Is it safe to shave my forearms?

Person shaving forearm.
Once you start shaving your forearms, you'll have to shave them often to keep them smooth. See more pictures of personal hygiene practices.
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Everyone grows hair on their forearms, and while some people don't think twice about it, others just don't like the way it looks. If you've ever wondered if you can shave your forearms, the answer is yes. As long as you're careful, it's harmless and may make you feel better about your appearance. However, there are a few things you should know before grabbing a razor.

Shaving is one of the most popular hair removal techniques in the world, but it works only at skin level. That means hair has a tendency to grow back rather quickly, and a shave will usually last for only one to three days [source: Hirsch]. You should keep in mind that as the hair grows back, it tends to be rough or prickly until it gets longer, so once you begin shaving your forearms, you'll probably have to shave often to keep them smooth. But you don't have to worry about hair growing back thicker or darker after shaving -- that's a myth [source: Barba].


If you want to shave your forearms, all you need to know are a few simple shaving techniques. If the hair on your arms is really thick, you should trim it before shaving. Next, soften the hair and skin by soaking your arms in warm water. After that, apply an alcohol-free shaving gel or cream -- alcohol can dry out your skin and cause irritation. When you're ready to begin shaving, make sure you have a clean, sharp blade and go with the grain of the hair instead of against it [source: Mayo Clinic]. While shaving, don't push too hard with the razor and don't shave the same area too many times because this can cause irritation [source: WebMD]. When you're finished, rinse your arms with warm water and apply an alcohol-free moisturizer.

Although this process is simple, you should still be cautious when shaving your forearms because nicks and cuts are a common side effect of shaving. Many important blood vessels run along your underarm, so be careful shaving if your hair grows there. By using these simple techniques, being careful and taking your time, you'll reduce your risk of skin irritation and have smooth, silky forearms. Check out the links on the next page for more information on shaving.


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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Barba, Alicia MD. "Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques." eMedicine. May 27, 2008. (accessed 08/25/2009)
  • Hirsch, Larissa MD. "Hair Removal." Kid's Health. Jan. 2008. (accessed 08/25/2009)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Skin Care: Top 5 habits for healthy skin." Dec. 28, 2007. (accessed 08/25/2009)
  • WebMD. "Shaving Tips for Teen Girls." Feb. 8, 2009. (accessed 08/25/2009)