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A Wilkinson Sword razor on a bathroom counter next to shaving foam and a hand towel

How to shave your underarms

Armpit hair is so back. At least, that’s what the fashion magazines are saying. Ever since Vogue reported on it last year, the biggest celebrities on the internet have been positively falling over each other to show off their underarm fuzz on social media. 

And why not? Seeing as men’s razors are allowed to go their whole lives without even becoming acquainted with that furry, clammy underarm region (lucky razors, we say) there’s no good reason why women shouldn’t be able to let it all hang out in the pits too.

But sometimes, there’s nothing like that clean, smooth, just-shaved feel — and we know all about it at Wilkinson Sword. When the weather gets warm you might just find that the extra layer of insulation you’ve been growing under your arms all winter isn’t quite so welcome any more, so it’s worth keeping your razor on standby.

These days we’re under far less pressure to keep every inch of our body hair endlessly in check — and about time too — but knowing how to safely shave your underarms when the right occasion strikes is definitely a skill to keep in the back pocket. But first…

What does underarm hair do? 

Underarm hair has the same job as most of your other body hair. It does much more than look trendy on Instagram:

  • It works to regulate sweat glands and keep control of how much moisture your body is producing whether it’s hot or cold 
  • It prevents too much skin-to-skin contact between your inner arm and the side of your torso when you’re engaging in physical activity 
  • It’s thinner than other types of body hair because the sweat glands that it regulates also work differently

Whether you’re walking, running or dancing at a wedding, your fuzz reduces chafing and discomfort, so it’s worth knowing how to shave it effectively in order to keep that protection in place and not replace it with shaving rash or ingrown hairs.

How to shave your underarms effectively

Armpit hair can be tricky to manage compared with shaving your legs, or even your face. That’s because it grows in different directions — making it difficult to shave either with or against the grain. 

It doesn’t help that the skin surface in this area is a curved, uneven shape that’s hard to access with anything but the very best razors like the Intuition Complete – with a slim razorhead that gets in as close as possible at awkward angles.

The rule is the same as with any other type of body hair having the right tools in place, taking your time and following a few simple steps will give you a much better shave!

1. Choose your razor carefully

We’re never advocates for just grabbing any old razor you find in your bathroom, but the unique hair in your armpits means it’s extra important to have the right razor at hand. That rusty old thing sitting on the side of the bath is just not going to be up to the job. 

The Hydro Silk razor is designed to leave your skin silky smooth and if it’s been a while since your underarms were bare, a bit of moisturising and balming from the Hydro Renew Serum infused with shea butter will go a long way.

Following the contours of your body can be especially challenging in the armpit area, but you can always bet on the Quattro for Women Rose Gold with its compact pivoting head and four ultra-thin blades.

2. Wash your underarms before you start

What do dead skin cells, sweat and remnants of your old deodorant stick have in common? They all love to congregate in your armpits, waiting to clog up a razor blade. This makes for an uncomfortable and less effective shave, so it’s well worth clearing the runway before you get started.  

Take a warm, soapy shower before shaving your armpits and you’ll have a smoother and more enjoyable shave – not only will nicks and cuts be less likely but if they do happen, there won’t be half as much bacteria left to get into them. 

3. Use plenty of shave gel

A generous slathering of shave cream will protect this especially sensitive area from getting irritated (which incidentally is what you’ll be too, if your underarms start turning red and inflamed after a shave). 

Make sure you’ve got a thick layer in place before starting your shave, because the skin under your arms really likes hydration – and it’ll thank you later.

4. Don’t try to shave one way

We’ll leave the shaving against the grain debate for another time, because it doesn’t even come into the equation in your armpits. There is no direction of growth – your hair grows up, down, sideways and everything in between – so one particular way of shaving isn’t going to give you the closest possible finish.

Shave slowly and gently in every direction, applying only light pressure (our razor blades will put in the hard work for you) and if you can’t quite get close enough, don’t worry about a completely hairless finish – you underarm hair does an important job so leaving a bit of it in place is beneficial. 

5. Make sure you moisturise afterwards

Razor burn and bumps are common under your arms, so take the time to indulge in a little post-shave aftercare and you’ll be glad you did. Rinse your armpits with warm water after you’ve finished shaving and pat them with a towel.

Once the area is dry, you can apply a gentle and alcohol-free moisturiser to give the skin as much hydration as possible. Wait for a few minutes before putting on deodorant – the skin under there is extra sensitive right now!