Electric Shaver vs Razor for Head Shaving? 69% Can’t Be Wrong!

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A bald man holding an electric head shaver and a traditional razor

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 head shaver.

Of course, I have a personal preference, but instead of just telling you what I think, I surveyed over 100 bald men to get their thoughts.

The results were pretty surprising, with 69% saying they use a razor and only 13% preferring an electric shaver. 19% said they use both.

Survey data - what do bald men use to shave their heads?
Results from a survey of 110 bald men

But what are the pros and cons of each? In this article, I’ve explored things a little deeper to try to figure out why razors were such a clear winner.

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

Key Takeaways:

  • Razors are cost-effective and offer a closer shave
  • Electric shavers are quick and reduce skin irritation
  • Top recommended razor: The Leaf Razor
  • Top recommended head shaver: Skull Shaver Pitbull Platinum

Why Do Most Bald Men Prefer Razors?

Even though there are pros and cons to both, the overwhelming reason bald men prefer razors over electric head shavers is the closeness of the shave.

Electric head shavers are quick and convenient. But nothing beats the smoothness of a wet shave from the blades of a super-sharp razor.

shaving my bald head
Shaving my bald head in the shower

It seems that this closeness is the main factor behind why razors are such an overwhelming winner over electric head shavers.

When I surveyed the bald community on Facebook, members of the group said it was mainly the smooth shave that made their minds up:

Why bald men prefer to shave their heads with a razor

A close shave is important to bald guys for different reasons. For me, I value the smooth shave I get from a razor because it minimizes the visibility of the ‘horseshoe’ shadow around the back and sides of my head

Using an electric shaver leaves a more visible 5 o’clock shadow on my head, highlighting where my hair stops and my bald scalp starts.

horseshoe hair back of head

Pros & cons of shaving your head with a razor

✅ Closer Shave: Razors provide the closest shave, ensuring minimal visible stubble or ‘horseshoe’ shadow.❌ Skin Irritation: Greater risk of cuts, nicks, and razor bumps, especially for those with sensitive skin.
✅ Precision: Razors offer better control for detailed shaving around beards or specific hairstyles.❌ Time-Consuming: Wet shaving requires more time for prep and execution compared to electric shavers.
✅ Cost-Effective: Generally, razors have a lower initial cost compared to electric shavers.❌ Maintenance: Regular blade replacement and need for shaving creams or gels.
❌ Learning Curve: Requires skill and practice to avoid mistakes and achieve a perfect shave.

There may be more downsides to using a razor to shave your head, but there’s one major upside that’s more important to us bald guys than anything else.

The closeness of the shave matters more than anything else, and there isn’t a head shaver on the planet that comes close to the smooth finish you get from a razor blade.

So why do 31% of bald men still prefer to use electric head shavers? 

The Case For Electric Shavers

Brands like Skull Shaver are thriving based on sales of models like the Pitbull head shaver, so there’s clearly a market for an electric solution. Let’s take a look at the argument for and against these tools:

Pros & cons of shaving your head with an electric shaver

✅ Ease of Use: Electric shavers are generally faster and more convenient, requiring less preparation and skill.❌ Less Close Shave: Electric shavers don’t cut as close as razors, potentially leaving a more visible hair shadow.
✅ Better for Sensitive Skin: Less likely to irritate the skin or cause razor burn, especially for those with acne or sensitive skin.❌ Initial Cost: Higher upfront cost compared to razors, although long-term costs may be lower.
✅ Time Efficiency: Ideal for quick shaves, saving time especially for those with a busy lifestyle.❌ Maintenance Required: Need for proper maintenance and occasional blade replacement.
✅ No Learning Curve: Better than razors for beginners with no head shaving experience❌ Battery Dependency: Reliance on battery life and the need for recharging or power supply.
❌ More Frequent Shaving Needed: Head shavers don’t cut as short, so you’ll need to shave more frequently to maintain a close shave.

Speed and convenience are the big selling points here. If I only have a few minutes before I need to run out the front door, there’s no way I can stop to jump in the shower, go through the whole pre-shave routine, and wet shave with a razor.

But I can grab a head shaver and spend 90 seconds running over my scalp with one of these super-efficient tools.

