Shaving first became popular during World War II when nylon stockings were in short supply and bare legs became a trend that has yet to cease.
Today, women are increasingly turning to waxing and some are trying laser hair removal, however, shaving remains the least expensive form of hair removal. Here are 10 shaving tips and tricks to ensure you're doing it the right way and cutting down on the nicks and irritation so common to shaved skin.
1. The trick to shaving is to wet your skin and let it soften from the heat and moisture. You don't want to shave dry skin. Shaving is a natural exfoliator and you'll clog up the razor with dead skin while putting yourself at risk for nicks.
2. There's no need to waste your money on shaving creams formulated especially for women. They are virtually the same as the creams sold for men. (Now if you can just find a scent you can live with). My hands down favorite shaving cream works for both him and her.
3. You are going to have to experiment with razors until you find the perfect one for you. Ask your friends for recommendations and look for a razor with lubricated strips, pivoting heads and spring-mounted multiple blades. I've sampled several types and varieties and was amazed at how different each feels. Our favorite? The Gillette Venus razor. Another great and new bet: Schick Quattro for Women, which has four super-thin blades and a pivoting head.
4. Be sure to change razors or cartridges on a regular basis, a dull blade can lead to nicks. Also, it's best not to borrow your guy's razor. His hair is coarser and will dull a blade. (Plus, don't men typically hate it when women borrow razors?)
5. Be sure to exfoliate your skin before shaving. It gets rid of all the dead skin cells that could clog up your razor, preventing a close shave.
6. Since your leg hairs grow down, you'll want to start at your ankles and shave up. For your underarms, you'll need to shave in every direction since the hair there grows every which way.
7. When finished, apply oil or moisturizer. The skin on your legs has few oil glands and has a tendency for dryness.
8. Ingrown hairs are caused when the hairs curl back under the skin. Avoid ingrown hair by exfoliating daily and using a glycolic acid body lotion.
9. If you have a chronic case of ingrown hairs, try an over-the-counter lotion for ingrown hairs, applying it in the morning and at night. The bumps should disappear within a couple days.
10. Consider opting for waxing, at least on your legs. You'll find that if you have coarser hair, it won't grow back as fast.