Tough. Thick. Coarse. If these adjectives describe your facial hair, you need to find a razor that can cut through the hair leaving behind smooth skin.
Coarse hair presents a challenge to many razors on the market today, but it is possible to find one that can provide a clean, close safe whether you prefer a disposable, safety, or electric razor. No matter which style you choose, the essential factors of a great shave are a sharp blade, a hair-softening routine, and a soothing aftershave.
If you’re curious to see our list of the best razors for coarse hair, read on!
The best razors for coarse hair
It is possible to get a close, irritation-free shave even if you have coarse facial hair. Disposable razors, safety razors, and electric razors can cut through even the toughest of beards.
The best razors for coarse hair should have a sharp blade, slip-free grip, and feel comfortable in your hand. The more comfortable and in control you feel while shaving, the closer your shave will be.
We’ve curated some of the best options no matter the style of razor you prefer. Let’s look at highly-rated options and why shavers give them high marks.
Disposable razors for coarse hair
Disposable razors are convenient and great for travel. However, all disposables aren’t created equal for coarse hair.
When choosing a disposable razor for coarse facial hair look for sharp blades, easy-grip handles, and irritation-free performance on sensitive skin.
For the best performance, throw out the razor at the first sign of tugging to reduce irritation and get the smoothest result. Let’s take a look at the top disposable razor contenders.
Gillette Sensor 3 Sensitive
One key to an effective shave on coarse hair is proper lubrication. The Gillette Sensor 3 Sensitive razor boasts a lubrastrip which, when activated by water, softens the hair and moisturizes the skin. Three sharp chromium-coated blades and a pivoting head whack through coarse hair with ease.
These razors are easily available and can be purchased for as little as $7.62 for a 3-pack on Amazon.
One reviewer with a coarse beard said “I can let my beard grow for a week and these cut through with no difficulties.”
Schick Hydro 5 Sense
While not technically disposable as this razor has a reusable handle with a replaceable blade cartridge, the Schick Hydro 5 Sense is favored for its ability to cut through a tough beard without irritation. It features 5 blades, a skin guard, and even has a built-in trimmer.
This razor is available at many locations and the current price is just $5.38 for a handle with two razor cartridges on Amazon.
One fan stated, “I have a tough beard that I need to shave daily and these are the only blades I have found…that stay sharp for more than a few shaves.” The blades stay sharp for an extended period according to another user, “I have rather a coarse beard, and a blade lasts me 1 month.”
BIC Metal Single Blade $12/ 30 count
The BIC Metal Single Blade disposables have a kind of cult following. They are specifically designed for curly and coarse hair. Since there is only one blade, there is less chance of clogging around the blade resulting in a smoother shave.
Unfortunately, they’ve become difficult to find locally, so ordering online is the way to go. They’re currently available on Amazon for $12.44 for 30 razors (that’s only 41 cents each!).
One reviewer said, “The BIC Metal is similar to shaving with a double-edged razor,” and another says, “My husband’s beard is tough and this razor shaves him really well and can be used several times.”
Safety razors for coarse hair
Safety razor use has increased over the last few years as men have gravitated to more traditional shaving methods. While it takes more time than a disposable razor shave, the results are phenomenal for coarse hair shavers.
A safety razor handle with medium aggressiveness and a good, balanced weight performs the best on coarse facial hair. When choosing a blade, sharpness and stability are important.
Safety razors are a great choice for sensitive skin. They also provide more customization to your individual needs since many are adjustable and you can choose from a variety of blade types.
Let’s look at our top safety razor choices for coarse hair and some bonus blade recommendations.
Merkur FUTUR Adjustable
The Merkur FUTUR Adjustable is a mid-aggressive adjustable razor, and is available on Amazon for $77.
Since coarse hairs can grow at weird angles, adjustability is a winning feature. The ergonomic and evenly-weighted feel of the handle are other noteworthy benefits.
Fans say this one is “…as mild or as aggressive as you want it to be.” One user with coarse hair applauded this razor saying, “Goes through coarse, thick, month’s growth on setting 4, like a hot knife through butter.”
Try it with Persona Platinum Chrome (Israeli Red) blades.
Feather All Stainless Steel Double-Edge
This Feather All Stainless Steel razor is a splurge at $164, but its jeweler’s quality steel and perfectly weighted grip-worthy handle have shavers hooked.
Coarse hair shavers say the key to a perfect, irritation-free close shave is a 45-degree angle.
