Shaving the tender underarm area is a chore for even those firmly dedicated to looking like a hairless rat. Shaving your armpits with the help of a safety razor is not too far removed from shaving your legs with one. It just takes a little practice and an entirely new world will be opened up to you. Before we dive in, I thought it would be helpful to note that we are speaking about cleaning up an area that has always had unpleasant connotations, hopefully until now.
This little effigy applies to both women and men. With more men manscaping these days, it is not out-of-the-question for the men to take some pointers from the below steps for removing unwanted underarm hair without having to turn to a costly multi-blade cartridge razor. Before we go into a brief “how to” guide on shaving your underarms with a safety razor, let’s talk about a few of the “why” reasons you may want to switch to a safety razor when it comes to underarm hair removal:
- Safety razors are less expensive. Double edge safety razor blades can cost as little as $0.10 each and be used for 4-7+ facial hair shaves. If you have a bladed dedicated to armpit hair, I would imagine it would last even longer. In short, shaving your underarm hair with a safety razor can save you some major dough, especially in the long run.
- Safety razors are better on the environment. The EPA estimates that some 2 billion cartridge razors are dumped into landfills each year. Double edge razor blades are recyclable and have a much smaller overall footprint. They’re also devoid of any plastic and a unnecessary lubricating strip.
- Safety razors are better for sensitive skin. Because safety razors do not immediately cut the hair up to or below the surface of the skin, it means shaving with one can be more customized, leaving your skin less irritated and razor bump free.
- Safety Razors are more “hip.” If you’re into your image and want to have a hip tool to talk about with your bros and/or hoes, then using a safety razor for your body hair removal may be just the thing for you.
Now that you know why you should be shaving your underarms with a safety razor, here are a few high-level steps to consider when doing so.
Proper Shaving Preparation
The best shave starts with proper preparation. Both men and women looking to shave their underarms with a safety razor should definitely pick up a nice smelling shaving soap and shaving brush so they can best prepare and exfoliate the area prior to actually shaving.
Personally, when I shave my pits, I do it after the shower, but for those who do not, shaving soap or cream and a quality badger hair brush should do just the trick. The best preparation ensures the entire area is properly hydrated. It’s called wet shaving for a reason. The best wet shaves requires ample heat, water and some type of saponification mechanism in a soap or cream.
Work up a lather with your soap or cream using your brush and then go to town.
*Note: if you do not shower before you shave your underarms it is advised that you opt for using a different shaving brush than the shaving brush you use on your face. The reasons here should be self-evident.
Mapping the Hair Growth
Before you start shaving, understand the direction of the hair growth under your arms. Understanding this is critical to avoiding against the grain (ATG) shaving on your first pass. Shaving against the grain without first removing the first layer of hair is more likely to cause razor bumps and razor burn, especially for the sensitive-skinned shaver.
To map the hair growth, simply pay attention to the direction your hairs grow and practice only shaving with the grain (WTG) on your first pass. Pay close attention, as your armpit hairs may grow in multiple directions.
Multiple Pass Shaves
Once you have your shave map and know the direction of your hair growth, you will be better prepared to execute a multiple-pass shave on your underarms. The steps are simple:
- Lather up and load the brush.
- Wet & lather the face
- Shave with the grain
- Wet & lather the face again
- Shave across the grain
- Wet & lather the face a third time
- Shave against the grain
The smoothest shave will include multiple passes. Sensitive skin may dictate only one or two based on the preference of the shaver.
Once the shave itself is passed (pun intended), it is advised to rinse, moisturize and deodorize. Repeat as often as you comfortably can.
When it comes to shaving your armpit hair using a traditional safety razor, there are multiple methods in the process that can aid in the comfort speed and post-shave enjoyment. These simple tips should prove somewhat useful.