Shaving your arms will not make your hair grow back thicker, despite how it may feel after shaving. Shaving leaves the thicker blunt end behind, compared with the fully grown tapered unshaved hair. Before shaving your arms you should consider, regrowth (stubble), possibility of ingrown hairs , dry skin or even shaving rash.
Should I shave my arms?
Who knew women’s arm hair was such a divisive hot topic? Actually, we did! We’re in the hair removal business so there isn’t a hair removal debate that goes unnoticed around here! Some of the most popular questions we get asked are ‘should I shave my arms?’, 'can you shave your arms?'.
The answer to this: Yes, if it makes you happier!
For some of us, arm hair is a real concern and cause of insecurity. Whether you are fair-haired or darker it doesn’t matter, visible arm hair can cause discomfort for some of us. Hair in general over the years has been perceived as unclean or unhygienic which is where a lot of insecurity around body hair hails from, however, that isn’t always the case, for some of us it is a personal preference to be smooth all over, it’s what makes us feel confident in our skin, and that’s great! There is no right or wrong, we are all individuals.
We wanted to know how many of your lovely ladies are concerned about removing your arm hair, we asked our Instagram audience ‘how many people shave their arms’ and 22% agreed that they do. This is quite a large selection of our audience, and we are certain that others amongst them have probably thought long and hard about it, but fear to do so in case hair grows back thicker, or they can’t keep up the routine. So let’s bust some myths…
Will my arm hair grow back thicker?
This has crossed most of our minds we are sure, it’s something our parents and grandparents told us to prevent us from shaving, just like they told us When the ice cream man plays his music it means he is out of ice cream, or was that just my parents? Anyway… this is indeed one of the many myths surrounding hair removal and shaving! We could literally write a book on them all!
Think of your hair as a tapered shape, thicker at the root and coming to a finer softer point at the tip, all our body hair takes this shape. When you cut away the fine soft tip you are left with a thicker blunt end, this is why people tend to believe that their hair has grown back thicker because what you are feeling is the thicker blunt end you have cut, given time to grow this hair will the taper off again into a smoother finer point. So, there you have it, shaving your hair will not make it grow back thicker nor will it make more hair grow. If it did our balding fathers would be shaving off those combovers in a heartbeat!
Considerations before shaving your arms
To avoid regret after shaving your arms, it is important to consider what to expect if you do shave your arms. Avoiding common shaving mistakes can go a long way to giving you a more fuss-free shaving experience.
As with any shaved area, there is a period of regrowth, ‘stubble’ as we commonly name it, this is likely going to be your most uncomfortable phase as it can cause some itchiness as the hair begins to grow back out. This is also where your hair will start to feel thicker and more uncomfortable for you especially if it is something you are already self-conscious about. If you take care when shaving, there is no reason why you cannot take care of your hair and remove it as often as you feel the need to. We recommend always using a clean sharp blade and a protective barrier between skin and blade such as our Remove shave cream this cream contains coconut oil for a smooth glide and Witch Hazel which helps to prevent razor bumps ensuring a smooth finish.
Ingrown arm hairs
Unfortunately, some of us are prone to pesky ingrown hairs, they can cause painful tender bumps on the skin, and when your sole purpose of shaving is to achieve smooth skin, this can be highly frustrating. To prevent in-grown hairs, you can use an exfoliant before you shave. What will this do we hear you ask? Well and exfoliant is usually packed with scrubby bits such as salt, sugar, or things like walnut shells which you will find in our natural Smooth shave scrub these rougher particles help lift away dead skin cells which could be trapping hair beneath the surface of the skin, the scrub will also loosen any hairs that have started to curl in on themselves. It’s the perfect way to prep your skin before shaving and will give you a much smoother and closer finish and will also help your blade last longer as it will not get clogged with dead skin cells.
Shaving any part of your body can cause the skin to dry out, especially if you are heavy-handed with your razor, you could be scraping away skin cells leaving a newer more sensitive layer of skin, this is why it is best to use a moisturising barrier when you shave such as a shave cream or gel, however, watch out for products containing alcohol as this can cause further dryness. We recommend you also moisturise after shaving to rehydrate and soothe your skin, we love our post-shave balm as it contains Shea butter a highly effective emollient, coconut oil to soothe any irritation, and Almond Oil which is packed with Vitamin E and fatty acids that leave the skin silky soft.
