A Step-by-Step Guide to Shaving Your Legs Correctly

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  • Shaving is the most common method for removing unwanted body hair.
  • When done properly, shaving can help reduce your chances of ingrown hairs.
  • Here, find a step-by-step tutorial for shaving your legs the right way.

Did anyone teach you how to shave your legs? For many people, it's one of the earliest beauty rituals we take on, and yet, very few have actually been taught how to shave the area the right way. We're all sort of just winging it. Though you may have gotten good at avoiding nicks and cuts (at least to some degree), achieving perfectly smooth, hairless legs can still be tricky. Not to mention, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and itchy skin often come with the territory. With a razor in one hand and shaving cream in the other, you probably just go to town and hope for the best — but there's a better way.

It's never too late to learn how to shave your legs correctly, just as it's never too late to learn how to shave your pubic hair or your armpits. As the weather warms up and you begin to dig out your shorts from the back of your closet — or, if you reside in a city, from some obscure hiding place, like deep under your bed — then it's as good a time as any to get a little tutorial on shaving your legs.

Ahead, a body hair removal expert shares tips on how to shave your legs the right way.

Step 1: Grab a Body Scrub, Razor, and Shaving Cream

First things first: gather all your tools. In addition to a fresh, clean razor and a shaving cream of some sort, you're going to want to grab a body scrub. For razors, we love the Hanni Weighted Razor ($38) and the Flamingo Razor ($9). "Shaving with a dull blade can lead to nicks and cuts, so be sure to always shave with a sharp blade and switch out your blade every four to six shaves," Leslie Tessler, the founder of Hanni, tells POPSUGAR.

To hydrate the legs while you exfoliate the skin, look for a rich shaving cream like the Eos Sensitive Skin Shaving Cream ($5), Hanni Shave Pillow ($22), or Truly Coco Cloud Luxury Shave Butter ($20).

Step 2: Exfoliate Your Legs

Before you pick up the razor, you're going to want to prep the skin for shaving by cleansing and exfoliating with the body scrub of your choice. "Exfoliation is key," says Tessler. "Dry brushing or using a physical exfoliator, like a gentle scrub, are great options for preshave prep." We like the Mario Badescu Coconut Body Scrub ($14) and the Ouai St. Barts Cleansing Scalp & Body Sugar Scrub ($38).

Five pink razor blades supported by a pink wall
Getty | Javier Zayas Photography

Step 3: Shave Upward in Short Strokes

Now that your skin is prepped and ready, it's time to pick up your razor. Because the moisture and warmth of the water can soften the hair, it's recommended that you wait until the end of your shower — after you've shampooed, conditioned, and washed your body — to shave for a smoother result. "[This] happens naturally in the shower with warm water and steam but can also be accomplished by applying a hydrating, conditioning product," says Tessler.

With your foot elevated slightly, like on the side of the tub, coat your leg in shaving cream for lubrication. Start at the ankle, and hold your razor with light pressure (or no pressure if you're using the Hanni razor), and glide the tool up your leg. "Move in short strokes across your skin," she says. After you finish a section, rinse the razor under running water to clean the blade before repeating the process.

Step 4: Shave Your Knees Last

Knees are tricky territory for shaving because they're bumpy and the skin is often looser, but with Tessler's tips, you'll be a master in no time. "For bony bits or small crevices, the key is pulling the skin taut as you shave and remembering to move in short strokes," she says. When you're finished, rinse off your legs under running water.

Step 5: Moisturize the Skin

The shaving portion may be done, but your work isn't finished quite yet. Once out of the shower, you want to moisturize your legs with a body lotion, oil, or cream "ideally with calming ingredients like aloe to lock in moisture and soothe skin postshave."

We like the Dove Beauty Body Love Intense Care Body Lotion ($6), or for something a bit thicker, the Fenty Beauty Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream ($42).

Step 6: Treat Razor Bumps and Ingrown Hairs

If you shave your legs correctly, ingrown hairs and razor burn are unlikely, but if they do occur, there are products formulated to help alleviate the issue, like the Oui the People PHA Ingrown Relief Toner ($25), Fur Ingrown Eliminator Mitts ($22), or the Bushbalm Nude Ingrown Treatment Oil ($26).