How to shave under your arms for the first time

  1. Ways of Removing Hair From Nipple
  2. How to Nair Your Arms
  3. Shaving Armpits the Correct Way
  4. Is it Bad to Shave Facial Hair for Women?
  5. How to Get Rid of Female Hair Around the Belly Button

Arm hair can cause embarrassment for some women. Everyone has arm hair, but for some, the hair is dark and thick and draws attention. In these cases, women are choosing to remove hair from their arms. Removing hair leaves the arms silky smooth, but it is a beauty routine that has to be maintained.

Easy Solution

Shaving is the easiest way to remove arm hair. Many people believe that if you shave the hair on your arms, it will grow back thicker and darker. This is not true. The color and thickness of hair is genetic and is not changed by shaving.

Shave your arms the same way you would shave your legs. You may want to use a smaller razor, if you can find one. Be careful around your wrists and elbows. Instead of using shaving gel, use a little bit of shower gel lathered on your arm. Shaving gel is thick and will make it hard for you to see the curves of your arm. Because of the way clothing rubs against the skin, you probably only need to shave up to the elbow. The hair above the elbow normally gets rubbed away by constant contact with clothing.

Chemical Solutions

Chemical hair removers such as Nair melt the hair off your arms. You simply apply it, set a timer, and then wipe off the lotion, along with your arm hair. If you have never used a chemical hair remover before, do a small test patch before you do the entire arm. Some people have allergic reactions to the chemicals that can cause each hair follicle to bleed or swell.

When you remove arm hair, at first you feel colder, because arm hair does keep the body warm. The temperature change bothers some people, making bleaching a good option. Buy a kit specifically designed for bleaching body hair. Follow the package instructions for mixing the bleach solution, and apply it to your arms. It may take more than one round to get the hair as light as you would like.

Long-Term Solutions

Waxing your arm hair will make your arms stay smooth longer than any of the other methods. The downside to waxing is that it is painful, especially when done to large areas. If you have never had waxing done, have your eyebrows waxed to get an idea of what it feels like. If you are comfortable with that, you can commit to using wax to get rid of arm hair. Allow a professional to do it the first few times. Watch what she does, and after a few sessions, you can try waxing your arms at home yourself.

Laser hair removal is the way to permanently remove hair from your arms. It is also the most time-consuming and the most expensive. Each arm can cost up to $500, as compared to buying a disposable razor for $2 and shaving the hair yourself. Laser hair removal takes place over several visits. Your hair will be removed with a laser one follicle at a time.

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  • How to Shave Your Armpit Hair

How to Shave Your Armpit Hair

Want to avoid razor burn and skin irritation when shaving your underarms? We’ve put together simple tips for how to shave armpits. Learning how to shave your underarms correctly can reduce chances of razor burn, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. So here are straightforward tips for how to shave armpit hair.

Don’t use a dull razor

Shaving with a dull razor blade increases the likelihood of razor burn and skin irritation. If you start to feel your blade pull at your body hair or feel rough on your skin, replace it.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Hydrate your skin before you shave

It may be tempting to dry shave your armpits given how small the area is. But keep in mind the skin under your arms is sensitive, so it’s important to protect it while shaving.

Soak your underarms in warm water in a shower or bath for around three minutes to soften your skin and make the hair thick with water. This helps the hair cut more easily.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Wash your underarms

Taking a bath or shower before you shave can ensure your armpits are clear of sweat and deodorant which can clog razor blades.

Washing helps the razor more effectively shave off body hair; it also helps prevent bacteria from the combination of sweat and deodorant from penetrating through the skin if nicked while shaving.

