It’s officially spring and time to clean out…and that means hair, too!
LEG SHAVING 101
Why do cyclists obsess about shaved legs? The misconception is that it’s for aerodynamics (kind of like hydrodynamics for swimmers). While reduced wind resistance may have some merit for speed demons, the reasons why cyclists of all speed levels decide to go bare-legged are pretty functional:
1. Crashing. When you crash, you rip skin. If you have hairy legs, the hair rips off more skin.
2. Cleaning. It’s much easier to clean a road rash wound if you don’t have hair matted into it.
3. Peeling off a bandage/tape is easier without hair.
4. It’s easier to use sports creams, embrocation, and oils on hair-free legs.
5. Bodywork. It’s much easier for a massage therapist to manipulate muscles.
6. Your partner will like it! Well, most of them do after they get used to it! If your legs are smooth, they’ll at least appreciate them more than if they’re stubbly.
7. Identity. Like it or not, part of it is simply the culture of cycling.
Once you decide to go “under the razor” maintaining the look is important. Here are some tips to keep your legs silky-smooth without all the irritation:
1. Use hot H2O. A hot shower will soften up the hair and make it easier to shave.
2. Exfoliate. A product like Aveda’s Smoothing Body Polish or Bliss’ Hot Salt Scrub prior to shaving will get rid of dead skin, also making it easier to shave.
3. Invest in a good razor and sharp blades. Enough cannot be said about this. Gillette’s Fusion Power razor has 5 blades and vibrates, excuse me, micro-pulses.
4. Purchase good shaving cream, not soap. Rapha offers a shaving cream that will keep your razor running across your legs as smoothly as Michelle Kwan’s ice skates on a freshly Zamboni’d rink. HeadLube, Leg Lube, Brave Shave, and DZ Nutz Bald are also fantastic options to keep you smooth all the way up. The Art of Shaving makes fantastic badger hair brushes and excellent shaving cream, as well.
5. Use light razor strokes and rinse the razor often. Careful around the knees. Technique is important: half circle to the left, half circle to the right, short, quick strokes on the knee to get all the little ones. You can learn a lot by watching your wife or girlfriend’s deft movements.
6. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a soft towel.
7. Aftershave. Use Tend Skin to prevent ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and the like.
8. Finish with Mountain Ocean’s Skin Trip or Jack Black’s Cool Moisture to keep your legs from drying out.
One of the best waxing salons on the west side, Queen Bee Salon & Spa, is on the southwest corner of 26th and San Vicente and caters to men’s waxing needs in addition to their female clientele. The technicians are discreet, professional, and take great care in providing the highest quality service. Ask for the Hermes (full leg wax) and let them know that Bike Effect sent you. (310) 570-2282.
See you and your sparkling legs on the road!