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What happens if I shave my thighs?

Shaving your thighs is a common practice for many people for aesthetic or functional reasons. However, shaving does come with some risks and potential side effects that are good to be aware of. In this article, we’ll explore what can happen when you shave your thighs and provide tips for avoiding problems.

Why People Shave Their Thighs

There are a few main reasons people choose to shave their thighs:

  • Aesthetics – Many people prefer the smooth, hairless look and feel of shaved thighs. This is common in warm weather when wearing shorts or swimsuits.
  • Reduced friction – Thigh hair can cause chafing when exercising or wearing tighter fitting clothing. Shaving removes this irritation.
  • Hygiene – Some feel that removing thigh hair improves hygiene and prevents body odor.
  • Preparation for other hair removal – It’s common to shave thighs before getting waxed or undergoing laser hair removal.
  • Personal preference – Some simply like the feel and look of smooth, shaved thighs.

The Shaving Process

Shaving your thighs is similar to shaving other body parts:

  1. Trim longer hairs first for a closer shave. Use scissors or an electric trimmer.
  2. Wash thighs with warm water and mild soap to soften hairs and open pores.
  3. Apply shaving cream, gel, or oil to thighs to protect skin and improve glide.
  4. Shave in gentle, short strokes in the direction of hair growth using a clean razor.
  5. Rinse thighs and apply moisturizing lotion to avoid dryness.

It’s best to use a fresh razor and shave with the grain of hair growth, not against it. Take care around bony areas like knees and hips where nicks are common. Gently stretch skin flat while shaving problem spots.

Side Effects and Risks

Shaving thighs is generally safe but does come with some potential side effects:

  • Razor burn – Irritation from friction of razor on skin. Appears as redness, bumps, or rash.
  • Ingrown hairs – When freshly shaved hair grows back into skin instead of out. Causes red bumps.
  • Cuts and nicks – Easily done around bony knee and ankle areas. Keep clean to avoid infection.
  • Folliculitis – Inflammation of hair follicles from bacteria entering pores. Pus-filled bumps result.
  • Strawberry legs – Dark dots from congested pores with trapped debris and hair.

To minimize these, use a sharp razor, shave carefully in the direction of growth, and avoid repetitive shaving. Apply Tend Skin or glycolic acid toner to prevent ingrown hairs.

What to Expect After Shaving Thighs

Here’s a timeline of what to expect after shaving your thighs:

Time Frame What Happens
Immediately after Skin may be irritated with redness or bumps from razor burn. Apply soothing aloe vera gel.
12-24 hours later Ingrown hairs and folliculitis may start to appear as red, itchy bumps. An antiseptic like witch hazel can help.
3-5 days later Prickly regrowth will be noticeable as hair starts to grow back. Exfoliate gently to prevent ingrowns.
1 week later Thighs will return to normal with hair regrown. Repeat shaving as desired for smooth skin.

It takes 1-2 weeks for thigh hair to regrow completely. Keep skin moisturized between shaves to prevent dryness. See a dermatologist if severe irritation, rash, or infection occurs.

Tips for Shaving Thighs

Follow these tips for smooth, problem-free results when shaving your thighs:

  • Use a fresh, multi-blade razor each time for a close shave.
  • Apply a thick lather of shave cream, gel, or oil first.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against.
  • Rinse razor frequently to prevent buildup.
  • Moisturize after shaving to soothe skin.
  • Avoid repetitive shaving that irritates follicles.
  • Exfoliate regularly with a loofah or brush.
  • Wear loose clothing after shaving to prevent friction.
  • See a doctor for painful, inflamed bumps that don’t improve.

Long-Term Thigh Shaving

Long-term, thigh shaving does carry some risks with continued use over time:

  • Darker, thicker regrowth – Shaving may stimulate more rapid regrowth.
  • Coarse stubble feeling from blunted hairs.
  • Increased irritation and ingrown hairs from frequent shaving.
  • Bumps and scarring over time if hairs grow embedded.
  • Skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation.

To prevent these, allow thigh hair to grow out fully between shaves when possible. Take occasional breaks from shaving such as during winter. See a dermatologist if you experience chronic irritation or symptoms.

Alternative Hair Removal Methods

For longer-lasting smooth thighs, consider alternatives to shaving:

  • Waxing – Hair is removed from the root and regrowth takes 3-6 weeks.
  • Epilating – Devices pull hair out by the root for slower regrowth.
  • Hair removal creams – Chemical depilatories dissolve hair near skin’s surface.
  • Laser hair removal – Uses light pulses to destroy follicles and prevent regrowth.
  • Electrolysis – Small probes permanently destroy individual hair follicles.

These provide more durable thigh hair removal but are more expensive than regular shaving. Waxing and epilating also cause temporary pain during the process.


Shaving your thighs is generally safe if done carefully using proper technique. For many, the smooth look and feel of hair-free thighs is desirable. But ingrown hairs, bumps, and irritation can occur, especially with repeated close shaves over time. Using gentle products, shaving correctly, and taking breaks can help prevent problems. Long term, consider alternative hair removal methods like waxing or laser treatments for more lasting results.