Use shaving gel

Although the surface area is tiny and only takes a few strokes of a razor to shave, remember underarms are sensitive. Use shaving gel to maintain moisture and help the razor glide more easily over your skin, to better safeguard from irritation.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Shave your armpits in all directions

The hair under our arms grows in all directions, so shaving in one direction might not result in a close shave. For best results, lift your arm above your head, press gently down on the razor and shave lightly in short strokes in all directions — downward, sideways and back upward, if needed.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Be sure to moisturize

Once you’re finished shaving, rinse and gently pat your armpits dry with a clean towel. Apply moisturizer or oil, preferably one that’s alcohol-free. Although it may sound counterintuitive to moisturize this area, it will help keep your skin hydrated and reduce the chances of developing razor burn and bumps.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Wait Before Applying Deodorant

After you shave, wait a little bit before putting on antiperspirant. Applying deodorant to freshly shaven skin may cause some discomfort. So, allow your skin time to rest to reduces the chances of irritation from the deodorant.

If you need a new razor before your next shave, why not give building your own a try? And, click here to see the wide range of Venus shaving products available, from shaving gels to bikini trimmers.

Selected guides

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How Venus Direct Works | Venus

Shaving your legs (or anywhere else) can be a pain. So can remembering when to change your razor blades – or buy more before you run out. Venus Direct takes the inconvenience out of shaving and helps you shave your way.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

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There’s no right time or age to start learning to shave. So, how do you know when to talk to your daughter about shaving? Learn answers to common teen shaving questions.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

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Learn how to shave your face and eyebrows the right way to avoid skin irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Plus, find out which tools are best for shaving facial hair.

Explore Venus Direct Shave Plans

Take the inconvenience out of shaving! Get fresh blades delivered to your door with the freedom to update, change or cancel your plan at any time.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Smooth skin has never been simpler. You’ll get our most popular 5-blade razor with a mint handle, plus travel-friendly Satin Care Ultra Sensitive shave gel and a convenient shower hook with your first order.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Your skin, your way. Choose your favorite handle, blades and how often you want deliveries. Our blades fit any handle so you can mix it up at any time. Talk about convenient!

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  • Home
  • Learn How to Shave
  • How to Shave Your Armpit Hair

How to Shave Your Armpit Hair

Want to avoid razor burn and skin irritation when shaving your underarms? We’ve put together simple tips for how to shave armpits. Learning how to shave your underarms correctly can reduce chances of razor burn, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. So here are straightforward tips for how to shave armpit hair.

Don’t use a dull razor

Shaving with a dull razor blade increases the likelihood of razor burn and skin irritation. If you start to feel your blade pull at your body hair or feel rough on your skin, replace it.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Hydrate your skin before you shave

It may be tempting to dry shave your armpits given how small the area is. But keep in mind the skin under your arms is sensitive, so it’s important to protect it while shaving.

Soak your underarms in warm water in a shower or bath for around three minutes to soften your skin and make the hair thick with water. This helps the hair cut more easily.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Wash your underarms

Taking a bath or shower before you shave can ensure your armpits are clear of sweat and deodorant which can clog razor blades.

Washing helps the razor more effectively shave off body hair; it also helps prevent bacteria from the combination of sweat and deodorant from penetrating through the skin if nicked while shaving.

Use shaving gel

Although the surface area is tiny and only takes a few strokes of a razor to shave, remember underarms are sensitive. Use shaving gel to maintain moisture and help the razor glide more easily over your skin, to better safeguard from irritation.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Shave your armpits in all directions

The hair under our arms grows in all directions, so shaving in one direction might not result in a close shave. For best results, lift your arm above your head, press gently down on the razor and shave lightly in short strokes in all directions — downward, sideways and back upward, if needed.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Be sure to moisturize

Once you’re finished shaving, rinse and gently pat your armpits dry with a clean towel. Apply moisturizer or oil, preferably one that’s alcohol-free. Although it may sound counterintuitive to moisturize this area, it will help keep your skin hydrated and reduce the chances of developing razor burn and bumps.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Wait Before Applying Deodorant

After you shave, wait a little bit before putting on antiperspirant. Applying deodorant to freshly shaven skin may cause some discomfort. So, allow your skin time to rest to reduces the chances of irritation from the deodorant.

