How to Shave With Conditioner or Soap
Adventures in Shaving
In high school, a friend told a group of girls that she had heard that you could shave your legs with hair conditioner. And I tried it with my mom's expensive conditioner! she said. And it worked! It might have to be the expensive kind, though.
WEIRD! we all said, and continued buying strawberry-scented pink foam shaving cream at CVS.
You CAN Shave with Conditioner!
Fast forward to the present, and I found that it's true. You really can shave with conditioner! One morning, stranded in the shower with no shave gel, I skeptically reached for the conditioner. I don't know why I was so weirded out by the idea back in high school, because.... conditioner is exactly like shaving cream!
I don't think I'll ever go back to buying shaving cream or gel again, because using conditioner is so darn convenient. You don't have to remember to buy two separate bottles (which I never remembered to do), conditioner works as well or better than shaving cream, and the ingredients are basically the same as well. All those methyl-exyl-hydroxy-blah blahs.... I can't tell the difference between them!
Using conditioner instead of shaving gel is also a pretty budget-friendly idea. I like to use nice-ish conditioner on my hair, but on my legs? $.98 Suave works just fine. If you are a couponer, you can also use coupons to get some conditioner at a great price.
Is conditioner exactly the same as shave gel, though? Check out the table below to compare the ingredients in Alba Botanica Volumizing Conditioner and Coconut Lime Shave Gel.
Ingredient Comparison of "Natural" Conditioner and Shave Gel
Alba Botanica Volumizing Conditioner
Alba Botanica Coconut Lime Cream Shave
Aqueous extracts of ananas sativus (pineapple), carica papaya (papaya) and zingiber zerumbet (awapuhi)
Certified organic aloe barbadensis
Stearamidopropyl dimethyl amine
Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,
Certified organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil
Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract
Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5)
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract
Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil
Macademia ternifolia and aleurites molucca (kukui) nut oils
Carica papaya (papaya) oil
Flavor (note: flavor? for what purpose?)
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Are Conditioner and Shave Gel the Same?
As you can see from the table above, even an expensive, "natural" product from a company like Alba contains a whole lot of unpronounceable chemical ingredients. I don't know what any of them are, so I can't say for sure the different methyls and cetyls really make conditioner and shave gel different, or if they are basically the same thing. One thing is for sure - the presence of organic flower oils and nut oils sure doesn't mean that a product is natural in the slightest
The Ultimate Frugal Shaving Cream
Of course, plain old soap works very well as a shaving cream. It's not quite as silky as conditioner, and it tends to dry out the skin more than something creamier. If, however, you are a true budgeter, soap just may be the way to go.