What Are the Best Tips for Shaving Armpits?

Kelly Ferguson

When shaving armpits, first wet the area to be shaved with warm water and then let the water have a chance to soak the area for a minute or two, which will soften the skin and hair and make hair removal easier. Most people find shaving armpits in the shower or bath to be more convenient than trying to shave them at the sink, because the shower or bath water continuously soaks and softens the area and makes avoiding and cleaning up messes much easier. Always use shaving cream, hair conditioner, or another type of shaving lubricant when shaving armpits to minimize razor burn and accidental cuts. Other important tips to follow include exfoliating the skin, avoiding the use of products on the freshly shaven skin, and shaving in the correct direction.

Always use shaving cream or some kind of lubricant when shaving armpits to minimize razor burn or accidental cuts.
Always use shaving cream or some kind of lubricant when shaving armpits to minimize razor burn or accidental cuts.

Unlike with other areas of the body where most people feel comfortable either shaving with or against the direction of hair growth, the underarms may require several different directions of strokes with the razor. This is because the hair that grows in the armpits often grows in many different directions rather than the more uniform pattern found on the legs and other areas of the body. Shaving armpits in different directions can reduce the number of times a given area must be gone over with the razor, which should help to make razor burn less likely. If multiple strokes in one area depletes most of the shaving cream or other lubricant, it is important to reapply the cream before continuing to shave so that razor burn and painful ingrown hairs are kept to a minimum.

Exfoliating before shaving can help reduce ingrown hairs.
Exfoliating before shaving can help reduce ingrown hairs.

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Most people find that, if there is any pain involved with shaving armpits, it happens after the shaving is finished rather than during the process, as long as major cuts were avoided. To help prevent some of the discomfort after shaving, avoid putting deodorant, antiperspirant, or other chemicals onto the underarm skin right after shaving the armpits. Putting these products on freshly shaven skin may cause irritation and an unpleasant stinging or tingling sensation. Using a very gentle moisturizer may help soothe the skin after shaving, but it is still wise to avoid moisturizers with fragrances or other chemicals that may irritate the skin.

The armpits should be shaved in different directions, unlike the face or legs.
The armpits should be shaved in different directions, unlike the face or legs.

Another issue many shavers have is the appearance of red bumps that signal an infected or ingrown hair. Gentle exfoliation may help reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs that sometimes occur when shaving the armpits. Do this just before shaving to maximize the removal of dead skin cells and other debris that may clog pores and cause problems.

Moisturizing soap lubricates the armpits before shaving.
Moisturizing soap lubricates the armpits before shaving.
Ingrown hairs can be caused by improper shaving techniques.
Ingrown hairs can be caused by improper shaving techniques.
It's best to not apply deodorant immediately after shaving the armpits.
It's best to not apply deodorant immediately after shaving the armpits.

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Discussion Comments

donasmrs

@fify-- Are you exfoliating regularly? I used to get a lot of bumps and ingrown hairs on my armpits. My doctor told me that I need to exfoliate after shaves with a nice loofah. It really makes a difference. I don't get ingrown hairs anymore.

It's also important to moisturize the underarm area because shaving can be irritating, even when you're using shaving cream or gel. The razor removes a lot of dead skin along with hair. So skin can get red and itchy. Apply a good moisturizer with vitamin E after shaving. Good luck!

SarahGen

@fify-- You are clearly not doing things right. I shave my armpits regularly and I don't have any of these issues.

Try to shave in the shower or immediately after a shower so that the hairs are soft and easy to remove. Apply a generous amount of shaving gel, use a new shaving razor and and make gentle strokes against the direction of hair growth. Make sure that your arm is up and your armpit flat while doing this. Don't apply too much pressure and don't dry shave or you will cut yourself.

If you follow these tips, I'm sure you'll get a nice shave. We all made mistakes while learning to shave. It seems like an easy thing to do, but it actually takes some practice to get it right.

fify

I started shaving my armpits a few weeks ago but I can't seem to get it right. Either I cut myself, cause razor burn or get ingrown hairs. I think I'm going to have to try something else. I didn't know that it's so difficult to shave armpits. I don't have an issue shaving my legs.

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