To Shave or not to Shave?

Shaving removes your for the short term, it is quick and accessible. Shaving is merely a process of removing unwanted hair by cutting the hair close to the skins surface. It is quite a popular method for temporary hair for both men and women. Shaving is a simple do-it-yourself method of removing unwanted hair temporarily.

Shaving has always carried some common misperceptions about the practice. People thought that shaving against the grain would cause hair to grow back thicker and denser. Study after study has examined the effects of shaving and has confirmed that shaving has no effect on hair growth rates or density. Shaving does, however, change the appearance of the hair. Whether with the grain or against it, shaving results in a blunt, squared off edge to the hair. Whereas the naturally growing hair had a smooth tapered end, the shaved hair maintains its square end, giving the appearance of a thicker hair, when in reality the base of the hair is the same diameter as it always, just without the taper.

How does Shaving work?
Shaving is a temporary method to remove unwanted hair from the face or body. It is the process of dragging a razor across the skins surface to remove the hair from the base along the skins surface. Hair re-growth is fast, and usually occurs within 24 hours after shaving.

Shaving as an art form
The perfect shave is what most men strive for every morning and most women wish for when shaving various parts of their bodies. It is an effortless shave that’s baby smooth, and without any of the usual skin irritations, redness and the burning sensation most people seem to feel is par for the course when it comes to shaving.

Shaving was once thought of as an art form. It was a male tradition that used to be passed down from father to son. Somewhere along the line when it became easier to use disposable, inexpensive razors, rather then a precision made metal tool, and people’s hectic schedules got even more rushed, this art form lost its luster.

How to Shave
There are two types of shaving hair, wet shaving or dry shaving. Both of these methods will remove the hair along the skins surface.

Wet shaving is just a term that implies, keeping your face or other body part wet with plenty of hot water before, and during the entire shave. It is always a good idea to take a hot shower or wash the part being shaved with warm water to open up the pores for a closer shave. After wetting the surface with water, a lubricant is applied. This lubricant can be in the form of a shaving cream, gel or foam. With this layer of lubrication, the blades of the razor skims the skins surface instead of dragging on it, which is the main cause of skin irritation, redness and shaving bumps.

Dry shaving involves the use of an electric razor. This type of shaving is ideal for the face ONLY. The razor removes hair in much the same way as wet shaving does, however it does not require any type of lubrication or a wet face to dry shave. Electric razors consist of a series of rotating blades which are held behind a metal foil that is perforated preventing the blades from coming into direct contact with the skin. The hair being shaved pokes through holes in the foil area and are removed by the rotating blades.

THE PROCESS OF WET SHAVING
1. Wet the area being shaved with warm water to open the pores in the skins surface.
2. Apply a lubricant to the wet skin, such as a shaving gel, cream or lotion
3. Make sure the blade on your razor is new or in good condition.
4. Rinse the razor blade with warm water.
5. Draw the razor in the direction of the hair growth, always keeping it in contact with the skins surface.
6. Rinse the razor with each stroke to make sure the blades are cleaned of excess shaving lubricant for a closer shave.
7. Wash off any excess shaving lubricant left on the area shaved, and pat area dry with clean towel.

THE PROCESS OF DRY SHAVING FOR FACE ONLY
1. Make sure electric shaver is clean, and if it has a battery make sure it is charged prior to shaving. If the electric razor requires it to be plugged in, make sure plug is in good working order.
2. Starting at the sideburns, applying slight pressure, run the razor along the side of your face along the grain of the hair.
3. Work your way towards the front of the face and neck area.

The Best Areas to Shave on Your Body
You can shave facial or body hair everyday if needed with virtually no pain or discomfort. Shaving is fine is for any skin tone and any type of hair. If hair is excessively long, it should be trimmed with scissors or other implement prior to shaving. Shaving works best on hair that has growth of 1/8 – 1/4 inch in length.

The best places to shave unwanted hair on the body for men and women are:
• Face
• Neck
• Under Arms
• Legs

How Long Shaving Lasts
When shaving you should expect visible re-growth within 12-24 hours after shaving. The hair follicles are always making hair and re-growth may not be visible immediately, but rest assured you will need to shave again within a 24-36 hour period. Shaving is a temporary way to remove unwanted hair.

