In recent years, female body hair has become less stigmatised, and more women are experimenting with their grooming routine. Whether you remove all your body hair, just your legs, or none of it, it’s a personal choice and not a requirement for all women.
However, if you want to shave your legs, ensure you’re doing it the right way to avoid skin irritation and missed hairs. If shaving your legs causes red bumps, cuts, a shaving rash, you’re probably making some common mistakes.
To achieve the best results, here are the dos and don’ts for shaving your legs:
A wet or dry shave?
Do: Hydrate your skin with warm water before shaving as this will open the skin’s pores, soften and loosen hair, and remove oil. Ideally, shave your legs in the shower or bath after soaking for between three and five minutes.
Don’t: Shave when your skin is dry, as this can lead to skin irritation, cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hairs. Don’t shave your legs as soon as you jump into the shower, either, as you need to give your hair and skin time to soften.
Exfoliate the skin
Do: Prepare your skin to help you achieve a clean shave by exfoliating the legs to remove dead skin cells and dirt.
Don’t: Exfoliate straight after shaving as this can irritate the skin.
Can you use shampoo instead of shaving gel?
Do: Lather shaving cream or gel on your legs to prevent shaving bumps and make it easier to glide the razor across your skin.
Don’t: Use shampoo or shower gel instead of shaving cream as this can cause redness, irritation, and blunt razor blades. A bar of soap won’t create enough lubrication either and can increase the risk of cuts.
Sharp vs blunt razor blades
Do: Change your razor blades around every two weeks or when the blades are dull or damaged. If your blades pull at your hair or feel rough against your skin, it’s time to replace the blades.
Don’t: Use blunt razor blades as this makes it hard to get a smooth shave. It can also cause bumps, redness, and trap bacteria which can lead to infections.
How much pressure to apply?
Do: Lightly glide the razor across the area with gentle strokes.
Don’t: Going in too hard can increase razor bumps. If you have to use firm pressure to achieve a close shave, it might be time to change the blade.
Shaving the knees
Do: Bend your leg to help you shave the front of the knee cap. Then carefully and lightly glide the razor across the knees, taking small strokes.
Also, use an appropriate razor for this task. The English Shaving Company offer a range of double edge safety razors, including lightweight razors with long handles and enhanced grip, to make shaving hard-to-reach areas, such as the knees, easier and more controlled.
Don’t: Shave the knees quickly as this can cause cuts and stray hairs.
Avoid debris build-up in blades
Do: Rinse the blades after each glide when shaving to wash away shaving gel residue and body hair.
Don’t: Don’t tap the razor against the shower or bath as this can damage the razor.
Shave against or with the grain?
Do: Shave in the direction that your hair grows will minimise skin irritation.
Don’t: Shave up your leg straight away or at all if you have sensitive skin, as this can cause razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Maybe: follow the direction of hair growth first and then shave against the direction of hair growth for a closer shave. There are disagreements regarding this step.
Some believe shaving upwards is fine once you’ve shaved down the leg, as the hair is shorter, and the skin is softer, reducing irritation. Whereas others think it should be completely avoided to mitigate cuts and bumps.
Try not to shave areas multiple times, and if you do, go over it more than once, reapply shaving cream to minimise irritation.
Do: Rinse your skin with cold water after shaving to help close the pores. Pat your skin dry with a towel, and then apply moisturising lotion or oil to prevent shaving rash, avoid uncomfortable hair regrowth, and keep your skin soft.
Don’t: forget to moisturise your legs after shaving, as this can lead to itchiness and dryness.
Storing the razor
Do: Store your razor in a dry space in an upright position.
Don’t: Leave your razor in the shower as it can develop bacterial growth when left in a damp environment and lead to an infection.
Whether you shave your legs regularly or occasionally, follow these tips for smooth and soft skin. However, take a break in between shaves every other day to avoid irritation.