How To Avoid Ingrown Armpit Hair & More Shaving Hacks

Genius ways to prevent ingrown hairs and other irritations you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

by Taylor Fuller and Maria Cassano
Originally Published: 
Cropped studio shot of a woman with hair under her arms against a gray background
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Now, we all know shaving your armpits is hardly necessary (or anywhere else for that matter). But, if you’re like me and find that scratchy hair in your armpits can get too uncomfortable not to shave, you’ll want to know about these armpit shaving hacks that no one teaches you.

How Do You Avoid Ingrown Hairs?

While looking for ways to improve my shaving experience as well as the overall health of my pits, I stumbled across several great shaving tips to prevent irritation and pesky ingrown hairs.

First things first: exfoliate. You can use a scrub, a loofah, or a washcloth. You just want to make sure that you prep your underarm hair before you shave to prevent ingrown hairs. Another step (and one I'm guilty of skipping) is using a shaving cream (or an oil works, too). You should also look for a razor that has multiple blades to give you a closer shave.

Shop The Best Armpit Shaving Hacks

In a hurry? Here are the top tips to minimize ingrown hairs.

  1. Exfoliate Your Underarms First: Dylonic Exfoliating Body Scrubber Brush
  2. Make Sure To Lather Up: Proraso Shaving Foam
  3. If You Don't Have A Cream On Hand, Use An Oil: Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil
  4. Use A Razor That Will Give You A Close Shave: Bevel Safety Razor with Brass Weighted Handle
  5. Replace Your Blade Often: Gillette Fusion5 Mens Razor Blade Refills
  6. Try A Hair Removal Cream: Uttse Intimate Area Hair Removal Cream
  7. Moisturize With A Hair Inhibitor: GiGi Slow Grow Hair Inhibitor Lotion
  8. Treat With A Razor Bump Stopper: PFB Vanish Razor Bump Stopper Skin Care Treatment


Exfoliate Your Underarms First

Make sure you're exfoliating your skin before you take a razor to it. The area under your armpits can be super sensitive, so it's important to use something gentle. This exfoliating body scrubber is great because affordable, never runs out (unlike a sugar scrub), and uses its many rubbery bristles to exfoliate dead skin and bring hair follicles to the surface. When used elsewhere on the body, it’s also great to boost smoothness and circulation.

One reviewer wrote: “The difference is incredible! Game changer for my daily shaving routine. [...] Legs, underarms have never been smoother. I also noticed it helped me get a closer shave.”


Make Sure To Lather Up

This shaving cream is made with oat extract and green tea. Together, the ingredients work together to soothe skin and prevent irritation that can often be caused by shaving. Make sure you remember to lather up your armpits each time before you shave. It will go a long way in making your skin softer and healthier. Apply this after you've been in the shower for a few minutes so that you can get a smoother shave, as hair softens and pores open the longer you've been in there.

One reviewer wrote: “Only shaving cream we buy now. [...] Definitely decreases amount of ingrown hairs and bumps!”


Or Swap Your Opt For A Cleansing Oil Instead

If I don't have a shaving cream in my shower, I end up skipping that step. This sometimes leaves my underarms feeling irritated. But, I almost always have a shower oil in there. Oil is a great alternative to shaving cream and is actually better for prolonging the life of your razor (because it doesn't clog the blades). This one isn't greasy and will leave your skin feeling silky smooth after using it.

One reviewer wrote: “I have sensitive, dry, acne prone skin and suffer from eczema. I use this as a body’s wash, shaving oil, face wash, and makeup remover (only concealer and eyebrow gel though so unsure how it would handle a full face). It is moisturizing and hasn’t caused any irritation. Has a very light and pleasant scent.”


Use A Razor That Will Give You A Close Shave

I have been using a razor marketed towards men for as long as I can remember. Recently, however, ample people have switched to luxury safety razors. The single blade glides over skin without irritation to reduce unwanted bumps, while the weighted handle helps you get the closest shave possible. An added perk: Since it’s made from metal, it’s eco-friendly and free from wasteful plastics, plus each order comes with 10 blade refills.

One reviewer wrote: “High quality product. As a woman who was accustomed to using plastic razors, I had to get used to the weight of this shaver but it is worth every penny. I haven't had a razor bump since I started using this razor and my skin doesn't feel irritated after using it. Major improvements!! I'm so happy I purchased this product!”


Replace Your Blade Often

To avoid irritation, razor burn, ingrown hairs, or infections, make sure you're switching out your blades frequently. Depending on how often you shave you should be replacing your razor head every one to two weeks to ensure that you're getting a sanitary shave. If you start to see that your razor has dulled or rusted, it's time to swap it out.

One reviewer wrote: “This is all I will use on my legs and underarms. These razors do not give me razor burn or any rash. They are smooth and my legs are hair free in one long swipe of the razor. Women's razor's have nothing on these!”


Try A Hair Removal Cream

  • Also available on Sears, $24

Shaving isn't for everyone. If you have super sensitive skin that is easily irritated by a razor, consider a hair removal cream that's designed to be extra gentle. This one is specifically formulated for intimate areas like the underarms and bikini area, and even reviewers with easily irritated skin say “it works” and it’s surprisingly “gentle.” Just clean the skin, apply the cream in a thick lather, and leave it on for five to 10 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

One reviewer wrote: “I have eczema and my skin tends to be sensitive in certain areas like under my arms. I was hesitant to use this cream for about a month cause I didn’t want to damage any skin that has came a long way to healing. This morning I used it and it worked perfectly! The box says to leave the cream on from 8-5 minutes but no more than 15 minutes. I left it on my underarms and bikini area for about 10-11 minutes and the hair wiped off instantly. No burns, no bumps, no irritation!”


Moisturize With A Hair Inhibitor After Removing Hair

When you're done shaving, you'll want to moisturize your armpits. GiGi Slow Grow lotion has hydrating ingredients like argan oil — but it also contains papaya enzymes that aim to slow down the formation of new hair. As a result, it acts as a moisturizer and a hair inhibitor in one, and according to reviewers, it “smells great” and “actually works” if applied regularly after shaving. It’s also so gentle, some opt to use it on their face.

One reviewer wrote: “I’m a person whose leg hair and armpit hair would literally grow back overnight. It says it takes some time to work but after about 3 uses I am amazed!! My hair is taking 2 days before it even starts to grow back a little bit. Will keep using and definitely recommend.”


Treat The Skin With A Razor Bump Stopper

This razor bump stopper serum is perfect for using on your underarms because it comes in a convenient roll-on bottle. If you suffer from razor burn or find yourself frequently dealing with ingrown hairs, this is a “game changer” and a “life-saver,” according to past customers. It aims to provide relief from skin irritation and prevent future skin issues, plus it also helps with hyperpigmentation. No wonder it has an overall 4.4-star rating from more than 11,000 reviewers.

One reviewer wrote: “This is THE best ingrown hair / anti-razor bump product I have ever used! I have incredibly sensitive skin, and often get terrible bumps in my underarm and bikini area. Thanks to PFB Chromabright, I rarely ever get a bump from shaving. This even helped clear up the dark spots from ingrown hair scarring!”

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