The Norelco 6863XL: Is it Time to Go Electric?

So you’re thinking about buying your man an electric razor. Whether it’s your husband, your boyfriend, your brother, your son, your father, the idea is the same: He’s been shaving for years now with a standard disposable or replaceable-blade razor, and you’re wondering if maybe he’d like to upgrade. While it’s hard to get a man to change his habits, this just might be a good gift idea. And if you’re the one benefiting from his extra-close shave, then it could turn out to be a gift for both of you.

Do they really work, though? You’ve seen the advertisements. “Closer than ever before,” they proclaim. “Less irritation!” It’s no surprise that the electric razor manufacturers gear up their promotions campaigns for the holiday season. Consistently, electric razors rank among the most popular bath-and-body gifts for the holidays. But how can you know if it’s the right gift for the guy you have in mind? Let’s take a look at a few of the main differences between classic and electric razors to see what might be the benefits of making a change.

– Wet versus dry: Typically, a morning’s shave involves him running some warm water, washing his face, lathering up with one of the various available shaving creams or lotions, then, finally, getting down to the business of shaving. If he’s going for extra smoothness, this might even mean a rinse-and-repeat maneuver. For a perfect shave, this can get pretty time-consuming. So does an electric razor help this? With the Norelco 6863XL, there’s no water or lathering involved. All he has to do is turn it on and go. The instruction manual (yes, it comes with an instruction manual) directs users to move the razor in a circular motion, working against the grain with some pressure (though not too much). Easy enough, right? Upon first use, however, one finds that this process takes longer than it seems it should. Though the instruction manual also recommends using the product for a month to get used to it (and for the skin to get used to it as well), it can be frustrating to discover that the first couple of times using this electric razor, it may take as long as fifteen minutes to get every last bit of hair. Though the patented “Dual Blade” system is designed to cut both long hairs and short hairs closely at the same time, it frequently misses one or two single hairs, and it can drive you crazy trying to finally get them.

– A closer shave: One of the electric razor’s main selling points is its close shave. As mentioned before, it can take a while to figure out just how to get the razor to catch all those pesky hairs. When it does, however, it follows through on Norelco’s promise. The 6863XL does have the uncanny ability to get an amazingly close shave. Even if you have a fast-growing beard, you’ll notice that your face remains smooth even hours later. Whether it’s smoother than your current shave, however, depends on the standard razor you’re currently using. The Norelco matches up with about the best of these.

– Less irritation: Since the invention of shaving, men have been combating the problem of irritation. This results when, in the process of shaving, the razor causes miniscule cuts and abrasions on the skin. These can be painful and unsightly, often resulting in raised red bumps, particularly in against-the grain regions such as the neck and just below the chin, where it’s often hard to get to the hairs and often requires multiple passes of the razor. Surely a product that advertises less irritation is worth checking out. What is great in theory, however, is often less so in practice. Again, it’s important to keep in mind that Norelco suggests using its razor for a month to allow the skin to adjust. However, given the difficulty of first learning to use the razor and first learning to get a really close shave, this means a lot of contact between the razor and the skin. No matter how gentle you are or how carefully you try to avoid it, if the razor and face spend fifteen minutes in continual contact, there’s bound to be some amount of irritation. From personal experience, the first few close shaves with the Norelco 6863XL can be painful; even as the skin “adjusts,” it’s hard to argue that the product creates less irritation that a standard razor. In addition, it leaves the skin feeling dry and tight after a shave, not exactly what you want to have first thing in the morning.

Overall, switching from a regular razor to an electric one can be a hassle. That’s not to say the Norelco isn’t without its upsides, however. In theory, it’s’ portable. You don’t have to have it plugged in to shave, so you could, like the men in the commercials, be shaving in your bedroom, in the hallway, in the kitchen as you get ready for work. But though it is designed to capture and collect the shaved hairs, this feature isn’t one hundred percent effective – a few tiny hairs are still scattered about. You’ll certainly avoid the sink-full-of-hairs mess, though, which could be a great blessing to women who have to share a bathroom with a man. Also, you won’t be making as many trips to the store for disposable razors. With regular cleaning, the Norelco’s razors can last for many months. This, along with not having to buy shaving cream, can save you some money in the long run.

Ultimately, every man has a different kind of beard and requires a different kind of shave. To make it worth your while, Norelco offers a three-month trial period for its product. If you’re not satisfied, all you have to do is return the product, along with the receipt and a description of why you’re not pleased with it, and you’ll get a free refund. They genuinely believe in their product, and they’d like you to at least give it a try. If you’re still considering an electric razor as a gift for your man this season, you can at least take comfort in this. In the end, it may be worth giving a shot: he may absolutely love it. If it works for him, then he’ll be delighted, and even if it doesn’t, then you’ve lost nothing and at the very least had some fun trying out a new gadget.

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