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Wet Shave vs Dry Shave – Which Is Better? Here’s The Answer

Men's Grooming
Friday, 30th November, 2018

Wet Shave vs Dry Shave - The Differences And Which Is Better

If you’re having your first shave as an older teenager or you’re thinking about switching up your own grooming regime you may be thinking one thing:

Which is better, a dry shave or a wet shave?

If you’re totally unfamiliar, a wet shave is with a razor with a blade, whereas a dry shave is done with an electric shaver.

A wet shave is better if you’re looking for a closer shave with the least irritation. But a dry shave with an electric shaver is more convenient, and will let you shave in any direction.

As you can see, it could come down to a few different factors.

There’s plenty of advantages and disadvantages of each which we’ll get into, but if you ask me or plenty of others, they’ll all say the same. A wet shave is better than a dry shave.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each, and you can weigh it up for yourself.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Dry Shave

Electric Razor (Dry Shave)



If you’ve got a beard or any facial hair and you want to maintain it, then an electric shaver is going to be for you. Most have adjustable blade settings allowing you to control the length, so if you’re looking to keep a beard, then a trimmer or electric razor is going to be your best option.

It Can Be Faster

A wet shave isn’t slow, but if you factor in all the time to put on shaving cream, then all that time adds up. Electric shavers don’t require that step, and if you’re just doing an all over shave, you can do this with speed.

If you’re doing something intricate or want some crazy sharp lines, that will require more time.

Cheaper In The Long Run

You have to buy the shaver, but then from there it’s a lot cheaper. You’ll not need replacement blades, no need for shaving foam, just the razor and I’d recommend something such as aftershave balm too.

Style Variation

When it comes to using an electric razor, the world is your oyster when it comes to what kind of style you want for your facial hair. As long as you can think of it, you can do it, providing you have the skill to pull it off, of course.


Initial Cost Is Expensive

The initial cost of buying a razor is expensive. It’s not breaking the bank expensive, but to start with, it will cost more than a wet shave. An electric shaver will set you back some money, with a large variation on the market it could be anything from just under £20 to over £80.

Since this is somewhat of a one-off purchase, you don’t want to get something cheap and nasty, so look towards the more expensive and established brands.

The Shave Is Not As Close

Have you ever seen or heard the ads from those razor companies offering the closest shave yet? They’re all wet shaves, and they’re all correct. A wet shave uses a blade and will get you closer and smoother than a dry shave will.


There can be more irritation than with a manual shave, especially if you and your skin is not used to it.

You Need Power

Imagine shaving with your electric shaver, than all of a sudden, the battery dies…Disaster! If you’re lucky you’ll have to wait for it to recharge, and if you can’t, it could be embarrassing.

Pros And Cons Of A Wet Shave

Wet Shave (Cartridge Razor)


Close Shave

Without a doubt, you get the closest shave with any wet shave, with razor and shaving companies even going a step further, promising a closer shave with their products over their competitors.

Silky Smooth

As long as you’re using the right products, you can get a silky smooth finish every time which is what you should want.

Pretty Fast

It’s still a pretty fast way of shaving, since cartridge razors have small, fine and multiple blades, you don’t need to be extra cautious, so you can shave pretty quick.

Initially Cheaper

At the low end you can buy a pack of blades and some shaving gel and you’re set. At the mid and higher range, you can get some better blades, shaving gel, pre-shave treatment, aftershave balm and more to ensure you have the best shaving experience.

You’ll still end up a long way ahead in monetary terms over an electric shaver.

Easier For Travel

Since there’s no need for electricity, chargers or batteries, they’re much easier for travel.

Easier And Cheaper Maintenance

If a blade breaks or is useless, it can be replaced faster, easier and cheaper than the electric counterpart. They are also a lot easier to keep clean and maintain.


The Cost Mounts Up

Big name brands such as Gillette and Wilkinson Sword sell replacements blades, but be warned, these are expensive. At the time of writing, a Mach 3 blade which is my go to blade costs around £1.75 per blade. Depending on how much you shave, these costs can add up. Over time it will be more expensive than the electric shaver.

It Takes Longer

I have said above that it’s fast, and it’s reasonably quick, but still slower than the electric shaver, which is what it’s competing against.

No Control

Once it’s off, it’s off. If you want to control the length of a beard or facial hair, there’s no such option for a wet shave. It’s job is to take everything off and leave you with the closest shave, and that’s what it does.

Bigger Risk Of Cuts & Nicks

With multi-blade razors and technology, wet shaves are safer than ever, however they’re still prone to nicks and cuts

Other Options: Straight Razor / Safety Razor

There are other options out there, such as a Straight razor or safety razor. These are the old school and traditional ways of shaving, and if it’s to be believed, offer the closest shave possible.

However these are notoriously dangerous if you’ve never done it before, and require the upmost care and attention.

I wouldn’t advise trying this one at home!

The good news is that if you want the traditional shave, with hot towels and all, there’s plenty of places which offer this service.

In fact, it’s very much on trend and fashionable now, the old school barbers offer the full service, from a hair cut to ear hair singeing and of course that traditional shave.


When it comes to shaving, I personally recommend a wet shave, unless you’re going for a beard or other facial hair. The wet shave is just better in my opinion, it’s closer, and although blades do cost a lot, the overall result is worth it.

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know for the past few years I’ve had a tradition of sporting a beard in the Winter, and in those times I use both an electric shaver and a wet shave.

The electric razor does my face, and I use a wet shave for my neck, to get the closest possible shave. Don’t be afraid to combine both of them if you’re going for a particular style.

Let me know which you prefer, a wet or dry shave, and as always you can keep up to date with the grooming blog if you’re looking for more recommendations on your skincare or male grooming regime.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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