If you need a new razor before your next shave, why not give building your own a try? And, click here to see the wide range of Venus shaving products available, from shaving gels to bikini trimmers.

Selected guides

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How Venus Direct Works | Venus

Shaving your legs (or anywhere else) can be a pain. So can remembering when to change your razor blades – or buy more before you run out. Venus Direct takes the inconvenience out of shaving and helps you shave your way.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Tips for Talking to Your Teen Daughter About Shaving | Venus

There’s no right time or age to start learning to shave. So, how do you know when to talk to your daughter about shaving? Learn answers to common teen shaving questions.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How to Shave Your Face and Eyebrows to Avoid Irritating Your Skin | Venus

Learn how to shave your face and eyebrows the right way to avoid skin irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Plus, find out which tools are best for shaving facial hair.

Explore Venus Direct Shave Plans

Take the inconvenience out of shaving! Get fresh blades delivered to your door with the freedom to update, change or cancel your plan at any time.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Smooth skin has never been simpler. You’ll get our most popular 5-blade razor with a mint handle, plus travel-friendly Satin Care Ultra Sensitive shave gel and a convenient shower hook with your first order.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Your skin, your way. Choose your favorite handle, blades and how often you want deliveries. Our blades fit any handle so you can mix it up at any time. Talk about convenient!

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  • How To Shave Your Arms

How To Shave Your Arms

Shaving arms properly limits chances of razor burn, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. Discover essential tips on how to shave your arms. Learning how to shave arms properly can protect your skin from razor burn, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. This is particularly important if you plan to shave frequently to maintain smooth skin.

Does shaving arms make hair grow back faster and thicker?

If you’re worried the hair will grow back faster and thicker just because you shaved your arms, rest assured it won’t. Shaving removes hair at the skin surface and not the root, so the cut hairs can appear to grow back faster, and thicker because of the cut, blunt tops; however, hair regrowth is based on genetics. Learn more about different hair removal methods, both surface and root solutions, to find what works best for your lifestyle and preferred arm hair maintenance. And, when it comes to shaving your arms, here are fundamental tips to optimize your experience.

Trim longer arm hair as needed

If your arm hair is long and thick, consider trimming it down with an electric razor, trimmer or a pair of scissors before using a razor. This helps keep your razor blade sharper for longer and helps prevent re-shaving over any areas with longer hair, which can cause skin irritation.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Soak your arms in warm water

Shaving dry skin leads to more nicks, razor burn and bumps. Ensure your arms are well-hydrated before you shave by soaking them in warm water via a bath or shower for about three to five minutes. What’s more, washing your arms first has the added benefit of making sure your skin is clean when you shave, further reducing chances of skin irritation.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Exfoliate before you shave

Exfoliation helps keep skin healthy by removing dead skin, which can increase razor bumps and rashes. Grab a gentle scrub or loofah and gently rub your arms to exfoliate your skin and clear any loose hair and dead cells.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Apply shaving gel

Use shaving gel to preserve moisture and allow your razor blade to glide across your skin more easily to prevent razor burn and bumps. Shaving gel also helps you see where you have shaved so you do not accidently re-shave over any areas and irritate your skin.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Use a sharp razor

Always use a sharp razor blade when shaving to protect your skin from razor rashes, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. Blades generally last five to 10 shaves, however the best sign it’s time to change your blade is if it becomes dull. Dull razor blades can pull at body hair, feel rough on skin and cause more nicks, cuts and irritation.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Shave your arms in sections

Since arms are curvy and have areas that are hard to see and reach, try shaving in sections, such as from elbow to wrist and then shoulder to elbow. Shave in the direction of the hair growth to limit skin irritation. Rinse your razor after each stroke to keep the blades clear of shaving cream and cut hairs. If shaving in the direction of the hair growth doesn’t result in a close enough shave, reapply shaving gel and carefully shave against the grain.

Take your time while shaving your arms

It’s important to take your time shaving, especially when shaving your arms because of all the curves and hard-to-see areas. Shave in light, steady strokes, and take extra care around bony elbows. Try bending your arm when shaving by your elbow to help prevent nicks and cuts.

Moisturize your skin

After you finish shaving, rinse off your arms and gently pat the skin dry with a clean towel. Apply a moisturizing lotion or oil, preferably alcohol-free, to help maintain moisture. Make sure to also rinse off and clean your razor, then set it aside to dry.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Selected guides

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How Venus Direct Works | Venus

Shaving your legs (or anywhere else) can be a pain. So can remembering when to change your razor blades – or buy more before you run out. Venus Direct takes the inconvenience out of shaving and helps you shave your way.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How to Remove or Trim Pubic Hair | Venus

Want to avoid getting razor burn, skin irritation and ingrown hairs when shaving sensitive areas? Discover the best methods and devices to trim or remove your pubic hair.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

How to Shave in The Shower or Bath

Want to know whether shaving in a bath or shower works better for you? Learn key steps for both to ensure the best results and prevent skin irritation.

Leah Ansell, MD, is board-certified in cosmetic and medical dermatology. She is an assistant professor at Columbia University and works in private practice in New York City.

You might be wondering the right age to start shaving, but the answer depends on how you feel about shaving. Talk to your mom, an aunt, an older sister or a cousin before you try shaving on your own. She probably has some valuable shaving tips and tricks to share with you.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Shaving 101

Some women never shave above their knees, while others shave their thighs. Figuring out what you want to shave is a personal decision the depends on the color and amount of hair you have. If you’re brand new to shaving, you might want to stick to your calves at first. It’s a relatively straightforward part of the body to shave, and there’s less risk of accidentally cutting yourself. Mastering the shaving fundamentals first will better prepare you when you’re ready to move on to shaving the entire leg—shaving around the knees is especially tricky.

There is no right or wrong as to how often you should shave your legs. It depends on the color and amount of your hair, and what you’re comfortable with. Some women shave every day, while others shave once a week. It’s really up to you how often you want to shave.

As you can imagine, sharing razors is never recommended, even if it’s with your sister or mother. When you shave, especially if you’re a first-timer, you’re probably going to get a nick or two. If another person uses that razor, they could develop a skin infection.

Shaving Supplies

Lots of women shave in the shower, but if you’ve never shaved before it would be wise to do it inside the steady surface of the bathtub to avoid any nicks and cuts. Once you’ve mastered the basics of shaving, you can do while you shower. You’ll need:

  • A clean, new razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Clean towels

Finding the Perfect Razor and Shaving Cream

Since you’ve been thinking about shaving, you may have already checked out the razor section at your local drugstore. Razors come in a variety of colors, sizes, and blades. Some have special designs and grips that prevent the razor from slipping while you are shaving your legs or underarms. It might take a few tries with different razors before you find the perfect razor for you.

There’s also an abundance of shaving creams for women. Most shaving creams dispense as a gel that lathers to a creamy consistency when it’s spread around your legs and underarms. Shaving creams tout a multitude of benefits, from adding moisture to the skin to being formulated for sensitive skin.

How to Shave Your Legs

Once you’ve gone through all the preliminaries and have your razor and shaving cream in hand, you’re ready to shave your legs. Before you start, wet your legs and apply shaving cream according to the product’s directions. Shaving in a bathtub gives you a steady place to put your feet.

With your legs lathered, prop one foot on the edge of the tub. Shave your legs from your ankles up—going against the grain of hair growth—to whatever stopping place you’ve decided upon. One of the benefits of using shaving cream is that you’ll be able to see where you have already shaved.

Work in small patches. The razor will get clogged up with hair and shaving cream, so run it under the faucet to rinse it out as needed. The cleaner the razor, the better the shave.

How to Shave Your Underarms

Shaving under your arms is a bit easier than shaving your legs seeing as there is less to shave. Apply shaving cream to your armpits, raise your arm above your head to pull the skin taut and shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth.

Unlike leg hair, underarm hair tends to grow in different directions. You’ll probably want to shave up, down and sideways to ensure that you’ve shaved away all of your underarm hairs. Again, rinse out the razor as needed to get a better shave and avoid irritation.

Tips and Tricks

Moving forward, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure your razor is clean every time you start to shave. Run it under hot water to rinse out any hair or shaving cream residue. Let the razor dry by leaving it in a position with the blade facing upward. You could even get a razor hanger to keep in the tub. This will help the razor dry properly and prevent it from getting rusty. Never use a rusty razor.

Keep in mind that a good old fashioned razor isn’t the only way to get rid of hair. If you don’t want to use a razor, there are a number of cream hair removers that you can buy at the drugstore, as well as waxes. For permanent hair removal, you may want to consider laser hair removal treatments.

In this Article

  • When to Start Shaving
  • Which Razor to Use for Shaving
  • How to Avoid Cuts While Shaving
  • Don’t Believe Shaving Myths
  • What to Do About the Bikini and Pubic Area
  • When to See a Professional for Hair Removal

Girls, are you starting to see hair in places where you’ve never seen it before? Now that you’re reaching puberty, you have an increase in hormones (androgens) that causes darker hair on your legs, under your arms, and around your pubic area to appear. In American culture, many girls start shaving hair on their legs and underarms at this time. Here are some shaving tips just for girls.

When to Start Shaving

There’s no set time for girls to begin shaving. You can start shaving when you feel you have enough hair growth on your legs and/or armpits to shave it off. Talk to some women in your family — perhaps your mother, an older sister who has already started shaving, your favorite aunt, or someone else you trust. Ask them if you are ready to start shaving. If you are, they can teach you how to begin — safely.

Which Razor to Use for Shaving

To start shaving, you have to find a razor that is safe, effective, and easy to use. Get your dad, mom, or older sibling to take you to a discount store or pharmacy.

You will find two popular types of razors: electric and manual. An electric razor may come with a cord, or in a rechargeable and cordless design. A disposable razor or safety razor can have several blades stacked one on top of the other. It can provide you with a very close shave.

Here are some details about each type of razor:

  • Electric razors. Electric razors are convenient. But many models don’t shave as closely as disposable razors. If you want to go with an electric razor, select one that will contour to your skin. Some razors are specifically designed for teenage girls. Some electric razors also dispense moisturizers. Be aware that even though you are using an electric razor, it can still irritate the skin. Take the time to find one that’s right for you.
  • Disposable or safety razors. If you go with a disposable or safety razor, you may also want to buy shaving cream or gel. These help lubricate skin and reduce the risk of nicks and cuts. There are many to choose from. Some even include moisturizers to help keep your skin from drying out. Avoid creams or gels that have alcohol that could irritate skin. Lather acts like a buffer on the skin, so the richer the lather, the less chance you have of cutting yourself. Regular bar soap or liquid shower soap will work, too.В

How to Avoid Cuts While Shaving

Here are some safety tips for teen girls who shave with disposable razors:

