A Guide to Shaving Different Parts of the Body

Shaving is not as simple as it may seem. It is not quite as easy as applying shaving cream and scraping away the hair. Different body parts may require different methods and different equipment. Below are some tips for shaving various types of body hair.

Shaving Facial Hair

For a close shave, it is a good idea to make the hair and skin soft and moist ahead of time. A shower before shaving is a good idea, as is the use of a pre-shave moisturizer. For a wet shave, the first step is to apply the lather to the area being shaved using a shaving brush. Strokes with the blade should be short and light; they should move in the same direction as the hair growth. Applying too much pressure can cause skin irritation, so should be avoided. The strokes should be just firm enough to cut through the hair, but no firmer. To ensure that the blade comes into contact with the hair as much as possible, it will be necessary to make the surface of the skin flat; this can be tricky in more difficult-to-reach areas like the upper lip and neck. The blade should be rinsed after every couple of passes. The skin should be rinsed once all of the desired areas have been shaved. Aftershave may be applied after rinsing.


Moistening the hair and skin on the head is a good idea. Water opens the pores and softens the hair to make it easier to cut. Shaving cream or soap may be applied to lubricate the skin and soften the hair even further. First-time head-shavers should use a shaving cream that is formulated for sensitive skin since they do not know how their scalp will react. For the purpose of head shaving, a safety or cartridge razor works best. The strokes used should be short and gentle, moving in the direction that the hair grows. The blade should be rinsed frequently. A hand mirror along with a wall-mounted mirror will help them to see their head from all angles when checking for missed spots; also, they should shave in a room with bright lighting. When they are finished shaving, they can dry off and apply an aftershave moisturizer.

Shaving Chest Hair

The first step is to cut the hair to low stubble. An electric razor or trimmer is the most efficient tool for this job. Once the chest hair has been reduced to stubble, it is possible to move on to the next step: shaving.  The chest should be lathered with shaving cream or soap, and a safety or cartridge-type razor should be used to remove the stubble.  The razor should be moved in long strokes in the direction of the hair growth. The chest should be rinsed after shaving and a shaving moisturizer applied to minimize itching and irritation.

Shaving Armpits

Due to the fact that they are concave, armpits can be problematic areas to shave. Extra care will be required to prevent nicks. To minimize the potential for cuts, a cartridge razor is the best tool as the head will move to maintain contact with the skin. The cartridges should be changed regularly, as dull blades are another cause of nicks.  As with other types of shaving, it will be necessary to exfoliate and moisten the area prior to use of the blade. Shaving cream, gel or soap should be applied and the razor should be moved with gentle but firm strokes. Multiple passes over the same area should be avoided as this can cause irritation.


Shaving Back Hair

Hair on the back presents a unique set of problems, as it may be impossible to reach with a conventional razor. A long-armed razor may be used. Users will also need a wall-mounted mirror and a mirror so that they can guide the blade. Aside from the added level of difficulty, the method of shaving back hair is essentially the same as that for shaving chest hair: the hair should be trimmed first, and then shaving cream should be applied before shaving. A moisturizer may be applied afterward.


Shaving Pubic Hair (for Males and Females)

Any post-shaving irritation or injury in this area will be particularly uncomfortable; therefore, it is extra important to proceed carefully. A shower or hot bath may be used ahead of time to soften the hair. Most of the hair should be removed with clippers. Sensitive skin shaving cream (not soap) should be applied to the area being shaved. A cartridge type razor with a swivel-head should be used, preferably one with cushioning built into the cartridge. The skin should be pulled tight and shaved with gentle strokes. The razor should be moved against the direction of the hair-growth; meaning, upward. Shaving cream should be reapplied as needed. After shaving, the area should be washed thoroughly and a moisturizer for sensitive skin used.

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