Monday, January 24, 2011

Question of the Week: Do You Shave Your Legs?

After the BathImage via Wikipedia
I truly believe that for us women, the answer to this question quite possibly is a litmus test for determining whether or not we are living with chronic illness. Because let's be honest, most of us modern females see shaving as a mandatory grooming practice and would shave several times a week if we could. I am right, ladies?

By the way, I love that this question came from a reader last week. She submitted it via the Ask Me Anything link, which allows anyone to ask me a question anonymously via Formspring. She wrote:

Something I have been wondering about is shaving my legs! I have connective tissue disorder, which means I don't have Lupus, and I don't officially have RA, however my joints hurt. I have wondered do other women have problems shaving their legs too?
My answer: I don't shave my legs very often. In fact, during the Fall/Winter months, unless I have a special, dress-up event to attend, I don't shave my legs at all. Why? Because taking a shower is a workout and often I just don't have the energy to wash my hair, scrub my body and shave my legs too.

That said, I have looked into, and purchased, some helpers that can make shaving more fibro-friendly.

For example, I did buy a Panasonic Close Curves Ladies Wet/Dry Shaver. While an electric razor doesn't shave as well as a blade (like my favorite Schick Intuition), you don't have to jump into the shower to shave with an electric razor. That really comes in handy when you realize at the last minute you want to wear shorts or a skirt but your legs are covered in a garden of hair.

I also know there are razor extension handles that attach onto the handle of a standard razor. Using an assistive device like this can minimize the bending that goes along with this grooming task.

A third alternative might be a hair removal product, like Nair and Veet. I have fine hair and skin that can tolerate this kind of chemical product, so using Veet occasionally on my legs seems to work out O.K. for me. (I would strongly advise those with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) to follow the patch test instructions on the can/bottle to avoid an adverse reaction.)

Of course there are also wax hair removal kits, but I can't stand the pain or mess of them.

I do find that shaving when I am sitting on my shower bench is much easier. Shaving from a standing position is impossible for me. You might also consider doing what the young lady depicted above is doing. Take some towels, a pan of water and your shaving supplies into the bedroom and try shaving while seated on the bed. Doing so may allow for a more comfortable position while performing this task. (Although knowing my luck, I'd spill water all over the bed and need to change the linens afterward.)

So what is your answer to this question? Please share with us! I welcome your comment here or over on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page. Don't forget to let us know the fibro-friendly ways you've discovered that make shaving a bit easier for us sick chicks.

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Jessica said...

I shave sitting in my bathtub then shower off! Yup...it's a pain (literally)!

Anonymous said...

I have had a horrible time with shaving for years and it is one of those things "that makes me feel womanly". I use an intuition when I do shave (one step) but luckily I have a fantastic husband that when I can't take it emotionally but still don't have the physical strength he will shave my legs for me.

Emily said...

In the summer I shave my legs every other day and get my toe nails pedicured. I enjoy wearing capris and shorts and summer is my favorite season.

In the Winter I can let it go for...up to four or five days I'd say, and yes, it is b/c it is very hard for me to do, energy-wise. Lately I've been feeling so fatigued I do not shower if I'm not going out, but do try to shower every other day.

Sometimes it's a battle between how gross you feel vs. how tired you are!

Tammy said...

I swim a great deal and even that isn't enough to get me past the pain and exhaustion to regularly shave my legs. If I take the time and energy to shave then something else has got to give and I'd rather have a clean body and clean hair than shaven legs.

Though I do have to admit that I have a big medical test coming up this week that will involve my legs being bared to a room full of people and I'm thinking of picking up some chemical hair remover. Apparently that's my line. ;)

Anonymous said...

I shave as a goal lol once a week. I use schick too! when I'm really sick I use a cheapy electric, but like yours, doesn't give as good of a shave. I just sit on the toilet seat while my shower water is warming, and shave my calves and say screw it to my thighs. I don't have any problems with razor burn, etc. as long as I am getting right into the shower right after, and moisturize when I get out, which I have to do anyway.

Felicia Fibro said...

I shave every 2ish days, but I don't spend a whole lot of time making sure each shave is a perfect one! I also try to shave on the days that I do not wash my hair (I wash my hair every other day). One thing that makes it easier for me to shave having mini seats in my shower. This allows me to have my leg higher up and more accessible. Shaving in a shower without this is MUCH harder for me!

If I shave in a tub I rest my leg on the top edges of the tub. I have tried hair removal products, but they irritate my skin too much and I get freezing cold waiting for them to do their magic!