  • Shave in a warm shower or bathtub. Water hydrates and softens the skin, making it easier to shave without getting a nick.
  • Splash warm water on your skin (or soak it) for a few minutes before shaving. Then apply generous amounts of a lubricant like shaving cream or bar soap. Allow the cream or gel to soften your skin for five minutes before you start to shave.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth, such as in a downward direction on the leg since leg hair grows down. If not, you can get razor burn if your skin is sensitive.
  • While it is common to go with the grain of the hair in your armpits, most girls prefer to shave their legs and bikini area upward, because this provides a closer shave. Just be careful.
  • Don’t rush. It’s important to shave slowly and gently. Let the razor blade do the work. Don’t push down too hard with the razor. If you rush, you’re likely to cut your skin.
  • Change razors frequently. A dull blade can irritate your skin and cause rashes or infections. You can also cut your skin more easily with a dull blade. Also, don’t share razors with others.
  • Use extra caution around the knee and ankle area. Because of their shape, it is very easy to cut these areas.
  • Ask your mom or dad to get you an antiseptic styptic pencil. To use: Dip the white pencil in water, then apply it to nicks or cuts to stop bleeding immediately.
  • After thoroughly washing with soap and water, follow your shave with a lotion or moisturizer. This will help keep skin from drying out.

Don’t Believe Shaving Myths

Despite what you might have heard, shaving does not make the hair grow back thicker . That’s a popular myth. Shaving only removes hair at the surface of the skin. The sharp edge caused by shaving the hair creates the rough “stubble” you can feel on your legs or armpits.

You will probably find that unless you have very thick hair growth, you won’t have to shave every day when you first start shaving. Some girls with fairer complexions only shave every few days or once a week. As you get older, your hair will start to come in faster, and you may have to shave more frequently.

What to Do About the Bikini and Pubic Area

Use your discretion when making the right choice for your bikini and pubic areas. Preferences vary among girls and women and among cultures.

You can buy chemical hair removers (depilatories), which are applied directly to the skin and then wiped off a few minutes later. Be careful though! Remember that these hair removers are not necessarily safe to use around the vulva or vaginal area, or bikini line. Also, some people are all ergic to the chemicals. Always test a small area of skin first before using these — even if you’re using them on your legs or underarms. Sensitive skin may become irritated with this hair removal option.

Other options for hair removal in the bikini area and elsewhere include shaving, waxing, electrolysis, and laser hair removal. There are also electric and rechargeable razors made specifically for a woman’s bikini area.В

When to See a Professional for Hair Removal

You can go to a professional for waxing, which involves applying a layer of warm wax to the places you want hair removed. When the technician removes the wax, the trapped hairs are pulled out. Some teens find that waxing is less painful than “plucking” hairs in unwanted areas; others think waxing hurts.

With electrolysis, a technician inserts a fine needle into the hair follicle and applies an electrical current. While electrolysis can permanently remove hair, many teens find it uncomfortable as it irritates the skin. Laser therapy is another method of removing hair in small areas, such as the bikini area. This type of hair removal is expensive, and it may cause scarring. Both of these methods require multiple sessions to permanently end hair growth.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

In This Article

Trends around keeping or eliminating body hair change over time, but the habit of shaving off the hair that grows on us has been around since before any trends existed. Rumor has it we’ve been grooming away our body hair for over 100,000 years, starting by plucking it out (ouch) one by one, then later moving to actual tools.

Back before modern conveniences like showers, shaving body hair was considered to be a way to reduce odors, infections, and pests. It also had cultural significance, most notably with ancient Egyptians associating shaven bodies with cleanliness and the upper class. Now, however, whether or not to shave one’s body hair is purely an aesthetic choice, and one some are starting to examine more closely. This is because even though all genders have body hair, only women are pressured to shave theirs off. A shaved body has been the ideal of feminine beauty for decades, but that doesn’t make it healthy, or—mind-blowing thought—the most beautiful way to upkeep our bodies. We’ll examine the ways in which giving up the razor under your arms is a surprisingly sound choice.

Before delving into the health benefits of keeping your underarm hair in its natural state, it’s important to acknowledge, and hopefully begin to break down, how deeply seated our thoughts, opinions, and fears around body hair may be. Personally, I always felt pressure to shave under my arms even though I’ve partnered with many AFAB (assigned female at birth) people who didn’t, and I find under-arm hair attractive on bodies of all genders. When I briefly stopped shaving under my arms in college, the “EW!” response from both friends and strangers was more than I could deal with, and I returned to the habit after a few short months. In the time since, I maintained a weird sense of envy for those who didn’t shave their underarms. One day a couple years ago, thanks to caring less about what others think than I did back then, I decided to join them.

