This Is How Often You Should Actually Be Shaving Your Legs
Ah, shaving your legs.
Easily the most annoying shower task (along with washing and blow drying hair) that has the sweetest result, right? During these peak summer months, you probably want to reach for your razor more often, but you might want to think twice before shaving on the regular.
Believe it or not, there are some loose rules to keep in mind when shaving your legs. Besides the obvious (shaving in the shower or bath with warm water, and using a hydrating lubricant), we tapped Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Rita Linkner of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City to answer all our burning shaving Qs, including how often to shave and how to prevent pesky ingrown hairs.
Check out what she had to say below!
Sweety High: How often should we shave?
Dr. Linkner: It really depends on your hair growth. Personally, I shave my legs once a week, usually on Saturdays when I can afford a nice leisurely shower. However, I know some women who need to shave more frequently than that.
SH: Can you shave too often?
Dr. Linkner: Yes, too frequent shaving can lead to irritated skin and promote ingrown hairs.
SH: What should you do when shaving?
Dr. Linkner: When shaving, I like using a single-blade razor, as they're the least irritating to the skin. Generally speaking, the more blades there are, the more likely the irritation to the skin. It's also important that the blade is sharp. I personally like BIC Single Blade Disposable Razors since they are so inexpensive, you don't feel guilty about throwing them away after a few uses. Another good tip is to always shave in the shower, since the heat and humidity help soften the skin and hair.
SH: Should different types of hair shave differently?
Dr. Linkner: No, you can shave the same way regardless of your hair type and color. What's more important is if you're prone to ingrown hairs, to shave with the direction of the grain of the hair, not against. It's more tedious, but will decrease the propensity to have ingrown hairs.
SH: What type of razor works best?
Dr. Linkner: I recommend single-blade razors because they are the least irritating.
SH: How often should razor be replaced?
Dr. Linkner: A razor should be replaced once a month if shaving once a week.
SH: What are best products to use for shaving?
Dr. Linkner: While many like to use a shaving cream, I like to use Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, as it contains a high level of emollients and humectants to help bind water to the skin and prevent moisture loss. It's best to shave in the shower using warm water to keep pores open longer (also minimizing irritation), and to shave in the direction of the grain of the hair, not against. Post-shave, I like body moisturizers with nourishing ingredients (such as glycerin, sweet almond oil and vitamin E) to help rehydrate stripped skin.
SH: How do you prevent ingrown hairs?
Dr. Linkner: The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is with laser hair removal.
SH: Anything else we should know about shaving?
Dr. Linkner: If you're tired of shaving and ingrown hairs, I recommend laser hair removal with a board-certified dermatologist, since it's a worthy investment. The time saved over the period of your life by not shaving is estimated to be four hours of each year of your life. It's essential to find a board-certified dermatologist for this who knows how to push the proper settings on the machine to eradicate hairs. Generally, medispas don't use the machines correctly, which could actually exacerbate hair growth. As for what to expect, someone with fair skin and dark, coarse hair will typically need to commit to procedures once a month for 6 – 8 months in a row to achieve an 80% hair reduction.
Speaking of shaving, HERE's everything you need to know about your armpits.