The good news is that, despite what your grandmother told you, shaving the hair on your legs does not make it grow back any thicker, darker or faster. As for the bad news, shaving has no effect on how your hair grows, so shaving frequently won’t stop the hair from coming back or make it come back more slowly.
Getting a Closer Shave
The easiest and least expensive way to reduce shaving frequency is to shave as closely as possible when you do it. Exfoliate before shaving and make the water in your bath or shower comfortable warm. Avoid cool water or water that is hot enough to dry your skin. Shave after your other bathing tasks are complete so your skin and hair have time to soften. Apply a shaving gel or foam to your legs and shave in the direction opposite the hair growth. Apply a moisturizing, alcohol-free body lotion to your legs after your bath or shower.
Slowing and Stopping Hair Growth
Despite the promises of countless hair-removal creams and lotions, there is no panacea for unwanted hair. The only drug proven to slow hair growth is eflornithine hydrochloride, which is available by prescription only. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug for use on facial hair only, and it is not recommended for use on legs or other body parts. Laser hair removal and electrolysis can slow or stop hair regrowth, but both may require several treatments. Laser treatments may only slow regrowth, requiring periodic maintenance treatments on an ongoing basis.
- MSN Healthy Living: The Hair-Raising Myth About Shaving
- The Huffington Post: Shaving Your Legs: 6 Ways We're All Messing Up This Hair Removal Technique
- The Wall Street Journal: Hair Today, Gone in Weeks
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Bristol-Myers Squibb Labeling Vaniqa
- Mayo Clinic: Laser Hair Removal
- American Electrology Association: Frequently Asked Questions About Permanent Hair Removal
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