Handsome man ponders whether or not he should shave his arms

Our Guide to Hairy Arms

Learn how to safely remove hair on your arms and underarms

Before we talk about how best to go about shaving your arms, it’s worth asking yourself the question: do I actually want to shave my arms? Is it really worth it?

Should I shave my arms?

In recent years, many women have decided that they’d rather not shave their arms: there are those who simply prefer the au naturel look, whilst others, inspired by the body positivity movement, have chosen to embrace their forearms and underarms in all of their natural, unshaven glory.

 

Whilst this is the case, lots of women are continuing to shave their arms, and there are plenty of men who have decided to follow suit, preferring both the feeling and aesthetic of soft, smooth skin to the more traditional, hairy look. Manscaping, it would appear, is here to stay.

 

Whether you decide that you want to shave your arms is ultimately down to whether or not you feel comfortable with having naturally hairy, unshaven arms. This is a decision that is purely cosmetic in nature, as opposed to one which concerns your health, and, as with many things in life, there is no right or wrong answer.

 

The following information may also help you decide whether you’d like to start shaving your arms.

 

The advantages

As we have seen, many people prefer both the look and feel of soft, smooth skin. Some people often feel more confident going swimming in a public place, for example, after having shaved both their forearms and underarms.

Shaving your armpit hair can also help reduce body odour; the apocrine glands, which produce sweat, are found in the armpit region, and our armpit hair traps both the sweat and the scent that it produces when it encounters bacteria on our skin.

 

The disadvantages

You may find that your arms suffer from the following if you decide to take the plunge and shave your arms:

  • Skin irritation
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Razor burn
  • Elbow nicks
  • Dry skin

Read on to discover how you can avoid all of the above and achieve perfectly soft, smooth arms. For further information on how to treat dry skin, see our dry skin guide.

So you’ve decided that you want to shave your arms. Here’s how to do it.

We’ve compiled our top tips on how to go about safely removing unwanted hair from your arms. Please note that this advice applies to both men and women.

How to shave your arms

Use a sharp razor, and be patient: take as long as you need! This is a classic case of ‘more haste, less speed’ - if you take your time and shave carefully, you will avoid cuts and bumps.

 

We recommend the following:

  • Trimming longer arm hair - this will help keep your razor sharp
  • Hydrating your arms by soaking in warm water to reduce the risk of skin irritation
  • Exfoliating your arms: use a loofah or scrub (be careful not to over-exfoliate, however!)
  • Applying shaving gel to avoid ingrown hairs and razor rash

We also suggest that you tackle your arms in sections:

  • Start with the parts of your arms which are easiest to see first, i.e. the forearm (area from the elbow to the hand)
  • Then, move on to the upper arm, i.e. the shoulder to elbow region

 

Be sure to moisturise your skin after you have finished shaving and patted your skin dry.

Expect to see stubble form a few days after shaving your arms for the first time, and shave them at least once a week from that point onwards.

How to shave your armpits

It is especially important that you use a sharp, high-quality razor, preferably one with a pivoting head, when tending to your underarms, because the skin under your arms is very sensitive.

As with shaving your forearms, we recommend that you give yourself plenty of time. A slow, careful shave is what is required here.

 

We recommend the following:

  • Trimming your armpit hair first
  • Exfoliating under your arms before you start shaving
  • Shaving whilst wet in the shower: this is preferable to shaving dry, as the hot water softens the hair and reduces the risk of pulled hair
  • Using shaving gel to avoid irritating your skin
  • Shaving your armpit hair in all directions
  • Using an alcohol-free aftershave balm

People with naturally hairy arms often feel that they are subjected to body standards which are outmoded and unrealistic. We encourage you to opt for whatever makes you feel most comfortable and strongly advise that, if you do decide to shave, you take the steps that we have outlined above to ensure a smooth, safe shave.