How Often Should You Really Shave Your Pits?

Dyed armpits may be a trend celebrated by celebrities and bloggers alike, but did you know that letting your armpit hair grow out a bit is more than just a quirky fad? Believe it or not, longer armpit hair may benefit your skin in the long run, especially since the delicate skin under your arms can be vulnerable to infection and bumps.

“Underarms go through constant friction and shaving them every day can escalate the above problems,” Hibba Kapil, founder of Hibba NYC, explains to me. “Because the area never catches a break from shaving, it's always going to have bumps or ingrown hairs.”

Sure, there’s the thought that shaving regularly provides your skin with necessary exfoliation, but shaving your underarms too often can lead to serious problems you don’t want on your plate. Unwanted side effects such as razor burn, ingrown hairs, and bacterial infections can be caused by frequent shaving. Plus, repeated shaving can be a painful and, not to mention, an exhausting process you often feel obligated to complete.

In choosing to give your underarms a pause in between shaves, you can expect to have healthier, and smoother underarms overtime.

Still not convinced to let your pits grow out for a change? To ease your shaving doubts, I’ve consulted the experts to help break down all the main reasons why you should probably stop grabbing your razor so much.

Shaving Too Much Causes Infection

Often causing uncomfortable itching, nicks, and cuts, shaving too much can also lead to a multitude of side effects you’d rather not deal with. And according to experts like Kapil, infections are more than common, especially since frequently shaved skin can cause an irritable environment bacteria seems to thrive on.

“Shaving can cause bumps, blisters and pimples,” says Kapil. “However if you aren’t careful, it can cause folliculitis [an infection caused by bacteria Staphylococcus or fungus], which is caused by recently-shaved hairs regrowing out of the follicle, and curling back around to irritate the skin.”

Frequent Shaves Traumatize Skin

Unlike other areas of the body, the skin under your arms happens to be extremely delicate, so it’s best to treat it with care and caution. Shaving too much can seriously leave your skin leave your skin damaged, taking it a long time to heal.

“If you shave or wax too soon or frequently, you may irritate or traumatize the skin and that is painful,” New York based dermatologist Dr. David Bank tells me. “It's important not to shave too frequently as this can lead to stripping away the skin's outer protective barrier layer. If that happens, the skin is more vulnerable to irritation and infections.”

Wait It Out

To avoid infection or trauma your underarms, the best thing you can probably do is give them a break. Now, you don’t have to wait a month to shave again, but you don’t want to wait just a day or two, either. Waiting a week is probably your best bet, as it gives your skin some essential time it needs to heal itself.

“The best thing you can do is grow out for a week, and then make an appointment to get it sugared or waxed,” says Kapil. “Your armpits will thank you.”

Growing out your pit hair can lead to healthier skin under your arms. So, instead of shaving daily, try shaving weekly for better results. Trust me, your skin will be most obliged.

Images: Fotolia (1, 2, 3)