Shaving my head with the Remington Balder Pro
Shaving my head with the Remington Balder Pro

Also, my advice is to 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. This 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. If it’s low on charge and struggling to get a clean cut of the hair, this can also cause redness and soreness. Rushing your shave and pressing on too hard can cause problems too.

Irritation on back of neck from head shaving with electric shaver
Head shavers can cause scratches and irritation if not used correctly

Tips for a closer shave with an electric head shaver

  1. Prepare Your Scalp: Cleanse and exfoliate your scalp in the shower with warm water and an exfoliating head scrub
  2. Select the Right Electric Shaver: Choose one with flexible heads that adapt to the contours of your scalp
  3. Shave Properly: Move the shaver in smooth, circular motions against the hair growth
  4. Maintain Your Head Shaver: Regularly clean the shaver and replace dull blades

Choosing an electric shaver

Firstly, read reviews from people who have used the shaver you have your eye on, and see what they like about it. 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 Platinum

  • Super close shave
  • 90 seconds and done
  • Quiet operation
  • Ergonomic design
  • Great value for money
  • 10% off with code ‘HAPPY’ (US) or ‘Appreciation’ (outside US)

If you want a cheaper option, go for the Pitbull Silver. It doesn’t have the additional accessories like the Platinum’s travel case, rinsing station, and LED battery level indicator, but it’s around $100 cheaper and is more than adequate for the job.

Shaving my head with the Skull Shaver Pitbull Silver
Shaving my head with the Pitbull Silver

Just keep on top of charging, as the cordless battery time is much shorter.

If you need more of an all-in-one grooming solution, I recommend the Freebird FlexSeries head shaver:

Shaving my head with the Freebird FlexSeries head shaver
Shaving my head with the Freebird FlexSeries head shaver

It comes with a variety of attachments, including a nose and ear hair trimmer, a precision trimmer, a skin exfoliation brush, and a scalp scrubber:

Freebird FlexSeries Shaver Kit

  • Smooth shave
  • 5 different grooming attachments
  • Wet/dry shaving
  • Durable & waterproof
  • 90 mins cordless use

Foil vs rotary

It’s worth pointing out that there are two types of head shavers – foil and rotary cutting systems.

Foil ShaversRotary Shavers
✅ Offers a shave close to a razor finish, ideal for daily use.✅ More comfortable on the scalp, especially for quick shaves.
❌ Takes longer, risk of missing areas and shaving repeatedly.✅ Quicker and more convenient
❌ Increased chance of irritation due to multiple passes over the same area.❌ Doesn’t shave as close as foil shavers.
❌ Rigid in movement, not adapting well to scalp contours.

Foil shavers have a series of blades covered by a thin layer of metal foil. This foil has tiny perforations that capture hair, allowing the blades underneath to cut them close to the skin.

Foil covering the blades of the Andis Profoil electric shaver

Foil shavers give a closer shave which is ideal for those who shave daily or want a shave that’s as close to a razor finish as possible. The best foil shaver I’ve used is the Andis Profoil:

Andis Profoil 17200

  • Closest shave possible
  • 80 mins cordless use
  • Face and head shaver
  • Rubber grip
  • Easy to handle
  • Charging stand

Rotary shavers have circular heads with rotating blades. These are designed to follow the contours of your head, making them excellent for shaving the uneven surfaces and hard-to-reach areas of the scalp.

The rotary blades of the Skull Shaver Pitbull

I’ve used both and while I like the closeness of foil shavers, they take a lot longer. It’s much easier to miss areas of hair, so you end up shaving over the same place multiple times. This can lead to more irritation, especially as they’re less flexible.

Rotary shavers, on the other hand, don’t shave quite as close but for a quick shave before work or ahead of a social event, they’re a lot quicker and more comfortable on the scalp.

Comparing Electric Head Shavers vs Razors

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, more convenient, and better for anyone with sensitive skin.

Let’s compare in more detail:

Closeness of 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.

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.

Rubbing my hand over my smooth bald head

I 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.

Recommendation: Razor

Time efficiency & convenience

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.

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.

