Essentially, all razors are genderless — while men’s and women’s razors have some key differences, you aren’t limited to using one or the other simply based on its marketing. However, women in particular have been widely removing body hair as early as the 1910s, around the time when Gillette introduced the first women’s razor in 1915. Today, women spend anywhere from $10,000 to $23,000 on hair removal products and services like shaving, waxing or using depilatory creams over the course of their lifetime, according to a 2021 survey by the American Laser Centers. For women who prefer to shave their body hair in a pinch, a good quality razor paired with shaving cream can come in handy.
Of course, you aren’t required to remove your body or facial hair. In fact, it might be beneficial to skip shaving if you have active skin infections or pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is inflammation and scars caused by ingrown hairs, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King in our guide to preventing razor burns and ingrown hair. If you do choose to shave, we consulted dermatologists on the best type of razors available, as well as what to consider when incorporating one into your shaving routine.
How we picked the best women’s razors
Below, we include a few razors marketed toward men and gender-neutral razors that experts say work well for both women and men. The dermatologists we spoke to told us to consider the following key factors when shopping for a women’s razor:
- Lubrication: Look for a razor with wide lubrication strips, especially when shaving large or delicate areas of the body, so it can properly glide over the skin and prevent irritation, razor burn and bumps.
- Number of razor blades: Women’s razor heads usually have more blades compared to men’s razors, ranging from three to six blades on each head. More blades provide a cleaner shave since they reduce the number of times you have to go over a specific area, according to Dr. Nkem Ugonabo, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Derm. However, they can also increase friction and irritation, so look for a maximum of 2-3 blades, preferably one, if you have sensitive skin, according to Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified dermatologist at La Jolla Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center.
- Ergonomic handle: This provides a better grip, which makes shaving in the shower easier and safer. “Women’s razors should be curved and easier to grip from different angles to help reach different body parts,” says Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology.
- Blade maintenance: Since women’s razors are designed to shave larger parts of the body like the legs, it’s important to look for replaceable blades and change them out as much as possible to prevent irritation and razor bumps. Our experts recommend changing your razor’s blades every 2-3 shaves.
The best razors for women
Below, we highlighted some expert-recommended razors for women, all of which include an ergonomic handle, a pivoting head and lubrication strips in line with their guidance.
Best razor for women overall: Gillette Venus
The Gillette Venus Deluxe Smooth Platinum razor can be a great option for people who don’t have skin sensitivities and are looking for a clean shave, according to Shirazi. It uses five blades and water-activated lubrication to protect your skin against nicks and cuts, according to the brand. This razor is also “easy to use” thanks to its ergonomic handle and anti-slip soft grip, Garshick says.
Best subscription razor: Billie
This razor kit from Billie includes five sharp blades and is “encased in aloe moisturizer to help achieve a gentle and smooth shave,” Garshick says. The ergonomic handle is shower-friendly since it has a magnetic holder, which keeps your razor safe when you’re not using it. The set comes with two refill blades, and Billie’s subscription service can deliver four refills once a month, every two months or every three months, depending on your preference. Select contributor Megan Muessen loves using Billie’s razor because it doesn’t cause razor burn, provides a close shave and “leaves a nice waxy glow” on her skin.
Best hydrating razor: Schick
The head of this razor from Schick is infused with shea butter to “hydrate the skin and minimize the potential for irritation,” Garshick says. The razor comes with five blades, which allows for a close and clean shave, according to Garshick.
Best disposable razor: BiC
A disposable razor can come in handy when you’re in a pinch — and it’s often more affordable upfront than refillable razors. “This disposable razor is a great option for those on the go as it adjusts to your curves and contains four flexible blades and a moisture strip to help soothe the skin with every shave,” Garshick says. Each razor’s handle has a comfortable rubber grip to avoid accidental slips.
Best comfort razor: Gillette Venus
Ugonabo likes the Gillette Venus Comfortglide razor because “it pivots well in hard-to-reach areas, has multiple conditioning strips and [uses] three blades,” she says. The ergonomic razor handle — which Gillette says can fit most blade refills across its Venus razor line — is designed with a soft-grip gel to comfortably fit in your hands, according to the brand.
Best razor with a magnetic holder: Athena Club
Athena Club’s The Razor Kit includes two five-blade cartridges, an ergonomic razor handle and a magnetic hook with a uniquely angled shape to help store your razor and keep it rust-free, according to the brand. Garshick says she likes that the razor has a water-activated moisturizing serum, which helps “minimize irritation and prevent razor burn.” Similar to Billie, Athena Club’s razor kit offers refills through a subscription service that you can personalize based on your shaving frequency — deliveries range from four blades every month to 12 blades every nine months.
Best travel-friendly razor: Alleyoop
This compact portable razor set from Alleyoop is a great choice if you need to shave on the go. The circular device has different compartments with a flexible triple-blade razor, two backup razor cartridges, a refillable spray bottle and a shea butter bar to help hydrate the skin. Each razor cartridge includes lubricating strips formulated with chamomile and olive oil for soothing and hydrating the skin, according to Alleyoop.
