How to Shave Your Legs

Four Methods:Disposable RazorElectric RazorWax On, Wax OffChemical Depilation

There are as many reasons for leg shaving as there are ways and means to do it. Maybe you just like your legs to be smooth. Or maybe you're a competitive cyclist looking for every aerodynamic edge. No matter what the reason, the fact remains that it's an awkward, clumsy process fraught with danger and contortions. The best way to shave your legs will depend on you—how much hair do you have, how quickly it grows, and how you were taught (if taught at all). If you need to know, we're here to help. Read on for detailed steps on how to get smooth, silky legs.

Method 1
Disposable Razor

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    Check your razor. Make sure it's clean, sharp, rust-free and undamaged. If you have very light hair, you can use the same blade repeatedly. If you have coarse hair, you may only get a few shaves out of a blade. If you're not sure, once you feel the blade pulling or catching when you shave, it's time to change.
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    Hop in the shower. Or bath—whatever makes you more comfortable. Do your normal washing routine before you shave. You want to let your hair and skin get wet for about two to four minutes, but not so long in hot water that your follicles start to swell up, inhibiting a close shave.
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    Have a seat. If you're showering, have a seat on the edge of the tub. If you're in the bath, prop a foot up on the wall. You want your leg bent so that you can easily reach your ankles.
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    Apply shaving cream or water-soluble skin cream. Try to find something that has moisturizers in it. The emollients help smooth the skin, and keeping it scent-free means you lower the risk of skin irritation. Using water-soluble skin cream may be kinder to your skin than traditional shaving cream; it also frees you from having to buy gender-based shaving supplies.
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    Start at your ankle. Begin at the bottom of your leg, and with long strokes upwards, shave the hair against the grain. Don't rush; this is not a race to the finish line. It's more important to make smooth, even strokes than a speedy chop. Rinse the razor frequently—clean hot water is best—to clean and unclog the blades, and to ensure that the blades are always wet.
    • Work your way up the leg and don't forget your inner and outer thighs. Don't forget to rinse the razor frequently. For some people, these areas don't require shaving, for some they do. Only shave hair you think is unsightly.
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    Shave your feet if you feel the hairs on your feet are unsightly. Carefully repeat the process on your feet—apply the cream, shave smoothly, and rinse. Shave the tops of your toes and the top of your foot. The skin on your foot is much thinner than the skin on your legs. Use caution accordingly.
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    Rinse off. After you've finished with one leg, rinse it off, and repeat the entire process on the other leg.
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    Checked for missed spots. Run the tips of your fingers over all the parts of your leg that require shaving. If you find any missed bits, shave those, then continue the inspection. When you're satisfied, all is well, rinse off, towel off, and enjoy your smooth legs.
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    Moisturize. Use an after-shave balm, oil, moisturizer, or medicinal embrocation to calm the skin, and reduce or eliminate the red bumps that sometimes occur with shaving.

Method 2
Electric Razor

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    Wash your legs. You want your hairs moisturized and stood upright, ready to be mowed down.
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    Make sure your shaver is nice and clean. Dirty shavers will not cut as well, and could pull hairs, leaving red marks along with several "ouchies" and expletives. Always use a clean shaver.
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    Press the shaver gently against your leg. Make sure all the heads touch your leg together. This will give you the closest shave with minimal wear.
    • You don't need to apply much pressure while shaving—with just a gentle touch, let the shaver glide along your skin. If you use too much pressure, you'll flatten the hair, which results in an uneven, stubbly shave. It will also make the blades dull quicker.
    • A gentle touch makes shaving easier and helps avoid possible skin irritation.
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    Hold the razor flat against your leg. Holding it at an angle could result in skin irritation and stubble.

