How often should I shave my legs?

Image of a woman shaving her legs
Personal Hygiene Image Gallery Shaving is the most common way to keep your legs hairless, but it requires regular upkeep. See more pictures of personal hygiene practices.
Š Verspuij

Shaving is the most common way to temporarily remove unwanted leg hair [source: Barba]. It's cheap, it's easy and it's less painful than waxing -- however, shaving results don't last very long. Once you begin shaving, your legs may require daily maintenance to keep them smooth, but how often you need to shave really depends on how quickly your hair grows.

Shaving only removes hair at the surface of the skin, so it doesn't have to grow much to resurface. Most women will find they have to shave every one to three days if they want to keep their skin smooth [source: Hirsch]. But all that shaving can cause irritation for some people. Shaving often leads to razor burn, ingrown hairs and cuts, all of which can be unsightly and uncomfortable. If you find that your skin becomes irritated after shaving, there are a few techniques that may help.


Using a shaving gel or cream is one of the best ways to avoid skin irritation. Select a moisturizing gel or cream that's alcohol-free -- alcohol can dry out your skin -- and apply it liberally. You can also soak your legs in warm water for a few minutes prior to shaving, which will soften the hair and help prevent cuts and razor burn. You don't want to soak so long that your skin starts to swell and wrinkle, though. Always use a clean, sharp blade -- a dull one can cause nicks and cuts. Make sure you shave with the grain of the hair -- the direction it naturally grows -- and don't shave over the same area more than once. [source: WebMD].

You can shave your legs as often as you like, but if your skin is irritated, you should take a few days off. View the links on the next page for more tips on shaving your legs.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Barba, Alicia MD. "Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques." eMedicine. May 27, 2008. (accessed 08/25/2009)
  • Hirsch, Larissa MD. "Hair Removal." Kid's Health. Jan. 2008. (accessed 08/25/2009)
  • WebMD. "Shaving Tips for Teen Girls." Feb. 8, 2009. (accessed 08/25/2009)