I read an article recently that claimed that 87% of American women shave their nether regions. If this is true, then I am one of them. Back in the days, I was content with just shaving the sides, mainly because I didn’t want anything sticking out beyond the fabric boundaries of whatever bottom I was wearing. Shaving the sides added perhaps 60 seconds or so to my shower routine which was really not a big deal, but, when he asked me to shave it off, things became complex.
If you are familiar with the anatomy of that lower region, then you know that the landscape is not at all flat or taut. There are corners and crevices, most of which are far out of view and foreign. Squatting in front of my hallway mirror so I could get a better view, helped in the beginning. As I got used to the process, I didn’t even have to use a mirror at all. Things are certainly nice and smooth after the process but before you make the decision to join the alleged 87%, please note that shaving that very sensitive area can cause irritation, unattractive ingrown hairs and can sprout stubbles sharp enough to grate a coconut.
Through trial and error and a few tips I from the internet, I came up with the following and I am sharing these 7 tips to help you get a better bikini shaving experience.
1) Start with a dry trim to get rid of the long hair! Use a sanitized scissors or a bikini trimmer. Be careful not to nick the labia though.
2) Pick the right razor! The right razor is not the single blade, pink, lady ones. Use your man’s razor, preferably, the one with multiple blades and pivoting. You need something industrial that will glide through the coarse hairs that sprout in that region. You can also use a razor that is specially designed for that area. One that I discovered recently and that has become my holy grail product for this purpose is Noxema’s bikini shave and trim. It has industrial strength blades and is compact enough to get into those tricky corners.
3) Hang out in the shower or soak in the tub for a bit (5-10 minutes or so) to help soften the hair.
4) After soaking, apply a shaving cream like Vanicream Shave Cream for Sensitive Skin or any sensitive skin shaving gel that is also fragrance-free. The skin is very sensitive and a fragrance based cream could irritate things. Reapply as needed (e.g. if it washes off, if you want to make another pass over the area that you have already shaved, etc.). Do not use soap as a substitute. Soap will dry out your skin and cause irritation.
5) Shave in the same direction your hair grows to help prevent ingrown hairs and irritation. Don’t be afraid to gently stretch areas of the skin taut so that your razor will have a flat area to glide.
AFTER CARE AND MAINTENANCE
6) After all of the hair has been shaved, pat (not rub) the area dry and apply a non-alcoholic based aloe vera gel followed with a dab of hydrocortisone cream to help soothe the skin and also to prevent any itching and/or irritation. If you don’t have any of these available, in the least, apply a moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin.
8) Use a exfoliator like Soften Her to help “maintain” between shaves. When the hair tries to make a comeback, use the exfoliator to help soften those scratchy, prickly stubbles. Soften Her gently exfoliates; prevents in-grown hairs and helps to reduce razor bumps. It also helps to extend the life of your very tedious and time consuming bikini shave.