Shaving my head with the Skull Shaver Pitbull
Shaving with my Skull Shaver Pitbull head shaver

The minority of bald men surveyed who preferred a head shaver said it was the convenience that did it for them.

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

Recommendation: Head Shaver

Cost comparison – initial & long-term expense

Initial Investment:

  • Electric Shavers: Typically have a higher upfront cost. Prices can vary widely based on the brand, model, and features, often ranging from $30 to over $200.
  • Razors: Generally more affordable initially, with decent manual razors available for around $15. However, the cost can vary depending on whether it’s a disposable, cartridge, or safety razor, and you can pay more for a really good quality model.

Long-Term Expenses:

  • Blade Replacement for Razors: Constant blade replacements add to the cost over time. Obviously, the more you shave, the more often you’ll need new blades, and the quicker you’ll run out of shaving cream.
  • Maintenance and Parts for Electric Shavers: I recommend changing the cutting blades in your head shaver every 50 shaves. The longevity of the blades varies significantly depending on the brand and model, but this is a good rule of thumb.

Durability and Lifespan:

  • Electric Shavers: If well-maintained, they last years, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  • Razors: Manual razors, particularly safety razors, are durable but need much more frequent blade replacements compared to electric shavers.

Additional Costs:

  • Shaving Accessories for Razors: Costs for shave creams and aftershave products can add up, especially for wet shavers.
  • Electricity for Electric Shavers: It’s a minimal expense but the cost of electricity for charging could also be taken into account.
A selection of head shaving products
A selection of the many head shaving accessories you can find in my shower

Cost-Benefit Analysis:

While electric shavers may have a higher initial cost, their convenience and lower skin irritation is worth the investment for some users.

Typically razors, despite the lower initial cost, will lead to higher ongoing expenses due to the need for new blades and shaving accessories.

Leaf Shave have kindly put together a graphic showing how cost-effective their Leaf Razor is over time vs their competitors:

Leaf Shave's cost of shaving over 10 years graphic
Credit: Leaf Shave

Recommendation: Head Shaver (but costs vary wildly!)


A razor will usually produce more skin irritation and 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 sometimes get irritation around my temples.

razor burn after shaving head
Razor burn around the temples after shaving my head

Head shavers can cause irritation too, especially if you press too hard. But I’ve never actually cut my scalp using an electric shaver and don’t think I could if I tried.

Recommendation: Head Shaver

Ease of maintenance

For electric head shavers, maintenance mainly involves cleaning out the hair after each shave to make sure the blades stay sharp and the mechanism doesn’t get clogged up.

Cleaning my Kibiy head shaver
Cleaning my Kibiy head shaver

With most head shavers, the cutting head will detach so you can rinse the blades under running water, but as I like to keep the blades oiled I usually use a brush instead to avoid washing the oil away.

I oil the blades about once a month to reduce friction and irritation, and keep the blades sharp. A simple drip of oil into each blade keeps performance at a high level for longer.

Eventually though, the cutting head will need to be replaced. As mentioned above, the quality and longevity of the blades will vary between head shavers, but assume you’ll need a new cutting head every 50 shaves.

With a razor, it’s just a case of rinsing after each use to make sure your blades don’t get clogged up with hair and shaving foam. While this will prevent the blades from rusting and make them last longer, you should be changing the blades every couple of weeks, or roughly every 3-5 shaves.

Loading new blades into my Leaf Razor
Loading new blades into my Leaf Razor

You’ll really notice the difference if you leave it any longer. When you change the blades, pay attention to how they look – you’ll even be able to see how much an old blade has dulled and discolored, and maybe even started to rust.

Comparison of used vs new razor blades
Used razor blades quickly become dull and corroded

Recommendation: Razor (but it’s a close call)

Suitability for different hair lengths

If your hair is any longer than a few millimeters, you’ll need to buzz it down using clippers before using a head shaver. If you’re using a razor, it’s even more crucial to trim it down first to make sure you don’t clog the blades and pull at the hair.

Head shavers are usually better at cutting slightly longer hair. Rotary blades especially can catch hairs up to a few millimeters, but foil shavers will tend to flatten the hair rather than cutting it efficiently.

back of head horseshoe hair

Razors are great at shaving stubble, but if the hair is too long they won’t cut efficiently. Instead, the hair will clog up the blades, pulling at the hair and causing a lot of discomfort. 

