Electric Shaver vs Razor For Your Head: Which Is Better?

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electric shaver vs razor for head shaving

At one time or another, everyone who shaves their head (or is considering it) wonders whether it’s best to use a razor or an electric shaver.

If you’ve tried both then you might already have a preference. But if you’ve stuck with one all your life – or you’re about to shave your head for the first time – you might wonder which is the best choice.

And in this guide, I intend to answer that question for you. Spoiler – I have a favorite, but I use both, and I’ll explain why.

Why Should You Trust This Article?

I’ve shaved my head with both electric shavers and manual razors for nearly 20 years. I’ve tried lots of different models in that time, and I know the pros and cons of each. I’ve also personally used all the products mentioned below.

Is it better to shave your head with a razor or an electric shaver?

Both razors and electric shavers have their pros and cons. Razors get a closer shave so are better if you want to avoid the horseshoe look, but electric razors are faster and more convenient, and better for anyone with sensitive skin.

razor blades

Let’s break it down by some of the advantages and disadvantages, and I’ll explain which is best for each.

Are electric shavers easier to use than razors?

Generally, electric shavers are easier to use, faster, and more convenient than razors. With a razor, you’ll need to wet your scalp, apply shaving foam or gel, and then shave. With an electric shaver, you don’t need to do any of those steps.

skull shaver pitbull silver blades
The blades on my Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver

In fact, you don’t need to wet your scalp at all to shave with an electric razor. Just switch it on, and begin. The fact that there’s no prep work needed just means it’s much easier to shave with an electric shaver.

Many of them are waterproof too, and can be used in the shower, though not all. Definitely check this, because you’ll easily break an electric shaver if it’s not waterproof but you decide to get it soaking wet anyway.

You can also get electric shavers that are specifically designed for use on the scalp. For example, the Skull Shaver Pitbull, which I use, is designed to be easy to hold while you shave the whole of your head. This gives a fast, easy shave without having to bend your arm like a contortionist to reach every spot.

Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver PRO

  • Wet & dry shaving
  • 90 seconds and done
  • Flexible shaving heads
  • Cordless use up to 30 mins

If you want an upgrade, go for the Pitbull Platinum which comes with a travel case, a rinsing station, an LED battery level indicator, and a ton of other ‘nice-to-haves’.

However, it’s around $100 more expensive than the Silver, which is more than adequate for the job. Just keep on top of charging, as the cordless battery time is much shorter.

Verdict for easiness/convenience: Electric Shaver

Score: Electric Shavers 1 Razors 0

Are electric razors better than blades for a close shave?

No electric shaver will cut as close as a razor. Some may say that they do, but it’s pretty much impossible. If an electric shaver could cut as close as a razor, it would be dangerous since it could easily cut your head when it’s working automatically.

I only shave with an electric razor when I’m in a hurry. Otherwise, I’ll wet shave with my Leaf Razor first thing in the morning while I’m in the shower. Even my Pitbull head shaver, which is one of the best on the market, doesn’t come close, so I make sure I give myself enough time to properly wet shave my head before I leave the house.

leaf razor
My Leaf Razor

The Leaf is the best razor I’ve found for head shaving, giving an excellent close cut with very few strokes of the razor. You can get 10% off the Leaf Razor and any other Leaf Shave products by clicking the button below to the official site and using the code HAPPY10:

The Leaf Razor

  • 3-blade design reduces the number of strokes needed to shave
  • Pivoting head maintains the correct blade angle for you
  • Non-proprietary blades, compatible with any standard safety razor blade
  • All-metal razor, steel blades, completely eliminate plastic waste from your shave
  • 10% off sitewide with code HAPPY10

There are plenty of electric shavers that love to talk about how close a shave you’ll get with them. But it’s not the same as using a razor, which cuts the hair right at the point of it protruding from the skin.

The closest shaves I’ve had from electric head shavers came from my Pitbull and the Andis Profoil that my barber uses:

Andis Profoil 17200

  • Staggered head shaver blades for a closer shave
  • Great for finishing fades & removing stubble
  • Lithium-ion battery provides maximum power

Each gives an extremely smooth finish, which I’ve described as the same feeling you’d get the morning after a wet shave. Close, but not as close as the real thing.

Having my head shaved with the Andis Profoil
Having my head shaved with the Andis Profoil

If you want to make sure that the ‘horseshoe’ shadow is as invisible as possible around the back and sides of your head, you’ll want to use a razor with a wet shave. Using an electric shaver leaves a more visible shadow on your head, highlighting where your hair stops and your bald scalp starts.

Verdict for closeness of shave: Razor

Score: Electric Shavers 1 Razors 1

Are electric shavers better for styling and detail work?

If you want to keep a certain length of stubble, shave around a beard, or work towards a specific hairstyle, a razor will be more accurate than most electric shavers. Then again, a good beard trimmer or clippers will be better depending on what type of detailing you’re doing.

If you’re planning on rocking the bald head and beard look, a razor will get a better finish on the top of your head, but you’ll want a beard trimmer or clippers to keep the facial hair in check too.

Head shaving equipment

It’s also useful to learn how to fade a beard into a bald head to avoid your beard suddenly stopping at the top of your sideburns. I’ve perfected this over time, but you should expect to make a few mistakes when you first start learning the technique. Practice makes perfect!

Verdict for detailing: Razor (but a beard trimmer is best)

Score: Electric Shavers 1 Razors 2

Which is best for sensitive skin – a razor or an electric shaver?

