Beauty 101: How to Shave Your Armpits
Hello. I have a seasonal question for you regarding underarm shaving. I know that models in magazines are Photoshopped and all, but how do celebrities and tv people manage to shave their armpits so well? Every time I shave I end up with a shadow of hair or often an hour afterwards small hairs themselves poking through.
I use conditioner to shave with as I find shaving cream too thick. I’ve tried the razors with cream around them and nothing seems to work. This issue isn’t the last thing in the world, but since it is summer and I would like to have nice looking armpits in my many many tank tops, any advice would be helpful.
Since I really don’t hobnob with that many models and celebrities, I can’t tell you for SURE that they wax their armpits, but…I’m guessing a lot of them wax their armpits.
This is not something I am personally interested in doing, to say the least.
There are some tricks to shaving your pits (ew, hate that word) that don’t involve ripping hairs out by the roots. A lot of the stubble we see is the result of poor technique and a healthy dollop of laziness.
First, I assume you’re shaving in the shower, no? If so, make sure you actually expose your armpits to the water for a few minutes before shaving. Let them soak in the hot water. (If you’re outside of the shower, hold a hot washcloth to your skin for a few minutes.) Do your body washing first, using a gentle soap and rinse thoroughly. This helps open up your follicles and expose more of the hair shaft, and helps soften the hair and make it easier to cut.
Next, apply a moisturizing shaving cream or gel and let it sit for a minute or two. Hair conditioner has the right texture for shaving, but it’s not made for your skin. I’ll use when I’m out of shaving gel or while traveling, but if you’ve got stubble problems it’s not doing you any favors. Try Aveeno or Kiss My Face or something similarly gentle, preferably without a lot of fragrance.
You’ll notice I’ve padded a few extra minutes into the routine here, which is why I brought up laziness before. I like to get every precious second of sleep that I can, so most of the time I’m scrambling to make up lost time in the shower. So sometimes I just smear shaving gel on non-soaked armpits and then immediately swipe it away with the razor in a few seconds flat. This is fine for the winter, but it’s not going to give you tank-top ready pits.
Next up is the technique. Extend your arm completely over your head. And then, using as new and as sharp a razor as possible, shave up and towards your back. (I prefer the unisex triple-blades and thought those girly razors with the built-in cream were the worst razor I have EVER used, especially for the armpit area.) Don’t shave straight up and don’t shave up and then down and keep your strokes short and to a minimum. Rinse the shaving gel and hair off the blades in between every stroke. And shave ONLY where you have hair (this is easier to do if you apply the gel ONLY to where you have hair, instead of just drowning your entire underarm in it).
Rinse the remaining gel off and dab your underarms with a towel. If you have time, dab a little body moisturizer on them (particularly the bottom part where you’re most prone to stubble) and wait as long as possible before applying deodorant. The Dove deodorant with the moisturizers really will give you movie-star armpits, provided the antiperspirant part works for you. (It didn’t for me, and I’d rather have less-pretty pits than be smelly.)
So like so many of these pesky beauty complaints, this one can be solved with the proper tools (a fresh razor and a quality gel or cream) and about five extra minutes of your time.
(I am guessing by this point, if you were to follow ALL the advice I’ve given out and always followed ALL the proper techniques to the letter, you would spend about 90% of your day grooming yourself, with maybe 30 minutes left over for lunch.)