8 Easy Ways To Be Better At Shaving Your Legs

What is there left to say about shaving your legs? It’s terrible. It is a moderate-to-severe inconvenience during the otherwise enjoyable process of showering that often leads to nicks and scratches and does not even last that long and grows back the next day and makes it so that you have to repeat the process over and over and over again, until you die, or shell out $599.99 for a laser hair removal series on Groupon. Plus, it’s wasteful–one time, when I was in seventh grade, my friend asked me if I used disposable razors to shave my legs. I said yes, and she got really close to my face and whispered, “Did you know that millions of razors get dug into the earth every single day? How does that make you feel about your disposable razors now?” Thinking on it now, I do not think that this is quite correct, statistically, but it stuck with me and and to this day I feel a pang of guilt whenever I submit to the demands of the patriarchy or whatever and shave my legs.

Anyway. The point here is that shaving your legs is awful in many regards and it would be more comfortable if all of us, as a society, decided to stop doing it altogether. Still, though, for what it’s worth–or “FWIW,” as we like to say on the ‘net–if you’re going to choose to do it, you might as well do it the right way. So, check out these easy ways to be better at shaving your legs:

Exfoliate Beforehand

I know. This is an extra step, which means extra time spent shaving your legs, which means that you absolutely do not want to do it. But it is so worth it--exfoliating before you shave sloughs off dead skin cells that can make your razor grow duller faster, and helps make the shave closer so it lasts longer.  Plus, if you've ever had trouble shaving your knees--an area I often inadvertently miss, since the skin there is so rough--exfoliating makes them softer and and easier to shave. So, basically, pre-shave exfoliation is an investment. A good investment. So you should do it.

Image source: iStock

Soak A Little Before Shaving

Obviously, you don't always have time to, like, soak your legs for fifteens minute before you shave. But, if possible, wait to shave towards the end of your shower rather than right at the beginning. This opens up your follicles and softens your hair, which makes hair removal much easier.

Image source: iStock

Never Shave Dry

If you've ever shaved dry--that is, without any shaving cream or shower gel, just straight razor-skin action--you'll know that it's one of the worst things that can happen, possibly ever. So, it should go without saying, but I will say it anyway: do not shave dry. This can lead to major irritation, cuts, and razor burn--plus, it doesn't really do much in terms of actually getting rid of the hair on your legs, since your razor can't really do much on its own. In a pinch? Try out some of these natural shaving cream alternatives.

Image source: iStock

Take Small Strokes, Not Long Ones

When shaving, your initial instinct might be to take long strokes, so you can cover more area at once and get it done faster. But this actually leads to a bunch of missed spots, since your razor gets clogged with hair through the process. So, you should actually be taking smaller, gentle strokes (and rinsing your razor between each one), as this makes it easier to ensure that you're getting each section.

Image source: iStock

Replace Your Razor Regularly

If you're anything like me, your razor might get replaced once every six weeks (and that's a generous estimate). But shaving with a dull razor is not only pretty ineffective, it can also lead to more cuts, redness, bumps, and overall irritation when you shave. If possible, try to replace your razor as soon as it gets dull, which is usually between every five to ten shaves.

Image source: iStock

Use A Razor With Multiple Blades

Don't expect a disposable, single-blade razor and a five-blade razor with moisturizing strips to give you the same results. Obviously, using a single-blade razor is fine from time to time, but for a more effective shave, use one with at least three blades. This makes your legs stay smoother for longer and reduces your chances of cuts and irritation, too.

Image source: iStock

For Your Smoothest Legs, Shave At Night

If possible, try shaving your legs before you go to bed--when you sleep, your legs swell a little bit, which makes it swallow your hair follicles and makes them seem smaller. When you do it in the morning, it'll seem like all of your hair has grown back by the end of the day.

Image source: iStock

Do NOT Exfoliate Afterwards

I mean, you can exfoliate afterwards. You won't, like, die. It'll just majorly irritate your legs, since the freshly-shorn skin is more sensitive than usual. Instead, follow a shave with some moisturizing lotion.

Image source: iStock

Do you shave your legs? Do you have any good tips? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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