At Wilkinson Sword, we know shaving. But then so do you, right? After all, we spend days, week, even months of enough our lives running a razor across our skin so by a certain age we’re all pretty clued up on how to do it right.
What’s incredible, then, is how many common misconceptions there are around shaving – and just how way-off-the-mark they actually are. It’s high time we made your shave smoother than ever by ironing out some of the biggest myths around...
1. Shaving causes hair to grow back
You’re bound to have fallen for it, and no one’s quite sure how this myth started – but maybe it’s something to do with an optical illusion. If you don’t shave for a long time, then sun can make your hairs lighter and thinner. So when you do shave, what’s left will suddenly be a lot more noticeable.
Did you also know that hair is much thicker at the root than at the tips? That explains why fresh growing stubble looks much more conspicuous and thicker – and the hairs that have already grown longer are closer to the skin, and less noticeable. What is a fact is that growth, colour and hair thickness aren’t influenced by shaving in the slightest – but they are linked to your genes.
2. Always shave against the grain
On some body parts, this is an excellent idea. On others, it’s a terrible one. What many people don't know is that hair is completely different on various areas of your body – not just in thickness, texture or colour but direction of growth too.
In the bikini area you should always shave with the direction of growth, because the skin here is particularly sensitive. When it comes to your legs, you can either shave with or against the grain depending on what feels more effective and comfortable. To complicate things further, you should shave in both directions under the armpits, because the hairs grow in a criss-cross pattern.
Got sensitive skin? Then whether you’re shaving against the grain or not, a razor with an integrated gel reservoir like those in the Hydro 5 range can help prevent razor burn.
3. New blades cause cuts
Sure, your shiny new razor blades are super-sharp, but that doesn’t mean they’re more likely to cut your skin open. With old blades, the risk of cutting yourself is a lot higher. It might seem odd that a dull blade is more dangerous, but the reason for this is that once a blade has started to wear down you need to exert more pressure to get it to work. Pushing hard into your skin like this can quickly lead to small cuts. With multi-bladed razors like our Quattro for Women, you need to use even less pressure because they glide more smoothly over the skin.
4. Pressing a razor against your skin will give you a closer shave
Seems like an obvious one doesn’t it – the harder you press, the more hairs will be removed from your skin. But this isn’t actually the case. Applying too much pressure to your razor can be damaging to your skin and increases your chances of suffering from nicks and cuts. So long as you’re using a sharp razor blade, stay light-handed and let your razor blade do the work for you.
5. Soap works the same as shaving cream
Soap creates suds, so surely it can be used like shaving cream? Unfortunately not. Shaving creams, gels and soaps are designed to moisturise your skin and will help razor blades glide more easily across the skin. Soap, on the other hand, has cleansing properties and is more likely to dry out your skin and cause irritation.
6. Shaving makes your skin dry and damaged
People are often worried that shaving will damage their skin, leaving it irritated and dry. Whilst skin irritation can happen if post-shave care is ignored or old, dull blades are used, when shaving is done correctly, your skin won’t be damaged. Using a high-quality, sharp blade will keep your skin protected. Plus, moisturising after shaving will rehydrate your skin, leaving it smooth and soft.