Removing leg hair only started becoming a common thing in the 1940s, and today millions of women (and some men, too) shave their legs and other areas of the body regularly. Shaving is a common and inexpensive way to remove unwanted body hair from top to bottom, but one of the most obvious places to start is the legs!
When should you start shaving your legs?
Of course, the answer to this type of question is very subjective, so it’s always up to you in the end! Many people start shaving in their teens when body hair starts to grow in thicker and darker. Teen girls usually see this darker, coarser hair start to turn up on their legs, underarms, and pubic area. Since we don’t all enter puberty at the same time, or start to feel self-conscious about body hair at the same time, there’s no set age when you should start shaving!
How often should you shave your legs?
So, should you shave your legs everyday? According to one study, about 11% of women shave their legs daily. It’s not a common practice, but it’s not unheard of, either! For many women, daily shaving isn’t necessary. Most women shave 1-2 times a week. Shaving more often than necessary can irritate your skin and lead to razor burn, itching, and unwanted redness.
If you have particularly quick-growing hair, then shaving every day might be the best option for you! But for many women, it’s easier and makes more sense to shave every few days instead. And there’s nothing more satisfying than going from prickly stubble to silky smooth!
How to choose the right razor
There are two main types of razors: electric razors and disposable razors. Electric razors usually don’t cut as closely as disposable razors, which can result in less skin irritation for some people. But disposable razors are a more popular option that we talk about more in-depth in our best razors for women article. Some disposable razors are fully disposable, while others use cartridges, where you replace the razor head every so often.
Many razor heads have multiple blades to get the closest shave possible with one pass over your skin. Although a higher number of blades usually gets you a closer shave, more blades can result in more skin irritation. For some women, it’s a careful balancing act!
To avoid razor burn and irritation, you may want to get a shaving cream or gel to go with your new razor. These lathering bath products provide a “buffer” between your skin and the razor, and can moisturize your skin as well!
How to shave your legs
Once you have a razor and shaving cream, it’s time to get some warm water involved! Soaking your legs in warm water for a few minutes helps to soften the hair and hydrate your skin to make shaving easier.
When you’re new to shaving, it’s best to start out shaving WITH the grain. Shaving in the direction your hair is growing is a good method for sensitive skin to avoid razor burn. Shaving against the grain can result in a closer shave, but you’ll need to use a lighter hand and watch out for cuts.
Many women only experience dark hair growth on their lower legs. You can shave up to or over your knee, or shave your thighs as well–it’s up to you. The hair on the upper leg tends to be fine and light in color, so it’s not as obvious as lower leg hair.
A couple of other leg shaving tips to get you started: change your razor frequently! A dull blade is more likely to catch on your skin and cause irritation. And after you shave, apply a moisturizing lotion to your legs. Some women also like to use aftershave products followed by a layer of lotion to help prevent ingrown hairs!
Common myths about shaving
Myth #1: Shaving makes the hair grow back thicker
False! Sometimes it looks that way, and here’s why. As hair grows, it “tapers” to a fine point with a thicker base where it comes out of your skin. Shaving chops off this fine point, so stubble can look thicker as a result.
Myth #2: You have to shave every day
False! We talked about this above. You can if you want to, but it’s not necessary for everyone.
Myth #3: Shaving will make your tan fade
False! This is an “old wive’s tale,” similar to myth #1.
Myth #4: Pressing down harder with the razor will get a closer shave
While technically true, a sharp set of blades don’t require a lot of pressure to slice off hair. Pressing down too hard can make your skin more irritated and make cuts more likely.
Shave with confidence!
If you don’t have much or any experience with hair removal, starting to shave regularly can seem kind of daunting! But it’s a very simple process, and one of the most popular hair removal options around. Now that you know the answers to questions like how often should you shave your legs and the tools to do it, you can be more confident about shaving!