Is It Better to Shave Before or After Showering?

Shaving is an essential part of most people’s grooming routine. Whether it’s your face, legs, or chest, most of us have to take on the tedious task of shaving once in a while. Many of us learned to shave at a young age from our parents. They gave us instructions on when and how to shave, probably based on their personal preferences.

But when is really the best time to whip out your razor: before or after your shower? Or is it during? In this post we will look at the pros and cons of showering in relation to when you shave. We will also get into other topics such as shaving with acne and all about pre-shave products.

I know shaving is something you have probably been doing for a while, but this post will provide you with more information than you have ever learned about this grooming practice. Think of it as your Ultimate Shaving Guide!

What are the Pros and Cons of Shaving Before the Shower?

When it comes to shaving before your shower, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to this practice. This method is best if you are in a rush, which most of us always seem to be, since you can skip the shower if absolutely needed. I wouldn’t put it off for too long for the sake of those around you though.

If you are planning on showering immediately after shaving, even better! This allows you to easily wipe away any excess hair that may have stuck to you. The tool you use for shaving will also affect when you ​should shave. Using an electric razor on dry hair is recommended, making it ideal to shave before you shower. Wet hair becomes unmanageable when using an electric razor.

If you are using another type of razor, such as a straight ​razor, it is best to wet your hair prior to shaving.​ But you do not have to ​take a shower to accomplish this. Let a damp, warm towel sit and soak the hair for about 3 minutes. This will soften the hair and open up your pores, allowing easier access to your hair follicles, resulting in a great shave!

What are the Pros and Cons of Shaving After the Shower?

The most popular method for shaving is to wait to shave until after getting out of the shower. In fact, most people are taught to shave after showering because of the benefits of this technique. When you are in the shower your hair will become wet while you are getting clean, making shaving with a non-electric razor much easier. This also helps to achieve a better lather when using a shave lotion or cream.

The steam from the shower opens up your pores, making it easier to get to the hair follicles and remove even the toughest hairs. This leaves you with a closer shave. In the shower your skin becomes softer, which reduces the chances ​of irritation. When skin is rough your razor can pull at your skin, which results in an uncomfortable and patchy shave.

You are also cleaning your skin in the shower. This helps to stop the transfer of bacteria all over your body from the razor. Along with removing bacteria when showering, you are also removing dead skin. Dead skin can often get clogged in your razor, so removing it before shaving makes the task much easier.

As great as this method sounds, there are some downsides to this style of shaving. You have to make sure all of the hair that was removed does not stay stuck to your body. This can be more time consuming than just showering afterwards to begin with. There is also usually more cleanup to deal with. Finally, if you wait too long to shave once you are out the shower, your pores could close up. When your pores close, it is much more difficult to get a close shave.

What About Shaving in (​​during) the Shower?

There is a third option when it comes to shaving that many people find appealing. That is to shave while actually showering. This is often seen as one of the fastest ways to get a comfortable and close shave.

Shaving during your shower may seem like the easiest method, but it too has its ups and downs. It’s good that the hair is already wet, which helps to build a lather quicker. Cleanup is easy, because you can wash excess hair down the drain. But if you shave right when you get into the shower you are not allowing your pores to open.

On the other hand, if you wait too long to shave, your skin can prune which causes the razor to drag. That will make it difficult to get all the hairs and more likely to irritate the skin. Other cons to this method of shaving are that shaving facial hair or your head is very hard to see while in the shower, especially if you aren’t using a fog-less mirror.

The type of razor you use may also cause an issue. If you prefer to use an electric razor, you must be sure that it is completely waterproof. Using a more difficult razor, such as a double edge safety razor or straight ​razor, becomes harder to use while in the shower. This is because it is much easier to lose control of these types of razors in the slippery, wet conditions of the shower.

These razors are especially not recommended for beginners to use in the shower. It is best to master your technique dry and in front of a mirror before attempting to venture into the shower with them.

When is the Best Time to Shave Certain Areas?

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding when you want to shave, is the part of your body that you are shaving. This is because hair grows differently on each part of your body, making some techniques easier for certain areas.

Face, Beard, Head

For the face, it is recommended to shave after a shower because it will open your pores. It is also much easier to see what you are doing when you are out of the shower. Having a better view of what you are doing will help you avoid any nicks or cuts. The same applies for beard trimming and for hair on top of your head. The rich lather that occurs after hair is wet and soft from the shower is ideal for any facial hair.

