Your Bod

The teen girl's ultimate guide to shaving

Just going to say this out loud for the people in the back: Whether you choose to remove the hair on your body is totally up to you—and your ability to run/dance/hang by the pool with your besties/live your most fabulous life is zero parts determined by your shaving status.

But if you want to give shaving a try, we're here for you. Read on for the tips, tricks and pro pointers that'll have you making all the smoothest moves.

Let's begin

Total newbie? Start with an electric razor, recommends dermatologist Dr. Jessica Weiser. Safe and best for sensitive skin, going electric helps you avoid nicks, razor burn and other irritations that a traditional razor can trigger. And because electric shavers don't require any shaving cream or water, you can get a quick touch-up no matter where you are.

Love the whole shaving in the shower vibe? Grab a multi-blade razor with a flexible hinge to glide over tricky spots (like your knees and ankles), an ergonomic handle for a good grip and moisturizing add-ons like aloe and shea butter. And always use a shaving gel or cream to keep your skin hydrated and soft. (Shaving with a thicker cream can help you see your strokes, so you don't miss any spots.)

Psst: Despite what you may have heard, a fresh, sharp razor is actually *less* likely than a dull blade to cut your skin. "On average, you should change your razor about every five to seven shaves," advises Dr. Weiser.

The where and when

Our bodies may be covered in hair head to toe, but when it comes to shaving, stick to legs and armpits. (Waxing, tweezing, threading, sugaring and depilatories are better to remove hair from other areas.)

And what about, well, down there? The hair that grows around your bikini area (aka your vulva and your upper, inner thighs) is often coarser and curlier than anywhere else on your body.

Shaving this spot with a blade can lead to ingrown hairs (which, when irritated or infected, can be painful). Your best bet? An electric trimmer designed specifically for the extra-sensitive bikini area, says dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell. (Wearing your swimsuit bottom can help you know where to shave.)

How often you shave is a personal preference—everyone's hair grows at different speeds. A good rule of thumb is shaving every two to three days for consistently smooth skin. (No, shaving more often does not make your hair grow faster.)

One final consideration? The time of day. For darker-haired girlies, certain spots, like your underarms, may experience a "shadow" even before you're ready to remove hair again. So shave the morning of your spring dance or your bestie's pool party (but not right before—applying antiperspirant or jumping into chlorinated water right after you shave can bother your skin).

Ready, set, shave


To start, Dr. Campbell recommends shaving at the end of your shower, since the steam and warm (not hot!) water will open your pores and soften the hair follicles for maximum glide. If it's Everything Shower day, exfoliate before you pick up your razor—sloughing away dirt, oil and dead skin helps prevent ingrown hairs and irritation.

Lather up with your gel or cream, then shave in the same direction your hair grows without putting too much pressure on the razor. On less sensitive areas, like your lower legs, it's OK to shave against hair growth (in an upward motion) for maximum closeness. And to get every last armpit hair, shave in every direction: up, down and side to side.

Finish with a cool rinse to close your pores back up. Pat your smooth skin dry with a towel, then liberally apply a hydrating moisturizer.

Eek! Avoid this...


Seeing bumps or redness after you shave? Razor burn can mean you're using too much pressure or your skin's too dry, causing friction, says Dr. Weiser. Take a break from shaving and use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer like CeraVe ($16, or Cetaphil ($15, twice a day until healed.

Another smart move? After shaving, rinse your razor and store it somewhere nice and dry. "The moist environment of the shower can lead to bacterial growth," warns Dr. Campbell. Oh, and don't borrow your bestie's razor (or lend anyone yours!), as it can lead to infection if you nick yourself. Sharing is caring...but when it comes to shaving, you have our permission to do it your way.

Shave gel, $4, Skintimate | Shaving Cream, $11, EOS | Electric razor, $30, Panasonic | Razor, $12, Athena Club | Bikini trimmer, $31, Venus

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our April/May 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Check out these posts for more wellness tips:
🪒 If these steps are missing from your oral hygiene routine, WYD?
🧽 Everything you need to know about stretch marks
🧴 6 natural ways to soothe your period cramps

Top and slider image: @athenaclub

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.


by Erin Reimel | 5/4/2024