Why Does My Electric Shaver Pull My Hair?




electric shaver pulling hair

When this question pops up on forums and message boards, the comment section often leads to the collective bashing of electric trimmers. That’s quite unfair, given that the culprit behind the sub-par performance can be pinpointed and fixed. Quite often, those who complain of the electric shaver pulling hair are first-time users.

If your electric shaver is pulling your hair instead of shaving it, there can be several factors at play. Let’s look at these factors and see what you can do to improve your shaving experience.

Best Electric Trimmers On Amazon

Before we get into all the reasons why your electric shaver may be pulling your hair, if your electric shaver is old and worn out, we simply recommend replacing it. Below is a list of the best electric shavers available on Amazon:

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Five Reasons Why Electric Shavers Pull Hair When Shaving

1. The Shaver Is Simply Bad

It may sound harsh and blunt, but that’s the main reason behind most of these “my electric shaver pulling hair” scenarios.

The market has a plethora of electric shavers at different prices, but some simply have poor performance and don’t live up to your expectations.

For example, I recently had a very bad experience with a new Panasonic electric trimmer, even though the manufacturer remains a personal favorite. The shaver ripped the hair right off my face and it couldn’t get close enough for a smooth shave.

That means you should avoid evaluating the manufacturer as a whole and concentrate more on the performance of each electric trimmer.

When it’s evident that you’ve gone wrong with your new electric shaver, the best option would be to return it and buy one that’s suited to your shaving technique, skin/ beard type, and length. In any case, we have reviewed and combined a list of the best cheap electric shavers out there. One excellent example is the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 2100. However, even with the Norelco, you need to replace the shaving head at reasonable intervals. we actually have a separate article on how often to replace Norelco shaving heads.

Philips Norelco 6948XL/41 Shaver 2100 (Packaging May Vary)
3,578 Reviews
Philips Norelco 6948XL/41 Shaver 2100 (Packaging May Vary)
  • To help simplify your shopping experience, we recently updated this product’s packaging and name:…
  • CloseCut heads cut up to 25% closer with durable, self-sharpening blades
  • Flex & Float System follows the many contours of your face to catch more hairs

Check out our full reviews below to get started:

2.      Your Shaving Technique Needs Improvement

If you are used to traditional shaving, starting with an electric trimmer can be a bit challenging.

Immediately after switching, most people realize that it doesn’t deliver what they were hoping for.

As the electric trimmer can never cut as close as the blade, some people make the mistake of using the wrong technique to get rid of a few stubborn hairs.

electric shaver pulling hair

As a beginner, never be too quick to judge the performance of an electric trimmer pulling hair without checking your shaving technique. Have in mind that an electric trimmer is different from a traditional shaving blade, be it with a straight or safety razor.

Your shaving experience may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but everything will be great once your skin adapts to the new shaving technique. Assuming you have a high quality shaver,  a few technical adjustments and some prep work will transform your shaving experience.

3. Your Beard Is Too Long

Even with high-end brands, electric trimmers work best when your beard is at a reasonable length.

Moreover, standard electric trimmers are best suited to shaving daily when your stubble is short. Nonetheless, you can get more advanced shavers for removing the stubble when your hair is long.

When your beard is too long, the shaver will pull off the hair from your face, and you might miss a few spots, especially the areas where the hair is lying on the skin.

Most people go over these areas several times and apply more pressure in an attempt to achieve the desired look, but it usually results in pain and discomfort.

In such a case, the solution would be shaving regularly or using a regular trimmer or even hair scissors HHR Professional Hairdressing Grooming Hair Scissors beforehand to reduce the length of your facial hairs.

You can also try finding a good electric shaver for long beards, but keep in mind that some are better than others in shaving flat-lying hair.

4. Your Shaver Is Not Compatible With Your Beard Type

Even when you’ve bought a high-quality shaver based on reviews from other experienced men, it may not be ideal for your beard. Essentially, it takes more than just the rotary or foil decision.

For instance, some foil shavers are well suited for long, wiry hairs while others are ideal for coarse, thick beards. Some of them handle sensitive skin better than others. It’s important that you choose a shaver according to your skin type and hair type to prevent your shaver from pulling your hair. To learn more, check out our article on what is a foil shaver and how to use one. To learn more, check out our article that explains how electric razors work including foil and rotary razors.

5. Clean And Lubricate Your Shaver

If you’ve gone through this list hoping to improve your shaving experience, but your shaver is still pulling off your hair, then it’s time for a change of tactics. For starters, you need to show your trimmer some love by always keeping it clean.

Dead skin, dirt, lather, and hair clipping buildup can have a significant impact on how your shaver performs.

You may not use it daily, but you’ll need to regularly wash it thoroughly depending on whether you like a wet or dry shave. However, this doesn’t apply to shavers with an automatic cleaning system – even when you’re using it regularly.

How To Clean And Lubricate Your Electric Shaver

Modern electric shavers are quite easy to clean with warm tap water and some liquid soap. However, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations to avoid damaging the internal parts.

Additionally, you need to lubricate the trimmer regularly using natural spray cleaner and lubricant or light oil such as clipper oil. Please do not use harmful, heavy oils for this purpose. For example, many men ask have asked us, ‘can I use 3 in 1 oil on my hair clipper?’. We do not recommend it because such oils are too thick and contain harmful substances.

Aside from cleaning, lubrication is a factor in ensuring optimal performance and prolonging your shaver’s useful life.

Just like a car engine, lubricating the moving parts reduces wear and tear, and improves the performance of the electric trimmer. Here are a few reasons why lubrication is important:

  • It reduces the risk of blemishes, irritation, and razor burns
  • It prolongs the life of the blades and foils to avoid regular replacement
  • It reduces the stress on the motors by allowing the blades to glide with minimal resistance
  • It allows you to get a close and smooth shave thanks to the reduced friction

Depending on various factors, you may need to change your shaver’s blades and foils regularly.

These aspects include the coarseness of your beard, shaving frequency, and the quality of your shaver. As such, buying a new electric shaver is the best option if you note a significant reduction in performance or a tendency to pull your hair.

Is It Better To Shave Wet Or Dry With An Electric Razor?

It is most advisable to have a dry shaving area when using an electric shaver. While there is a new range of electric shavers that can be used in wet and dry conditions, if you’re using a regular electric shaver, it’s best to stay as dry as possible. However, you can pre-wash with warm water to soften the beard bristles and the skin underneath, but make sure to pat it all dry.

How Do You Use An Electric Shaver Without Irritation?

Make sure that the shaver is in optimum working condition. Change dull blades and ensure the battery is fully charged. Even after doing shaving treatments or taking a warm bath before shaving, be sure to shave dry and be careful to use the mirror as a guide when having to make sure you are shaving with the right technique and in the right direction. Finally, gently but thoroughly clean your shaving razor after each use.


While an electric trimmer pulling hair makes most people have a radical stance towards electric shavers, it certainly won’t help in identifying or solving your problem. In most cases, it’s just a matter of buying the right shaver and adjusting your shaving technique.  However, each shaving method has pros and cons, so you might have to make some compromises no matter your preference.

Remember that shaving dry is better for electric shavers as they reduce irritation. If you have acne, ensure you get one of the best electric shavers for acne as an electric razor pulling on acne skin is rather awful.

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