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Shaving is one of those activities that everyone just seems to dread, but we all put up with it to look nice and presentable.
The thing is, shaving does't need to be uncomfortable, or painful.
And you probably don't need to spend as much as you do on shaving supplies.
If shaving still feels like a chore to you, smooth out your life with these 13 helpful hacks.
1. Stow your razor carefully
How many shaves do you get out of a single disposable razor? If your answer is less than five, you're doing something wrong.
Treating your razors to keep them sharp is one thing, but you should start by storing them properly.
After every shave, rinse hair off your razor, then dry the blade with a towel.
You don't need to keep your razor in a airtight case, but make sure to store it out of the shower and away from your sink, where the moisture dulls the edges.
2. Use a badger brush
You don't see these tools outside of old-fashioned barber shops, but they're so useful.
A big mistake when applying any type of shaving cream or lotion is putting on too much.
When you can't clearly see your skin, or apply the cream unevenly, you end up nicking yourself or missing spots.
A badger brush applies creams, foams, and gels evenly on your skin.
It's also great for applying hair removal lotions to your legs.
And best of all, your hands stay clean.
3. Find the Goldilocks temperature
Why should you never shave with cold water?
Because it's uncomfortable, of course, but it can also shock and close your pores, drawing your hair away from the surface of your skin.
Hot water will do the same thing, even if it feels more comfortable.
But warm water will open your pores, bringing hair follicles closer to the razor blade for a smooth shave.
4. Shave against the grain
When you run a finger along your skin, there's one direction where hair lays flat, and one direction where it stands up and rubs against your skin.
Shaving aficionados say it's best to quickly shave with the grain for a beard, to remove most of the hair, then finish by spot-shaving against the grain.
But women find it more comfortable to start against the grain - bottom up - when shaving their legs.
5. Protect your skin
Being careful while shaving isn't the only thing you can do to fend of skin irritation.
Start before you shave by pre-soaking your skin in warm water, and letting the water absorb into your skin.
Then, after the shave, apply a moisturizing cream before you towel off to avoid your skin drying out.
The more you moisturize the skin throughout the process, the more comfortable you'll feel after.
6. Save money on shaving essentials
Shopping for razors is a uniquely annoying experience, from the cost to the hassle of getting them out of that lock-up case at the drugstore.
But you can save time, money, and your sanity by getting your gear from Dollar Shave Club - if you live in the United States.
The subscription service delivers world-class razors, blades, and grooming supplies - including cleansers and face creams - to your home at an affordable price.
Deliveries arrive to suit your schedule, they're easy to pause or cancel, and there's a 100% money-back guarantee.
(A reminder, this service is only for customers in the U.S.)
7. Hone your razor
If you're not willing to spring for a deluxe razor, you can still keep your disposable blades in good condition.
The trick is to treat the cheap blade like a fancy Ginzo knife - honing and oiling the blade will give you a clean shave.
Before you shave, rub the razor on a rough surface like a strop, a pair of blue jeans, or even your arm hair.
Be sure to rub the blade up, so it's not cutting the surface. (Rub the safety bar or dull side of the blade away from you.)
After you shave, rub baby oil onto the blade and wipe the excess off with a clean cloth. This keeps the metal in good condition.
8. Invest in quality products
If you're ready to step up from cheap razors and dollar store creams, you can get a better shave without breaking the bank.
Harry's makes quality shaving products - including razors and shave gels - and delivers them to you at a schedule that makes sense for your shaving habits.
They deliver custom-designed blades to your home, no middlemen involved, and offer great customer service that makes customizing your deliveries effortless.
Choose from their impressive range of products and start enjoying your shave with Harry's.
9. Condition your hair
It's not just for your scalp, you know.
Conditioner pulls double duty, softening your hair so you get a smooth shave, and moisturizing your skin so it gets less irritated.
No matter where you apply it - face, arms, legs, or even your scalp - conditioner guarantees a clean and nick-free shave.
You can even replace shaving cream with conditioner for an extra smooth shaving experience.
10. Touch up cuts with lip balm
Let's be real: accidents happen, no matter what steps you take to avoid them.
But you don't need to waste time dealing with a nick, or plug it up with a toilet paper square.
A quick brush with a lip balm stick stops bleeding right away, so you can get back to business.
11. Stretch out your shaves
Sometimes you just want to avoid shaving altogether - it's not exactly my idea of fun, I'll admit.
Products infused with soy have been shown to slow hair growth, so applying them to your skin can help you last longer between shaves.
12. Avoid skin irritators
Not all beauty products are created equal.
Some products that promise to be gentle on your skin are really irritating by design.
For up to an hour after your shaves, you should steer clear of any scented products.
Avoid applying deodorants, strong creams, or beauty products with harsh chemicals right after a shave.
13. Exfoliate while you shave
Exfoliates are another beauty product you can substitute for shaving cream, with surprising results.
They help the razor blade glide over your skin, but also scrub out your pores at the same time.
It leaves your freshly-shaved skin feeling extra smooth, so try it the next time you shave your legs.
Have you tried any of these tips before?