Last updated on August 15th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
One of the quickest ways to remove leg hair would be using the razor.
It’s cheap and fast when you compare it to waxing and using an epilator.
Unfortunately lots of women (and men) don’t know how to properly use a razor and end up cutting themselves instead of removing hair.
In this article we’ll be looking at tips to make the most out of your razor and mistakes to avoid.
Pros and cons of using a razor on your legs
Remember that a razor isn’t the most efficient tool in removing hair off legs.
That distinction goes to the epilator since it plucks hair. But one big advantage of using a razor would be the speed.
If you’re in a hurry for example you have a date coming over or you’re going to the beach the next day, a razor will come in handy since it’s widely available.
It also has a shallower learning curve since cartridge razors like the Venus have pivoting heads that make it almost idiot proof.
One big disadvantage of a razor would be the frequency of which you need to use. Since it only cuts surface hair, you’ll have to shave again after a few days.
If you want longer lasting results then you should consider epilating or waxing. The latter two will have results that’ll last for at least a month or two with epilators being cheaper.
Always use a sharp razor
To get the most comfortable and closest shave, make sure to use a sharp razor. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one blade disposable or a five blade cartridge, the blade has to be sharp.
Not using a sharp blade will result in irritation, tugging and razor burn.
Worst part is, it could be a source of infection if there is an open wound because most dull razors are dirty.
Prep and Exfoliate
Preparation is probably the most important step before shaving because there will be lots of contaminants on the leg.
If you don’t remove dirt, dead skin and oily residue, blades will clog and reduce the effectiveness of the razor.
Women have different opinions on prepping and exfoliating.
Some would go as far as taking a hot shower. Others just wash their legs and use an exfoliating glove or sponge to remove any dead skin.
It doesn’t matter how you prep, as long as you clean dirt, dead skin and all contaminants that will be enough. Doing this gives the blade direct access to cut hair follicles.
Hot water also helps soften up hair and easier to cut.
Use shaving cream
Shaving creams adds that layer of protection and lubrication between skin and blade. It minimizes friction thus lowering the risk of nicks and cuts.
If you’ve got sensitive skin on the legs, using shaving cream is a must.
The default option of most would be aerosol spray shaving gels like Barbasol but a better option in my option would be using something with natural ingredients.
One great option for women is the Cremo French Lavender Moisturizing cream for women.
It contains natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and Papaya extract that will nourish, moisturize and protect skin from the rigors of shaving.
Aerosol spray gels contain propellants and alcohol that could potentially dry out skin.
Using a men’s product isn’t also the best option because a woman’s skin is much different than men.
Go against the grain
To get a really close shave, go against the grain. On your legs, that means shaving upwards against the direction of hair growth.
If you have sensitive skin, try going against the grain in small sections and see how the skin reacts.
But generally, unless your skin is really sensitive, going against the grain is safe.
Let the blade do the work
Avoid putting weight on the razor and let the blade do the work for you.
As you shave make sure to pull the skin tout and let the razor glide over your skin.
Pushing too hard increases risk of cutting and nicks and you don’t want that.
Use short strokes on the ankle and Achilles heel
One of the toughest areas to shave would be the boney ankle part and Achilles heel were there are a lot of folds. One way to safely shave hair from these areas is to use short strokes.
Using a long stroke increases risk of cutting the skin on these areas.
If you’re struggling with these areas, you can do it last so you don’t fall into the trap of shaving it like the other parts of the leg.
Rinse the razor
Make sure to rinse the razor on a tub of warm water to remove excess hair, shaving cream residue and dead skin cells from the blades. This ensures that the blade (or blades) don’t clog up and potentially irritate skin.
Rinse your legs
After you’re done shaving make sure to rinse your legs thoroughly to remove excess residue.
After rinsing double check to see you need to retouch on some areas that still have hair.
If everything is clear, move to the next step.
Pat dry and moisturize
Post shave is equally important as pre-shave. Get a clean towel and pat dry your legs.
Don’t drag the towel on the skin as it can irritate it.
If there are nicks or cuts, apply some witch hazel to stop the bleeding then apply moisturizing cream to protect skin from infection and nourish it.
Clean the razor
Cartridge razors are expensive and you want it to last as long as possible. One way to do that is to dry it after shaving using a towel lightly soaked in alcohol.
This will help dry the razor and disinfect it at the same time with the alcohol. Just be careful not to touch the blades with your fingers.
Have some styptic pencil n handy just in case
Part of the risk of shaving is the occasional nicks and cuts.
Styptic pencil will come in handy to stop the bleeding (in small cuts).
It contains potassium alum that’s really effective in stopping bleeding at its tracks.
Take note that a styptic pencil is considered a man’s product but it’s cheap and may come in handy just in case.
Some mistakes to avoid shaving your legs
1. Using soap instead of shaving cream
Soap doesn’t cut it as a replacement to shaving cream because it does not provide enough lubrication (if any).
It actually does the opposite, instead of adding a protective layer of lubrication, soap remove the skin’s natural oils because it is formulated to clean skin.
2. Shaving as soon as you get inside the shower
If shaving in the shower is your thing then do not shave immediately. Instead wait until you finish taking a hot bath to allow hot water to open up pores and soften hair follicles.
Hydrated hair follicles are easier to cut closer. Whitney Bowe M.D. says that shaving towards the end of the shower makes it less likely to feel new stubble later on.
3. Putting too much pressure
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that putting more pressure will allow the razor to shave closer. Actually it’s the opposite that’s happening.
The harder to push, the more uneven the skin’s surface becomes increasing risk of cuts.
This also reduces the efficiency of the razor because it isn’t cutting hair evenly.
4. Not taking your time
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes one can make. Rushing through the shaving process can only mean bad things = nicks and cuts.
Once you cut yourself, the bleeding doesn’t immediately stop and you’ll end up spending more time trying to stop the bleeding rather than shaving slowly in the first place.
5. Doing it first thing in the morning
Doing it first thing in the morning increases risk of cuts because you’ll be in a hurry
Shaving at night gives the skin time to heal and your legs will look better.
6. Not treating razor burn and bumps immediately
Sometimes shaving can cause ingrown hair and razor burn.
One way to prevent it is using an exfoliating scrub to remove trapped hair follicles.
Do this twice a week or one day before shaving.
For razor bumps, one great way of treating it would be using a warm compress to sooth and relax hair.
Apply lotion post shave to nourish and moisturize skin.
To wrap up
Following these tips and avoiding the mistakes will go a long way in getting smooth, hair free legs.
Even if this isn’t the best way to remove hair, learning it won’t be as hard and not as expensive as other methods like waxing.
If you have any additional tips, I’d like to hear your thoughts below. Another way of removing hair would be using an epilator to pluck hair instead of cutting it.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.