Getting Smooth Survival Guide: 5 Tricks To Make You A Better Shaver

Summer is just around the corner! Hair removal season has begun! In our “Getting Smooth Survival Guide,” we’ll be testing out various ways to defuzz your body parts, if defuzzing is something you choose to do. (No judgement if you’re happily rocking body hair. Do you, girl.) 

I started shaving when I was 11. I’m from eastern European stock. We’re hairy. Anyhow, my mom gave me a basic lesson. Water, shaving cream, razor, try not to cut yourself. That was it. I guess I thought I’d get better at it, according to the Outliers principle. Nope. More than 20 years have passed and I still manage to leave my house each day with hairy kneecaps and little red bumps. How? “Silky smooth” is still an elusive concept to me. Maybe others of you have the same problem. In my mind, the rest of womankind has figured the whole shaving thing out and I’m the last woman denied entry to the silky smooth club. But, like anything that I intend to get better at, all that’s required is hard work and perseverance. I’m not sure how I can work harder at shaving, but I have asked around, trolled the interweb, and rounded up a few tips and tricks that will make shaving easier for me (and maybe you). Please, don’t make fun of me if you already knew these things. It just means you are a shaving goddesses. I bow down to you and your silky smooth legs.

1. Shave in the middle or at the end of your shower. I don’t know why this never occurred to me. But it makes perfect sense. You are supposed to wait until the hair follicles have loosened up a bit in the heat. Natch, I have been shaving at the beginning of my shower because I like to get it over with. Time to switch up the shower routine.

2. Shave in the opposite direction of the hair growth. I have definitely been screwing this up, especially in the knee region. The word is that you have to feel which direction the hair is growing and shave in the opposite direction. This doesn’t just mean dragging the razor from your ankle all the way up to your thigh like I do. Experts say you should bend and unbend your leg to make sure you are getting all that funky knee and behind-the-knee hair. Sigh. This sounds like a lot of work. But now I’ve committed myself.

3. Change your razors more often. And speaking of dragging the razor from my ankle to my thigh. Ahem. That razor has been with me for a while. I’m not going to say how long for fear of harsh judgement. The consensus is that you should change your disposable razor or blade after five to ten uses. I’m not even in the ball park of that. Note to self: Buy razors in bulk.

4. Check your shaving cream ingredients and lotions. So I have been using shaving cream and moisturizing after the shower, but I did not know that I should be checking the ingredients in my products. Anything with alcohol in it will dry out your skin. The best thing to put on your legs right after shaving is oil. If you are sensitive and get razor burn easily, you should avoid shaving creams or moisturizers with fragrances. A couple of sites I consulted recommended using a gel shaving cream because it foams up thicker and allows you to see where you’ve shaved. This is good for people who tend to miss spots. Me!

5. Exfoliate. The whole exfoliation process confounds me, so instead of figuring it out, I’ve just skipped it. Apparently you are supposed to exfoliate your legs before you shave them. Why? Because the dead skin cells can clog your razor and prevent you from getting a close shave. Also, this can help with ingrown hairs or bumps. You can use a loofah, washcloth, dry brush, exfoliating gloves or body scrub to prep your legs for shave time. So good to know after 20 years.

Expert shavers, please add your wisdom in the comments for those of us who need help.