SHAVING TATTOOS AND HOW TO GET THE BEST RESULTS
Let’s face it… smooth, shaved tattoos make them more visible, sharp, and crisp looking. Removing hair and dead skin cells that might cover up and cloud the ink helps expose tattoos. Hair can obscure some fine details and line work, and shaving can really make them pop. It takes a little time and effort to keep tattoos shaved and smooth, but we like to argue that it’s worth it. Especially in the realism genre, many tattoos are so intricate and have such a great amount of detail that hair growth in certain spots can really take away from how beautiful a particular piece is.
Keep in mind that new tattoos should not be shaven until they are fully healed. Shaving a tattoo while it is still healing can damage the tattoo. You risk slicing the tattoo which can result in some of the ink falling out. Not to mention it would be very painful! It could also remove scabs opening up the risk of infection. It is recommended to wait at least several weeks before shaving. You want to be sure there is no scabbing, peeling, bumps, raised areas, or shininess on or around the tattoo.
Once the tattoo is completely healed, it is fine to shave your ink. The tattoo ink is located in the second layer of skin. Shaving only affects the top layer of skin so you will not harm your tattoo by shaving as long as it’s done carefully.
Here are some tips and tricks when it comes to shaving your ink.
Use A Good Razor
Safety razors are the gold standard when it comes to getting the closet, smoothest shave. They are the heavier (usually metal) metal razors with razor blades. There is a learning curve when you use this type of razor, and you have to shave slowly and carefully but the result is worth it. (more about safety razors later in this post)
This can’t be emphasized enough. We all have such busy days, and have many things that we need to get done. It’s easy to rush through things like shaving, but this is not something that you want to do while shaving your tattoos. Be sure you plan a little extra time when you plan to shave- that way you will likely avoid knicks and cuts that usually happen when we rush.
SHAVE IN THE SHOWER
There are a couple of reasons why shaving in the shower is beneficial. One important reason is because the heat in the shower makes your hair softer, resulting in a smoother and better shave. Shaving in the shower also opens the pores of your skin which makes it easier for the razor to glide across the hair. It is also less messy because you don’t have to clean the sink after you finish shaving.
WATCH OUT FOR THE BONES
Shaving on and around the bones can cause you to get cuts and nicks more easily. While shaving areas that are bony (such as elbows, shins, knees, etc). When shaving these areas, do your best to go much slower than you would in areas such as your outer thighs, outer bicep/forearm, or other areas that are pretty flat.
Elevated Aftercare sells an excellent safety razor that works great for shaving your tattoos and helping them look their best. You can purchase it here:
Here are some benefits of shaving with a safety razor:
- A closer shave: That sharp blade is directly against your skin. It requires a careful, slower shave, but if you master the craft, you’ll never look back.
- Less drag, less irritation: While other razors advertise 3-5 razors in a single cartridge, the safety razor stands strong at a single strong blade. This means there is less dragging across your skin, less chance that your top layer of skin will come off with the hairs, and less bulk building up between blades, while being dragged across your opened pores. Better for coarse hair: If you have thick hair that just doesn’t budge under the lightness of a standard cartridge shave (or if the hairs are too thick and lead to dragging, clogging, and irritation), then a safety razor will be very effective for you.
- Cheap replacement blades: If you’ve bought disposable blades lately, you know how expensive they are. Razor blades for safety razors are very inexpensive. You can toss them after a single use if you choose, which means you only use the sharpest, cleanest blades every time.
- You’re in charge: The shave requires more attention and precision, but it puts you in more control over the process. You have to think about each stroke, and the amount of pressure (ideally none) that you’re applying, and hold the razor at the correct angle. Yes, it’s a process, but trust me, your tattoos will look their best.. Take your time, make it a ceremony, and you’ll look forward to the safety razor regimen every couple days.
Shaving tattoos genuinely makes all of your art look much sharper, more beautiful and eye-catching, and more like the artist intended. It takes patience, time and effort, but the result is very satisfying.