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The 8 Best Razors for Women

These affordable razors promise a smooth shave without leaving a trail of nicks in their wake.

best razors for women
Staff, Courtesy of Schick

The best razors for women will give your body a quick, clean shave without irritating your skin or leaving a trail of nicks and ingrown hairs in their wake. Many women’s razors accomplish this with well-spaced blades that don’t clog easily, pivoting heads that can conform to all your body’s curves, and ergonomic rubber handles that won’t get slippery in the shower. Some women’s razors even offer inexpensive subscription services, so you can get fresh blades delivered when you need them—and a silky-smooth shave without ever having to leave the house.

But you don’t have to be a woman to use one: A “woman’s razor” is for anyone who wants to shave below the neck. Unfortunately, too many of today’s body razors are subject to what’s known as the “Pink Tax,” which means that women are charged more for the exact same products marketed to men. We rounded up the best women’s razors here that will give you a close, comfortable shave—without the unnecessary markup.

The Expert: To gain insight into the best ways to shave and what to look for in a good razor, I spoke with two dermatologists: Dr. Jennifer Krejci-Manwaring, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio; and Dr. Lauren Eckert Ploch, a board-certified dermatologist in Augusta, Georgia. While neither doctor contributed to the product recommendations, their expert insight informed the shaving advice here and helped me form criteria for selecting the best razors.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Razor for You

Number of Blades

The number of blades on your razor is a bit of a trade-off, particularly if you have skin that’s easily irritated. If you’re not prone to redness or razor burn, you might choose a razor with up to five blades. But less might be more if you have sensitive skin, according to Dr. Krejci-Manwaring. “The unfortunate paradox is that new developments in razors that create a smoother shave can also lead to razor bumps or irritation,” she says. “More blades means more sharp swipes against the skin, which means more chance for irritation. Fewer blades equals less irritation, but not as close of a shave.”

Dr. Ploch agrees that having too many blades can cause skin to react, but also says it “may be necessary if the hair is very dense” to minimize re-shaving and potentially irritating sensitive skin. “Unfortunately, when people use a single-blade razor, they feel the need to pass over an area multiple times to make sure all the hair has been shaved,” Ploch says. “I recommend a three-blade razor as the best of both worlds for most people.” (Note: These are far less common than the five-bladed style.)

Shape and Type

Most good razors can navigate around all the curves in your legs, armpits, and bikini line, which means they often have rounded and pivoting or rotating heads, and potentially even flexible blades or a pivoting handle that can move independently to access tight spaces. Sometimes these features are helpful—but other times they can complicate an otherwise simple shaving job. There’s no right or wrong type of razor for all shavers, as long as you’re maintaining yours well. The most important thing is to make sure the razor is clean and not dull,” says Dr. Ploch.

Handle Type and Comfort

Razors with grippy rubber handholds tend to feel the safest in our hands because they’re not likely to slip in the shower and cause nicks or cuts. We also recommend ergonomically shaped handles that are easy to hold and have a sense of weight to them.

Easy-to-Replace Blades

Disposable razors aren’t much cheaper than the refillable kind—and they’re a steady waste of plastic. We looked for razors with replaceable heads that you can find in nearly any store for a low cost, or inexpensive blades you can order through a convenient subscription service.

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Tips for Getting the Best Shave, From Dermatologists Dr. Jennifer Krejci-Manwaring and Dr. Lauren Eckert Ploch

RW: What should people with sensitive skin consider when shaving?

J.K.M.: “Patients with very sensitive skin will want to avoid heavily fragranced products because perfumes can irritate the skin,” says Dr. Krejci-Manwaring. And everyone should make sure their skin is hydrated before shaving, which is easy to do if you’re already in the shower or bath. “You also want to lubricate the skin with shave cream or gel to help the razor slide more easily,” she adds.

RW: How often should you clean a razor? And what’s the best way to do it?

J.K.M.: “You should change disposable razors or blades every five to seven shaves to reduce use of dull blades,” says Dr. Krejci-Manwaring. “Using a dull razor can lead to more irritation because they are more likely to cause small nicks in the skin since they don't shave as smoothly. An older razor can also harbor bacteria that could cause infection.”

