Here are some tips for shaving your facial and body hair confidently and safely, whether you're shaving for the first time or want to improve your existing personal grooming skills.
General tips for shaving and hair removal
Wet shaving your face
- Use your sense of touch to feel where you need to shave and areas you need to avoid because of skin blemishes or moles.
- If you used to have sight and stood in front of a mirror while shaving, it might feel more comfortable and natural to carry on doing that, even when it’s difficult to see clearly or you can’t see your reflection.
- You can also use an illuminated and/or magnifying mirror to help you see your face and neck more clearly. Some magnifying mirrors can be mounted on the wall or stuck onto an existing mirror, and have an adjustable arm to make looking into it more comfortable.
- Your basic shaving supplies should include a razor, shaving cream, foam or gel, aftershave products, a washcloth and a towel. Make sure you have everything within reach and in an order that makes sense to you. Being organised and systematic will make the process easier, less stressful, and quicker.
- Wash the area you're going to shave with soap or face wash and warm water. This will soften your hair and open your skin's pores, making it easier to shave cleanly and safely.
- Use shaving cream, foam, gel, or lotion when you're having a wet shave. It will protect your skin, make it easier for the razor to shave, and help you locate the areas you haven't shaved yet.
Step-by-step guide to shaving your face
- To get a straight line on your sideburn, place the index finger of your guide hand horizontally at the base of a sideburn, to act as a landmark. Alternatively, if you wear glasses, use one of the legs as a landmark.
- Bring the hand holding the razor up to meet the guide finger or landmark.
- Shave downwards at an angle over your cheekbone, from the sideburn line towards your chin.
- Return the razor to your guide finger and use overlapping strokes to shave downwards from the original line you shaved, working your way across ending at your chin.
- Where your beard hair is thicker, such as the chin and neck, shave against the direction of the whiskers.
- In areas where your skin is more sensitive, such as your cheeks and upper lip, use downward strokes and shave with the direction of the whiskers.
- To protect moles and skin blemishes, place your fingertip over the area and shave around it.
- Shave one area of your face at a time to help you keep track of the areas you’ve already shaved. For example, shave your left cheek, right cheek, upper lip, chin and so on.
- When you’re done, use your fingers to check for any unshaved areas.
- Check your ears and nose for any shaving cream you’ve missed.
Trimming and shaping your beard
- Using a beard trimmer to even out the length of your beard/stubble can be easier and safer than using a razor. You can also use a trimmer to shape your beard or sideburns.
- If you have some remaining vision and want to set the length of the guard on your beard trimmer, use a magnifier or other low vision aid.
- Use the hand that’s not holding the trimmer as a guide to explore the area you’re about to trim.
- Use your finger, a comb or the leg of an old pair of glasses as a line to shave up to for sideburns, edges of shaped beards (such as goatees), or your neckline if you have a full beard.
- Ask your barber to touch up the outline of your beard or sideburns when you get a haircut and correct any small errors you may have made.
- Having stubble or a full beard may mean you need to trim it less often than if you were clean-shaven.
Step-by-step guide to shaving your legs
- Sit in a comfortable and safe position where you can easily reach all the parts of your leg that you want to shave. It's easier to shave your legs while sitting in a chair. You're more likely to injure yourself if you sit on the edge of the bath or stand up with one leg balanced on the bath or toilet seat.
- When deciding what order to shave each area of your legs, use a systematic method that works for you.
- While applying shaving cream or hair conditioner to the area you want to shave first, get to know the contours of your leg, knee, or ankle.
- Pick up your razor and use overlapping strokes upwards or against the direction of hair growth. You may find it helpful to have a bowl of water within reach so you can wash the shaving foam off the razor between strokes.
- When you’ve finished, use your fingers to check for any unshaved areas.
- Check the front and back of your knees and around your ankles for any shaving cream you’ve missed.
- To prevent skin irritation, moisturise your legs after you shave. It will also help your shave last longer and legs feel smoother.