If you choose to shave your body hair, chances are that you love that silky, freshly shaved feeling. So how often do you need to shave your legs, armpits, bikini line, or other parts of your body, to feel smooth and slick at all times?
How often should you actually shave?
Shaving doesn’t last long, but when you prefer a smooth feel day and night, and don’t want to wait to get it waxed off, then it’s an easy option.
How often you shave depends on your hair type (thick or barely there) and growth (how fast it grows back). And these are determined genetics — so there’s not much you can do about that. It also depends on your preferred result (want to stay smooth 24/7 or unfussed by a bit of stubble?).
There's really no set rule or right or wrong answer for how often you need to shave. In general, shave every two to three days for a smooth feel and three to five days if you aren’t worried about a prickly leg.
Areas that may need shaving more frequently
How often you need to shave also depends on the area of the body you’re looking at. Some areas need shaving more frequently; you aren’t imagining it! You may, for example, have noticed that your armpit hair grows faster than your leg hair. This means that you need to shave your armpits more often to keep them hair-free.
The seasons can also come into it, with more frequent shaving during the summer months when our skin is exposed, and less shaving in the winter. But it’s not that straightforward: you may shave your body regularly because you prefer the smooth feel, even hidden under clothes. Or you may feel that being freshly shaved makes you feel good about yourself — a bit of a confidence boost.
Finally, a shout-out to personal preference. Some like to shave their legs and keep their armpits natural…others wouldn’t dare wave in a vest top unless their armpits are stubble-free. Whether you have a preference for skin as smooth as a pin or prefer to go au naturel, the wonderful thing about human beings is that we’re all different.
Is it OK to shave every day?
It is completely safe to shave every day, if you wish. For some, it can irritate the hair follicles, causing razor bumps. But if you’re using shaving cream and a high-quality razor, while moisturising afterwards, you should have problem-free shaving.
Just make sure that you replace the razor blades regularly, don’t shave against the grain — and remember to moisturise (think of moisturiser as your shield!).
When shouldn’t you shave?
There are some situations where you need to put down the razor and give your skin a rest. If you’ve been caught out in the sun, don’t shave your sunburnt skin. Wait until the inflammation goes down.
Likewise, if you have a skin rash, your skin is sore, or you have a wound, then just wait a while longer until your skin has fully healed before you shave. You don’t want to increase the risk of infection.
And if you’ve been shaving in a rush recently (we’ve all done it, we aren’t here to judge) and have some ingrown hairs or razor burn as a result, just wait until your skin is back to normal before shaving again. If this has happened to you, then read our tips below on the best shaving technique, so that even if you’re shaving against the clock, you can still prevent irritation…
How to avoid skin irritation when shaving
If you’ve been shaving your body hair for many years, you probably have your own way of shaving and your own routine that you don’t think twice about. But understanding the correct way to shave will protect your skin from future irritation. The exact routine will depend on the area of the body you are shaving, but here are some universal tips that apply regardless of where you’re shaving:
- Ensure that your razor blade is high-quality and always sharp. An old, blunt or rusty blade can cause irritation
- Gently exfoliate your skin to remove any dead skin cells
- Take a warm bath or shower before you start shaving to wash away dirt and open the pores so that the razor can glide easily over your skin
- Use shaving gel to moisturise and help your razor blade glide smoothly
- Massage moisturiser into your skin post-shave, preferably something rich and scent-free
For more tips, read our essential guide on avoiding shaving rash.
How often should I change my razor blades?
It’s time to change your razor blade when it no longer glides across your skin. Instead, it tugs, catches, pulls and feels rough. You may also notice that you have to shave over the same area a number of times, creating soreness.
But how often you should change your razor blades will depend on how often you shave. If you shave daily, consider changing the blade every 1-2 weeks. If you shave every other day, make that 2-3 weeks. And if you shave twice a week, swapping to a new blade every 4-6 weeks should do the trick. Top tip: avoid forgetting to change your razor blades with a razor subscription.
When it comes to shaving, there’s no need to add official shaving dates to your calendar; shaving needn’t be regimented. Simply shave to suit yourself. But by following best practices — using a high-quality blade with shaving gel as a minimum — you can ensure that your routine goes smoothly.