How to Get a Clean Shave Under Your Arms

by Lydia Wong ; Updated September 28, 2017

Armpit stubble can look unsightly in sleeveless clothing.

Lena Rostunova/iStock/Getty Images

Getting a smooth shave under your armpits can help you feel confident when wearing tank tops or sleeveless clothing. Proper shaving technique will also prevent irritation, infection and unsightly bumps. A clean shave will also last longer, giving you more days of hair-free armpits between shaves. Because underarm hairs are unruly and grow in many different directions, getting a smooth shave in this area is trickier than on other body parts. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to get a close shave.

Start with a sharp, clean razor. A dull or rusty razor can cause infections and irritation. It also won’t cut the hair very well, and you will have to go over the same spot many times, which can cause razor burn and unsightly bumps. Use a sharp, new razor every time if you are using the disposable types. Do not reuse disposable razors. If you are reusing a multi-use razor, clean and dry it thoroughly after use.

Take a shower or shave in the shower. Hold your armpits up to the warm water for a few minutes. The warm water will soften the hair, making it easier to cut. Warm water also opens your pores and lets the hair dislodge easier. If you’d rather shave in front of a mirror, don’t let too much time elapse between coming out of the shower and shaving.

Lather up with a moisturizing shaving cream. If you have sensitive skin, look for a cream with soothing ingredients such as eucalyptus or aloe. Don’t skimp when applying the cream, because the cream forms a protective barrier between your skin and the razor, thus protecting your armpit from nicks and scrapes.

Shave once in the general direction of hair growth. You may want to pull your skin taut to avoid snagging any loose skin. Though you will have many wild hairs that grow in different directions, your hair will generally grow down, so shave from top to bottom. Rinse the razor between strokes, because a razor with hair clogging it will be ineffective. Don’t press too hard because this can cause cuts and irritation; if you need to press down to cut the hair, that’s a sign that the razor you’re using isn’t sharp enough. Light, short strokes should remove the hair.

Shave again against the direction of hair growth after rinsing and reapplying shaving cream. Shave again from bottom to top, or from side to side. In general, you don’t want to shave an area more than twice because this can lead to irritation and bumps. After rinsing and drying, apply a soothing, moisturizing lotion if you have sensitive skin.

Photo Credits

  • Lena Rostunova/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Lydia Wong has been writing professionally since 2008. Her expertise includes pharmaceutical research, medicine and electrical engineering. Wong has been published in professional school journals and technology blogs and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland.