The excitement a young person shows towards the prospect of shaving shows just how much an attractive thing hairlessness is. As puberty starts and hair in unwanted places starts appearing, teens and preteens will be begin asking or requesting to be able to shave. In some cases, they won't even ask, but rather just grab the razor and explore the process of removing their own unwanted hair. At any age, whether an expert or a novice, knowing the do’s and don'ts of shaving can leave you with a more pleasant experience and even better outcome.
Do: The first step in a good shave will be to ensure the hair and skin is soft and warm. Using warm water will prevent goosebumps, and softening the skin will not only allow the razor to glide smoothly, preventing nicks and cuts, but soften the coarse hair. Some prefer to shave out of the shower, and if doing this, be sure to warm the skin by showering first in warm water and then applying a thin layer of hair conditioner or shaving cream to the desired area.
Don’t: Don’t shave in cold water or with no moisturizers. Shaving dry skin can cause painful pricks and uneven gliding of the blade.
Do: Use a clean, sharp razor. If the blade on the razor is dull or rusted, it can cause nicks and cuts. Keeping your razor in a dry place after rinsing it with water will prevent rust and bacteria. Using a clean razor between each series of scheduled strokes will prevent loose hair from repeated friction and pressure.
Don’t: Don’t use expired, dirty, or rusted blades. Not only can dirty blades cause infection, but also scratches and nicks.
Do: Use long, even strokes in the desired area. The skin around the neck, knees, and bikini line can be loose or wrinkled and will require you to gently pull the skin taut before shaving that area. Be mindful of the direction hair grows and shave with the grain of the hair.
Don’t: Don’t shave against the grain the first stroke. You may shave against the grain once after initially shaving with the grain if a closer shave is desired.
Do: Lastly, do be sure to wait 30 minutes before applying any topical lotions, deodorants, or aftershaves post shave. This allows the skin, which has not only had the hair cut but also been exfoliated by the blade, to rest and resist irritations.
Don’t: Don’t go swimming or enjoy a trip to get a pedicure the same day you shave. Be mindful of what activities you will do after shaving, since some environments like swimming can cause extreme irritation to the skin after shaving. Salt scrubs and other softening treatments at nail salons will be an irritant to the pores of the newly-shaven skin.
Shaving doesn't have to leave you frustrated and uncomfortable. The embarrassment of a toilet paper spotted face, or band-aid covered leg can leave any adult or teenager mortified. With these simple tips you can have a pleasant first experience or millionth one. Simple habits of moisturizing, having long even strokes with the grain, and using a fresh, clean blade will give you the smooth and hairless areas you always wanted.