Best staff-favorite razor: Flamingo
Several Select staffers use this razor from Flamingo and note that it’s comfortable, durable and easy to use. Associate updates editor Zoe Malin has used the Flamingo razor for over two years and it never irritated her sensitive skin. “I’m able to get a smooth shave without needing to use any shaving cream,” she says, adding that she uses Billie’s Body Buffer to lather her skin before shaving with the Flamingo razor. “For the quality, Flamingo is also insanely affordable, so knowing that I don’t need to spend a lot to get an amazing razor is a huge plus.” The razor has five thin blades, a pivoting, replaceable head and a moisturizing strip infused with aloe and shea butter.
Best razor for sensitive skin: Gillette
If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs, Shirazi recommends the Gillette SkinGuard Razor because of its two-blade design, which creates less friction and subsequent irritation on the skin (however, she notes it will not give you as close of a shave as other multi-blade options). “Skin guards create a barrier between the blade and your skin to minimize the risk of nicks and cuts,” Shirazi says.“The design protects the skin from the blades and it also offers lubrication before and after the blades for a smoother glide.” Each blade refill can handle up to one month of shaves, according to the brand.
Best razor for beginners: Gillette
“This is a great starter razor for teens or those just starting to shave — it’s at a good price point, using a 3-blade design, which is a middle ground between a single blade and the five-blade razors,” Shirazi says. It also has a flexible design that allows you to get around uneven contours around the body, as well as a weighted handle for more control, according to Shirazi. You can purchase blade refills separately, and this option comes with one refill.
Is there a difference between men’s and women’s razors?
If you’ve walked down the personal care aisle at your local grocery store, you’ve probably seen all kinds of razors lining the walls, from disposable options to more old-fashioned safety razors. You may also notice a stark difference in color when scanning the shelves: Razors advertised for men typically encompass dark, traditionally “masculine” colors like black, gray and blue, while razors marketed toward women usually offer a combination of pinks, purples and other lighter shades.
Our dermatologists told us men’s and women’s razors offer many of the same benefits, and you aren’t limited to using one specific type of razor simply because of your gender identity. However, they also note some key differences between the two depending on the part of the body you’re shaving.
“Men’s and women’s razors are structurally designed to fit the different areas that are most commonly shaved by each — for example, the beard and face area for men compared to the body for women,” Ugonabo says.
The razor heads and handles are usually different to target these different areas of the body, too. “The heads of men's razors tend to be smaller and the blades are more closely packed together, while women's razor heads tend to be larger,” says Dr. William Huang, a board-certified dermatologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Both Huang and Ugonabo note that women’s razors tend to have wider and more curved ergonomic handles, mostly to prevent them from slipping in the shower.
Men’s razors usually have more of a square head, while women’s razors will often sport more rounded and pivoting heads to help shave hard-to-reach and contoured areas of the body, like the bikini area, armpits and the back of the knees, according to Ugonabo. Huang says that because women are more likely to shave delicate areas like the bikini line, razors marketed toward them will usually contain multiple lubrication strips (both on the top and bottom) compared to just one thin strip for men’s razors.
What to consider when shopping for women’s razors
If you’re looking to shave different parts of your body, our dermatologists recommended using a women’s razor due to its pivoting head and ergonomic handle. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to pinpoint the best one for your needs — we consulted our experts on key features to consider when shopping for a women’s razor, including lubrication, blades and handle style.
Look for a razor with wide lubrication strips. When it comes to shaving large or delicate areas of the body, our experts told us having an adequate amount of lubrication can help the razor properly glide over the skin and prevent irritation, razor burn and bumps. “Women's razors tend to have a moisturizing ring built around the blade, which is perfect if you are shaving the legs but would interfere with coarse hair on the face in men,” Shirazi says.
Consider the number of razor blades. The more blades your razor has, the cleaner the shave because you’re going over certain areas of your body fewer times, according to Ugonabo. However, keep in mind that more blades can also lead to more friction and a greater chance of irritation for people with sensitive skin, Shirazi says. “Also, the less space between the blades the better because once the first blade moves across a hair, the skin can start to bulge slightly and get nicked by the next blades,” she adds.
Look for an ergonomic handle for a better grip. Experts told us that maintaining a good grip while shaving is a must when it comes to both the quality of your shave and safety, especially when using a razor in the shower.
Take into account the maintenance of the blades. Since women’s razors are designed to shave larger parts of the body like the legs, it’s essential to change out the razor blades as much as possible — and experts told us the quality and price of replacement blades should be a key consideration. “It’s important to change the blade often to avoid a dull razor, which can lead to irritation and razor bumps,” Garshick says. “If you’re prone to razor burns, it’s especially important to use a sharp razor that will get the job done in the fewest number of strokes possible,” which means changing the blade out every few shaves is a good choice, she adds.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Dr. Nkem Ugonabo is a board-certified dermatologist with advanced fellowship training in cosmetic dermatology and lasers at Union Derm in New York City.
- Dr. Azadeh Shirazi is a board-certified dermatologist at La Jolla Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center.
- Dr. Marisa Garshick is a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology.
- Dr. William Huang is a board-certified dermatologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health and a professor in the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Why trust Select?
Mili Godio is an editor at Select who has covered a wide range of self care topics, including cystic acne treatments, face sunscreens and rosacea treatments. For this article, Godio spoke to four dermatologists to narrow down the best women's razors, and highlighted their recommendations for the best ones to consider.