It’s been two glorious years of loving my armpit hair, and feedback nowadays is overall less hostile than it was then, but underarm hair is still a polarizing topic. I made the mistake of hashtagging one of my insta photos with “#armpithair” a few months ago, and in turn found my photo reposted by numerous armpit hair fetish profiles. The fact that armpit hair is now a fetish displays how it’s still viewed as a choice outside the norm. I continue to hear statements like, “That’s not supposed to be there!” and have been called “brave” for not shaving. It’s a simple fact that body hair grows on us, so the concept of whether it’s “supposed to be there” or not is a moot point; it’s there unless we choose to remove it.

Shaving is a cultural phenomenon enforced by those who set, and follow, beauty standards. We’re beginning to move past the idea everyone should be impossibly thin, white, and have long, flowing hair—so perhaps in time we can move beyond the pre-adolescent visual preference for removing body hair, too. Meanwhile, here are some health benefits to help you rethink underarm shaving.

The Risk Factor

Most obviously, by not shaving under your arms you’ll eliminate the dermatological problems that can result from doing so: ingrown hairs, razor burn, rashes, and irritation. Additionally, those tiny little nicks and cuts from shaving can lead to infections like MRSA, the potential for which is mitigated by not doing it.

Easing Friction

Not shaving reduces skin-on-skin contact friction, which means when you do activities that involve arm movement, like running or walking, your skin is much less likely to get irritated by the friction. This can lead to less skin issues like rashes and ingrown hairs.

Pheromones

It’s common knowledge our natural scents play a role in our attractions; just think of how someone might seem made for you on a dating app, but in person your expectations fall flat for seemingly no reason. We fit, or don’t, with others partially based on how our bodies react to the scent of theirs, and that scent is caused by pheromones. A study showed that the natural pheromones of our partners, as emitted from under the arms without deodorant, make us feel calmer and less stressed.

In a further example of body hair being presumed to only exist on men, a study showed a male pheromone excreted in underarm sweat called androstadienone increases sexual desire. That doesn’t mean the pheromones women emit from under their arms behave differently; it just means the subject hasn’t been studied yet. It stands to reason that since female bodies have pheromones just like male bodies, women probably have chemicals with similar properties.

Chemical Concerns

There’s a lot of talk out there about aluminum and breast cancer, but the claim that the aluminum in antiperspirants leads to increased rates of breast cancer has yet to be widely proven. However, no matter what chemicals you put under your arms, you will absorb a greater percentage of them when you apply deodorant and/or antiperspirant after having just shaved. The rate of increase may seem minor, with the jump being from .01% to .06%, but that is a six-fold rise in chemical exposure regardless.

Additionally, the correlation has been proven between the usage of aluminum antiperspirant, shaving and the age of breast cancer onset, concluding that “underarm shaving with antiperspirant/deodorant use may play a role in breast cancer.” There’s more research needed, but this preliminary conclusion may be enough to give under arm shaving a second thought if you’re a fan of antiperspirants.

Still having reservations? Here are a couple reassuring facts about not shaving under your arms.

You won’t Smell Any Worse: Somehow we absorbed the notion that shaving off our armpit hair was saving us from terrible body odor, but that just isn’t true. Science has uncovered that the impact of shaving on odor is minimal at best.

You Won’t Sweat More: Similar to the idea that unshaved underarms smell less lovely than shaven ones, we also tend to think that shaving helps us sweat less. The reality: shaving, or not, has no effect on how much we sweat.

If you’ve thought about stopping your under-arm shaving, the above information may be enough to convince you of what a healthy option it is. And if you haven’t ever considered it, this is an excellent opportunity to look into why! Luckily, there’s no commitment needed; while some people who choose to stop shaving never go back to it, you can always pick a razor back up again at any time.