L.E.P. How often you need to clean a razor—and how you should do it—depends on the type of razor you’re using, says Dr. Ploch. “Assuming that we’re discussing nonelectric razors, rinse the razor under water as soon as it becomes coated with shave gel and/or hair,” she says. “Between shaving sessions, make sure the razor is free of hair and other debris and kept in a dry place to avoid dulling over time.”

RW: What can you do to avoid razor bumps or burn?

J.K.M.: “The best way to avoid razor bumps is to create the smoothest shave possible, make sure the skin is hydrated, only swipe once over any part of the skin, rinse your blade in between swipes, and shave in the direction of the hair,” says Dr. Krejci-Manwaring. “Arguably, this is not what most of us do to get that baby-soft skin from shaving, but it is the safest and least irritative way to shave any part of your body.”

L.E.P.: Dr. Ploch echoes that directional strategy. “Always try to shave in the direction of hair growth and avoid shaving against the direction of hair growth.” she says. She also says she occasionally recommends alpha hydroxy acid lotions or solutions as post-shaving treatment, but not when the skin is actively irritated.

RW: Any other tips for razor care or shaving?

T.K.: “Keep your razor in a dry place when not in use,” says Dr. Krejci-Manwaring. “Don’t leave it in the shower or tub where it’s wet because this only increases the chance for bacteria to grow on the razor. If you do find yourself with a nasty case of razor burn or bumps, talk to your local board-certified dermatologist for treatment. Avoid harsh products like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based astringents. Look for gentle cleansing products and moisturizers that are fragrance free or designated for sensitive skin.”

How We Evaluated These Razors for Women

Following the advice of dermatologists Dr. Krejci-Manwaring and Dr. Ploch, all of the razors here were selected based on their smooth-shaving performance and ease of cleaning. We also looked for add-on features like magnets and hooks that make it easier to keep a razor clean and dry between uses so you can get a safer shave. In addition to following the guidelines introduced above that define what makes a good razor, we also sought out the best based on value, durability, and style using personal experience, as well as crowd-sourced responses on social media. We also surveyed customer feedback on sites like Amazon, Walmart, and brand sites for positive reviews, and scanned for potential positives and negatives of each razor. In making our recommendations, we tried to include a variety of features and options for every type of shaver.

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Best for Sensitive Skin
Gillette Venus Original
Gillette Venus

  • Smooth shave
  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with other Gillette razor heads
  • Three blades

  • Some might prefer a five-bladed razor

Key Specs

  • Includes: One handle, two blade cartridges
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 3
  • Subscription Service: No

This inexpensive razor is beloved for a smart, simple design that includes an easy-to-grip, ergonomic handle; three capable blades; and dual lubrication strips surrounding the blades for a smoother glide. The blades don’t tend to trap hair and are fairly easy to clean. And as dermatologists note: Fewer blades are often better for sensitive skin. But the best part is the razor’s compatibility: If you want to experiment with a different blade style, you can—the razor handle’s attachment system works with all other Venus razor heads, so you can pop on the five-bladed Embrace or a “sensitive skin”-specific model, if you choose. The Venus Original is a bargain, too: For $8, you get the razor and two cartridges.

Closest Shave
Shick Hydrosilk 5
Schick
Now 25% off

  • Grippy handle
  • Smooth shave
  • Easy to find in stores

  • Blades don’t last as long as some

Key Specs

  • Includes: One handle, two blade cartridges
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: No

The Hydrosilk 5 has a comfortable, curvaceous handle shape that’s easy to grip in the shower and gives your legs and armpits a close shave that won’t need to be updated quite as often. (Or at least that’s been my experience: As a lazy shaver, this is my razor go-to.) True to its name, the Hydrosilk feels smooth and silky against your skin, with five blades seated between two moisturizing strips that won’t irritate most sensitive skin. Much like the Venus Original, the Hydrosilk is a bargain: Nine dollars gets you the razor and two cartridges.

Best Electric Razor
Panasonic Electric Razor
Panasonic

  • Easy to clean
  • Close shave
  • Trimmer attachment for bikini area

  • If the battery dies mid-shave, it’s a long wait until the razor is ready again

Key Specs

  • Includes: Cordless shaver, AC wall charger, bikini comb, pop-up trimmer
  • Style: Rechargeable electric
  • Blades: 4
  • Subscription Service: No

If you prefer using an electric razor on your legs, underarms, and bikini zone, this lightweight, four-blade razor has the sensitivity and flexibility to navigate all those areas. The head of the razor is designed to pivot around your curves, while the blades move independently to give you a closer cut without nicking or causing razor burn. The razor’s battery charges via an AC adaptor that you can plug into your wall; one overnight charge will give you up to seven shaves.

