Shaving is the most wide-spread and quick but also could be the most coarse way of depilation of unwanted hair nowadays.

Shaving is a personal choice. People remove hair from their bodies by shaving for comfort, aesthetics, fun, or sexual, cultural, or religious reasons. Removing /shaving hair has historical roots. It is said, that Neanderthal men in the Stone Age, around 100,000 B.C. first started pulling hair, painting, and tattooing their bodies.

Ancient cave paintings inspected today tell us that early men also had other ways to remove hair from their faces: in the beginning, they simply plucked them out using two seashells as tweezers. Indeed, tweezers have remained throughout the history as the most popular grooming tool ever invented, used by men and women to remove body and facial hair.

The first and earliest shaving razors that the archeologists came across, were flint blades, made presumably as far back as 30,000 B.C. Flint could provide an extremely sharp edge for shaving; so these were, naturally, the first disposable shavers as flint becomes dull rather quickly.

In 3000 B.C. Permanent shaving razors were developed, as a result of the invention of metalworking. Copper razors were found available then in both India and Egypt. Around 500 B.C. roman women removed hair with razors, pumice stones and made homemade depilatory creams using medicinal drugs, such as bryonia. They also used tweezers to pluck their eyebrows. Roman men had a skilled live-in servant to shave them; or used to go to the tonsor or barber, who would shave their faces with an iron novacila, or Roman razor. This type of shaver used to corrode quickly and become blunt, that’s why the customers were getting cut on a regular basis. That’s when tonsors were coming to use: they would “fix” the cuts by applying to the face a soothing plaster made from special perfumed ointment and spider webs soaked in oil and vinegar.

Before you shave

Make sure you have a sharp blade. Do replace worn parts if necessary as dull blades will pull hair, increases risk of ingrown hairs, and won’t leave the effect desired. If you use electric shavers, pay attention to how often to replace certain parts which is normally indicated in the instructions. If you need to apply pressure to your thumb whilst shaving – you need to replace it.

In the case of very long hair (never been shaved before, etc.) you may want to clip it with scissors first. This is very important if you are shaving your head, under the arms or the pubic area - sometimes called pubes.

Soak the part of the body you want to shave in warm water first, for at least three minutes (important for coarser pubic and armpit hair). Warm water softens the hair, opens the hair follicle and relaxes the skin. Wet hair reduces wear on the blade and stands up easier.

Apply shaving gel and let it sit for a few minutes-this helps soften the hair more, locks moisture into the hair, reduces friction and conditions the skin. Always use some gel, foam, etc. meant for shaving otherwise you might get razor burn (red raw skin, irritation, or bumps). It is advisable to apply some after shaving gels, balsams or creams to calm and protect the skin. Majority of after shaving skin care products intend to smooth your skin immediately after depilation. Some of them contain ingredients that will make the hairs grow more slowly, becoming lighter and more discreet over time, making the hair thinner and softer, so future depilation is easier and less painful.

Avoid shaving when you first get in the morning. Body fluids make the skin puffy after sleep. After 20 to 30 minutes the skin becomes tighter and the hair shaft more exposed.

When you shave

When shaving, pull the skin straight and tight with one hand, and shave with the other. Do not apply pressure with the razor (if you need to, it means your razor is too dull).

Disposable razors usually instruct to shave in the direction of the hair growth, but some people find that to get a much closer shave, they need to shave in the opposite direction. If you do choose to shave against the hair growth, be sure you've taken the time to soak and are using shaving cream or gel, otherwise you risk ingrown hairs and razor burn.

Long upward strokes are best on legs. Short side to side and up and down strokes may be necessary on the underarm, where hair grows all directions. Shave upwards on the pubic area.

When shaving, rinse the blade from time to time: hairs on the blade can interfere with shaving. Ensure there is enough shaving foam wherever you're shaving.

Try not to go over an area repeatedly, as this can cause irritation. If there is an awkward straight hair sticking out, use a pop-up trimmer or tweezers. Be extra careful of repeat strokes on sensitive areas such as bikini zone.

Shave in slow strokes, especially if you're using a disposable razor. If you go too quickly, you may cut yourself, miss hairs or cause razor burn.

If you're shaving more than one area of the body, apply shaving gel to all areas, and then start shaving the finest hair first (usually the legs or belly). This will allow the shaving foam to sit on the coarser hair longer.

It is recommended to shave at an approximate 30% angle with disposable razors. Many electric razors are best at a 45 degree angle, although check the instruction for advice in the booklet provided.