Health & Beauty Share Tweet Electric razors get no respect. For speed and convenience, sure, but not for providing a close shave. Times are changing. Yes, a traditional razor will still give you the cleanest shave, but electric razors have come a long way, making them an attractive option for anyone but the pickiest of men. Electric razors allow you to shave quickly without the need for shaving foam or gel. You can shave on the go, while reading email or even in the shower without getting so much as a drop of water (or blood!) on your face. electric-shaver Selection Electric razors come in two varieties—foil and rotary. They’re neck and neck (hah!) when it comes to how well they perform, so the choice between them depends on your preference. Foil razors have a straight head covered by a screen. Behind the screen an oscillating blade moves back and forth very rapidly, cutting any hairs that enter the screen. A rotary razor typically has three or four heads, each with a small round blade that spins under a protective screen. Most razor companies offer a money-back guarantee, so you may want to try one to see if you like it. If you don’t, return it and try a different type. You can expect to spend at least $60 for a decent foil razor and $75 for a rotary razor. High-end electric razors can reach the $200 mark. Keep an eye out for some basic “required” features, such as the ability to use the razor while it is plugged in and recharging. A battery life indicator is also extremely useful. Also, make sure you purchase a wet/dry razor. Most are fine in wet or dry conditions, but check to be safe. The last thing you want to do is start shaving in the shower before realizing you bought a dry-only razor. Also, most razors will have a trimmer for sideburns or other long hair, but scan the features to be sure. Use Using an electric razor is pretty simple. Turn it on and place it on your face or neck. Using your free hand, stretch your skin so it’s taut. A foil razor can be moved up and down while a rotary razor can be moved in small circles. In either case, move the razor slowly across your face, trying to cut your hair against the grain. Try not to go over the same spot too many times, which could irritate your skin. Be sure to properly wash your face and moisturize when you are finished. It does take up to a few weeks for your skin to get used to an electric razor. Until then, your skin may show signs of irritation. Don’t switch back and forth between your electric and traditional razors as this will cause more irritation. Stick with the electric for a few weeks, and you should be fine. Care and Maintenance Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your razor, but generally you’ll want to clean it after every one or two shaves. Some razors allow you to pop off the head of the razor to empty any trapped hair while rinsing it clean. Many manufacturers offer a special head-cleaning unit where you can store your razor after shaving. This unit seems to offer the best cleaning, but you might find it a bit excessive, especially considering the extra cost. The razor blades themselves will need to be changed every six to twelve months, depending on how often you shave. Blades typically cost $25 to $40, so be prepared to spend some extra cash to keep your razor properly maintained. You might be quite satisfied with your traditional blade, in which case you may not want to make a change. But if you want the convenience of an electric razor but have always heard you won’t get a close shave, give one a try. And you might find yourself giving it some respect.