Women's Shaving Tips

Want to get a close, clean shave on your legs and under your arms? Follow these tips to maximize hair removal and minimize nicks.

Girls typically start shaving their legs and under their arms during adolescence as they begin taking greater interest in personal hygiene. At first it can be rough growing, with missed hair and skin cuts or scrapes. But with time and practice, the process gets easier. Here are a few tips to help make body shaving more effective:

1. Clean the areas to be shaven. Work up a lather with a mild cleansing soap on a washcloth or in both hands. Use one hand to smooth it over the area being prepared for the razor. Make sure to cover the entire area and moving beyond the shaving parameters to provide a little extra room for error. You can lather both legs or armpits at the same time before shaving first one and then the other.

2. Instead of soap, use shaving cream. Try a specially-made formula for women's bodies with a gentle cleanser that is easy to use and apply. Some brands come in a particular scent if you prefer, or you can use one without perfume. Squirt some into your hand and then lather it over the parts to be shaven. Using soap or shaving cream will help you see which sections of the parts awaiting the razor have not yet been touched.

3. Use a sensitive skin razor if you tend to break out after shaving. These are packaged as separate types of razors at the store, so read packages carefully to get this type if you want it. Some are single-sided while others have two sides; most are made of plastic sheaths with steel blades. They are less apt to tear or scrape delicate skin, although many women shave with regular razors and experience no problems.

4. Use short, upward strokes to remove hair beneath the soap or shaving foam. On your legs, you may prefer to use long upward motions. Check your soap-covered parts with a hand-held mirror after shaving to see if you have missed any sections, then finish these as well.

5. After shaving, discard disposable razors or clean and re-use the permanent kind. Rinse the shaved body parts with clear water in the shower or using a wash cloth. If you find any stray hairs, get them now while your skin is still moist. Check for nicks, scrapes, or cuts and clean them with peroxide or anti-biotic ointment, applying a bandage if necessary to stop the bleeding or to promote healing.

6. Avoid using cosmetics, lotions, or creams on shaved areas for 8 to 12 hours. This will give skin abrasions time to heal and help to prevent irritation that chemical applications can cause on tender skin following shaving.

If your skin shows signs of irritation the next day, try a different soap or shaving cream, as you may be allergic to some of the ingredients. Be sure your razor is clean and ready for the next use if you don't discard it. After eight hours, you can wear deodorant under your arms or apply lotion to your legs to keep them smooth.

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