Summer Shaving Hacks
The Debrief: If you're going to hack away at your leg hair four times a week for the next three months, you might as well do it right
It’s finally starting to feel like summer, which means that we’re slowly emerging from our cardigan + jeans cocoon combo and starting to think about going out with bare legs. Obviously, hair removal isn’t a necessary prerequisite of heading out in a short skirt or bikini (every body is beach body ready, y’know) but for those of you who prefer a hair-free look, we’ve rounded up a few pro tips to tackle your first shave or wax since the winter months.
Buy cheap razors in the men’s aisle
Most men’s toiletries are way cheaper than their female equivalents, as we’ve pointed out before. Even razors from the same brand will often overcharge women for no reason other than the fact that they’ve marketed it in pink and slapped some girly flowers on the packaging. Reject patriarchy and share a multipack of men’s razors with your boyf or girlfriend. You’ll be saving a few extra pennies and you get to shave with the satisfaction of being a true gender warrior.
DIY your own cheap shaving cream
We’ve all reached for the hair conditioner at least once when we run out of shaving cream, but it turns out there’s a way to make your own with toiletries that you probably already own. As laid out in this post by blogger One Good Thing, all you need to do is add one cup of shampoo to one cup of conditioner, five tablespoons of lotion (like Johnson’s Baby Lotion) and five tablespoons of melted coconut oil (just microwave it for about 10 to 15 seconds). Mix it all up in a bowl and decant it into an empty jar or pump bottle.
Stop ingrown hairs in their tracks
Ingrown hairs happen most frequently with shaving, when hair follicles get trapped underneath the surface of the skin and grow inwards. Avoid the pain and red bumps by exfoliating right before you shave, and making sure to shave with a sharp razor after or during a hot shower. DO NOT DRY SHAVE: as mentioned above, conditioner can substitute for a proper shaving foam in a pinch.
If you’re already cursed with stubbly red spots, you can pick up an ingrown hair solution from Boots for around a tenner. Skin Doctor is one of the more famous brands, and it contains glycol acid and salicylic acid to help chemically exfoliate the skin and encourage the hair follicle to pop out from its hiding place. You can also make your own version with a recipe of aspirin (which contains salicylic acid), rubbing alcohol and witch hazel – find a recipe here.
Bonus: if you absolutely HAVE to attack an ingrown hair, apply a damp, hot washcloth to clean skin and disinfect your tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Grab the tip of the follicle poking above the surface – don’t jab your tweezers into the skin and go rooting around for it. Don’t pluck it out completely: slowly tug so that the curled bit gets out pulled out of the skin, and leave it to straighten itself out. Once the ingrown part is out, the redness and irritation should go away – anything else will irritate the skin further.
Maximise every single waxing appointment
Bikini waxes aren’t cheap, so it’s understandable that you want to rinse each appointment for maximum value. As counterintuitive as it sounds, don’t take a shower or bath immediately before a wax, because that can soften the hair and make it more prone to breakage during the waxing process. If you’re prone to screaming in agony during a Brazilian, popping an over-the-counter painkiller like Ibuprofen about 30 minutes before the deed will help minimise the pain. Immediately after your wax, avoid hot showers, overly perfumed creams or lotions and tight clothing that doesn’t let your skin breathe – all of these can lead to skin irritation. After about a day or two, you can start scrubbing (gently, obvs) with a loofah to prevent ingrown hairs.
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Picture: Francesca Allen
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