Shaving Unwanted Hair

Shaving is the removal of hair using a sharpened blade (or multiple blades) fixed onto a plastic handle and dragged across the skin to effectively scrape hairs off as close to the skin as possible. Shaving is possibly the most widely spread cosmetic practice in the world. Used by men and women of all shapes and sizes once they get to puberty, and often for the rest of their lives, shaving is renowned for its simplicity, effectiveness, and ease.

This guide touches on some of the topics around shaving, exploring commonly asked questions, popular misconceptions, healthy practice and good technique.

Topics include:

  • Cuts with shaving - one of the downsides of shaving, but an easy mistake to make, this article explores how cuts happen and how best to avoid them.
  • Razors for women – in a market saturated with a huge range of products from the cheap and cheerful to the costly and complex, this article looks at what's out there and what would be the best option for you
  • Razors for men – hair type varies, and so do individual shaving needs. Whether confused about different types of razors or trying to decide what type to go for, this section discusses what's out there.
  • Shaving gels, foams, and creams – Other shaving products can be almost as important as your razor, read this if you're confused about what shaving gels, foams, and creams are and how to use them.
  • How to shave your face – A step by step guide on how to shave your face safely and smoothly, minimising the risk of unpleasant cuts and/or razor bumps while getting the smoothest shave.
  • How to shave your legs – Instructions on how to effectively shave your legs.
  • Shaving your chest – If you're looking for a clean shaven chest, look no further than this guide on dealing with pesky chest hair.
  • Shaving the bikini line – Worried about unwanted hair ruining your bikini look? Set your mind at ease and read these important tips on how to maintain your bikini line safely and effectively.
  • Does hair grow thicker after shaving? Concerned about the potential of thicker and coarser hair after you shave? This article looks at this popularly held notion and its accuracy.
  • Does hair grow faster after shaving? A common misconception, this section looks at whether hair does grow faster after shaving and why people might think this is the case.
  • Ingrown hairs from shaving – An unpleasant potential side effect of shaving, this section looks at what this irksome phenomenon is, how to deal with it, and how to prevent it from happening.
  • Prickly hairs from shaving – the downside – Everyone wants smooth skin after a shave, and here the problem of prickly hair is looked at, and how you can get that clean shaven feel and look that you're going for.
  • Shaving a baby's hair for thicker hair – is it a myth? Mums everywhere can rest easy as we explore whether or not this notion is true, and what really affects a baby's hair and its growth.
  • Alternatives to shaving as a method hair removal – If shaving and the content of this guide don't seem like they're for you, then read on for alternatives. Some permanent and others less so, a range of different options are available for you and your needs.

The content in this guide should answer your questions simply and clearly. So whether a veteran looking to debunk a myth or a teenager confused about what to do with your freshly grown facial fuzz.

It’s not uncommon to find yourself possessed of hair you’d rather not have. Cover models tend to have smooth and hairless skin, the image of beauty held by society. If you’re not comfortable with your body hair then fortunately there are a lot of options available for you in terms of hair removal, of which shaving is the simplest and quickest.

Modern day razors come in many different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. They can be manual or electric, the former group split into permanent and disposable razors. Permanent razors have replaceable cartridges to keep going through fresh blades, these are often of a higher quality than their disposable counterparts, and feature different ergonomic benefits. Many permanent razors have multiple blades allowing for a closer shave, and some also have swivelling heads that slide more smoothly across the curves of your face. Many newer razors have a ‘power’ option, in which a AAA battery fitted into the handle makes the cartridge containing the blades vibrate against your skin, facilitating a closer and smoother shave.

Electric razors are a quick and efficient alternative, albeit one that might not provide as close a shave as you would like. Electric razors can have circular or rotary blades, which turn in a circular motion cutting hair rather than scraping like manual razors do. Another technology is a foil based razor that provides a closer shave as a sharpened foil blade vibrates at high speed against your skin. Most electric razors available now tend to also involve a moisturising agent or something of that ilk to replenish and hydrate your skin as you shave.

Other relevant shaving products include shaving foams, gels, and creams, all of which are different formats of a substance basically used to smoothen a shave by providing a skin-friendly lubricant over which a razor blade can slide. Aftershave is a staple of post-shaving care and can contain alcohol, which is not in fact advisable as alcohol dehydrates your skin, although a fair few these days do not contain alcohol and work quite well to soothe your skin.

Benefits of shaving

Shaving is widely used, and that’s hardly a surprise considering how easy and simple it is as a method of hair removal for both men and women. Razors are readily available and are generally quite cheap. Maintaining a regular shaving regime is far less hassle than regular waxing appointments, doesn’t involve potentially abrasive chemicals like in hair removal creams. It doesn’t cost as much as IPL or laser treatment does, and is quite reversible as contrary to popular belief, shaving does not affect the thickness, colour, or speed of re-growing hair.

Caveats of shaving

Despite its many benefits, there are a couple of caveats to shaving that are worth considering. Applying a sharp blade to skin always carries with it the risk of bleeding which, while often brief, can be a problem if you’re on blood thinning drugs like aspirin or suffer from a clotting disorder like haemophilia.

Shaving also carries the possibility of ingrown hairs as the method often leaves sharp tipped hairs which grow into the skin contributing to the condition. These hairs can also be associated with an infection of your hair follicles and hence what are called ‘razor bumps’. Shaving tends to be quite short term as well, with hair growing back within a few days and a regular grooming schedule being needed to keep your skin stubble free.

Other alternatives

When deciding whether shaving is the option for you, you should consider some alternatives first. For male facial grooming, electric razors are really as far as you can go, although some clinics offer facial IPL or laser surgery. For bodily hair removal however you are spoilt for choice. Waxing is a popular one, using hot wax which, when cool on your skin grips the hairs and when removed rips said hairs off from the follicle. This is painful but longer lasting, for some people keeping their skin clear for up to 6 weeks.

Hair removal creams are another viable option, although one many are uncomfortable with due to the potentially harmful nature of the chemicals involved. Laser and IPL offer more permanent solutions, but cost and a potential for scarring are further considerations.

All in all shaving is a simple and cost effective form of hair removal. One that is also very easy to try out, and if you don’t like it you can simply move on to something better suited to you!

Cuts with Shaving »

Guide to Shaving Unwanted Hair