We know that waxing can seem a bit daunting and a very painful prospect, which is why we’re going to teach you what there is to know about shaving, so that your first hair removal experience can be an easy, painless one.
When to start
There’s no real time to begin shaving, but generally, most young girls start shaving when there’s excess hair growth on their legs, arms, or underarms. It’s good to consult with your mother, older sister, or aunt before you go about it, though – they will give you a better idea about how to go about it safely, given their experience.
Which razor to use
If you’re starting out with shaving, it’s best to go with a razor that’s safe, effective, and woman-specific. Here are the types of razors you get in the market:
Electric razors – If you are going down the electric razor path, it’s best to find one that suits the contours of the female form. Some electric razors also dispense moisturisers, which makes the shaving experience smoother and more comfortable. However, if you’re starting out, avoid using an electric razor because it can irritate the skin. Using an electric razor is a good option if you’ve mastered the technique and know exactly how to use it – else, for your first shave, stick to simple razors.
Normal razors – When starting out, it’s best to use a good manual razor. The Gillette Venus razor is a good option. Specifically designed to suit a woman’s contours, Venus comes equipped with three blades mounted individually on an oval head, a moisturising strip, and an ergonomic rubber handle for a firm grip. It’s best to buy a shaving gel as well – like the Gillette Satin care shaving gel – to make the shaving experience as smooth as possible.
Disposable razors – While disposable razors are an option, they’re avoidable for a first shave and you will need copious amounts of shaving gel. Most disposable razors have only two blades, which means that you will require two strokes to remove a patch of fuzz; and when it comes to hair removal – the more blades on a razor, the better.
Amongst the three, a good, manual razor is best. Electric razors are inadvisable for first-timers and disposable razors aren’t as effective.
How to avoid nicks and cuts
When shaving, there is a slight risk factor of getting some nicks and cuts if you don’t shave the right way and take the necessary precaution. Here’s what you need to do in order to completely negate the possibility of bruises:
- Shave in a bathtub or warm shower. Warm water softens the hair and opens up the hair follicles, making shaving the hair easier. Tougher, non-hydrated hair is a lot more cumbersome to shave.
- Apply a good quality shaving gel on your fuzzy areas. Steer clear of soap as an alternative because it contains more air than moisture and thus doesn’t lubricate the skin enough for a smooth shave. Allow the shaving gel to soften your skin for about five minutes before you begin shaving.
- With the tougher parts of your skin (like the legs and hands), you can begin by shaving downwards, i.e. in the direction of the hair growth, and then proceed to shaving upwards, i.e. against the direction of hair growth. However, with more sensitive areas (like your underarms and bikini area), stick to shaving with the grain. While going against the grain does allow for a closer shave, it’s safer to start out by shaving with the grain as it prevents the chances of ingrown hair and razor burn.
- Don’t rush the shave. Shave slowly and gently, applying just enough pressure on the razor. If you press the razor down too hard on your skin, you might just get scraped. So, use a light touch when shaving and let the razor do its job.
- Replace your razors or cartridges periodically. After about three or four uses, the indicator strips on razors tend to fade. This is an indication that the razor isn’t going to be as effective and that the blades have started to become dull. A dull blade won’t give you a close enough shave and will also increase the likelihood of developing cuts. Most importantly though – never share razors and never borrow your brother’s or father’s for a shave.
- Exercise more caution on the curves of your body like the bends of the knee and bumps of the ankles. Because of their shape, they are more susceptible to cuts.
- Use short strokes on tighter areas like the knees and underarms and longer strokes on the legs and arms.
- After shaving, wash the skin thoroughly, dry it, and apply a soothing lotion or moisturise. Shaving gets rid of a layer of dry skin, so it’s important to moisturise after and retain the moisture to avoid red bumps appearing on the skin.
- Never slide the razor horizontally across the skin. Whatever you do and wherever you shave, use only vertical strokes.
Don’t believe all the shaving myths out there
There are a lot of shaving disbelievers who believe that shaving makes the hair grow back thicker, coarser, and faster, that the sharp edge caused by shaving the hair results in a rough stubble, and more.
There’s an explanation behind these myths and the others, all of which you can read here.
What to do about the bikini area
When it comes to your pubic area, the hair down under is a lot coarser and thicker than on other parts of your body. Before shaving, make sure you’ve followed the warm water and shaving gel instructions, as mentioned earlier. Like we said, the skin is very sensitive, so you must exercise a great deal of caution when shaving. Buy a razor only for your bikini area – don’t use the one you use on the other parts of your body because you don’t want to pick up infections Use short strokes when shaving and maintain a very light touch. Do not even attempt to shave horizontally because nicks and cuts on your pubic skin translate to quicker contraction of infections. Since the hair growth is denser, you may even need to go over a certain patch twice; but make sure you’ve got shaving gel serving a s a buffer underneath at all times. Once you’re done shaving, use a lotion (that has no traces of alcohol) to soother the area and continue wearing light cotton underwear while keeping the area well moisturised for the next 2-3 days. Tight underwear traps the skin and doesn’t let it breathe, leaving the skin dry after shaving – these are often the causes of itchiness and skin irritation.And there you have it. Now that we’ve provided you a complete guide, your first shave will be like a breeze. Smooth, soft, and silky skin with no pain whatsoever – this is a first you’re going to remember!