Shaving body hair has become a common practice after the outbreak of COVID-19, as visits to the beauty salon/parlor have become rare and best avoided in most cases. With social distancing becoming the new norm, getting waxing done by a beautician has become risky, despite all the safety measures undertaken by these establishments.
For years, there has been a war about shaving versus waxing. There are various myths about shaving body hair, especially by women. In this article, we intend to bust those myths for you, as well as teach you the correct way to shave body hair so that you don't experience razor bumps, ingrown hair, etc.
Here are a few key steps to follow while shaving body hair:
Exfoliate your skin before you begin
Exfoliation with the help of a suitable body scrub helps gently scrub away any buildup on your skin, which includes dirt, grime & dead skin. This ensures a smooth and easy shave.
Gently scrub your body using either a store-bought body scrub, or a homemade one. You can use body scrubs that contain ingredients such as oatmeal, coffee, walnut, orange peel powder, etc.
Use a suitable shaving cream instead of soap
Shaving creams/foams are known to soften the hair and enable the razor to glide smoothly. This is important especially while navigating over contours such as the knees, elbows, etc. where chances of you getting hurt are higher.
Choose a natural shaving cream with skin-soothing ingredients, such as neem & turmeric, which heal & protect your skin against abrasion as well as cuts. You won't need to follow up with an after-shave or astringent, as this cream will heal cuts/wounds (if any) and prevent wounds from getting septic.
Choosing the correct razor for women
Various types of razors are available online as well as at medical stores. They are made keeping in mind the difference between the body/facial hair of men & women. Hence, men's razors are made very differently as compared to women's razors.
Even in case of women's razors, there are different razors for facial hair, eyebrows, intimate areas, and the rest of the body. Choose them based on where you intend to use them.
A razor with 4-5 blades and with a moisture strip, such as aloe vera, coconut, etc., is best suited for the body, as it provides extra lubrication and runs smoothly over the body. Also, women's razors are made with flexible heads, which navigate easily over curves.
Shave downwards/in the direction of hair growth
If you shave in the opposite direction, you risk developing razor bumps and encourage the growth of hard & thick hair, as well as ingrown hair.
Women's body hair is much softer and thinner as compared to that of men. Hence, firm yet gentle strokes with the razor in the direction of hair growth is sufficient. It will ensure that your skin stays smooth and free from unevenness.
Moisturize post shaving
Post shaving, apply moisturizing lotion, especially a one that contains aloe vera gel & other skin-nourishing ingredients. This will prevent dryness and ensure that your skin stays soft. It is also very soothing for the skin.
Now that we know the correct way to shave, let's take a look at some of the commonly asked questions regarding shaving body hair, especially by women.
Can shaving increase hair growth?
The answer is no. Shaving doesn't increase the growth rate, thickness or darken hair in any way. However, when it grows back, it grows with a blunt tip that seems stubby or coarse, so you might think so. However, that's not the case. It is a myth. Since it grows back differently as compared to when you wax, you may be tempted to think so.
Why does shaving hair make it thicker?
As mentioned earlier in this article, shaving doesn't make hair thicker. This is just a myth. Shaving cuts off the hair from the surface and doesn't remove it from the roots. Due to this, it might appear coarse while it grows back, but its thickness doesn't increase.
How often should we shave?
There's no hard & fast rule for how often you can or should shave. It depends upon the look you wish to achieve. In case of body hair, for a clean shaven look, you can shave with a gap of 3-4 days.
Also, it is important to remember that you take off a layer of skin cells each time you shave, so you should ideally avoid shaving every day. Also, follow the best shaving practices as mentioned in this article.
Does shaving body hair cause ingrown hair?
Ingrown hair can be caused by not only shaving, but also other hair removal methods. It is the tendency of the tip of the hair to get trapped into the surface of the skin. It can cause infection, pain, inflammation & tiny bumps on the skin.
So, shaving is not the only culprit. However, if you have developed ingrown hair, it is a good idea to avoid hair removal for few days. Gently apply a hot compress to the area where you have developed ingrown hair with a hot towel 2-3 times a day. Also, gently pluck out the hair with a pair of tweezers and apply an anti-inflammation cream on the area.
You can shave hair in the area once it heals completely.
How to prevent ingrown hair when shaving?
Exfoliating your skin goes a long way in preventing ingrown hair due to shaving or any form of hair removal. It removes the dead cells on the skin, which can trap hair and make them grow inwards.
Also, follow suitable skin cleansing. Wash the area to shave thoroughly.
Last but not the least, use warm water while shaving. The best way is to shave immediately after a hot shower. Heat opens the pores, which makes it easier to get rid of unwanted hair safely.
So we can see that shaving body isn't all that bad! It's a good and safe option, especially during the pandemic. It removes our dependence on beauticians & beauty salons/parlors.
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Last but not the least, stay safe & stay beautiful!