I’ll admit that since becoming a dad – and more recently a stay-at-home dad – my appearance has slightly deteriorated. My once reasonably flat stomach has become more rotund, my attire mainly consists of superhero pyjama bottoms and a hoodie, whilst my hair and beard are often pretty unkempt and, shall we say, au natural.
I’m pretty comfortable with my slobby appearance, after all, I do spend a large part of my day locked up in the house looking after the sprog and/or working remotely so I’ve not really got a particular reason to doll myself up. Having said that though, I do want to improve my increasingly declining appearance for the missus, myself and Baby L.
I’m pretty sure that a fat, hairy bloke in Batman PJs isn’t quite the sex symbol or father figure that the women in my life deserve – to clarify, that’s sex symbol to Hay and father figure to Baby L, there’s no freaky daddy-issues going on in our household.
I was therefore chuffed to be contacted by shaving products supremo Wilkinson Sword about trying out their recently launched 4-in-1 styling tool called the Hydro 5 Groomer. This is a pretty cool grooming tool which contains a razor on one end and a trimmer on the other to give you everything you need to trim, shave and edge in one portable bit of kit.
I’ve been using the trimmer for the past few months to keep the beard in decent shape and have recently taken the decision to ditch the beard in support of The Lullaby Trust’s Beards For Babies fundraising campaign – this gave me the perfect excuse to use the Hydro 5 Groomer to wet shave my usual companion. My review of the Wilkinson Sword styling tool is below:
The product is described as:
The Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Groomer is the only 4-in-1 styling tool that trims, shaves, edges and hydrates throughout each shave. It simplifies any grooming ritual whilst leveraging best in class technology for a more precise shave that protects and hydrates the skin.
- Built in power trimmer – Featuring a wide comb with 3 adjustable settings so you can easily achieve your desired trim length and style.
- 5 Ultraglide blades with Skin Guards – Protecting Skin Guards reduce friction between the skin and cartridge for less irritation.
- Flip Trimmer – Flip back the hydrating gel reservoir to use the top of the blade head to edge and trim those hard-to-reach areas.
- Hydrating Gel Reservoir with Skin Defense Complex – Unique hydrating gel reservoir lasts 2 x as long as ordinary lubrication strips and contains aloe vera to reduce irritation and hydrate throughout each shave.
- Easy Clean Trim Blade – Removable trim blade for easy cleaning and rinsing.
The first thing I wanted to put through its paces was the trimmer. Having tried a few different groomers in the past to keep my beard at a reasonable length and to ensure my neck stayed tidy, I was intrigued as to whether this would do the job.
It’s only a small thing, but the groomer comes complete with a battery. I’m pretty sick of needing to spend the majority of my disposable income on batteries for baby toys and other gadgets, so it was an added bonus for this to come with one. To insert the battery, you simply twist the trimmer either side of the centre which opens it up and allows you to pop the battery in.
The built-in electric trimmer has a comb with three adjustable settings to allow you to trim your beard to the desired length. I plumped for the shortest comb setting and got trimming by turning on the button. I found the trimmer to be pretty good – it’s not the widest head in the world so it does take a bit of time to make sure you’ve covered the entire of your beard, but it did the job well. It was easy to grip and cut the hair in whichever direction I ran it over my face. On inspecting my beautiful face afterwards, I was happy with the job and was unable to locate any longer hairs that had been missed – something I often find with other trimmers.
I took off the comb, by simply pulling it away from the trimmer, so that I could test how the trim blade worked on my neck. I don’t often wet shave my neck but instead use a trimmer to tidy up any neck hair below my beard so that I don’t look (that) homeless. Again, I found the trimmer did a really good job – the trim blade cut all of the hairs on my neck down to a really short length and dealt well with the contours of my abnormally large Adam’s apple. Something I was really pleased about was that it didn’t cut my neck – occasionally, other trimmers I’ve used nick my skin and cause it to bleed, however this wasn’t the case with the Hydro 5 groomer. It was also easy to unblock any hair in the trimmer as the trim blade pushes up so that you can rinse or manually remove any cut hair.
I’ve used the groomer roughly twice a week to keep my beard at the desired length and to trim my neck hair. I’ve actually been really impressed with it and found it has done a better job than some of my other trimmers. My only slight annoyance is the button to turn the trimmer on and off. For whatever reason, you have to press it at a very particular point to keep the power trimmer turned on, otherwise it has an annoying habbit of turning on for a second then turning off. Sometimes it took up to five attempts to keep the trimmer actually turned on.
As mentioned, I’ve had a beard for a few years now so barely wet shave. I felt like a bit of a change though, so ditching the beard for The Lullaby Trust’s Beards For Babies campaign was as good a reason as any to use the Hydro 5 Groomer as an actual razor. On reading the marketing spiel about the razor, it definitely sounded good with claims of a ‘hydrating gel reservoir which lasted twice as long’ and ‘five ultra glide blades to reduce friction’.
With a reasonable beard still on my face, I applied the shaving gel and got cracking with the razor. Considering that I was still with facial hair, the razor did a great job of cutting through the fuzz. I obviously had to rinse the blades after each stroke as the hair clogged the blades up, but I was surprised at how quickly the bottom half of my face began to see the light of day. Once I’d got rid of the majority of hair, I applied some more shaving gel and went over my face once more. The razor clung to my facial contours well and left my face feeling really smooth – not only this, but in the days after the shave, I didn’t end up with a rash, which I’m attributing to the ‘gel reservoir’ for keeping my face hydrated.
As I’d shaved off a beard, I needed to do something with my sideburns. The Hydro 5 Groomer allows you to flip the razor top back so you can use it to edge – I’ve never done this before, but with an additional mirror at my disposal so I could see the side of my face, I was able to quickly and easily edge my sideburns to create straight lines. Ultimately, the razor did a great job of getting rid of my beard and left my skin both soft, smooth and resembling Baby L’s bottom (in touch, not appearance). The edger also helped me achieve straight sideburns with relative ease, however the thickness of the tool made it a little more difficult to handle than a normal razor.
The Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Groomer costs £14.99 and is available from a number of places including Boots, Tesco and Amazon. I personally feel that this is a very good price for a bit of kit which has multiple purposes. You can spend the same amount for just a razor or just a trimmer, so having something which does both jobs well for this price is good value for money in my view.
I really liked the Hydro 5 Groomer and it did a better job than I expected. With so many things in life, when products are made to be dual purpose, you often end up losing some of the quality for convenience. However, this really isn’t the case with the grooming tool. The razor gave a really comfortable and close shave which didn’t cause any rashes or nicks, whilst the grooming tool did a great job of trimming my beard to the desired length whilst keeping my neck tidy.
Despite all of the positives, I had two slight annoyances, namely the button not always turning the shaver on and the size of the groomer. These are only minor points, but I thought I’d mention them again – firstly, the button didn’t always turn the shaver on which meant that I occasionally had to press the button repeatedly to get it to stay on. Secondly, I found the size a little too big – as a trimmer, the size is fine, but as a razor it was a bit too thick. I’m used to holding quite a thin handled razor, yet because this has a battery, it has a bit more girth to it which makes it a little more difficult to handle (sexual innuendo, anyone?). This doesn’t appear to take away from the quality of the shave though, but it’s a little harder to grasp and control.
Despite these two minor points, the Hydro 5 is a great product which I look forward to using for plenty more trims and shaves in the future.
The DADventurer Star Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The Hydro 5 Groomer was sent to me by Wilkinson Sword with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the product.
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