So, this conversation happened recently:
MTF crossdressing friend: Why do I get little red bumps on my legs when I shave them?
Me: Maybe they’re ingrown hairs? Make sure you exfoliate, etc blah.
Friend: I’m still getting them.
Me: Well, what do you use as a shaving lotion?
Friend: Huh? What do you mean?
Me: *all the facepalms*
Then a few days later I had a similar conversation with a different friend and realised: this shit is kinda complicated! I mean, it’s not all that difficult, but it’s also not exactly intuitive. I learned from my mum and Dolly magazine, but not everyone doing this for the first time is a teenage girl. Or dumb enough to buy Dolly magazine. (I got better.)
Thus I present: The Idiot’s Guide. Designed to make sense to someone not initiated into the mysteries of femininity but who sort of thinks they might want to be?
STEP 1: OBTAIN RAZOR. For the purposes of this guide, this is a normal boring non-electric razor. It doesn’t have to be a girly pink one, just one you’re comfortable with that works. If you shave your face, try to have a separate razor for your legs, or at least change the blade. Sharp blades work best, obvs, and facial hair tends to be coarser than leg hair and will blunt the blade.
STEP 2: GET WET. Warm water softens the hair and makes it easier to shave. It also helps with the next step which is
STEP 3: EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. Use a loofah or exfoliating body wash (or hey, por qué no los dos?) and scrub those legs. It gets rid of grime and dead skin and they’ll be smoother and softer.
STEP 4: LOTION UP. Seriously this bit is really important but a lot of people don’t figure it out on their own. While your legs are still wet, cover them in tons of lotion. I use Sorbolene cream - it’s cheap, hypoallergenic, not fancy, and you can use it for a whole bunch of things. You can buy it at most supermarkets. Ignore the title of this step and don’t actually rub it in, just slather your legs in it. It helps everything go more smoothly and protects your skin. Trust me, you’ll be in a world of itchy pain if you skip it.
STEP 5: SHAVE! Make sure you shave against the direction the hair is growing in (IMPORTANT NOTE: not all your leg hair grows in the same direction! It will often grow sideways on the backs of your calves and upwards on the backs of your thighs) and clean your razor under running water when it gets gunked up. You’re more likely to cut yourself around your knees and ankles, so be careful.
STEP 6: RINSE. With water. Yeah.
STEP 7: FOR GOD’S SAKE MOISTURISE. You can use the same stuff you used in Step 4, but this time dry off first, use less and rub it in. Basically you just scraped a lot of skin cells and oil off your legs, so the skin will be really dry and it’ll need some kind of replacement there. Skipping this will result in the previously mentioned world of pain and itching, and potentially skin flaking off and general unwanted grossness. Tea tree oil lotion is good for not getting ingrown hairs, which you will be more prone to if you’re biologically male since your leg hair is thicker. It might not sound so bad but those suckers are nasty.
STEP 8: loljks you’re done. Go show off your sexy smooth legs!
Don’t worry if you discover later on that you missed bits (it usually takes me a couple of days to notice). You can always go back and fix it if it bothers you, but missed patches of leg hair aren’t nearly as obvious as, say, facial hair. Oh, and stay away from the beach for a day or so. You know that world of pain? Yeah.
Disclaimer: this is not to say that you SHOULD shave their legs if you want to look feminine - that’s a whole other debate that I’m not getting into. This is a thing to say, if you want to shave and you’re not sure how, here’s what you do. I am also open to suggestions if you have any extra tips!