Shaving armpits comes with its own challenges because this little area accumulates lots of moisture and bacteria through sweat and all the other stuff you put on it.
It has more sweat glands compared to other areas of the body such as the face, legs or pubic area.
Plus it does not get enough “air” time unless you walk around with your arms up.
First, the armpit area is very sensitive so you should take the time to prep the area before dragging a razor across it. Since the area is sensitive, you need to make sure to use as few passes as possible to minimize irritation.
Compared to other hair removal methods, shaving is perhaps the cheapest.
The topic of armpit shaving is a very controversial one. A group of women in China swore of shaving. They took selfies with their arms raised to show the world the beauty of an unshaved pit.
Celebrities like Mylie Cyrus also have chosen ditch the razor and let it all hang out.
But there are women who still shave their armpits. Most are celebrities and you’ll see them in a Subreddit called “Celebrity Armpits”.
This list includes names such as Emma Watson, Miley Cyrus and much more.
Now let’s compare these two women who have shaved and unshaved pits and you be the judge.
It’s all personal preference, women (and men) who shave do it because of hygiene or aesthetic purposes. It’s a personal choice, if you don’t feel comfortable having hair under there or you think it’s too thick or sweating too much then by all means shave.
If you’re in the corner of shaving then read on to see tips on making this a pain free process and prevent razor burns, cuts and ingrown hair.
Thoroughly Clean Your Underarms
The number one rule to shaving any part of the body is prep by thoroughly washing with warm water.
Your underarm produces a lot more sweat compared to the face, legs and pubic area.
Sweat contains a lot of bacteria – a good enough reason to clean your armpits.
And if you use deodorant, you’ll need to clean it as well.
Never shave an armpit full of sweat, deodorant residue or oil because these contaminants will clog and reduce the effectiveness of the razor.
Also the sweat produced in your underarms traps bacteria and if you cut yourself shaving, it will be easier to get an infection.
One of the best ways to clean your underarms is by taking a hot bath.
Steam from hot water will soften underarm hair and soap will remove excess oil, seat, deodorant residue and dirt that could hinder the blades from doing its job.
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells.
One way to exfoliate your underarm area is to gently rub it with a coarse face towel. Make sure to use a new one every time. The last thing you want to expose your armpit to is a dirty towel.
Another way is to use a combination of 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon organic honey and a teaspoon of lemon water then apply this in a gentle circular motion while in the shower. This recipe helps 3-fold.
Honey hydrates underarms, brown sugar removes dead skin cells (or exfoliate) and lemon has bleaching properties that whiten skin.
Shave At Night
This tip applies best during the summer time where it is hot and humid (depending on where you live).
The best time to shave is during the night time, since shaving removes some of the protective layers of skin, it will be prone to infection and applying any type of deodorant on a freshly shaven skin can cause irritation.
You must give it time to recover and the best time for that recovery is when you sleep plus you don’t need to apply any deodorant when you sleep allowing the skin in that area to recover.
Doing it at night also gives you ample time to shave so you don’t rush and make unnecessary mistakes.
Hydration Is Your Best Friend
Avoid dragging a razor on a dry armpit, it will create a lot of friction and could potentially irritate an already sensitive area.
To give you an example when my wife shaves, she does it inside a hot shower. Doing this does several things. First the armpit area is clean and free of contaminants. Second hair follicles have swelled up making it easier to cut.
Other women also have suggested using shaving cream to add a layer of lubrication and prevent irritation.
Make sure to use a shaving cream formulated for the underarms because it will require a different pH.
Avoid using aerosol type creams because these products contain a lot of chemicals that could potentially dry and irritate your armpits.
Always Use A Sharp Razor
The biggest cause of razor burn is a dull razor.
Since it does not cut as well as a sharp razor you will put more weight on it and friction from the razor head and skin will cause irritation. Also a dull blade is often times a dirty blade and you don’t want something dirt rubbing against a sensitive area of your body.
By using a sharp blade, you will use less pressure because the blades will cut better. This is an area you can’t cut corners. Make sure to replace the razor every 4 to 5 uses, if you have coarse hair, replace it more often.
Use A Razor Designed For Your Underarms
Technically you can use a disposable razor as long as prep the area well. To reduce the risk of razor burn or ingrown hair there specialty razors designed to shave the armpit.
These products usually have a rubber handle to provide better grip inside the shower. Most have between 2 to 5 blades with cushioning around the blades designed to reduce friction.
The shaving head also has rounded corners designed to shave tighter areas.
Buy A Mini Razor Just In Case
The armpit area isn’t flat. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it has a lot of contours. And missing a spot is a common occurrence using a regular shaver. This is were a mini-razor comes in – to pluck out hair from these areas.
These products have smaller heads that will help you navigate through really tight underarm spots.
Raise Your Arm Over Your Head
Doing this will allow you to stretch out the skin of your underarm and give the razor a flat a surface as possible to go over.
If You Have Sensitive Skin Avoid Going Against The Grain
Going against the grain means shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth. If you have sensitive skin, you have to shave with the grain to prevent irritation and ingrown hair. To get a closer shave, you can go across the grain.
Shave In All Directions
Only do this if you don’t have sensitive skin since underarm hair grows in all directions. Start by shaving downward, then across and finally upward for the closest shave possible. Remember to apply as little pressure as possible and let the blade do the work.
Rinse Blades Often
After each stroke, the razor accumulates hair, gunk, dead skin and excess shaving cream. These contain a lot of bacteria and you don’t want it touching your skin so make sure to rinse off your razor under hot running water so these contaminants don’t pile up.
Rinse it as often as you can, if possible rinse after each stroke. The hot water doesn’t necessarily disinfect the blade but it removes excess gunk that could possibly block the path of the razor. A clean razor head cuts hair more effectively.
Rinse With Cold Water
Hot water opens up the pores of your skin so it is important that you finish off by rinsing your armpits with cold water to close down pores and prevent any infection.
After rinsing make sure to pat dry with a clean and dry bath towel.
If you have sensitive skin make sure to wait a few minutes before applying any deodorant to give your skin a chance to recover from the exfoliating experience.
Keep Your Underarm Hydrated
You might be scratching your head on why you need to keep an already sweaty area hydrated but hear me out here. Hydration and sweat are different. Sweat is what you call “bad moisture” what you want are “good moisturizers”.
These products help skin recover from the beating it takes after shaving.
There are a lot of different ways to hydrate it.
Some suggest using coconut oil, yogurt, cucumber juice or lemon juice. If you don’t want the hassle of prepping these natural ingredients then you can opt for a deodorant that contains avocado oil, glycerol or sunflower seed oil.
Some products you can try include the Nevia Dry & Comfort with Avocado Oil, the Dove Advanced Care or the Dove Clear Tone Antiperspirant.
You may need to shave your armpits a few times a week because hair in that area grows twice as fast as hair on your legs. As long as you follow these tips, you will minimize the chances of razor burn or ingrown hair and don’t worry shaving will not make your grow back at faster rate or make it thicker, yes science has proven this.
If you have any additional tips that you’d like to share, I’d like to hear from you. Please comment below and share your personal tips that will make armpit shaving a more pleasant task.
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