It happens to the best of us. You’ve got somewhere to be that requires you to bare your legs to the world, and you can’t find a razor anywhere. And while there’s nothing wrong with rocking an au natural look if that’s your thing, you might prefer to show off some silky smooth stems. Well, don’t worry; you can still get rid of unwanted hair even if you don’t have time to make a razor run. Wondering how to shave without a razor? We’re here to help.
The truth is sometimes not shaving has nothing to do with not being able to find a razor and everything to do with just not wanting to use one. Shaving with a razor can be tedious. Sometimes it leaves you with a serious case of razor burn. If this sounds all too familiar — and yet you still want to get rid of body hair — there are other options.
Okay, so technically, “shaving” is by definition an act you complete with a razor. However, most of us use “shave” as shorthand for removing unwanted hair. And fortunately, friends, razor-free hair removal options are far more readily available than the olden days of straight-bladin’ it. You’re not the only one searching for ways to get rid of body hair. In fact, according to the latest search data available to us, that query is searched for nearly 1,600 times per month. So, if you’re ready to do a little body scaping and don’t have (or want to use) a razor, here are some alternatives.
First things first, what if you do have to take a razor to your skin without any water. We wouldn’t recommend this as it can irritate the skin, cause breakouts and razor burn, but if you have absolutely no other alternative, here are a few things you can keep in mind before you put razor to skin.
— Try to moisten your legs even if you can’t hop in the shower. That means any old sink with a working faucet can be your best friend and save you from razor burn down the line. Just a tip, shaving with cold water is better, as it’ll make the hair on your legs a little stiffer, giving a better shave.
— Shave with the grain. This may go against what you’ve been taught but trust us on this one.
— Use a clean razor, preferably a new one. Always!
— Try to rinse or wipe down with water. If you can’t fully rinse your legs, then moisten a towel and wipe down your legs to get all the hair/soap off.
— Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Your skin will be extra sensitive after a shave like this, or any shave, so a thick lotion will soften you right up.
This widely-known method consists of applying wax, usually hot although there are some cold waxing methods, to skin with unwanted hair. A quick but cautious pull, and large swaths of hair are removed. It’s not the most pain-free experience, but it makes for silky smooth skin and can last for several weeks.
These days, you can order professional quality waxing kits online. What a time to be alive! Of course, there’s a big margin for error when handling hot wax (most pointedly, burns), so don’t be shy about seeing a professional for this one.
To be clear, you probably don’t want to tweeze your leg hair. Or even your bikini line. But if you have smaller patches of hair like your chin, toes, or brows, going old school with a set of tweezers can do the trick. You undoubtedly know the drill: Just grab a hair with the tweezers and — yoink! — pull it out.
Perhaps you have a low pain threshold. Listen, that’s perfectly okay. And it doesn’t have to affect you getting your razor-free hair removal on, either. Topical depilatories are designed to dissolve hair using chemicals, typically taking less than 20 minutes to do so. Word to the wise: They don’t smell amazing, but they get the job done.
Because they can trigger allergic reactions or rashes in people with sensitive skin, you should always (always) patch-test these types of hair removal creams before slathering them all over. Popular options include Nair, Veet, and Vaniqa.
Hair Removal Pads
If you have a little time on your hands and are interested in an affordable, chemical-free route, hair removal pads might be more your speed. These are pretty much exactly what they sound like — you grip a small, handheld buffer and rub its rough surface against your skin. When done correctly, it doesn’t hurt and can slough away unwanted hair. However, this isn’t a large-scale method so you may want to stick to small patched of hair.
Think of “sugaring” as waxing’s more natural cousin. The act itself is essentially the same. You apply a goopy liquid(ish) mixture to the skin, let it set, then pull it off — along with the pesky unwanted hair you slathered it on. Unlike with most waxes, though, sugaring mixtures do not contain chemicals. They rely on ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, and water.
The process and recipe originated in the Middle East as far back as 1900 B.C.E. and was famously used by the Egyptians as a form of epilation, or hair removal. You can make sugaring wax at home using simple ingredients like granulated sugar and lemon juice, or go to an aesthetician who specializes in this ancient art form.
Have you ever had your eyebrows threaded before? This centuries-old Turkish and Indian technique involves gathering hair in a loop of cotton thread and twisting the thread to pluck out the hair. Professional “threaders” make light work of eyebrow and facial hair this way (leg and arm hair is generally too thick for this method). It might take you time to find your flow, but don’t let that deter you. Invest in a good threader, watch tutorials, and remember that practice makes perfect.
You might be thinking, What the hell is an epilator? And TBH, you may think it sounds terrifying once we tell you. Still, here goes. An epilator is a device with mechanical grabbers that pull out hair as your roll the epilator over said hair. As with anything you can get on the internet, it’s best to do your due diligence here. There are tons of at-home devices on the market, and some of their reviews are nightmare fuel. It’s worth your time and energy to dig deep and uncover at-home epilators with glowing reviews.
Lasers & Electrolysis
Hey, it’s possible you don’t ever want to shave with a razor again if you can help it. In that case, you’re probably going to want to look into either electrolysis or laser hair treatments. With electrolysis, a shortwave radio frequency destroys individual hair follicles. With laser hair treatments, a laser is used to the same effect. Both options boast results that last much longer than shaving or alternative treatments and can lead to a permanent reduction in hair growth. The trade-off here? Although there are devices on the market that claim to do these things at home, laser hair removal and electrolysis are best left to accredited professionals.
Granted, you should know that there isn’t actually any hair removal method that is 100 percent permanent.