Pros and Cons of Shaving Hair
PROS
1. Relatively inexpensive
2. No pain
3. Very convenient
4. Quick
5. Exfoliates the skins surface

CONS
1. Stubble appears quickly
2. Hair regrowth is coarse and blunt edged
3. Does not remove hair under skins surface
4. Razors need to be replaced often

The Risks of Shaving
1. Risk of nicks and cuts to the skin
2. Risk of ingrown hair if blade is not sharp
3. Can cause skin irritation such as razor burn and dry skin

Shaving Tips
1. Shave in the shower, pores are open for a closer shave when in warm climate.
2. Apply a slick lubrication such as a shaving gel, cream or lotion, this allows the blades to glide over the skin without scraping
3. Use a face scrub to massage and open pores, prime follicles and raise stubs for a closer shave. This exfoliation removes dead skin cells that can cause acne, ingrown hairs and infection.
4. Use a sharp blade and discard after 4-5 uses.
5. Avoid irritants that can damage your skin and create swelling after shaving. Never use alcohol on the area shaved after shaving.
6. Calm skin after shaving by applying a soothing moisturizing lotion.

For other options on hair removal check out bleachingwaxing, sugaring, threading, depilatories, laser, IPL, shaving, tweezing options available.  Should you even bother removing your hair at all?

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Hair Removal 101

There are many places on the human body where you may consider removing hair. Less body hair, will make a person have less of an odor, especially when they sweat. Many articles have stated that the purpose for body hair on humans was directly connected with sexual attraction. The odors one’s body gives off, acts as pheromones to attract the opposite sex. Body hair holds those pheromones longer.

Although having smooth and hairless skin is a current trend, it is still a matter of preference and function why people remove body hair. Furthermore, how much of the body hair is removed also depends on the individual.

Pubic area (bikini line) is one of the top locations for this process for both men and women. When you’re young, vellus hair grows in the pubic regions of your body. As you go through puberty, that vellus hair turns into terminal hair and becomes thicker and coarser. In Western cultures many women opt to remove hair from their bikini line.

A growing number of men have started practicing male pubic hair removal methods for various reasons.
• Some say removing all of the body hair including the hair on their pubic area keeps away odor causing bacteria because it usually gets dark and moist down there.
• It is safer for both partners if the man removed his pubic hair because this can keep his partner’s private parts free from itchiness after intercourse.
• Others do it to enhance their sexual experiences. They believe that male pubic hair removal on the penis area will make one’s erection look bigger.
• If you’ve been in a relationship for some time now, shaving it off might create new interest from your partner which can help increase sexual excitement.
• Others even go to the lengths of creating designs on a shorter patch of pubic for novelty reasons.

Armpits rate as the second most common place to remove hair for women. While having hair in the armpits is acceptable in most cultures for males, it is not as acceptable for females. During the 1960’s and the invention of women’s lib, many women opted not to remove their armpit or leg hair. Currently that practice has not been widely adopted by Western culture.

Leg hair is the second most popular area Western women remove hair. Women remove leg hair mostly for aesthetic reasons. Men may choose to remove leg hair for a sport, including cycling and swimming.

Chest hair grows within the region of the male body between the neck and the abdomen. Chest hair begins to grow when a male enters puberty. Some men prefer less hair on their body and opt for hair removal.

Back Hair is another sex characteristic of some men. Many men remove the hair on their backs for a variety of reasons, most often vanity.

Facial hair removal for men is done for a variety of reasons.

Eyebrows are a common area to remove facial hair for both men and women. Sculpting the shape of an eyebrow can create a defined look for the appearance of the overall face. Many people pluck the hair between their eyebrows for vanity reasons.

Eyelash removal is not a common practice among men or women, although there is a disorder called Trichotillomania that is associated with this habit. Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder that affects people mostly during their teenage years and may continue throughout life unless treatment is sought. Some women remove their eyelashes to enable them to wear false lashes, preferring lashes that are longer and fuller.

The desire to have smooth, hairless skin and to remove excess or dark hair usually begins in adolescence and tends to be a lifelong pursuit. Whether it is hair on the face, armpits, legs, bikini line, or other body parts, many women AND men are intent upon having the hair on their scalp be the only visible hair on their bodies.

There are many options available to remove unwanted hair, but few options to get rid of hair permanently. Each person should chose a method or combination of methods that works best for them depending on cost, time available, skin type, and the desired hair-free area.

There are numerous methods for removing or hiding unwanted hair. Some methods are “do it yourself”, others require the assistance of a licensed practitioner.

“Do it yourself” methods include:
• Bleaching
• Shaving
• Tweezing
• Depliatory Cream
• Waxing or Sugaring
• Threading

“Do it yourself” or using a certified practitioner include:
• Waxing/Sugaring
• Threading

In a few future posts I will discuss each method and the pros and cons of each.

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