. While there are exceptions, generally, these aren’t great beyond the first 3-5 initial shaves.

Advantages of Wet Shaving

Close shave.

Shaving gel, foam, or soap applied before wet shaving opens the pores, stands up the hair, softens the hair, and provides a protective layer over your skin. The softened hair is easier to cut, and since the hair is lifted away from the skin, it can be shaved closer to the skin. 

Reduced Skin-Irritation

The shaving soap provides additional protection and lubrication, allowing the blades to glide over the skin with less friction, in turn causing less friction based irritation. The additional moisturization provided by the shaving cream and soap also helps condition and repair the skin while shaving.


There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a freshly wet shaved face. When you shave with a razor the blades remove the very top layer of dead skin cells leaving new, smooth skin exposed. With wet shaving, you can achieve the same result as you get using a facial scrub without the extra effort – win-win.

Dry Shaving

Dry shaving means shaving without water, shaving gel, soap, cream or other forms of lubrication. Dry shaving is just your skin and the shaver. It’s a quick and easy way to shave and usually involves an electric shaver.

Rotary Electric Shavers

Modern rotary razors have an inner, circular-spinning blade that cuts the stubble captured by an outer stationary guard. As the razor is moved in a circular motion, hairs fall into the angular grooves of the guard and are cut off by small, scissor-like blades. The circular motion can make it easier to maneuver around difficult areas such as the neck or the chin.

Foil Electric Shavers

Foil razors use oscillating blades beneath a mesh “foil” to cut hair. The holes of the foil capture hair right where the blades cut it without ever coming in contact with the skin. Similar to rotary shavers, there can be multiple heads on a foil that follow the contours of the skin more consistently.

Wet/Dry Electric Shavers

Wet/dry electric razors use rechargeable batteries in water-resistant housings. Using a wet/dry electric razor with shaving cream will almost certainly give you a more comfortable shave, and perhaps slightly closer, too. However, many wet/dry electric razors motors drive more slowly which can impair performance.

Advantages of Dry Shaving


The main reason behind dry shaving is the speed and convenience. No preparation, no mess, and no additional product required. Just bring the shaver to your face or head and after a few minutes, you’re done.

Shave Anywhere

Dry shaving can be done anywhere. Any shaver that is cordless and battery-powered can be used anywhere from home to away on vacation.

Things To Consider 


A wet shave requires time to prepare and space to use and dispose of water or shaving lubricant. If you have a routine with a stop built in for grooming, then a wet shave is not an issue. If you can’t find the time or place, then the dry shave will keep you looking great and makes life much easier. 


Shaving cream or gel is generally used to prevent skin irritation. If your skin is more sensitive, it’s best to use cream or gel when you shave. If irritation has never been an issue for you, then a dry shaver will suffice and save you the hassle.


Wet-shaving is usually necessary for thicker hair since it makes the hair easier to cut. The cream or gel keeps the skin protected and comfortable underneath. Finer hair is easier to cut, so the skin needs less protection as the razor will not need as many passes for a clean shave. If you have a short beard or like to keep stubble then a dry shaver will be your best bet. But, if you like to be clean-shaven then a wet shave is ideal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you wet shave?

This all depends on how fast your hair grows but generally, wet shaving is done to stay clean-shaven. In which case, you’ll probably need to shave often to maintain the smooth aesthetic, this could be anywhere from once every few days to once every day.

Is it bad to dry shave?

The biggest drawback to dry shaving, with either an electric or blade razor, is skin irritation. Using too much pressure while shaving can also cause irritation, and in some instances, razor burn. However, skin irritation, in general, is less likely with a dry shaver.

How long does a wet shave take?

A general consensus seems to be 15-20 minutes as the average time but shaving can take as long or as little as you like. Many find it therapeutic and will spend half an hour on it so don’t feel pressured to abide by a set time frame.

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