One Japanese brand that has taken over the global grooming device space is Panasonic—and it makes terrific shavers, trimmers, and more. But there’s another brand that has been big in Japan for the past few years, and is starting to make waves abroad—and, pleasingly, those waves are as warm as the thermal waters in the nation’s famous hot springs.
The brand is Ya-Man, and its heated electric shaver is one of the more exciting devices to land in my mailbox of late. (It’s Japan’s No. 1 market-share bestseller for the past four years, even.) I’ll compare this one to a tool from another grooming device leader—the heated razor from Gillette, which is clean-shaven guy’s dream come true. Like that manual razor, Ya-Man’s electric device brings the classic barbershop hot shave to your fingertips. Its LED-glowing head is never too hot, and it warms up within moments of powering on, gliding over your face while keeping pores open and your skin calm.
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You can use it in the shower, too, and with any shaving lotion if you prefer a wet shave. Obviously, because it’s an electric razor, it can’t give you the same baby-smooth shearing that a manual razor provides, but that’s exactly the point: This is for the frequent shavers who maintain a close enough shave, and don’t mind touching up every day or two. That only further underscores how luxuriously divine this feels; it practically incentivizes you to do a once-over every day in order to enjoy that warmth. (You can choose to use it without the heat, too, and there’s also an option to turn the device off and just enjoying a little warm compress against the skin, which I’ve been guilty of a few times.)
While I wouldn’t compare this one’s complexity side by side with the best of Panasonic, Braun, or Philips-Norelco, I do think it stands in a class of its own due to this function, especially because, as a shaver, it’s technically excellent too. It uses a rotary head, of which only Philips Norelco really registers as a direct competitor (the other brands use foil heads). Rotary heads, in particular, are great options for guys with sensitive skin, thicker hair, and those prone to ingrowns.
You can also detach the heated shave head and install the included trimmer head, in order to shear down longer hair prior to shaving, or to detail around the cheeks, neckline, mustache, or sideburns. It even comes with a hard-shell case plus swappable outlets that will help juice it up anywhere in the world. The one downside is the run time, which is just 25 minutes on a 3-hour charge. I’ll look past that one for now, since it’s easy enough to charge this overnight or after a few uses, but hopefully the brand can swap in a better battery soon. What’s key here is the hot-shave experience, which is a joy. I wouldn’t be shocked if more brands follow suit soon.
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