How To Shave Armpits Without Stubble: The Right Way, According To Experts

Your armpits might be a small area in your body but they need special attention when it comes to shaving. The sensitive skin plus the hollow shape make shaving very challenging. You need to use the right supplies, prep your skin, and shave properly to get smooth, hair-free armpits.

Some of the stubble you see is the consequence of poor shaving techniques. Read on as we show you how to shave armpits without stubble.

Why Shave Your Armpits?

Shaving is good if you like the feel of smooth, hair-free armpits. More than aesthetics, removing armpit hair helps you smell better. Shaving your underarms eliminates the possible breeding ground of odor-causing bacteria. 

Less armpit hair also means less perspiration. Having armpit hair can increase your body heat, hence make you sweat more especially during the summer. Removing armpit hair is one way to cool your body.

Do you notice that athletes don’t have armpit hair? Research shows that removing hair can increase your athletic performance. Best of all, you gain more self-confidence as you feel more beautiful wearing your favorite sleeveless shirts.

What You’ll Need


The key to a smooth shave is a good razor according to dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban . The best razor for your underarms is the one with a rotating handle to reach all curved areas. Look for rubber or textured handles so the razor won’t slip from your hands even when wet.

The blade should be sharp to cut through the hair more cleanly. The problem with dull blades is that it urges you to put more weight on the razor, hence creates more friction that can result in more razor bumps and irritation.

To get a close shave, choose a multiple-blade razor with 2-5 blades to be exact. Some razors are actually developed for the underarms, so make sure to check the packaging label. Since the armpit has a lot of contours, you can prepare an additional mini-razor to work on those tight areas.

Pre-Shaving Oil

You’ll need some pre-shaving oil to plump your armpits before shaving. It hydrates your pores and hair at a micro-close level. While the shaving cream helps soften the hair tips, the pre-shaving oil softens the hair’s root area to prevent your razor from dragging your skin.

A regular moisturizer will be okay but you want something that provides intense hydration. It helps your razor to glide more smoothly across your skin. When there’s enough lubrication, there will be less friction on your skin.

A nutrient-rich pre-shave oil is the foundation of a great shave. Rich oils, like argan oil or olive oil, are the best pre-shaving oils you can use. Sandalwood is another great pre-shaving oil because it contains anti-inflammatory benefits.

Shaving Gel Or Cream

It’s important that you use shaving cream on your underarms because the skin in that area is sensitive. Compared to the pre-shaving oil, the shaving cream conditions the skin and hair more superficially for better razor action. The milky froth softens the hair tips so the blade can cut the hair more easily.

Look for natural ingredients and stay away from harmful chemicals, like paraben and sulfate. Pick a moisturizing or antibacterial formula to hydrate the skin.

Choose a delightful scent, like lavender and pomegranate, to improve your total shower experience. If your skin is vulnerable to irritation, pick a shaving cream with a sensitive skin formula or unscented ones. Avoid aerosol-type gels because they contain chemicals that could potentially irritate the underarms.

Moisturizing Cream Or Oil

After shaving, you need to moisturize your armpits to hydrate the skin and heal the skin. Look for skin-softening ingredients, such as chamomile and allantoin, to hydrate the newly shaved area. Use an ingrown hair cream if you want to treat or prevent ingrown hair. 

For hair that grows quickly, look for a mild hair inhibitor. Use coconut oil if you want something more natural or a moisturizing deodorant to avoid the need to purchase a separate moisturizer. Stay away from deodorants that use alcohol, dyes, and other harmful ingredients that can irritate the skin.

Physical Or Chemical Exfoliator

You need a good exfoliator to remove the dead skin cells buried in your pores. This will also help bring the ingrown hair out of the skin surface so you can achieve a close shave. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or a dry brush to exfoliate your armpits before shaving.

If you want to make your own body scrub, combine two tablespoons of brown sugar with a teaspoon of lemon water and one tablespoon of honey. This homemade scrub is more natural and it produces several benefits. For example, honey helps hydrate the skin while the coarseness of the sugar helps slough away dead skin cells and the lemon helps lighten the skin.


You need to prepare a towel when you have to dry your armpits after shaving. Use a clean towel because the last thing you need is to expose your newly shaved skin with bacteria from a used towel. Any type of towel will do.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Moisturize Your Armpits

The first thing that you need to do is to apply oil to your armpits. The oil will plump your skin and reduce the risk of irritation. Do this at least 24 hours prior to shaving to give the oil sufficient time to be absorbed into your skin.


Just like your face, your armpits need to be exfoliated to remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria. The skin in your armpits is very sensitive, so it’s important to use a mild scrub. If you use a chemical exfoliator, look for mild ingredients like beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). 

