You might think that shaving your legs is a simple task, but there’s more to it than meets the eye!
If silky, smooth, stubble-free legs are your goal, it’s critical to use the right technique. Otherwise, you’ll end up with razor burn, rough skin and painful nicks and cuts.
Not sure if you’re doing it right? Follow our guide to get the hairless legs of your dreams.
The Best Way to Shave Your Legs, Step-by-Step
1. Choose the Right Razor
If you’re not using the right kind of razor for your skin, you’ll never get the close shave you want.
The more blades your razor has, the better. A five-blade or six-blade razor is less likely to get caught on your skin, and is thus less likely to irritate your skin.
Look for a razor with flexible blades that conform to your legs as you shave. Stiffer blades tend to cause more cuts and don’t provide the closest shave.
Finally, pick a razor that has a lubrication strip built into the blade. They’re not just for looks — they prevent nicks and irritation while giving your legs an extra moisturizing boost.
The Best Shaver for Sensitive Skin
If your skin is prone to irritation, choosing the right razor can make or break your shaving experience.
Hydration is critical for sensitive skin: dry skin is more prone to irritation from shaving. Razors that are infused with aloe, like the Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Sensitive Women’s Razor, provide that much-needed moisture as you shave.
Many people with sensitive skin find that electric razors reduce the occurrence of razor bumps. Look for one with hypoallergenic blades, such as the Panasonic Electric Shaver for Women.
The Best Travel Shaving Kit
If you’re on the go a lot but don’t want to give up on having smooth legs, invest in a special all-in-one shaving kit for frequent travelers.
The Sphynx Travel Razor Kit includes two blades, a moisturizing bar, a water spritzer, and a discreet carrying case. It’s a compact kit that contains everything you need to get a close shave no matter where you are.
2. Always Start with a Sharp, Clean Razor
Using a dull, dirty razor is one of the worst things you can do to your legs.
Dull razor blades don’t just cut hair poorly — they pull at the skin, causing irritation, nicks and razor burn.
And if the blades are dirty, any cuts they leave behind could become infected, leading to painful, unsightly wounds.
If you haven’t changed your razor blades in a while, now’s the time to switch them out for a fresh set. In the future, change them once you start needing to make multiple passes to get a close shave.
3. Before You Start Shaving, Hydrate Your Legs
Dry skin is your razor’s worst enemy — its rough texture makes your hair tougher to cut, plus it’s more likely to get caught between the blades.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, think of your wallet: dry skin dulls razor blades faster, so you’ll need to replace them more often.
Moisturizing your skin before shaving prevents all of these problems. Use a moisturizing lotion, body wash, or shaving cream to soothe your dry skin before getting the razor out.
Alternatively, you can soak your legs in a warm bath for a few minutes before shaving to rehydrate them.
4. Apply an Even Layer of Shaving Cream or Gel to Your Legs
Dry or water-only shaving is a big no-no if you want smooth legs. Your razor needs to glide smoothly over your skin, and water alone isn’t enough to get the job done.
Squeeze some shaving cream or gel into your hands, lather it up and smooth it evenly onto your legs.
This creates a smooth surface for your razor, adds a little extra moisture to your skin and gives you an easy way to see where you’ve already shaved.
5. Shave Against the Grain, from Ankle to Knee
If you shave in the direction of your hair growth, your razor blades won’t be able to catch your hairs, leaving you with patchy, stubbly legs.
You’ll get much better results if you shave against the direction of your hair growth — that is, from your ankle up to your knee.
Some people find that the hair on the sides of their legs grows diagonally, so you may wish to shave at a 45 degree angle on the sides. Again, make sure you’re shaving from bottom to top.
6. Use Your Razor Gently and Take Your Time
You can’t rush shaving and expect good results — after all, you’re working with sharp blades and delicate skin!
Use long, gentle strokes and move slowly to avoid getting nicked or missing spots. If your blades are sharp, you won’t need to press very hard at all to get a close shave.
Be extra careful around bony areas like your ankles and knees, bending and straightening as needed to create the smoothest surface for your razor.
7. Rinse Your Razor After Each Stroke
With every stroke you make, your razor collects hair, skin and shaving cream between its blades. If you don’t remove this buildup, the blades won’t be able to trim any more hair and will get dull very quickly.
After each stroke, thoroughly rinse your razor until it’s free of hair, shaving cream and other debris. When you’re done shaving, give it one last rinse in extra-hot water to sanitize it and keep it fresh for next time.
8. Give Your Legs a Good Rinse
Rinse any leftover shaving cream and hair bits off of your legs with warm or lukewarm water.
Now is the time to make sure you didn’t miss any spots during your shave. Give your legs a visual inspection where you can, and run your hands up your legs to feel for stubble on the less-visible areas.
9. Dry Yourself Off and Apply Moisturizer
When you’re satisfied with your shave, gently pat your legs dry with a clean towel. Don’t rub your legs with the towel, as this can irritate your freshly-shaven skin.
Then apply an alcohol-free moisturizing lotion or body oil to your legs. This replenishes the moisture that was lost during shaving, prevents irritation and reduces your likelihood of developing razor bumps.
10. Keep Your Razor in a Clean, Dry Place
Your shower may be the most convenient place to keep your razor, but it’s far from the best.
Razor blades last longer if they’re kept somewhere dry and clean, so taking your razor out of the shower when you’re done shaving is well worth the trouble.
Dry your razor off and store it away from moisture to prevent rust and dullness. Consider using a plastic cover for your razor blades to protect them and open up more storage options.
11. Give Your Legs a Break from Frequent Shaving
You may be tempted to shave your legs every day to keep them as smooth as possible, but your skin will be happier if you take a day or two off in between shaves.
Shaving too often can dry your skin out, resulting in increased irritation, ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
To reduce these risks, try shaving your legs only every two or three days. And if you do develop ingrown hairs or razor burn, avoid shaving until the conditions resolve.