However, for many women, tolerating the pain and shelling out hefty sums of money just doesn’t seem worth it. As luck would have it, there is a viable alternative to waxing – and that’s shaving. While many women hesitate to tackle their hair down under with a razor, it’s quite easy and as effective as waxing if you’re careful enough and follow the steps below:
1. Invest in a good razor
Because your bikini area is more sensitive than most other parts of your body, you want to make sure that you pick up a razor that is designed to shave your hair down under. If you’re not fond of men’s razors and find that they don’t shave smoothly enough and cause friction, go to your local drugstore and pick up a Gillette Venus razor. This women’s razor is designed to suit the female contours of the body and comes with three blades mounted on a spring for a close, smooth, and nick-free shave. The razor is also fitted with protective cushioning and has an Aloe Vera and Vitamin E indicator strip that enhances lubrication, thus allowing for a comfortable, graze-free shave.
2. Begin by trimming your hair
While a razor will do the ultimate job, it is important for you to start by trimming your pubic hair using a pair of scissors. Conversely, bikini trimmers are also a good option if you’re well versed with using them. Trimming your hair will allow for a quicker shave, so make sure you take your time to trim your bikini hair, but avoid trimming the hair on your labia. If you have thick, curly hair, use a bikini trimmer to trim the hair before you begin the shaving process. For an efficient trim, tug your hair downwards and clip it in small sections. Don’t worry if it isn’t an even trim – just make sure you trim your hair till it is just a few centimetres long.
3. Treat yourself to a warm water bath or shower
Have a warm water shower or lay down in a bath tub with warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes. The warm water will soften the hair follicles and make the hair easier to shave during the first round. If you don’t want to bathe, lay a warm wet cloth on your bikini area for 5 to 10 minutes to clean it before commencing shaving. This will help you avoid irritation to your skin during the shave.
4. Gently exfoliate your skin
Once you’ve primed the area, it’s time to exfoliate the skin – it makes the skin softer and makes the hair pop up a little more, which makes it easier to remove the hair from the root. Avoid using anything too harsh and do not scrub too hard. A loofah sponge or a soft exfoliating mitt works well to align your hair in the same direction and remove extra dead skin that might make it harder to shave.
5. Apply a shaving gel or cream
It is important to use some sort of lubricant before shaving since it works as a buffer for the razor. If you don’t, your skin could develop red bumps or rashes, which are totally avoidable. Use a mildly scented or unscented shaving gel/cream; and if your skin is extra sensitive, it is best to test out the gel/cream on a small patch of your skin before applying it all over. A good option is the Gillette Satin Care shaving gel, which works well with the Gillette Venus razor.
6. Shave in the direction of hair growth and be gentle
Briefly wet your razor before you start shaving. The more blades the better, so the Gillette Venus razor with its three precision blades is ideal for shaving your bikini area. Shave with long, even strokes in the direction of your hair growth to avoid friction and get a smooth shave. If you shave against your hair growth, you could land up with ingrown hair. When shaving, make sure you don’t press down hard on the razor because increased pressure could result in irritation after. To get a closer shave, gently pull the skin above the mons pubis taut while shaving. Remember to constantly rinse the blades as soon as they get clogged with hair – clogged blades will not shave efficiently. Note: If the indicator strip of your Gillette Venus razor has faded, replace it with a new cartridge.
7. Reapply shaving gel/cream as and when needed
While shaving, if you feel resistance, it could be because your shaving gel/cream has washed off. There are two instances that necessitate reapplication: a) If the cream rinses off or b) if you’ve missed a spot while shaving and need to shave that particular area.
Once you’ve shaved your bikini area, rinsed it, and patted it dry, it is advisable to use an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturiser to soothe the skin and hair follicles that might be inflamed from the shaving. Avoid moisturisers with oil or sunscreen present in them since they are likely to clog your skin’s pores.
9. Wear cotton underwear
After you’ve shaved your bikini area, wear loose cotton underwear because it allows the skin down under to breathe. Tight underwear in a polyester fabric is not breathable and could increase chances of irritation. Since cotton is a soft, light fabric that doesn’t hug your skin too close, it helps reduce chances of ingrown hair.
10. Change your razor blade at regular intervals