Real-life shaving stories
We asked the ladies in our office how many of them shave their arms, and similar to our Instagram audience 25% of them do. We caught up with Ellie our marketplace Manager and Louise our Customer Service manager to ask them about their experience with shaving their arms.
What age did you begin shaving your arms?
Louise: I was about 15
Ellie: Funny story, I actually got hold of a razor at about 5 years old and shaved my arms and eyebrows! My mum was mortified! I then began to shave my arms again in my teens probably about 13.
How often do you shave your arms?
Louise: Once every 2 weeks
Ellie: for me, it’s probably like every 3 weeks or so
How do you feel if you go unshaven?
Louise: it doesn’t really cross my mind, but if I glance and see thick hairs, I feel anxious about it so go and shave
Ellie: I feel prickly and a bit self-conscious (like people are thinking YUCK when looking at my prickly arm hairs) -and embarrassed to brush arms with someone in case they feel the prickles
How do you feel once freshly shaven?
Louise: for me definitely more myself and smooth
Ellie: Super smooth and more confident to wear short-sleeved clothing. Plus ready for a fresh layer of fake tan.
Any top tips to get the best shave?
Louise: I use our 3-step on my arms and any part of my body, just to get the best shave possible, I especially love the balm to top up hydration throughout the day
Ellie: FFS shave cream, use a good razor blade (FFS!) the one-blade plastic ones leave patches and cuts, especially as arms have lots of curves and I find those disposable razors just don’t adjust to curves. Bend your arm when shaving around the elbow area (a straight arm usually leads to cuts - for me anyways) I like to exfoliate before shaving especially the back of my upper arm because I get dry skin, and this helps to not nick when shaving and gives a smoother finish.
Our 5 top tips for shaving your arms
Think it over
Are you willing to commit to the maintenance, will it really improve the way you feel about yourself and your body? Once you start and like the look and feel you will want to commit to maintaining it which is fine but just remember the choice is completely yours and yours alone.
Prep your skin
Use a gentle exfoliator to help prepare your skin, this will lift away dead skin cells and free and smaller hairs allowing you to get a closer better shave.
Protect your skin
Using a sharp fresh blade will help protect your skin, blunt blades will tug, pull, and even cause Nicks and cuts to your skin so change your blades regularly we recommend every 3-5 shaves. Add a protective layer between skin and blade, not only will this prevent cuts, but it will also help to keep skin hydrated and hydrated skin equals smooth skin.
If you have sensitive skin we recommend always shaving with the grain, so this means going with the hair growth from the top of your arm to your wrist, this will cause less skin irritation and result in a smoother shave. Rinse your razor between strokes to remove any blockages, also shave in sections i.e front of forearm first, then the underside, and being particularly careful around wrist joints and elbows.
Once you are done and have thoroughly rinsed and dried your skin you can use a moisturiser to rehydrate and smooth your skin. We recommend also adding an SPF to your skin as it will be more sensitive after shaving.
To all women with hairy arms: Your body! Your choice!
The debate on women’s body hair goes way back in fact if you are interested to learn more, we recommend a book by Rebecca m. Herzig, Plucked: A history of hair removal.
There are many reasons for and against hair removal, but we believe that everyone should be free to choose what they want for their body and do what makes them happy and comfortable in their skin free from judgement. Here are some women with hairy arms fearlessly showing off their arm hair.
Jameela Jamil – in 2019 Jameela was featured in a Body positive campaign, following this she tweeted this photo with the caption “Hello arm hairs. You used to always be photoshopped out. Nice to see you again. Because you’re a normal and fine thing to have."
Stacey Solomon proudly showed off her arm hair on her Instagram following a troll’s comment stating “your arms are so hairy” from a fellow female. We love that Stacey didn’t let this comment affect her and that she made light of the comments and normalized her arm hair.
So, whether you are a hairy-armed goddess or not, we beg you not to feel pressured into shaving your beautiful arms and only do so if you feel it is going to benefit you! To us, shaving is always a choice and we just want to arm you (nice pun) with the right tools to make it as easy as possible!