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Is shaving after a swim the same as after a shower?

Asked by Anonymous 1.86K Rep.

In your How to Avoid Skin Irritation While Shaving episode, you mention that one should always shave after taking a shower? Is shaving after I swim the same as after I take a shower? Does it have to do with the water temperature? Steam?

Anonymous answered
    Dr. Schultz 1.86K Rep.

    In most circumstances, shaving after swimming is not as preferable to shaving after you shower. The reason comes down to heat (I’m assuming your pool water is lukewarm at best). When things are cold, they tend to harden, and when things are warm, they tend to soften. So, if your hair (beard or underarm) is continually being warmed by not only warm water but also by the steam in the shower, it will soften. When your hair is softer, it’s more easily shaved, and as a result, you experience less irritation. So in fact, while shaving after a pool wouldn’t be as beneficial, shaving after sitting in a hot tub would be. On the other hand, if your hair is not warm, it won’t be as soft, and it’s easier for your skin to be irritated while shaving. Similarly, longer hair is also better to shave than shorter. Long hair tends to be soft and short hair tends to be bristly. So the overarching theme is that when it comes to shaving, the softer your hair the better!

    Dr. Schultz edited answer

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