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How And When To Shave Your Tattoos

Written by Advice Team on June 13, 2019

For those with tattoos, some prefer to have a hairfree appearance to give better visibility to their body artwork. That doesn’t necessarily mean shaving and removing hair all over to see the tattoos, but choosing the areas of their body where they wish to have better clarity of the line work and shading of their ink.




How And When To Shave Your Tattoos

how-to-shave-tattoos

Always shave after a tattoo is fully healed

Always ensure your tattoo is 100% healed before shaving the area. Shaving when the tattoo is still going through its healing process could lead to infection, scabbing and loss of ink. Tattoos go through several stages of healing (even the smallest ones). Once the scabs have shed and the new layer of skin has formed over the tattoo, then it’s usually safe to shave, however, always check its sensitivity in case the skin is still irritated. Running your fingertips over the tattoo to make sure it’s flat and no bumps remain will also help determine if it’s ready for shaving.

Healing usually takes anywhere from 5 days - 2 weeks but there are always exceptions where they take longer to heal. Allow your skin to heal for as long as you can after it looks and feels healed.

Shaving won’t affect tattoos as long as they’re healed and you take care of the skin when you do begin shaving it, keeping it exfoliated (to prevent ingrown hairs) and hydrated. Tattoo’d skin is exactly the same as regular skin once it’s healed so the same care applies.

Step One - Pre Shave Preparation

Taking a shower before shaving your body anywhere will always help to soften hair. We’d recommend a light exfoliation once a week to keep dead skin from the surface and to promote hair growth (so you don’t end up with ingrown hairs beneath the tattoo).

Choose a good pre-shave product to protect the skin before putting a blade against it. There are plenty of gels and foams on the market and it can largely depend on skin type, as well as the size of the area you’re looking to shave.

King of Shaves Sensitive Advanced Pre Shave Oil ensures maximum glide for a blade to effortlessly move with the contours of the skin. Gilette’s Fusion5 Ultra Sensitive Men’s Shaving Foam is a cheaper alternative for larger areas. Its foam formula is suitable for sensitive skin containing Aloe Vera for a soothing shave. If you’re only using a cartridge razor to shave over your tattoos, both products work great with electric shavers with wet shaving options too for clean shaves.

Step Two - Shaving

If you’re opting for a cartridge or traditional razor, always ensure you have a new, fresh blade for shaving. Blades quickly dull, rust and contain bacteria, so a new blade is a must when shaving over your tattoos.

Gillette razors are great choice where blades can be changed weekly and offer many kits with multiple blades to keep you stocked up for months. Take a look at the Gillette Fusion Proglide Flexball Pack but if you’re looking for a shaver with more longevity and multiple options, the Philips Series 5000 Showerproof Body Groomer is great for all over body shaving, including the chest, back and groin area.

Shave in the direction of the grain and only go over the same patches of skin where necessary to catch any stray hairs. Once shaved, rinse the skin off with cold water to close the hair follicles and apply a moistoriser such as Bluebeards Revenge Cooling Moisturiser to keep skin hydrated and soothed.

Hair doesn’t grow back thicker either but you will have to consider the upkeep of regularly shaving the area of your tattoos when the hair starts to grow back. However, you will find that tattoos look less cloudy and more defined.

Getting a tattoo and wondering if you should shave for a tattoo?

Although you can shave before your tattoo, it’s not necessary. A tattoo artist will shave the area themselves if needed. If you’re concerned about how hairy the area might be, you can always ask your tattooist if they need you to shave beforehand but generally, they’ll do it themselves.