One user said it provides “a safe, efficient shave on thick, coarse beards” while another said, “my beard is full and coarse…this is the last razor I’ll ever buy.”
Try it with the super-sharp Feather blades.
Baili Classic Butterfly Double-Edge
The Baili Classic Butterfly DE razor is a medium aggressive model with easily-changeable blades.
The butterfly mechanism allows you to easily open and rinse off any coarse hairs. The zinc alloy handle provides a nice weight.
One user says, “I have really thick and coarse hair, and this is by far the most gentle shave ever.”
Pair it with Gillette Silver Blue blades.
Electric razors for coarse hair
Electric razors provide a quick shave and are great for both home and travel. They can dominate coarse facial hair.
Electric razors can provide a close shave for men with coarse facial hair. While a dry shave is common with an electric razor, buying one with wet shave capabilities can result in a closer shave.
Let’s look at our front runners in the electric shaver category.
Philips Norelco One Blade Shaver & Trimmer
The Philips Norelco One Blade is a small yet mighty shaver at only $35 that can be used in both wet and dry settings.
Many say they were shocked at the power and closeness it provides. It’s equipped with a fast-moving cutter at 200x per second. It trims, edges, and cuts any length of hair.
“I have very coarse facial hair and this runs right through it,” exclaims one satisfied user. “I have lots of coarse facial hair…it makes daily shaving an easy process with zero irritation,” stated another.
Panasonic Arc4 Electric Shaver
The Panasonic Arc4 costs $91 on Amazon and can be used both wet and dry.
It boasts a 4 blade foil shaving system and an ergonomic handle.
One user says, “I find it to be very good at getting those coarse pesky hairs that are just stubborn” and “it works MUCH better on my coarse facial hair.”
Braun Series 9
The Braun Series 9 Electric Shaver is a splurge at $310.
It can be used both wet or dry which is a plus for men with coarse hair. This favor has 5 shaving elements and specialized trimmers for difficult hairs.
One user of Middle Eastern descent with coarse hair commented that “this is easily the best electric razor I’ve ever owned,” and another man prone to ingrown hairs in his coarse beard says “this razor solves that problem.”
How to shave with coarse facial hair
Coarse facial hair requires some extra TLC to make the shave easier and more effective.
When shaving coarse facial hair, preparing the hair and skin before the shave is just as important as the shave itself. A rich lather paired with multiple passes of the razor results in a close shave. To soothe the sensitive skin that can often go along with coarse hair, post-shave moisturization is also important.
- Begin your shaving ritual with a warm water wash. Warm water helps to soften tough hairs.
- Immediately apply a beard oil to lock in moisture and further aid in the hair-softening process.
- Work up a rich lather with a glycerin-based shaving soap or cream to add another layer of moisture and improve the razor’s glide across the skin. Glycerin acts to coat and protect sensitive skin too.
During the shave:
- No matter the type of razor you use, a sharp cutting blade is a must.
- Apply lather to your face (even if using an electric razor) to help you achieve a closer shave.
- Coarse hairs are notorious for growing at different angles so multiple passes in different directions will yield the best outcome.
- Rinse with cold water following the shave to close up pores and prevent bacteria from invading.
- Apply a soothing aftershave balm will reduce irritation, bumps, and redness.
Can you soften facial hair before shaving?
Coarse hair is tough and hard to cut. Softening up the hair before you grab your blade is a must.
The key to softening coarse facial hair is pre-shave preparation. A warm water wash followed by a moisturizing beard oil softens hair before a shave. Applying a shaving cream or soap containing glycerin provides more moisture and improves the glide of the razor across the coarse hair.
If time permits, you can give yourself a hot towel barber treatment at home. Moisten a towel with hot water. Keep it on your face for at least 3 minutes. The heat and moisture will intensify the softening effect. Apply beard oil immediately after.
Tips for shaving rough and thick facial hair
While the choice of razor and blade is important, a good pre-shave routine is essential when shaving coarse facial hair. Post-shave care protects the sensitive skin that often accompanies a coarse beard.
Follow these tips to tackle rough, thick facial hair:
- Choose a razor suitable for coarse hair.
- Soften hair by using warm water and beard oil.
- Use a glycerin-rich cream or soap.
- Be generous with the lather.
- Shave at the correct angle and change direction.
- Rinse and moisturize.
- Shave often to stay ahead of coarse growth.