Method 3
Wax On, Wax Off

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    Grow your hair. For waxing to work, there has to be enough hair on your legs for the wax to latch onto. Let your leg hair grow to at least 1/4 inch (1 cm) in length.
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    Exfoliate. A couple of days before you wax your legs, use a mildly abrasive body scrub to exfoliate them. Do this ahead of time to avoid possible skin irritation problems.
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    Powder your legs. Just before you wax, sprinkle talc or baby powder on your legs. The powder will absorb any oil on your skin, and the wax sticks more easily to the hair.
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    Warm it up. Heat the wax as directed by the manufacturer. Be sure not to overheat the wax—the resulting wax burns can be very painful.
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    Pull up a comfy chair. Have a seat on a surface that can be easily cleaned—waxing can be messy. Apply the wax carefully in a thin, uniform layer. Hold the applicator at a 90° angle, and apply the wax in the direction of hair growth. Don't forget the feet!
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    Pull! Make the skin taut with one hand, and remove the strip with the other. Pull the strip in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Pull quickly—the slower you pull, the longer the pain.
    • Keep your hand as close to the skin as possible when you're pulling. It'll be less painful that way. Remove all the wax.
    • Apply a damp cloth over your legs if needed, to soothe any irritation.
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    Remove all the residues of wax from the surface of your skin. Soak a cotton pad with a bit of body oil, and apply it on your legs.
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    Apply an antiseptic. After waxing, use a topical or spray-on antiseptic (containing salicylic acid) to disinfect the area, stop ingrown hairs from forming, and sooth irritation.

Method 4
Chemical Depilation

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    Make sure your skin is clean and free of blemishes and injury. The chemicals used will dissolve the keratin at the base of the hair shaft.
    • Having clean skin will make this easier as oils on the skin and hair will prevent the depilatory from working effectively.
    • Having unbroken skin will keep irritation at bay.
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    Soften the hair. Apply a warm washcloth to your legs to soften the hair. Moisten the hair for about three to five minutes. Dry your legs when done.
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    Apply the cream generously, covering all the hair that you would like to remove. Don't rub into the skin: the depilatory is designed to work without that.
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    Follow the instructions. Leave the depilatory cream on for as long as the instructions tell you. Don't leave depilatory cream for longer than the time specified—it could irritate, or even burn your skin.
    • Keep a timer handy so that you don't go over the limit. If your legs feel like they're burning before it's time to remove the cream, rinse it off.
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    Clean up. After you've finished, remove the product generally by scraping the residue with the plastic tool (if one is provided) and rinsing off whatever is left.
    • Use a damp washcloth in a downwards motion. This will clear away any straggling hair, and finish cleaning up your legs.
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    Avoid irritation. Try not to use harsh products or treatments after using a depilatory cream for a day or two.

Tips

  • Conditioner is a great replacement for shaving cream or gel because it moisturizes while you shave, so no need for lotion after.
  • Shaving your hair doesn’t make it grow any thicker or darker.
  • If you can't see the back of your legs while shaving, you can use a mirror.
  • Never share somebody else's razor. It may not be clean and can give you a rash or more severe infections.
  • Point your feet when you are shaving near your ankles.
  • If shaving is continually irritating when shaving against the grain, try shaving with the grain. You won't get as close a shave, but it will be less irritating.
  • If you have any insect bites on your legs, shave around them because it could make them bleed and leak.
  • Once you've been shaving for a while, a razor with built-in moisturizer bars is an excellent way to shave armpits and legs, minus the shave gel!
  • Use exfoliating gloves with some soap to help remove dead skin before shaving.
  • You can shave over scars if you run your razor over it very gently and slowly.. Use only disposable razors for this.
  • For a super close shave that will last a bit longer, follow the given directions for shaving in the shower, and then go over your legs again with an electric razor. It'll make your legs as soft as a baby!
  • If you want smooth legs but can't get to a shower or tub, try covering your legs with a thick coat of lotion and then shaving it off for a very smooth shave. Rinse out the lotion and hair from the razor in a cup of water or wipe it with a cloth.
  • The only difference between razors marketed for men and those marketed for women is in the design of the handle and the color.[1]

  • Don't actually shave your ankle when shaving because you're most likely going to cut yourself. Make sure you start above the ankle and take it slow.

Warnings

  • Do not shave dry.
  • Don't let other people use your razor.
  • Go around bruises and cuts, and use a light touch to avoid nicks and razor burns.
  • If you get razor burn, do not put scented lotion on it; it will sting.
  • Be light on the knees, ankles, toes, hips and other "bony" parts of your body to avoid cutting the top layer of skin.
  • Use an in-shower lotion after you shave. It applies moisture and makes your legs look great.
  • If you have sensitive skin, use a gentle soap instead of shaving gel to avoid irritation.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathtub or sink
  • Clean razor
  • Shaving gel, conditioner, cream, soap or a razor with shave gel bars
  • If you do not own any of the above (or want a cheaper option), you can use regular, drugstore conditioner instead
  • Lotion (to smooth your legs after you shave)

Article Info

Categories: Shaving