Arm Hair: To Shave Or Not To Shave

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Every person has his or her own preference when it comes to body hair. Some people just let their hair grow in naturally and never touch it, while others insist on keeping every inch of their body shaved — and there are many people whose grooming practices fall somewhere in-between.

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For both men and women, there appears to be a consensus on how to maintain the hair on the head, face, legs, and armpits. However, there doesn’t seem to be a set standard about the hair on the arms — especially for women.

There are plenty of women with hairy arms who prefer to keep them that way, and there are equally as many women who can’t stand even the slightest bit of stubble on their arms. So what’s the deal with arm hair? Are women supposed to keep it, or shave it all off?

The short answer is: It’s up to you. There’s no physical health benefit to shaving your arms, but when you have your hair groomed in a way that makes you feel your best, it can boost your self-esteem and positively affect your mental health. Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering about shaving your arms.

What is the best way to get rid of arm hair?

There are many different ways to get rid of arm hair: You can shave it off, wax it off, trim it, use hair removal creams, or undergo electrolysis, laser hair removal, or sugaring.

Each method has its own positives and negatives, depending on your budget, pain tolerance, and desired permanency. Shaving, trimming, and using hair removal creams are great options for getting rid of your arm hair quickly, easily, and cheaply, and they’re generally less painful than the other methods. But the results are not permanent. Electrolysis, hair laser removal, and regular sugaring are more permanent options; however, treatments are often expensive and can be painful. Waxing has varying degrees of pain and can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on whether you visit a salon or use an at-home waxing kit.

If you’re someone new to arm hair removal who is looking for an inexpensive, easy, pain-free option, shaving is probably your best bet.

Should I shave my arms? 

If “Should I shave my arms?” keeps popping up in your head, remember: No one can answer that question but you. Take some time to think about it. If having hairy arms doesn’t bother you, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to shave them. If you decide that you’d prefer smoother, hair-free arms, then it’s OK to look into hair removal options.

Don’t let beauty standards sway you. Your grooming choices should reflect what makes you feel the most comfortable.

How often should I shave my arms?

It depends on how fast your body hair typically grows. To remain completely hairless, you’ll have shave your arms as often as you would shave other parts of your body, like your legs. People with naturally hairy arms will have to shave more often to maintain the results.

After shaving your arms for the first time, expect to see stubble a few days later. Plan on shaving them at least once or twice a week after that. (And remember: Do not dry shave! You might remove the hair on your arms, but you’ll also end up with razor burn.)

Do arm hairs grow back thicker?

There’s a widely-known myth that shaving your arm hair will make it grow back thicker, darker, and faster. But the truth is, shaving won’t change the texture, color, or growth speed of your hair. The coarse hair that grows in after shaving is just stubble. When you use a razor to shave, it cuts the hair in a way that leaves each strand with a straight, blunt edge. That sharp edge may feel unusually rough, but the actual hair is still the same as it was before.

Because your arm hair won’t change after shaving, there’s little risk in trying it out if you’re curious. So go ahead and see if you like having shaved arms. If you don’t, you can easily go back to embracing your arm hair.

NEXT: Want a boost for your hair?

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