Recommendation: Head Shaver if you shave less frequently, then a razor to get a smooth finish.

Personal Experience of Electric Shavers & Razors for Head Shaving

Admittedly, there’s more of a learning curve with a razor. The first time I wet shaved my head, I didn’t prep my scalp at all other than using shaving foam.

As a result of this lack of preparation and experience, my scalp was irritated, sore, and full of shaving cuts.

Over time I’ve perfected the art. Once you learn the technique for shaving your head with a razor, you won’t look back. Finding the right tool for the job was also a big step forward.

The Leaf is the best razor I’ve found for head shaving, giving an excellent close cut with very few strokes of the razor.

Like all safety razors, it offers the benefits of being cost-effective in the long run with replaceable blades, and it’s kinder to the skin compared to multi-blade cartridges, reducing the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs.

Shaving the back of my head with the Leaf Razor
Shaving the back of my head with the Leaf Razor

It does require a bit of technique to master, especially in maintaining the right angle and pressure, but with practice, it provides a superior, close shave.

You can get 10% off the Leaf Razor and any other Leaf Shave products by clicking the button below to visit the official site and using the code HAPPY10:

The Leaf Razor

  • Completely smooth shave
  • Minimizes irritation
  • 100% plastic free
  • 10% off sitewide with code HAPPY10

If you’re not prepared to stretch to the price of a Leaf just yet, I’d recommend this little beauty:

HeadBlade Moto Head Shaving Razor

  • Lightweight & easy to use
  • Dual-axis suspension for closeness
  • Bargain price point

The HeadBlade Moto is so much fun to shave with. It fits on your finger like a ring and sits in the palm of your hand, meaning shaving your head is as easy as rubbing your hand over your scalp.

After shaving with HeadBlade Moto
Me after shaving with the HeadBlade Moto

It won’t quite give as smooth a shave as the Leaf, but for a fraction of the cost the Moto scores top marks for ease of use.

The closest shave I’ve had from an electric head shaver is my Pitbull Platinum:

Skull Shaver Pitbull Platinum

  • Super close shave
  • 90 seconds and done
  • Quiet operation
  • Ergonomic design
  • Great value for money
  • 10% off with code ‘HAPPY’ (US) or ‘Appreciation’ (outside US)

It 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.

My Recommendation – Why I Have Both

Don’t get me wrong, I’m with the majority on this one.

Just like the 69% of bald men I surveyed, I prefer shaving with a razor any day.

While a head shaver is more convenient, the closeness of a wet razor shave is unmatched. 

A bald man shaving his head against the grain using a razor
Shaving with a manual razor gets a much closer finish

There’s also something very satisfying about finding the right pairing of razor and shave cream, and experimenting with different combinations and new products.

Then there’s the pre-shave regime – cleansing and exfoliating to prepare the scalp for a super-sharp razor blade. I’ve also started using pre-shave oils for extra lubrication.

Wet shaving is just more FUN. Meanwhile, using a head shaver feels like admin.

That being said, I own like… eight of them!

Me with my collection of head shavers
Me with my collection of head shavers (OK, maybe I do have a problem)

That’s because I don’t always have time for the ritual of wet shaving.

I hate going out with three days’ growth on the back and sides of my head. It makes such an obvious contrast against the pale skin on top of my head. The ‘power donut’ isn’t the look I’m going for.

So if I’m running late for work or a night out, I grab my head shaver, and 90 seconds later, I’m done. The result isn’t as good as when I shave my head with a razor, but if I only have a few minutes, I’ll make do.

So I have both a razor and a head shaver on standby. Different tools for different needs.

Freebird FlexSeries head shaver vs Leaf razor

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to tell me why!


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

It’s better to shave your head with a razor for the smoothest possible shave. This is the most important factor for most bald men, but head shavers are quicker and more convenient when you’re short of time.

What shaver is best for the head?

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 Platinum offers a fantastic shave. It’s also a quiet shaver that’s really comfortable to use thanks to the ergonomic design.Andis Profoil electric shaver

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 though. 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.

Do electric head shavers work?

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

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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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