The Right Way to Shave Your Legs and Underarms

You might be wondering the right age to start shaving, but the answer depends on how you feel about shaving. Talk to your mom, an aunt, an older sister or a cousin before you try shaving on your own. She probably has some valuable shaving tips and tricks to share with you.

Close-up of woman shaving her leg
Guido Mieth / Getty Images

Shaving 101

Some women never shave above their knees, while others shave their thighs. Figuring out what you want to shave is a personal decision the depends on the color and amount of hair you have. If you're brand new to shaving, you might want to stick to your calves at first. It's a relatively straightforward part of the body to shave, and there's less risk of accidentally cutting yourself. Mastering the shaving fundamentals first will better prepare you when you're ready to move on to shaving the entire leg—shaving around the knees is especially tricky.

There is no right or wrong as to how often you should shave your legs. It depends on the color and amount of your hair, and what you're comfortable with. Some women shave every day, while others shave once a week. It's really up to you how often you want to shave.

As you can imagine, sharing razors is never recommended, even if it's with your sister or mother. When you shave, especially if you're a first-timer, you're probably going to get a nick or two. If another person uses that razor, they could develop a skin infection.

Shaving Supplies

Lots of women shave in the shower, but if you've never shaved before it would be wise to do it inside the steady surface of the bathtub to avoid any nicks and cuts. Once you've mastered the basics of shaving, you can do while you shower. You'll need:

  • A clean, new razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Clean towels

Finding the Perfect Razor and Shaving Cream

Since you've been thinking about shaving, you may have already checked out the razor section at your local drugstore. Razors come in a variety of colors, sizes, and blades. Some have special designs and grips that prevent the razor from slipping while you are shaving your legs or underarms. It might take a few tries with different razors before you find the perfect razor for you.

There's also an abundance of shaving creams for women. Most shaving creams dispense as a gel that lathers to a creamy consistency when it's spread around your legs and underarms. Shaving creams tout a multitude of benefits, from adding moisture to the skin to being formulated for sensitive skin.

How to Shave Your Legs

Once you've gone through all the preliminaries and have your razor and shaving cream in hand, you're ready to shave your legs. Before you start, wet your legs and apply shaving cream according to the product's directions. Shaving in a bathtub gives you a steady place to put your feet.

With your legs lathered, prop one foot on the edge of the tub. Shave your legs from your ankles up—going against the grain of hair growth—to whatever stopping place you've decided upon. One of the benefits of using shaving cream is that you'll be able to see where you have already shaved.

Work in small patches. The razor will get clogged up with hair and shaving cream, so run it under the faucet to rinse it out as needed. The cleaner the razor, the better the shave.

How to Shave Your Underarms

Shaving under your arms is a bit easier than shaving your legs seeing as there is less to shave. Apply shaving cream to your armpits, raise your arm above your head to pull the skin taut and shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth.

Unlike leg hair, underarm hair tends to grow in different directions. You'll probably want to shave up, down and sideways to ensure that you've shaved away all of your underarm hairs. Again, rinse out the razor as needed to get a better shave and avoid irritation.

Tips and Tricks

Moving forward, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure your razor is clean every time you start to shave. Run it under hot water to rinse out any hair or shaving cream residue. Let the razor dry by leaving it in a position with the blade facing upward. You could even get a razor hanger to keep in the tub. This will help the razor dry properly and prevent it from getting rusty. Never use a rusty razor.

Keep in mind that a good old fashioned razor isn't the only way to get rid of hair. If you don't want to use a razor, there are a number of cream hair removers that you can buy at the drugstore, as well as waxes. For permanent hair removal, you may want to consider laser hair removal treatments.

Was this page helpful?