Leah Ansell, MD, is board-certified in cosmetic and medical dermatology. She is an assistant professor at Columbia University and works in private practice in New York City.

You might be wondering the right age to start shaving, but the answer depends on how you feel about shaving. Talk to your mom, an aunt, an older sister or a cousin before you try shaving on your own. She probably has some valuable shaving tips and tricks to share with you.

How to shave under your arms for the first time

Shaving 101

Some women never shave above their knees, while others shave their thighs. Figuring out what you want to shave is a personal decision the depends on the color and amount of hair you have. If you’re brand new to shaving, you might want to stick to your calves at first. It’s a relatively straightforward part of the body to shave, and there’s less risk of accidentally cutting yourself. Mastering the shaving fundamentals first will better prepare you when you’re ready to move on to shaving the entire leg—shaving around the knees is especially tricky.

There is no right or wrong as to how often you should shave your legs. It depends on the color and amount of your hair, and what you’re comfortable with. Some women shave every day, while others shave once a week. It’s really up to you how often you want to shave.

As you can imagine, sharing razors is never recommended, even if it’s with your sister or mother. When you shave, especially if you’re a first-timer, you’re probably going to get a nick or two. If another person uses that razor, they could develop a skin infection.

Shaving Supplies

Lots of women shave in the shower, but if you’ve never shaved before it would be wise to do it inside the steady surface of the bathtub to avoid any nicks and cuts. Once you’ve mastered the basics of shaving, you can do while you shower. You’ll need:

  • A clean, new razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Clean towels

Finding the Perfect Razor and Shaving Cream

Since you’ve been thinking about shaving, you may have already checked out the razor section at your local drugstore. Razors come in a variety of colors, sizes, and blades. Some have special designs and grips that prevent the razor from slipping while you are shaving your legs or underarms. It might take a few tries with different razors before you find the perfect razor for you.

There’s also an abundance of shaving creams for women. Most shaving creams dispense as a gel that lathers to a creamy consistency when it’s spread around your legs and underarms. Shaving creams tout a multitude of benefits, from adding moisture to the skin to being formulated for sensitive skin.

How to Shave Your Legs

Once you’ve gone through all the preliminaries and have your razor and shaving cream in hand, you’re ready to shave your legs. Before you start, wet your legs and apply shaving cream according to the product’s directions. Shaving in a bathtub gives you a steady place to put your feet.

With your legs lathered, prop one foot on the edge of the tub. Shave your legs from your ankles up—going against the grain of hair growth—to whatever stopping place you’ve decided upon. One of the benefits of using shaving cream is that you’ll be able to see where you have already shaved.

Work in small patches. The razor will get clogged up with hair and shaving cream, so run it under the faucet to rinse it out as needed. The cleaner the razor, the better the shave.

How to Shave Your Underarms

Shaving under your arms is a bit easier than shaving your legs seeing as there is less to shave. Apply shaving cream to your armpits, raise your arm above your head to pull the skin taut and shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth.

Unlike leg hair, underarm hair tends to grow in different directions. You’ll probably want to shave up, down and sideways to ensure that you’ve shaved away all of your underarm hairs. Again, rinse out the razor as needed to get a better shave and avoid irritation.

Tips and Tricks

Moving forward, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure your razor is clean every time you start to shave. Run it under hot water to rinse out any hair or shaving cream residue. Let the razor dry by leaving it in a position with the blade facing upward. You could even get a razor hanger to keep in the tub. This will help the razor dry properly and prevent it from getting rusty. Never use a rusty razor.

Keep in mind that a good old fashioned razor isn’t the only way to get rid of hair. If you don’t want to use a razor, there are a number of cream hair removers that you can buy at the drugstore, as well as waxes. For permanent hair removal, you may want to consider laser hair removal treatments.