Using your favorite exfoliator, massage the entire area in circular motions and wash off with tepid water. This helps release the ingrown hair and open up hair follicles to reveal more of the hair shaft.

Dampen The Skin

Washing your underarms with warm water helps hydrate the skin and soften the hair for easier hair removal. It also helps the razor to remove all armpit hair and prevent the proliferation of bacteria. The best way to dampen your armpits is to take a shower or bath. 

If you want to do it outside of the shower, hold a hot washcloth to your armpits for several minutes.

Apply Shaving Cream Or Gel

After dampening your skin with warm water, apply your favorite shaving cream or gel on the underarm area. Put an almond-sized amount of shaving cream in your hands and rub them together to build up a foam then apply it to your armpit. Let the cream sit for 2-3 minutes. 

The lubrication of the shaving cream will help your razor to glide smoothly over the skin and reduce irritation.

Pull The Skin Taut

Before you move the razor over your armpit area, pull the skin taut as much as you can. This will make the surface smooth and allows your razor to move seamlessly. It can be a little hard to pull your skin taut with one hand so we recommend that you stretch your arm as far above your head.

Shave In All Directions

Now, it’s time to shave. Keep in mind that armpit hair doesn’t grow in one direction so you need to work your razor in different directions to achieve a smooth shave. Begin moving the razor over the underarm area in a downward motion then sideways and upward, if necessary.

Hold the razor firmly and press it gently down. Use short strokes as possible. Go against the grain to get the closest shave or go in the direction of hair growth if you’re prone to ingrown hairs. Shave in an “X” motion to reduce razor bumps and other skin irritation.

Rinse The Razor In Between Shaves

Your razor can pick up hair, shaving cream, and other debris every time it passes across your skin. When it happens, the blades can get clogged and make it harder to cut the hair. For this reason, you need to rinse the razor with hot running water to remove excess gunk.

Rinse it as frequently as possible. The general consensus is rinsing the razor after every stroke. As you might well know, a clean razor cuts hair more efficiently.

Rinse, Dry, And Soothe The Skin

Once you’re done shaving, rinse your armpits with cold water to close the pores and pat dry with a clean towel. Apply your favorite moisturizer or oil, preferably formulated without alcohol. If you don’t want to purchase an extra moisturizer for your armpits, use a deodorant that contains natural moisturizing ingredients, like sunflower seed oil.

If you want to treat or prevent ingrown hair, use an anti-razor bump treatment that contains exfoliating ingredients, like salicylic acid. Apply the moisturizer specifically at the bottom part where most of the stubble exists.

Additional Tips:

Replace Dull Blades

You should replace the blade when it gets dull because it causes razor burn and other skin irritations as you need to apply more pressure on your skin. The general rule is to replace the blades after three uses. If you feel that the blade starts to pull your hair, replace it.

For maintenance, clean the razor under warm water after each pass to remove any debris that might get trapped in the blades. Consider storing your razor in a dry place to prevent bacteria proliferation and extend the life of the razor head.

Timing Is Everything

Select the time to shave. Your skin needs time to repair and recover any razor burn that you might get from shaving. The best time to shave is the night before an event. Make sure it’s your last deed in the shower to get as much hydration to prevent ingrown hair and razor bumps.

Wear Loose Clothes

After shaving, you need to wear a loose shirt or dress to avoid irritating the newly shaved armpits. Look for clothes made of breathable fabrics, like cotton. Give your armpits at least an hour to recover before putting on a tight or rough shirt.

Wait Before Applying Antiperspirant

Never apply deodorant immediately to newly shaved skin because it may cause some soreness. Give your skin at least 10 minutes before putting on an antiperspirant product. Better yet, apply deodorant in the morning after sleeping overnight.

Trim Your Armpit Hair

If it’s your first time shaving your armpit hair, trim them down to get the easiest shave. Too much hair can clog your razor blade and even the drain so you should trim the hair before shaving. 

Most experts recommend trimming the hair down to an inch or a bit less. The ideal length is at least 3/4 of an inch to prevent prickly hair. Use scissors or clippers to trim the armpit hair.

Visit The Doctor For Severe Rashes

If you develop severe rashes after shaving, seek advice from your doctor. A lot of rashes are harmless, but some can be signs of serious skin conditions, like psoriasis. 


Now that you know how to shave armpits without stubble, you can be proud to show your armpits at any given moment. All it takes is to use a sharp razor, a high-quality shaving cream, and about five additional minutes of your time. Shaving underarms isn’t that hard because all you need is a little common sense and by observing these steps above.

Since armpit hair grows more rapidly than other body hair, you may need to shave several times per week. Don’t worry because shaving won’t make the hair grow back thicker, according to a 1928 study

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