Legs, Bikini, Pubic Hair

Legs can be done while showering or afterwards. It is not recommended to shave legs dry because this can cause a lot of irritation. The bikini area can also be done during or after the shower. Remember, this is a sensitive area! Do not attempt to shave dry. If you are new to shaving your pubic hairs, you should practice removing hair outside of the shower first so you can start to develop your own technique.

Armpits, Chest, Other Areas

Shaving the armpits and chest can be done before, after, or during your shower as long as the proper steps are taken. Whatever part of your body you are shaving, most people recommend​ shaving after a hot shower, but it all depends on your preferences, hair, and skin type.

Is it Better to Shave with Hot or Cold Water?

The temperature of the water is another big part in how successful your shave will be. Hot water creates steam, which opens pores and softens skin. But hot water can also cause skin to prune and hair to dry out if you are in too long. This makes hair much more difficult to shave. Learning to shave with cold water will come in handy if you are ever in a situation where hot water is not available, whether in an emergency or just trying to stay civilized while camping in the woods.

Woman showering outside

Cold water also helps hair to look healthier and shinier. And if you shave in the morning, there is nothing like a splash of cold water to help wake you up. Cold water helps hair to become stiffer, which is best for cutting the hair leaving you with a clean look. This makes cold water ideal for trimming hair with an electric razor. Keep in mind though, cold water shrinks your pores making it harder to get a close overall shave.

Finally, be careful when using cold water if using a traditional razor since it may cause tugging and irritation. But there are still more factors than water temperature when it comes to shaving.

What About Shaving With Acne, Before or After Shower?

Shaving with acne can be a challenge in itself. The razor you use should only have one or two blades. The more blades there are the more irritation can occur, so this tip can be applied even if you do not have acne but have sensitive skin. Whether you shave before or after you shower, you must be sure that your skin is clean.

Removing dirt, oil, and bacteria from the skin will prevent them from spreading around when using the razor. So if you have acne on your body, it is best to shave after you have showered and cleaned your skin. Shaving after a shower when you have acne also gives you more control of your razor, allowing you to avoid inflamed areas.

If you have any pimples that have come to a head and are about to pop, it is best to pop them yourself before shaving. Although in most situations it is best to leave pimples alone, popping them yourself before you shave is better than risking popping them while shaving and contaminating the pimple with the razor.

It is important to keep all of your tools sanitized. That is why it is ​best to apply shave lotion or cream with clean hands instead of a brush, to avoid spreading bacteria. You should also disinfect your razor before and after each use.

Wet and Dry Shaving Before or After Shower?

Just as there are advantages and disadvantages to when you shave, the same applies for how you shave. Some people prefer shaving dry and others prefer shaving wet. A wet shave gives you the closest shave. It softens hair and allows your razor to glide easier. Sometimes your razor can glide too much and cause cuts or nicks, so shaving wet requires dexterity.

If you prefer to use an electric shaver, then you’ll want to shave dry. Wet hair is harder to remove with an electric razor. This method is better for sensitive skin because an electric razor is not as abrasive. Electric razors also pull less on the skin, making cuts less frequent. Dry shaving also helps to eliminate ingrown hairs.

Electric razors do not give you as close of a shave, so they work best with lighter hair instead of thick, coarse hair. Electric razors are usually pricier than traditional razors, so that is something to keep in mind when you are making your decision.

What About After Shave Lotion, Before or After Shower?

Even when dry shaving you still need to use an oil, lotion or cream before you shave. Pre-shave products bring moisture to your hair, giving you the best shave possible. They give a slick surface to help your razor glide easily over your hairy areas. Using a pre-shave product helps to prevent micro-abrasions and irritation.

When choosing a cream or lotion, you want to make sure that the product provides a rich lather. This will make all the difference when shaving! You will find the richer the lather, the more comfortable your shave. Comfort comes from the product retaining heat and moisture to the applied area, giving you the best shave.

Pre-shave products are important whether you shave before, after, or during your shower. Even if you are in a rush, do not skip this step. You will regret it when the area becomes itchy and inflamed.

So What’s The Verdict?

Keeping all of these factors in mind will help you decide how and when it is best for you to shave. Each one has its pros and cons, making this a completely personal decision. Remember we are all unique, with different hair types, skin types, and routines. This means there is not a one size fits all shaving method.

You have to find the one that works best for you. It may be easy to just stick with what you know, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try a new razor or technique. You might just find you like one of these methods way better than your current one. Happy shaving!