Stick with an electric shaver if you have sensitive skin or problems with acne on your scalp. Electric head shavers don’t cut as close as a wet shave with a razor, which means you’re less likely to irritate the skin and end up with redness and soreness.

That doesn’t mean that electric shavers won’t cause irritation. You can still get razor burn, particularly if you use a shaver that hasn’t been properly maintained, or that’s low on charge and struggling to get a clean cut of the hair. Also, rushing with an electric shaver can cause problems too.

But a razor will always be worse for your skin and for causing razor bumps, especially around the back of the neck. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, but if I use a blunt razor or don’t exfoliate before shaving, I often get irritation around my temples.

razor burn after shaving head
Razor burn on my temples after shaving my head

Verdict for sensitive skin: Electric Shaver

Final Score: Electric Shavers 2 Razors 2

Can I shave my head with an electric razor?

Don’t shave your head with an electric shaver if your hair is long. Electric shavers are only designed to cut short hair – anything too thick will cause the blades to jam, and pull. Use clippers to take most of your hair off first, and then finish with an electric shaver.

Once you’ve used clippers to get rid of most of the hair on your head (as well as sharpened and cleaned your clippers), an electric shaver will do the job to give you the shaved head look. It won’t completely get rid of your hair – you’d need a wet shave for a fully bald look – but a lot of people are happy with the job that an electric shaver will do.

While it’s the most time-consuming option, the best way to shave your head bald would be to start with clippers, to get rid of any long hair. Then switch to an electric shaver to give yourself a quick all-over shave that gets close.

Finally, finish with a wet shave using a manual razor. You’ll already have done a lot of the work to get the hair shorter, meaning you shouldn’t have too difficult a job getting a clean finish.

shaving my bald head
Shaving my bald head in the shower

Do electric head shavers work?

Electric head shavers work well, but they won’t give you as close a head shave as using a razor. Electric head shavers work the same as other electric shavers – they just have a design that’s more comfortable for tackling your head.

You can use a regular electric shaver for your head, and you could use an electric head shaver for the rest of your face as well if you wanted to. The only difference is the orientation of the blades and the grip.

Some electric head shavers, like the Pitbull that I use, are specifically designed to be held between the fingers. This makes it easy to pass it over your scalp, using the same motion as if you were running your hand through your hair. This is easier than having to hold a regular shaver at a right angle to your head.

skull shaver pitbull silver (and jojo)
My Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver (and JoJo)

Electric head shavers work really well and they’re fast too, but the closeness of the shave will depend on which model you choose. Here’s my guide to the best electric head shavers to help you decide.

How to shave your head without an electric razor

You’ll only be able to shave your head without any kind of electric razor or clippers if you already have short hair. Wet shaving is not recommended if you have longer hair, as you can’t easily run the razor along the shape of your scalp, and you’re more likely to make mistakes and cut yourself.

You can try to cut your hair short with scissors first, but getting it short enough to be suitable for a razor isn’t easy either. It obviously doesn’t need to be neat – you’re going to be shaving off whatever is left – but to cut through head hair you need stronger, thicker scissors so getting a close cut is very difficult.

If your hair is short enough, make sure your head is clean. Exfoliate first to get rid of any dead skin that could cause irritation and stop your razor cutting as close as you’d like.

Then slap some shaving cream onto your head and perform long strokes with a sharp razor. If you’re new to shaving your head, shave with the grain first and then judge whether you want to shave against the grain. If your head feels too sensitive, don’t risk it until your scalp toughens up a little over time.

I’ve been shaving my head for nearly 20 years, so my scalp is more than used to wet shaving. This means I can shave against the grain with no irritation or soreness, but it took months for this to be the case.


Which electric razor gives the best shave?

The Andis Profoil 17200 gives the closest shave I’ve had, although it still isn’t as good as a wet shave. In second place, the Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver offers a fantastic shave, and it’s a quiet shaver that’s really comfortable to use thanks to the ergonomic design.

Andis Profoil electric shaver
The Andis Profoil 17200


Use a manual razor to wet shave your head if you’re looking for the closest possible shave. If you want convenience, you’ll get the quickest, easiest shave from an electric head shaver.

shaving head with skull shaver pitbull
Shaving with my Skull Shaver Pitbull

I usually want a smooth finish, so I try to make time for a wet shave. However, I own a Pitbull Silver electric shaver too. I’ll use this when time is short, as it’s faster and easier.

A lot of bald guys are the same. They prefer the closeness of a wet shave but don’t always have time, and will flip back and forth between both options.

If you want to get your hands on the same tools I use, I’ve added the links below:

The Leaf Razor

  • 3-blade design reduces the number of strokes needed to shave
  • Pivoting head maintains the correct blade angle for you
  • Non-proprietary blades, compatible with any standard safety razor blade
  • All-metal razor, steel blades, completely eliminate plastic waste from your shave

Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver PRO

  • Wet & dry shaving
  • 90 seconds and done
  • Flexible shaving heads
  • Cordless use up to 30 mins

You can also check out all my recommendations for the best razors for shaving your head and the best electric head shavers.

Do you prefer an electric shaver or a razor, or do you use both? Let me know in the comments!

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This post was written by Matt:

I've been shaving my head for nearly 20 years. I'm here to share that experience, good and bad, help you embrace your hair loss, and live your best bald life.

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