Hair removal is an age-old practice found in all cultures of the world. Men and women both prefer to have their body hair removed or trimmed for hygienic, cultural and social reasons. There are many methods for removing body hair - shaving, waxing, laser, depilatory creams and epilators.
Shaving is by far the easiest and painless way to remove hair. However, there has been a longstanding debate regarding the pros and cons of shaving vis-a-vis the other methods. Before clarifying the myths surrounding shaving, it is important to explain the correct way of shaving.
How To Shave - The Right Procedure
1. Step in the shower or soak yourself in a bath.
2. After the skin is soaked apply shaving gel.
3. Start shaving with a light stroke. The direction of shaving depends on which part you are shaving. Legs need to be shaved from the ankles up. Underarms need to be shaved in all directions. For the bikini area, you first need to go inward and then, outward.
4. After shaving dry the skin and moisturise. Moisturisation is a must do after shaving.
5. Wash your razor thoroughly after each shave.
A Few Shaving Myths
1. Shaving causes the hair to grow back thicker and coarser.
This is completely untrue. The hair does not become thicker, only the ends that have been cut become blunt. When the blunt ends emerge from the skin, it only seems that the hair has become coarser. Upon growing back the hair comes out as soft as it would normally be. Also, if you moisturise properly after shaving, the blunt ends will soften and the skin will feel silky soft.
2. Shaving increases hair growth.
This is again false. Shaving in no way increases the hair growth. Hair growth depends on your hormones and genetics and other bodily factors.
3. Shaving causes the hair to grow back darker.
The blunt ends may cause the hair to look darker initially, but after growing out a bit it starts to look its natural colour.
4. Shaving causes ingrown hair.
This is not true. Ingrowth of hair is caused by the lack of exfoliation. You can get ingrowth after waxing as well if you don't exfoliate your skin regularly. In fact, exfoliating is advised after a day or two in any type of hair removal.
5. Shaving dry skin is okay.
Absolutely not. The blades remove the topmost skin cells and if the skin is dry, minute lesions can occur on the skin after shaving.
Precautions To Keep In Mind When Shaving
1. Always make sure your razor is clean before starting to shave. Rinse it with water or swirl it in a tumbler of antiseptic solution.
2. Do not share your razor with anyone, not even a close friend.
3. Do not shave over bumps and cuts.
4. Wait for a day after shaving before you exfoliate.
5. Do not go swimming immediately after shaving. Wait for at least an hour or two and better still, a day.
This was a general guide to shaving. Everyone new to shaving will find it useful. If you follow these steps and take the precautions, you will soon find shaving to be your favourite method of hair removal.