When it’s time to say buh-bye to leg hair, chances are you hack away with your razor in all different directions not paying close attention because you just want to get it over with (just me?). Consider this your eye-opening, clouds-parting moment: There actually is a right (and a wrong) way to shave, and it’s prime time to sharpen up on the subject.
First of all, you shouldn’t be using an old razor that’s been sitting in your shower for months. “Blades last 1 to 2 months, depending on how frequently you shave,” says Adam Boulding, scientific communications manager at Gilette Venus. “When blades are at their best, you’ll experience a more comfortable shave and have less drag and irritation.” Boulding adds that it’s key to store your razor in a dry place and rinse the blades under the tap to clean them after each use to ensure they last longer.
The biggest mistake, when shaving your legs, is to apply a lot of pressure. “This can cause the skin to become irritated and cause discomfort, nicks, and cuts,” Boulding says. In other words: You’re going for that classic vision of a woman shaving with shaving cream piled on her legs that you always see in movies.
The 3 key rules of shaving? Right this way…
1. Hydrate your hair
“Warm, steamy water will hydrate the hair and make it swell and soften,” says Boulding. “In this state, it’s easier and more comfortable to cut.”
2. Use a shaving gel or cream
Boulding notes that this also softens and hydrates the hair (dry shaving is not an enjoyable experience). “As an added bonus, this allows you to see if you’ve missed a spot,” Boulding says. If you don’t have a shave gel or cream, you can even use coconut oil (what can’t that be used for?).
3. Look for a sharp, multi-blade razor
You always want to go with the grain of the hair when shaving, and the more blades the better. “A razor with 5 blades is best,” advises Boulding. “More blades means less pressure is applied from the razor into the skin—making the shave less irritating.”
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