Less than a decade ago, asking the question, “Should men shave their armpits?,” probably would have been met with blank stares. Guys? Shave their armpits? Why would they do such a thing? Only women shave their armpit hair.
Not anymore, gentlemen. As it turns out, there are a myriad of benefits to rocking a smoother underarm. Whether you want to have a fresher post-gym smell or simply prefer the hairless look, deciding to trim or shave your armpit hair can be a total game-changer.
So, what side are you on? Should men shave their armpits, or should they leave it au natural? We’re breaking down the armpit hair debate to help you make a decision that works best for you.
Reasons for Shaving Armpit Hair
As a well-groomed dude, you’re probably no stranger to manscaping. Perhaps you’ve trimmed your chest hair or even dabbled with shaving below the belt. Why not your armpits as well?
If you’re looking for an excuse to expand your collection of men’s grooming products, look no further than your hairy armpits. Why should men shave their armpits? We can offer at least three good reasons.
- Less Odor—Armpits stink. We know, shocking revelation, right? Although underarm hair itself doesn’t stink, it can create the ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria to breed and multiply. By removing the hair under your arms, you can decrease the number of odor-causing bacteria and smell fresher.
- Better Performance—Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Phelps and other pro athletes are big proponents of the hairless look. Why is that? One reason is because body hair can be a huge discomfort (think: heat rash and chafing) which can end up hurting their athletic performance. Some athletes simply prefer the shaved look because it emphasizes their muscle definition. Which brings us to our next point…
- Aesthetic Purposes—If you’ve reached the point where you can literally braid your armpit hair, you could definitely benefit from trimming or shaving your armpit hair. Sure, there are probably some ladies out there who enjoy a hairy man. But trust us on this one: They don’t want to date a guy who resembles anything close to a sasquatch or a yeti.
Reasons Against Shaving Armpit Hair
Armpit hair isn’t all bad news bears. Just like there are valid reasons for wanting to shave it off, there are also plenty of good reasons to keep your armpit hair.
- Skin Irritation—If you thought that razor bumps and razor burn were annoying on your face, just wait until you experience red, itchy armpits caused by shave irritation. Of course, many of these skin issues can be avoided with high-quality shaving products and proper technique (more on this below), but it’s something to consider before going hairless under the arms.
- Some Women Dig It—It’s a scientific fact that men were blessed with pungent armpits, and that women were blessed—or cursed, rather—with strong olfactory systems to sniff out potential mates. Your armpit hair essentially acts as a pheromone diffuser, spreading your musky scent to women. Granted, not every woman is going to find your scent sexy. Proceed with caution, guys.
- Socially Acceptable—Let’s face it, men having armpit hair isn’t controversial in the slightest. Unlike having unruly back hair, no one is going to bat an eye if you show up to the beach with tufts of hair under your arms. Since it’s socially acceptable to sport armpit hair, why not take a tip from The Beatles and just let it be?
How to Properly Shave Your Armpits
Thinking about shaving your armpits? There is a right way and plenty of wrong ways to go about doing it. To ensure a smooth, painless shave, here’s how to shave your underarm hair like a pro.
- Trim Your Armpit Hair First—If you’ve never shaved your underarms before, chances are you’ll need to trim those patches down for the easiest and most comfortable shave. It’ll make less of a mess in the shower as well (because nothing is worse than a clogged drain full of man-hair). Plus, a good ole-fashion trim might just be all you need, but if you’re looking for a complete shave, follow below:
- Prep the Skin—First, hop in the shower and get everything clean and wet. You don’t need to exfoliate your armpits every time, but it can help remove dead skin cells for a closer, smoother shave.
- Choose the Right Razor—Guys, avoid using a multi-blade razor on your armpits! It’s basically a one-way ticket to Razor Burn City (population: you). Instead, use a high-quality safety razor with a single blade. You’ll get a much closer and more comfortable shave this way. Also, make sure the blade is sharp. Shaving with a dull blade is no bueno.
- Apply Shave Cream—Lubricate your armpits with a high-quality shave cream to help your razor glide without hitting any snags. Tip: Choose a translucent shave cream so you can actually see what you’re doing.
- Start Shaving—Armpit hair grows in all different directions. For the smoothest results, be sure to shave up, down and side-to-side.
- Moisturize—After you’re finished shaving, gently pat your armpits dry and follow up with a nourishing moisturizer to reduce redness and irritation.
Use A Deodorant
Now regardless of whether you shave your pits or not, you need to be using a deodorant. While shaving will help to eliminate odor and sweat, it's not going to knock it out completely. So, using a quality deodorant is a must. Here's how to find the best choice for you!
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant: An antiperspirant works by going in and clogging your pores and sweat glands with aluminum to physically stop you from sweating. Here's the problem with that. You're body needs to sweat. Harmful toxins in your body are released through sweat. If you don't sweat they become trapped and begin to build up. Definitely not healthy. Do your body a favor and stick with deodorant. For most of us it is more than enough to keep from stinking, and is a much healthier, safer option.
Chemical vs. Natural Deodorant: You've probably guessed it, but the main difference here is natural ingredients. Much like an antiperspirant, chemical deodorants go in and clog your pores. No Bueno. There are healthy, natural ingredients like like spearmint leaf oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil are ingredients that naturally target and eliminate odor without clogging your pores or irritating the skin. Now it's true a natural deodorant will cost a few more bucks. But, in our humble opinion, it is well worth it.
Quality, Natural Ingredients: A great natural deodorant will use only the highest-quality, natural ingredients like Coconut Oil, Tapioca Starch, Shea Butter. Never Aluminum, Phthalates, Baking Soda or Talc!
Applying A Deodorant
Apply Deodorant At Night: Applying deodorant at night actually makes the deodorant last longer. At night, your body temperature is cooler and your sweat glands are more receptive, this allows the deodorant to penetrate the skin and work more effectively.
Don’t Apply Deodorant After Your Shower: After a shower our skin can still be wet or damp. Dry your pits with a towel and wait until your skin is totally dry before applying your deodorant in order to maximize the smell good potential.
Cover You're Entire Armpit: Most guys make the mistake of not covering their entire armpit. The area is actually much larger than you may think. Extending your coverage area to include more of your chest and back is essential to eliminating sweat and odor.
The Bottom Line
To recap: Should guys shave their armpit hair? Ultimately, it’s up to you. There’s no real harm in shaving your armpits. If you decide to go hairless under your armpits, just be sure to pick up the right grooming products for the job!
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