Wet Shaving For Women

Shaving with a brush and safety razor is really easy, and there's no reason why women can't shave their legs with them too.

If you're interested in using a safety razor and shaving brush to shave your legs, you are in the right place! Wet shaving is so much easier than many people think, not to mention better for your skin and better for the environment.
This post is a bare-bones introduction to shaving your legs with a shaving brush and double edge safety razor. Once you take the dive into wet shaving, much of what you will learn will come from experience. Always remember that everyone is different, and so your shaving needs and preferences might be different. Check out some of our other blog posts for more information!
Key Terms:
Wet Shaving: Wet shaving broadly refers to any style of shaving that includes wetting your skin. Over the past decade or two, as old-fashioned shaving tools have come back into the mainstream, "wet shaving" has come to mean shaving with a brush and non-disposable razor.
Shaving Brush: A brush is used to whip up a lather with a shaving soap or shaving cream. You can get a brief overview of the different types of common shaving brushes here.
Double Edge Safety Razor: A razor that uses a single, double-sided blade that is held in place by two guard plates. While the blade itself is disposable, the razor is made to last for years or decades.
Shaving Soap: This is the fun part because there are a million options available, and you can find a soap that is suited to your specific needs or wants. Vegan? No problem. Sensitive skin? No problem. Shaving soaps and creams are formulated to build a lather when you add water and friction. Trust me, they are way, WAY better performing and better for your skin than the foam that comes out of a can.
Pre-Shave: Your pre-shave routine can be important, especially if you have sensitive skin or coarse hair. The goal of a pre-shave routine is to prepare your hair and skin for a close shave, either by using a product or by rubbing your legs down (and up) with hot water and a towel. You are simultaneously softening the hair and making it stand upright, ready to be shaved. Pre-shave products focus more on protecting your skin from the razor blade.
Get Started:
    1. If needed, apply your pre-shave product. If you aren't using a product, rub your legs vigorously with hot, hot water to soften the hair and get it standing upright. (I definitely do recommend using a product if you have coarse leg hair or sensitive skin. It makes a world of difference, even if you don't have those concerns.) I personally don't like my legs to be dripping wet when I apply the shaving soap as it can break down the soap's consistency, so I leave my legs damp but not dripping.
    2. Lather up your shaving soap or cream with your brush. There is no One Right Way to do this because every soap formula is different. You will need to experiment with this part to find the best ratio of wetness to denseness of the lather.
      1. This is how I do it (most of the time): First, wet the brush thoroughly, making sure you get the interior fibers nice and wet. (You can let your brush soak up water in the sink while you're doing your pre-shave routine. This method is most useful with badger or boar bristle brushes, and not really necessary with a synthetic brush. Just make sure it's thoroughly wet all the way through.) Next, I run a little water over the surface of my shaving soap and dump out the excess. I'm just softening up the surface a little. I then very gently wring out my brush fibers so that the brush is still wet but not dripping.
      2. Now it's time to whip up a lather! Firmly swirl your brush over the surface of your shaving soap and you will immediately start to see foam building. Keep going, and be firm. Push the brush bristles down into the soap surface periodically to ensure you're getting soap all throughout the entire brush. Show that soap who's boss. Keep going. A good lather can take a minute or two, depending on your standards and technique.
        1. Now, here's where my own personal preference comes in. You can choose your own adventure - Either do as I do and build up half a lather, and finish building the lather directly on your legs with your brush; OR go all out and whip up a nice, big, fluffy lather before applying it to your legs. Why do I do it the way I do? Because it's quicker and less messy. So what I do is this: I make sure the brush is LOADED with soap, but I don't worry about building up a big lather yet. I want all that lather potential to be in the brush. Then I spend extra time rubbing the brush vigorously and firmly in circles on my legs, which finishes building up the lather. I do it in circles to ensure that I'm coating the hair on all sides.
    3. Once your leg is coated in shaving soap/cream, it's time to bust out that double edge safety razor. Don't be nervous. Just take your time, especially around the knees and knobby bits.
        1. The key things to remember about shaving with a safety razor vs. a multi-blade cartridge razor are: 1) You will be holding the razor at a slightly different angle; 2) You do not need to apply much pressure at all, if any; and 3) You will probably get better results with shorter strokes, as opposed to long, sweeping strokes. Oh, and 4) Pay Attention to What You're Doing.
        2. If you have coarse hair, try shaving with the grain and then against it, just like how many men shave their faces. Reapply your lather between passes.
        3. It's that easy!
    4. Post Shave: You probably already apply a lotion or oil to your legs after you shave. I recommend using a product that is made specifically for post-shave repair. Oils are great because they mostly already tend to have skin cell repairing qualities inherent in them. But any old lotion off the shelf? Think twice. You might end up irritating your skin more than helping it. Remember, every time you shave you are skimming off skin cells along with hair. Your skin is going to be a little sensitive until it starts to heal itself. Look for a post-shave balm or an alcohol-free post-shave splash. Most post-shave products are made for face-shaving instead of leg-shaving, so they will have toning qualities to tighten pores. Try to find one that emphasizes "moisturizing" over "toning", unless you like that tight-skin feel on your shins.
Guess what - That's it! You're done! Wet shaving does take more time than shaving with a can of foam and a multi-blade cartridge razor, but it is worth it.