My Best Tips For The Smoothest Shave

I've been shaving for years, it's quick, convenient, no it doesn't increase growth or make hair thicker and if done properly doesn't cause trouble. The key word being properly. So, how do you shave properly? Here are my top tips to get the best and smoothest shave ever! 🪒✨⠀

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1. Use a clean sharp blade⠀
Always use a clean sharp blade. A dull blade increases the chances of scratches, razor burn, ingrown hairs & irritated skin.  it can also cause more nicks & cuts. 

How do you know that the blade has become dull? You will feel that the razor is pulling at your hair, it might feel rough on the skin when you are trying to glide it & you might notice post-shaving irritation & bumps. Time to replace the cartridge if you see & feel any of these.

2. Exfoliate the day before⠀
Normally I have seen people recommend exfoliate right before shaving. However, in my humble opinion that it is a little bit too much. You see shaving in itself also exfoliates the skin. So using a scrub first & then using a razor on freshly scrubbed skin can often lead to irritation. 

I like and would advise you to scrub a day before. You can use a physical scrub, a loofah, bath gloves...whatever you like. Exfoliating removes the dead skin, will also help some ingrown hair come to the surface & will help the razor glide better the next day. 

3. Use a lubricating medium⠀
I cannot stress this enough - Do not dry shave! A shaving gel or a hydrating/cream body wash lets the razor glide across the skin more easily. It also leaves tracks that help you see where you have run the razor. So you avoid missing any spots & also avoid going over 1 area again. 

I like using my husband's shaving gel, usually, it's the Nivea Sensitive one (psst....it doesn't have to be one specifically for women, don't fall for that gimmick) or the Loccitane Almond Shower Oil. Hair conditioner also works sometimes, provided you don't have sensitive skin. 

4. Shave towards the end of your shower⠀
Trust me, this makes a good difference. If you shave towards the end of your shower/bath then the hair gets some time to soak up the water which softens it & makes it easier to cut. Usually, 3-5 minutes is enough. Try it once and see if it makes things easier.

5. Use long steady strokes
Make sure to have a good grip on the handle so that it doesn't slip. 

For the legs, long upward strokes work best. For the underarms shave in all directions since the hair grows in all directions. Be especially careful around bony areas (ankles, knees & elbows) & go slow. Flex the knee & elbow so that the skin is taut when shaving these areas, don't shave over loose skin. ⠀

6. Don't press hard & avoid going over an area multiple times to minimize irritation.⠀
If you are using a clean sharp blade, it will be able to cut the hair smoothly with minimum pressure. It will also be able to cut the hair in an area in 1-2 swipes. So keep a light hand. Going over 1 area multiple times means that the blade is dull and it will only increase the chance of irritation. 

7. Keep rinsing the blade with every 1-2 strokes to wash away the residue & cut hair.⠀
This is pretty much self-explanatory. Keep the blade clean, so that it can continue to perform efficiently. You can use a tumbler with water & a little bit of antiseptic liquid (Dettol) mixed in and use it to wash the blade while shaving....yes, traditional barber style :D Or if you are shaving while showering, then use the running water. 

8. Wash off with lukewarm or cold water. Avoid hot water. ⠀
Using very hot water to rinse freshly shaved skin will most likely cause irritation. The skin is slightly sensitive post-shaving, so take care and use lukewarm or cold water.

9. Pat dry gently. ⠀
It is a normal tendency to take a towel and rub it on the skin to dry off, but avoid doing that. Pat dry gently.

10. Moisturize⠀
Always moisturize the skin post-shaving to soothe it & keep it hydrated. I prefer using aloe vera gel first to soothe the skin and then going in with a body lotion if need be - something that isn't highly fragranced like my well-loved Neutrogena one. I find that using a very perfume-y lotion immediately post shaving always causes some irritation, for me.

11. Clean, dry & store your razor properly. ⠀
Rinse the razor thoroughly between the blades & behind the cartridge, let it air dry & store it in a dry place. It is not only hygienic but also prolongs the life of the blade. 

12. Wear loose breathable clothes after. ⠀
Don't wear tight clothes in fabrics that are not breathable (polyester, nylon etc). This reduces friction and minimizes post-shaving irritation & bumps. Stick to looser garments made of cotton, linen (natural fibers).

Bonus tips:

 * Try a razor with a flexible head, it adapts to the body contours easily which decreases the chances of nicks & cuts. 

I find that men's razors are way better in this area compared to ones made especially for women. Compare once and you will see that I am right. Take Gillette for example, in India they have better razors & more variety for men than for women. They do have more options outside, but the brand doesn't launch them in India. So, I use a men's razor. 

 * Try to avoid long periods of sun exposure on freshly shaved skin. Wear adequate sunscreen if you are going out and the skin is exposed. 

 * Give a gap of 1-2 days post-shaving and exfoliate the skin again. And again after a 1-2 days. This will help with reducing ingrown hairs. Alternatively, you can use a chemical exfoliant too, if it works for you. 

I hope these tips help you. I have been shaving for many years and they all are tips I swear by. If you have any more hacks or advice then please do add in the comments below and it will help everyone :)

xoxo,
Swati

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