Shaving Tips for Women and Men (cont.)

Shaving Tips for Women

A lot of the same advice -- heat, softening, gel-like creams -- also applies to women. Some women even use hair conditioner as a cream. Griego says she has always been a bather herself, liking the heat and softening effects of a good soak. "Be a bather," she says, "your skin will be so much happier, and so will you."

If women get razor bumps and rashes, using an acne cream with 5% benzoyl peroxide or an over-the-counter cortisone cream can also soothe. Or women can try the ever-popular (scream!) waxing. Bank cautions, however, that repeatedly ripping the hair out of the follicles can cause it to regrow out the side of the channel and cause bumps.

Women may want to shave at night, rather than in the morning. If women do shave in the morning, wait at least 20 minutes after waking so fluids in the body can redistribute and not be swelled up around the hairs, making it impossible to cut them closely.

When shaving private areas, Griego reminds women not to go too close. "The elastic of underwear will be rubbing," she says.

As for women's facial hair, Griego says it is not true that shaving it will make if grow back thicker and coarser. "I have been shaving my facial hair for 30 years," she says. "I still use one of those little single-bladed Flamingo razors where the blade does not touch the skin. You can use it on eyebrows and sideburns, too."

As for depilatories for women's legs, underarms, and other parts, Griego says test the product first on the inside of your forearm or it could be "yikes."

Bank has the last word. "I would like to give a nod to laser hair removal," he says. And not just because he is a dermatologist. "I have had laser," he says. "This is a great solution to ingrown hairs. I am not beardless, but my beard is softer and grows slower."

Published Aug. 1, 2005.

SOURCES: Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area. Roxanne Griego, administrator and director, Arizona Board of Barbers, Phoenix. David E. Bank, MD, director, Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

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