Best Startup Razor Brand
Billie Starter Kit
Billie

  • Great value
  • Stylish razor
  • A smooth shave from five sharp blades
  • Available in six cool colors

  • Some users have complained that the razor head pops off easily

Key Specs

  • Includes: Handle, two blade cartridges, shower holder
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: $10 for four extra heads

Billie is one of several startups working to shake up the razor industry and scrap the “Pink Tax” that charges women more for products that are less costly when marketed toward men. In keeping with that mission, the brand’s starter kit is a stellar value that includes a razor handle, two blades, and a magnetic shower holder for only $10; from there, you can buy a set of four refill blades for $10 or the brand’s other shaving products. The razor itself has an ergonomic handle and a pivoting, five-bladed head that can get into all your little nooks and crannies, with an aloe strip for added smoothness. You also have the option of choosing between six fun colors.

Best Subscription Service
Athena Club The Razor Kit
Athena Club

  • Razor feels high-quality
  • Inexpensive

  • Refills slightly more expensive than Flamingo’s

Key Specs

  • Includes: Handle, two blade cartridges, magnetic hook
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: Yes

As with the Billie, the Athena Club offers affordable razors and shaving products, as well as an ongoing subscription service for replacement blades. Refill blades start at $2.25. The razor itself feels high-quality for the price, with a weighty feel to the handle that makes it easy to maintain a solid grip and a five-bladed head with two lubricating skin guards that don’t gunk up easily with soap or gel. It’s easy enough to move the razor in and out of crevices and get a close shave in tight spots. A magnetic hook suction cups to your shower to hold the razor and keep it from attracting germs.

Effective and Stylish
Flamingo Razor Set
Flamingo

  • Inexpensive for the quality
  • Grippy rubber handle
  • Blade refills only $2

  • Wall mount sold separately (unlike Athena Club razor)

Key Specs

  • Includes: Handle, one blade cartridge
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: No

Much like the Billie and Athena Club razors, the Flamingo was launched as a direct-to-consumer product designed to save you money, brought to you by the team behind the men’s razor startup Harry’s. The razor has an equally sleek and stylish look that bypasses pink for more neutral colors; its rubbery handle feels solid and easy to grip in the shower. The five-bladed head of the razor pivots easily to target all your hard-to-reach spots. You can buy replacement blades for just $2 each.

Best Razor for Reaching Tight Spots
Gillette Venus Swirl
Gillette Venus
Now 13% off

  • Pivoting head to reach all angles
  • Delivers a close shave without razor burn

  • Razor head gets gooey if not cleaned regularly

Key Specs

  • Includes: Handle, two blade cartridges
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: No

The Venus Swirl has one big advantage over the Venus Original: It has a flexible, pivoting handle that can be angled to better reach tight spots behind your knees and armpits. It also has five blades as compared to the Original’s three, but that can serve as a pro or con depending on if you’re prone to sensitive skin. (The good news is that both razors are compatible, so you can experiment with different razor heads if you like the three-bladed style but want this razor’s pivoting action.) A “moisture ribbon” around the blades holds onto gel and prevents cuts and burns but makes the razor a tad more difficult to clean.

Best Bargain Razor
Joy Razors
Joy

  • Includes four blade cartridges
  • Delivers a close shave
  • Replacement blades are only $15 for 8

  • The pink razor set is pricier than the teal

Key Specs

  • Includes: Handle, four blade cartridges
  • Style: Cartridge refillable
  • Blades: 5
  • Subscription Service: Yes

For four blades and a handle, this razor’s price is hard to match. A Gillette-created Walmart in-store exclusive, Joy razors are the company’s answer to alternative shaving brands like Billie and Athena Club—you can buy them through a subscription service along with shaving cream and other products, or just pick up refills at any Walmart. Each razor has a sturdy and grippy handle, and a five-bladed head with a “lubrastrip” for preventing razor burn. There’s little about these razors that stands out, but they get the job done smoothly and effectively for a low cost.

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