Yes, we would all love to be able to book a day spa every 4 weeks and have our hair removed with ancient wax from the trees of the Gods while calming music is playing and candles are lighting, but we can't. It's just not possible on a student budget. So, we have to improvise which means shaving. Pros: No one has to look at your vagina apart from you and the person you're trying to convince you're hairless. Cons: If it goes wrong, you can be left with some nasty side effects. Here are our top tips gals.
1. If you're going to save on waxing, you need to invest in the razor. The more blades the better here and consider buying a men's version, they are built for coarser hair. Make sure it has moisturising strips and "micro-fins" or cushions.
2. Before you even get in the shower, if the hair you’re planning to shave is longer than a ¼-inch, trim it down with small manicuring scissors (we suggest a smaller pair of scissors because it will be easier to manoeuvre—you do NOT want to accidentally nick yourself so put the garden sheers down).
3. When you get into your warm bath or shower, don’t shave right away. The warm water will soften the remaining hair in 5-10 minutes and make it easier to shave (if you’re not shaving in the shower, covering the area for a few minutes with a warm, damp washcloth will have the same effect). If you want to soften the hair even further, try a dollop of hair conditioner. Bath is always better than shower when it comes to shaving but we realise that such luxuries are for those with bathrooms bigger than port a loos.
4. To reduce the possibility of getting ingrown hairs, exfoliate the area by simply scrubbing the skin gently with a washcloth or loofah.
5. Apply loads of shaving cream or shaving gel - it's worth buying this stuff, trust us. Make sure that you’re using female shaving cream, and one that includes moisturising elements like aloe vera, but no heavy added scents, which might make it more likely to irritate your skin. Don’t use soap! Let the shaving cream sit for a bit; this will further soften the hair and make your life so much easier.
6. Alright, ready? This is just like shaving any other part of your body, just take it slow because the skin is sensitive and the area is a little more convoluted than a shin or thigh. Pull the skin tight with your free hand, and shave without applying pressure (if you need to apply pressure, your razor blades are too dull).
7. Supposedly if you shave in the direction of hair growth it decreases the risk of ingrown hairs. If you want a closer shave, however, you’ll want to shave against the grain, so to speak. If you’re shaving against the grain, use a lot of shaving cream. You might also try first going over the area in the direction of hair growth, and then swiping off what’s left by going the other way. Just avoid going over the same skin too many times.
8. Pause often to rinse out your razor. This is important if you want to avoid nicks and keep your razor effective.
9. After shaving, rinse the area generously with warm water and pat dry. Do NOT use male aftershave of any kind, and have a pair of tweezers ready to grab any stray or hard-to-reach hairs that you missed. Apply baby oil or moisturizer, and maybe a little aloe vera if you have sensitive skin.
10. Use coconut oil for post shave balm, make sure you reapply it after every shower to avoid ingrown hairs.
11. Now go get em, tiger. Rarrr.