In Hippie's node Why don't men shave?, she brought up several points about the burden women go through shaving their legs. Sure, some men do it for aerodynamics and biking. While these men may have mad shaving skills, the thought that struck me was that most men (me included) had no clue how to do it. Much for the same reason as not asking for directions while driving, we avoid shaving because we just do not know how. Call me crazy, but I decided to take one for the team and figure it out first hand. Then I would display my results, as well as instructions from the pros.

What went down

With absolutely no experience, I decided to just choose 'logical' methods to go about this. My legs were pretty hairy to begin with, so the process was very time-consuming. I grabbed my Mach 3 razor and hopped in the shower. If there's anything I've learned from shaving my face, dry skin becomes razor-burned skin.

I chose the logical method of going with the grain of my hairs. I figured this was a wise move, because the hairs would not grow inside the skin (ouch). My strokes were short, as a minor flick of the wrist would clog my razor head.

On my right knee, the blade caught just wrong, and the blood seemed to flow endlessly. My knees are bony, so even at the slow (and careful) pace I worked at, the blade showed its deadly character.

I used a can of Barbasol shaving cream, because it was simply what I had to work with. I didn't spread it liberally, as the can was close to empty.

Later that day

As sexy as it felt to put on jeans, school was a nightmare. It was exhilirating moving at times, as it felt like a million fingers rubbing my legs. But my jeans were non-cooperative with this change for most of the day, resulting in a really mean itch.


My female friends were quite surprised that I had shaved my legs for this simple experiment, and more that I only had one cut to show for my first outing. However, they pointed out the (several) flaws in my job.

The first mistake was going with the grain. You are supposed to make an upward motion with the blade, not downward. It reduces razor-burn, and leaves a better smoothness.

I had the right idea in going in the shower. NEVER (her emphasis) shave dry. But I made the flaw in using a foam while shaving. They recommended that I should use a gel shaving lotion. Or (for the cheap college crowd) you can also use hair conditioner.

They told me that to keep the nice smoothness, you should try to shave twice a week. Also, it is important that you use a sharp blade!


My girlfriend (yes, all men can do it, including Joe Straight-Guy) really likes my smooth legs, and that I can relate to the experience ("yeah, the patience required is immense"). I like slipping into pants with interesting fibers, as my legs are feeling new sensations that were normally muted by hair. I think the only problem in the long run will be wearing shorts and swimsuits. Oh well, I guess I'll take comfort in that I'm loved anyway.

So men, as I have now given you all you need to know after careful and scientific testing, there is no excuse not to shave your legs.