Friday, 16 February 2018

'Shaving' the day with some top tips from Harry's



Shaving can be both the best and also one of the worst parts of your personal grooming. On the one hand, it's a complete hassle. During the colder months of the year, most of us girls just cannot be bothered with it. I mean it's too cold to get my legs out for anything at the moment, which is why I'm throwing it back to Summer with this picture instead! Despite the hassle of having to shave regularly in the Summer to keep your legs looking and feeling satin smooth, there really is nothing better than that freshly shaved feeling. Once you've done it, you feel so relieved. Especially when you've just had a bath and you climb into a bed with fresh sheets. Aaaah, absolute heaven.

Unfortunately, there is a real stigma attached to shaving. Some people think that women shave because they are desperately trying to reach unrealistic beauty standards, that we shave for our partner's benefit or that we just don't feel beautiful if we haven't shaved. In reality, I really don't think this is the case. As I've said, during the colder months none of us women even really care about shaving! And when you're in a healthy and loving relationship, something as tiny as shaving really doesn't matter. If anybody tries to make you feel bad about not shaving, then they are not the guy for you.

Same goes for men! I know that some men probably feel a lot more masculine if they don't shave and grow a beard or have some stubble instead. And for the boys who can't grow beards, it might make them feel emasculated because one of society's key defining traits of a man is essentially someone who is hairy. Then you've got things like corporate employment regulations dictating that you must shave for work, which was only recently disregarded at my workplace. To all the guys who do this, I really commend you. If my boss told me I had to shave every week for work, I'd probably leave my job because that would be crazy. Even the term clean shaven implies that shaving is an absolute must if you want to look fresh and polished, when it really isn't!

Personally and I hope I speak for a lot of people out there, I choose to shave as and when I please for my own benefit. Because I feel more comfortable when I've shaved my legs, because I feel like sweat won't linger in the hairs in my armpit if I shave - gross way of putting it I know, but it's true! In all honesty, I have gone out plenty of times in the Summer with hairs on my legs because I've forgotten to/can't be bothered to shave. That's just life and it simply depends on how I'm feeling that day! Don't pretend to be grossed out, we've all done it.


Of course there are alternatives to shaving and if you don't want to shave then you are under no obligation to. I have to throw that in before someone accuses me of promoting unrealistic beauty standards. Alternatives such as hair removal creams work well for sensitive skin or skin that is prone to irritation, which I was told by a dermatologist. Or you could wax/book yourself in for a wax treatment. But when you're in a rush and you've forgotten to get rid of your hairs, shaving is pretty much your only option. It's also the time you're probably thinking least about the right way to do it. Below, I've selected and gone into detail about a few little tips and tricks that I learned from the guys over at Harry's. These apply to both men and women and I think you'll actually be surprised by how many of these things you don't even realise you do!

Begin by prepping your skin. I usually do this by having a nice long soak in the bath, but if you're more pressed for time then you can use a hot towel or just stick to shaving in the shower. The idea is to soften the hairs before you actually go ahead and shave them and the steam from the shower will do this nicely. Once, when I was in secondary school I actually dry shaved my legs. I just wet the razor, put a few drops of water on my legs and started shaving. The next day, I had these tiny, red, itchy bumps all over my legs. Huge mistake.

I have long debated which way you are supposed to shave - with the grain or against the grain? The answer is both. Your first pass should ideally go in the same direction that your hairs are growing and the following one should go against it. This is because your hairs will be slightly shorter, you'll have less dead skin cells getting in the way and as a result you can get a smoother shave with less tugging!

In terms of pressure, I sometimes get towards the end of shaving and become a little impatient. So I just press a little bit harder to try and speed things up. However, I think it's fairly obvious that this will increase your chances of cutting your skin (which I have done plenty of times on my legs without realising). Apparently, keeping your movements gentle and gliding the razor across your skin is the best way to get the most effective shave. 

Run out of shaving gel and reached for your shower gel instead? I've been doing this for years, as shaving gel is just one of those things that I always forget to buy for months once it runs out. But I do definitely notice the difference when I shave with shower gel instead of shaving gel. Shaving gel is a lot better for your skin as it's designed to help you shave with ease and shower gel... well it's not designed for shaving is it? Soaps and shower gels are designed to remove dirt and oil from your skin, whereas shaving gel is designed to hydrate and reduce friction between your razor and skin when you shave.

Currently I'm using  the Gillette Satin Care shave gel and I'm also currently using their Simply Venus 3 blade razors. For men, I would recommend checking out the products on the Harry's website. They offer a subscription service, have shaving starter sets, supplies, accessories for your razors and even skincare products to compliment your shave. Or, if you're just looking for something different to get your partner as a late Valentine's Day gift or an anniversary or birthday gift, then it might be worth checking out their products too. We all know how hard it is to buy anything for boys...   

And finally, when you're finished with your razor I know that we're all guilty of leaving it on some kind of bathroom ledge. That's where my current razor is right now. However, bathroom sinks and ledges are full of bacteria and drops of old water that will make your razor dirty. Ideally you should put it on a stand, but if not just anywhere else that is clean and won't get wet!

Disclaimer: No there is not a typo in the title, it's just a fun play on words!
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