During puberty, it’s totally normal to see hair grow and thicken on your body, and especially on your legs. But, whether or not you choose to remove that hair is a personal choice. If you do choose to shave your legs, here are a few helpful steps:
- Wash the area well before beginning to shave. If you’ve got scabs or rashes on that patch of skin, consider waiting a few days because shaving won’t help heal irritated skin, and it can actually further irritate it. Using warm water to rinse the skin also helps to soften it, making for a closer shave. (Warning that everyone learns the hard way: never use a traditional razor on dry skin!)
- Find a comfortable place to sit or stand for shaving. If you are shaving your legs, you may want to sit down and prop your leg up. It helps to be in a place where drops of water and soap or shaving cream won’t be a problem, which is why lots of people opt to shave in the bath or shower.
- Apply either a layer of soapy lather or shaving cream to the area. If you’ve never used a particular soap or shave cream before, test a small patch of skin first to make sure the product doesn’t irritate your skin.
- Shave in the opposite direction of hair growth. So, for instance, on the legs the hair grows outward and slightly downward - when you shave your legs, start at the ankle and move your strokes upward toward the knee. For underarms, most people shave starting at the armpit edge closest to the wrist and ending at the edge closest to the chest wall. Some people can make it a long distance without lifting the razor, while others find it’s far more effective to stop after a few inches and rinse off the blade.
- Rinse the razor blade after every stroke or two - run it under warm water for a couple of seconds, until the space between blades is empty of soap or shave cream and hair. This will ensure a closer and easier shave.
- Don’t push too hard down on the razor as you are shaving - this can lead to nics and cuts. Instead, glide the razor gently, putting just enough pressure to clear the soap or shave cream from the area you are shaving.
- When you are done shaving the area, rise away the soap or shaving cream and pat dry.