How to shave your legs in 6 simple steps
Step 1: Take a shower or jump into the bath
Dry shaving is wrong. Please never do this. The lack of lubrication causes too much friction, leading to irritation, nicks, cuts, and razor burn. Daaah!
Jump into the shower or bath first. Wash your hair then belt out your favourite tune before reaching for your razor. Many make the mistake of shaving straight away, but waiting will allow the steam to open up your pores, and let your skin and hair soften. The extra wait will make for a more comfortable and close shave.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Some people are confused whether they should exfoliate before or after shaving. The correct answer is: before. By first removing the layer of dead skin cells, your razor has a clean smooth canvas to glide on. If you’re prone to razor bumps, this extra step will help!
Exfoliate starting from your ankles and work your way up to your thighs in small circular motions. You can choose either a body scrub, exfoliating gloves or a classic loofah–as long as you exfoliate, you’ll be right on track to smooth legs. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly so you don’t clogg up your razor.
Step 3: Lubricate
Raise your hands if you use bar soap to lather up before shaving! Uh-oh. Apparently, this is a terrible idea according to dermatologists. Bar soap tends to be drying and can create build-up on your razor increasing your chances of getting cuts.
Next time you’re at the supermarket, grab some shaving soap, shaving gel or cream. This will provide enough lubrication to help your razor glide more easily on your skin.
Apply an even layer of shaving cream or gel all over the areas you wish to shave. If you find that you’ve run out of shaving cream or gel, you can always reach for your hair conditioner. Apparently, this is a good alternative for shaving cream– who knew?
Step 4: Shave
Ever use one of those disposable single-blade razors? They’re fine once in a while but ditch them if you can. Single blade razors are not ideal as there are more chances for the blade to drag on your skin. Choosing a razor with more blades will give you a smoother finish but will also protect your skin from getting grated.
With your razor head facing down, start from your ankles and gently glide the razor in an upward motion. There is no need for too much pressure. Let the multiple blades do the work for you. Pressing down on your skin with the razor will only create unevenness that can put you at risk of nicks. Remember to shave slowly–there is no need to rush when you’re wielding sharp objects against your skin. Hurrying will only ensure that you will get some sort of shaving rash.
Remember to rinse your razor every now and then. Place your razor under a running tap to clear the blades of accumulated hair and cream.
How to prevent ingrown hairs? One sure way is to remember to change your razor after about 5–10 shaves or as soon as you notice any tugging or rusting. How often you need to shave is completely up to you as this depends on how quickly your hair grows back.
Step 5: Rinse and pat your legs dry
This feels like a step that doesn’t need to be said but just in case that wasn’t clear, leaving shaving cream residue can clog up your pores and cause irritation. Rinse, ideally with cold water (if you can handle it) as this will close your pores back up.
Step 6: Moisturize
Shaving is another form of exfoliating so it is important to moisturize. Moisturize your legs with lotion or body oil to prevent red bumps from appearing.
After giving your legs some time to rest from shaving, slather some lotion or oil on your skin and spread it evenly. Et Voila! You’ve just shaved your legs like a pro!
Saw this how-to a bit too late? Here are some common side effects of shaving and how to treat them:
What causes it: Shaving too quickly, using an old razor, and shaving without a lubricant
If you’ve ever noticed red rashes after shaving, that’s razor burn. To soothe the warm feeling or itching, you can apply a cold soaked towel, place ice, or apply aloe vera on the affected area. To reduce inflammation, you can opt for witch hazel or a concoction of equal parts of tea tree oil and water.
What causes it: Clogged hair follicles from the lack of exfoliating, curly hair shaved too close causing it to curl back inward
If you’ve ever had painful red bumps after shaving, you’ve probably had ingrown hairs. If you are prone to getting ingrown hair, shave the same direction as your hair growth (downward instead of upward). Treat ingrowns by applying a retinoid cream to remove dead skin cells which allows the hair to come out. To prevent it, you should exfoliate beforehand.
Nicks and cuts
What causes it: Dry shaving, pressing too hard while shaving, rushed shaving, and using single bladed razors
Surely, everyone’s experienced this before. Instead of just placing a piece of tissue on the cut, applying eye drops can help constrict the vessels and stop the bleeding faster. Rumour has it that Vaseline and lip balm also help clot the wound. Simply place a small amount on the nick and you’re good to go.
Other hair removal techniques:
Waxing is great as it removes hair from the roots giving you more time between waxing treatments.
Depilatory creams are okay for those who have a low pain threshold but can sometimes be
irritating for those with sensitive skin.
IPL hair removal is great for dark, coarse hair as it provides a more permanent solution
Sheesh, the lengths women and men go to rid ourselves of unwanted hair! Still, shaving is the simplest, cheapest, and most accessible option to leg hair removal.
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