Here’s Why Your Beard Trimmer Pulls Your Hair

Here’s Why Your Beard Trimmer Pulls Your Hair

An electric trimmer offers one of the easiest shaving experiences possible. You don’t need to bother using shaving cream or any other product for a wet shaving experience. You can toss a trimmer in your pocket and clean up in a public bathroom with no issues if need be.

And yet, there is one little problem. It keeps tugging at your beard hairs, and that kind of hurts. Plus, it leaves your face feeling irritated after. What gives? Why do electric trimmers do this?

There are several reasons why your beard trimmer may be pulling your hair. It could be that the trimmer is low quality and poorly built. If it is high quality, you may be using a rotary trimmer when a foil trimmer is better. One foil trimmer may be worse than another, as the sensitivity of your skin and the width of your hairs all make a difference when picking a trimmer. Even a high-quality trimmer with the right shape will pull the hairs if your technique is poor. If it isn’t the trimmer itself, then it may just need to be cleaned to stop pulling, or your beard may be too long and need to be cut with clippers before you use your electric trimmer.

With so many possible reasons for your trimmer to pull your hair, it is important to eliminate your options so you can find which is the cause of your problem. We’ll explore how to pick a trimmer, how to use it properly, and how to keep it in shape so you can leave this problem in the past.

Preventing Your Electric Trimmer from Pulling Your Hair

To stop an electric trimmer from pulling your hairs, first try cleaning it. We cover this below. If this solves the problem, then all you need to do is make sure that you continue to clean it regularly. If it doesn’t, then the problem is going to be a little more complicated.

There are two key styles of electric trimmers. One is the rotary shaver, in which three circular blades are given the flexibility to fit to your face. These are best used for people that have very tough skin. They provide a close shave and they can deal with long hair.

Foil shavers are those trimmers which use blades at the end and have different blades or heads which you can attach to change the length of the cut. They can work with fairly long hairs but are more likely to pull them in the process. These are better for those with more sensitive skin, as there isn’t as much contact made with the skin or as much heat created from friction.

When working with a rotary shaver, you can move in circular motions around your face without worrying about pulling hairs. On the other hand, foil shaver should be moved in straight lines, as it cuts in a straight manner. Moving from side to side with a foil shaver will pull the hairs painfully. For more on how to shave with an electric razor, check out this video:

Pick the trimmer that is best for your skin and make sure you go with a well-known brand, as they need to keep their quality up or they’d get swarmed with negative reviews and see their stocks plummet.

If your trimmer pulls your hair, use the T.O.P.C method of analyzing where the problem is. This is:

Teeth – Oil – Power – Clean 

Begin by checking the blades, or the teeth. Blades can get bent or broken. When this is the case, you shouldn’t be surprised that the trimmer is pulling the hair—it’s broken. Next, oil it. Lubrication can often fix the problem. If it still is causing issues, check the power. Battery powered trimmers may need to be charged and plugs or cables may not be working properly. If you can pinch the blade with two fingers and make it stop, then power is an issue.

Finally, clean the dang thing. You would be shocked at how many people don’t clean their trimmers and then act surprised when they start to pull on their hairs. Of course they do! It is up to you to maintain them if you want them to work properly.

If you have gone through all of these steps and your trimmer is still pulling your hair, then get a new trimmer. Yours clearly isn’t working properly or it is cheaply made. You can learn more about the history and styles of electric shavers here.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Trimmer Pulled Hair?

There are only minor health risks associated with a trimmer that pulls your hair, and it has less to do with the pulling and more to do with the cut hair itself. When your trimmer pulls your hair, it causes more irritation and can even cause whole hairs to be pulled out. This can make for an uncomfortable or even painful experience, but not one that puts your health at risk.

Rather than the pulling, it is the cutting of a pulled hair that poses the most risk. The first blade on your trimmer tugs on the hair and the subsequent blades cut the hair. Since the hair was being tugged, it was being pulled more out of the skin so that when the second blade made the cut, it was cutting below the surface of the skin. This might not seem important, but it is.

The problem is that now the hair needs to grow back from fully under the surface of the skin, and this makes it many times more likely that the hair becomes ingrown. Ingrown hairs cause acne, irritation and, in the worst cases, infection. This last one can become a major health risk if it is not treated properly.

Preventing Your Electric Trimmer from Pulling Your Hair

How Do I Clean My Beard Trimmer?

You must make regular cleaning a lubrication a habit of yours if you are using an electric trimmer. Some trimmers can be cleaned with a little bit of soapy water, although it is important to be careful not to get the electronic pieces of the inside wet. Other trimmers will require you to remove the head and soak it in water for a few minutes.

Lubrication is important too, as a lubricated trimmer is less likely to pull on your hairs. Most electric trimmers come with a small bottle of oil. Squeeze out a drop or two on the blades to keep it running smoothly. Since this oil runs out rather quickly, you may want to consider purchasing a second bottle.

For more information on cleaning and maintaining your electric trimmer, check out this article.

Can I Use Beard Oil to Oil My Trimmer?

Despite both trimmer lubricant and beard oil being labelled as “oil”, they shouldn’t be thought of as the same thing. Beard oil is made from a carrier oil in combination with one or several essential oils. For a trimmer lubricant, we use a low-viscosity oil that doesn’t ignite under high temperatures. While beard oil technically fits this description, it is better to use a singular type of oil rather than a combination of several.

If you have run out of trimmer oil, you can make do by using vegetable oil or olive oil. Just keep in mind that you want to avoid extra virgin oils, as they can’t take higher temperatures. Why is temperature important?  The blades on the trimmer move quickly, and this causes them to get quite hot. The last thing you want to do is use an oil which suddenly ignites while you’re trimming your beard.

Need a New Trimmer?

If you haven’t gotten an electric trimmer yet, I hope this article hasn’t scared you off. Remember, if a trimmer is pulling your hair, it means that either your technique or your trimmer is wrong. Most men will use an electric trimmer without a problem, but they should stick to a well-known brand for the best results.

Two of the most well-known brands are Philips and Wahl. Philips has put out an affordable electric trimmer that gives a close shave and is easy to clean with water. The design makes it hard to damage the electronic components when washing. This Wahl trimmer is a cheaper option and a little harder to clean, but it comes with tons of options for heads to customize your shave and give you unlimited styling options.


While it is common for a trimmer to pull your hair, it is always a sign that something is wrong with it. Remember to apply the T.O.P.C. approach to treating the problem. Seven times out of ten, this will fix it.

Two times out of ten, the problem is with your technique. Moving a foil shaver sideways will always pull the hair. Just because they are both electric razors doesn’t mean that a rotary shaver and a foil shaver should be used the same way.

Finally, one out ten times the problem is that you need a new razor. If you find yourself in this position, remember to shop quality. Purchasing quality and keeping it maintained properly will make your electric razor shaves a thousand times more enjoyable, and you can rest easy knowing your razor will last much longer.



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Hi, my name is Roland. I started Beard Guidance so I can share the knowledge I’ve acquired from years of beard-having experience in easy-to-read but informative and practical articles.

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