Underarm Shaving Tips

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Shave your underarms before wearing sleeveless clothing.
Shave your underarms before wearing sleeveless clothing. (Image: NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Sweat glands under the arms secrete a substance that contains proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. These substances eventually come under attack by bacteria. Hair further traps and supports the growth of the bacteria and the unpleasant odor it causes. To prevent becoming victim to this process, shave your underarms. Applying a few tips helps lower the risk of pain and irritation.

Preparation

Wash the skin of your underarms before shaving to avoid infection. The underarm glands manufacture bacteria. Razor and shaving cream manufacturer, Gillette, recommends that you trim your hair to a length of 3 mm or less before shaving. Not only does this reduce the amount of time you will spend shaving, but it also helps you to get a clean shave.

Protect

Use a shaving cream, gel or body wash to soften the hair for shaving. The lather provides a smooth surface for the razor to glide over. It creates a smooth glide on the skin, reducing the chance that you will nick yourself or get razor burns. Use a product that has added moisturizer to soften the skin. If you unexpectedly run out of shaving cream, use hair conditioner as a substitute since it has some of the same properties. Wait until the end of the shower to shave. This gives the water time to open the pores and soften the skin.

Position

The underarm sometimes has folds and rolls of skin. Raise your hand over your head to make the skin taut. This helps you avoid cuts and nicks in the skin as you shave. Use a contoured razor that conforms easily to the shape of the armpits. A smaller size razor may reach into small armpits easier. Always use a sharp blade to get the closest shave. Consider purchasing razors in bulk so that you will not feel tempted to use a dull one in a crunch.

Direction

Hair under the arms grows in several different directions. Shave with and against the grain to get the closest shave. Use smooth, firm strokes. You may have to experiment when you first start to shave until you find the direction that is good for you.

Frequency

Exactly how often you shave depends on personal preference, but shave the underarms often. During the summertime when you wear more sleeveless shirts, you may shave your underarms more often. During the cold winter months, you may shave less often. Neglecting shaving for long periods of time allows for sharp hairs to grown in. As your arm rubs against your body, you will likely experience irritation from prickly hairs.

Afterwards

Do not apply deodorant immediately after shaving the underarms. Shaving removes the outer layer of protective skin. Apply deodorant directly after shaving can cause irritation. Shaving at night allows your skin to recover before you need to apply deodorant to protect you during the day’s activities. If you experience irritation from shaving or applying deodorant, wait a few days; allow the skin to heal before shaving again.

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