Shaving Tips: An Introduction
There are many reasons for shaving your legs. Give your legs a smooth feel, whether the aim is personal grooming or an aerodynamic edge for a cycling competition. Get smooth silky legs that look perfect with these awesome shaving tips. But do remember that the best way to shave the legs depends on the quantity of hair, its quality, the quickness of growth and other such factors.
Making the choice to shave legs is a personal decision. Shaving leg hair does not make it grow back, even more, coarser and thicker. There are many aesthetic advantages of shaving legs. Besides this, men and women athletes such as cyclists and swimmers shave legs to improve performance. In fact, Livestrong notes that races, where sportspersons win by fractions of seconds, could have different results if sportspersons had eliminated hair weight! Some women even prefer shaving legs because of the smooth feel of the skin. Legs that are shaved are easier to moisturize and exfoliate. Hair won't come in the way of lotion absorption or warding off dead skin cells. Bodybuilders can even shave off leg hair to get a clean look. Hairless legs feel cleaner and tend to collect less dead skin cells. Women can find aesthetic benefits to shaving legs, but one of the biggest advantages is that it is a gentle method for removing hair, as opposed to waxing, which can be really painful.
Using a Razor
Check for A Good Blade
Ensure that the razor's blade is clean, undamaged and rust-free. It should be sharp as well. This depends on the volume of hair on your legs. If there is coarse hair, you will have to replace the blade faster. For fine hair, the same razor blade can be used again. Check and see if the blade is pulling or getting caught while shaving– this is a sign the blade needs to be replaced.
Wash Your Legs
Another good tip for using shaving blade to rid yourself of unwanted leg hair is that you need to let the hair (and your skin) be damp for a few minutes. How does this help? Hair follicles from which the strands grow become easier to shave. A normal wash before shaving can prove really beneficial. Don't opt for hot water because this can cause the follicles to become swollen and prevent a neat shave.
Another great tip is to not shave legs as you stand. In case you have a shower, take a seat on the tub's edge. In a bath, prop your legs up a wall. Either which way, you want your legs bent so the ankles can be easily reached.
Apply Shaving Cream
Don't neglect the shaving cream, and for best results, choose a skin cream that is water soluble and enriched with moisturizers. The emollient helps to smoothen the skin and keep it supple, ensuring that your skin does not become irritated. Using a water-soluble skin cream is even better, because shaving cream may not be enriched with nutrients for softer, smoother skin.
Always Start At Your Ankle
Work your way from the bottom of the leg and with long strokes, move upwards, shaving the hair in the direction opposite to the growth. Avoid speeding up the process and rinse the razor blade repeatedly to ensure the blade is moist and clean. Work your way up your inner or outer thighs. Decide how much hair you want to remove and opt for a clean, smooth shave. Remember that the skin on your foot is thinner as compared to the legs. Be cautious therefore and avoid excess pressure on this region. Use gentle, swift strokes.
Rinse and Check For Missed Spots
Once you have completed a single leg, rinse it off and repeat the process on the other side. Make sure you look out for missed spots. Continue inspecting your legs using the tips of your finger to see if your skin is smooth uniformly. Once your sense of touch alerts you to lack of hair, rinse off and dry your feet and legs.
Use a Moisturizer
Opting for an Electric Razor
Moisten the Hair
Before you opt for an electric razor, make sure to moisten the hair, This is because moisturized hair stands upright and can be easily mowed down.
Press the Shaver Against the Leg Gently
This ensures a smooth, close shave with minimal wear and tear. More pressure need not be applied and the shaver will move lightly against the leg. Using too much pressure flattens the hair and leaves stubs that dull the blade more quickly. A gently pressed shaver also prevents the skin from becoming irritated easily. Holding the razor flat against the leg is important. At an angle, you might injure yourself, irritate the skin or leave behind stubble.
Whether you are using an electric shaver or a razor, here are the tips to guide you through the process.
Exfoliation is a Must
Exfoliation is essential for getting the best shave. Exfoliate the skin before you shave. This reduces the dead skin cells which may otherwise interfere with the razor's ability to clean and shave effectively. It can also lead to cuts and a razor burn. Use a mild scrub or daily exfoliant for the best results.
Lather For A Good Shave
Whether you opt for water-soluble skin cream, hair conditioner or shave cream, it should be fine. But do ditch the soap. This is because soap dries the skin, while conditioner or cream smoothens the leg further and moisturizes it.
Check Out What Works For You
Much like any other beauty product, shaving cream comes in different brands and qualities. Skin that is dry or irritable means you don't have to use beauty products that contain alcohol or fragrance.
Longer Strokers Don't Translate into Better Shaving
To get the optimal results, shave in smaller strokes gently and make sure your razor is sharp to avoid cuts or stubs.
There is such a thing as a right razor too. Choose a razor that is rounded with a pivoting top and a soft grip handle.
Moisture is the Key To Easy Hair Removal
Legs need moisture to reduce chances of:
- In-growth of hair
Legs need sun protection factor lotion as well.
Use a Fresh Razor
For shaving your legs, you need a razor that is new. Why is this so? Because this minimizes the bumps and burns and avoid short strokes that can be jarring. Instead, smooth, short strokes work best.
Use moisturizers such as body butter and concentrate on the ankles and knees to keep them supple. Rub in a good amount and concentrate on keeping the skin soft and smooth.
Don't Shave Your Legs Immediately After Washing Them
Experts have advised that you should hang around in the bath/shower for 15 minutes before commencing the shaving. This softens and opens up the hair follicles, making it harder to avoid a smooth shave.
Perform The Shave At Night
This makes your legs smoother more easily. As the person sleeps, the legs swell slightly making the hair retreat back into the follicles.
Don't Use a Disposable Razor
Once in a while, a single-blade razor is fine. But for everyday use, it is better to opt for a 4 or 5 blade razor which gives the cleanest and smoothest look, navigating areas such as knees and ankles.
Replace Your Razor Blade Once In a While
Change your razor at the first indication of dullness. This is because an old blade can cause redness, trap bacterial pathogens and lead to bumps causing infections.
Shaving With a Male Razor is a No-No
A lot of ladies are under the misimpression that men's razors work better. The beauty experts, however, maintain that women razors work best.
Dos and Don'ts of Shaving Leg Hair
Shaving the legs to start with can be tough. But it is not so hard either if you follow simple rules. There's no correct time to start shaving the leg hair. Shaving is a personal choice and you can take this decision at any age or time in your life. But if you have reached the point where you start shaving, you need to focus on smoothening the skin. So here's what you need to watch out for.
#1 Exfoliate While Shaving
Exfoliating is excellent for removing dead skin cells. It also boosts skin brightness. It also fends off ingrown hair and prevents hair from being bent back over and trapped beneath the skin. This is the common issue individuals face post the shaving session.
#2 Use Shaving Foam/Gel
Another key point is that you need to use gel or foam for minimizing cuts and getting the smooth gliding sensation for the razor. If you have body wash, using gel or foam is the best idea. Don't opt for bar soaps.
#3 Shave With or Against The Direction of Hair Growth
A lot of hair care and hair removal experts say the shaving should be in the direction the hair grows, to prevent skin irritation. In the case of the calves, you need to start at the top and shave downwards. Shave against hair growth or in the same direction, and choose what works out best for you.
#4 Change Blades on a Regular Basis
Dull blades can lead to more cuts and a less than smooth skin, post the shaving session. Check if the razor is becoming dull. For this, watch if the hair is getting caught in the blade. If one cannot tell, the aim should be to change the blade for 5 or 10 shaves.
#5 Always Be Gentle
You need to press the skin while waxing. It's not like that for shaving. In fact, avoid pressing the skin hard to remove the hair. It can lead to razor burns or skin cuts. So, make sure the blade glides smoothly on the skin or you can face a problem at a later date.
#6 Dry Shave Should Be Avoided
Another no-no is dry shaving. No matter how much you want to remove that hair without messy gel, remember there are no shortcuts to this. Stubble or hair removal through a dry shave will leave your skin blotchy and irritated. So, make sure you use water and gel/foam. If in a rush, make sure you wet your legs before applying shaving gel.
#7 Don't Use Scented Body Lotions
Bath and Body Works may be enticing and fragrant, but if you want to avert a disaster, avoid using such scented body lotions post a shaving session. Perfume in the lotion irritates the skin and leads to rashes and redness.
#8 Don't Shave Each Day
Freshly shaved skin is awesome and smooth. But shaving skin too frequently every day can cause the skin to itch and become uncomfortable.
#9 Don't Shave at the Start of a Shower
Another strict rule to follow is to not shave near the close of the shower, as this gives hair more time to soften under warm water, resulting in smoother, closer shaves.
#10 Avoid Feeling Pressurised To Shave
Another thing you need to remember is that hair removal is desirable but always do what you feel comfortable about. After all, it's your body.
Frequently Asked Questions/FAQs
Can legs be shaved with tanning lotion on?
Those planning on trying out tanning lotions should never shave simultaneously while the lotion is on. Aim to shave the legs a day prior to this. Waiting in a day lowers the chance of tanning lotions causing skin irritation. If the skin is shaved after the lotion is applied, the tanner could end up being removed, resulting in splotchy skin.
How long should skin be shaved after?
When one shaves, it is essential to remove hair right at the tip. But this also means hair can grow back quickly, depending on the person. For keeping legs smooth, shave every two to three days. If you have smooth legs despite waiting between shaves for a longer period of time, more power to you.
Why do runners shave leg hair off?
While regular individuals opt for shaving for aesthetic reasons, a sportsperson or athlete does it to improve their body's aerodynamics and reduce hair weight. This can lead to an increased speed of movement in performance sports like running, cycling and swimming.
Does shaving help the skin?
There is no issue with shaving legs, but you need to watch out for irritation and cuts. Once a few tries are in place, you will soon discover what works for you. Be sure to use gel or shaving foam. For those who want to avoid the razor, removal of hair can be attempted using depilatory creams and waxing. But for a gentle solution, look no further than shaving.
These are just a few of the tips you can opt for while shaving your legs, and if you don't want the bother of waxing or depilatory creams. Choose a good razor, lather, shave, rinse and repeat. The results will leave you more than satisfied with the end outcome.