5 Reasons Why Men Should Shave Their Armpits (& 5 Why They Shouldn’t)

Daniel Bishop
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5 Reasons why men SHOULD shave their armpits (A simple, illustrated guide)

Running a razor over your armpits exfoliates your skin and causes a release of oils and sweat glands—all of which makes you smell better. A lot of men think they smell bad…even when they don’t because they’re not used to smelling like anything.

The feedback loop is broken. Sweat itself can be a good thing if you let it, but the worst, most potent thing you can do is to apply deodorant to armpits (the worst place to put deodorant) and then go about your day without giving yourself any time to develop scent by not going anywhere or sweating. With time, you will figure out how to manage your own sweat so that you don’t even have to worry about destroying it with anti-perspirants. And you’ll smell great, provided you’ve exfoliated and released a fresh batch of the oils from your armpit glands before you left the house.

Shaving Makes You Feel More Confident

Sweat

Can’t stand the stink? No worries, we have the answer…

First things first, let’s clear up some myths about hair removal. Men don’t sweat more than women, they just sweat at a higher concentration. Research shows that women’s skin has more hair follicles and that when women don’t shave their armpits, they still produce sweat. So really, we’re all the same.

But what you may not know about is the effectiveness of these simple shaving techniques. We’ll reveal the trimmers, grooming products, and hair removal tactics that are best for your body and budget.

Here’s what you need to know…

What to Shave?

The choice of hair removal is yours to make. Most men choose to shave only the underside of their arms. This is where most of the arm hair grows and the smell comes from, and after all, armpits are sexy, right?

Trimming or shaving the upper half of your arm produces somewhat of a dated look. Maybe you have your sights set on a 1920s look?

When to Shave

Shaving fights odor

If you have a problem with underarm odor, one of the best ways to fight it is to shave. When you shave, you remove the root of the smell, which is usually excessive hair.

The hair you leave under your arms will collect some sweat, which can lead to odor. Shaving will remove the hair that may harbor this odor.

Like with leg hair, shaving under your arms will reduce the chance of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hair could form if you shave with a razor that is not clean and sharp or if you shave too often.

The hair that you shave off will also not get long or mysterious. It is better to let your hair hit the maximum of a quarter inch. If it grows longer than this, it is time to trim it.

Athletics

Shaving may result in better athletic ability. The hair under your pits, traps body heat and can cause your body temperature to get hotter. As a result, you may overheat during your workout. You could potentially give yourself heat stroke, which is very dangerous.

You will also find it much easier to keep cool if you shave your pits. The sun rarely ever touches this area of your skin, so certain areas of your body are more likely to be cooler than others. And keeping your body cool is a huge advantage for many types of athletics as it keeps you at a better temperature.

Don’t cut yourself and avoid joints in movement. A ball breaks more easily when it has a crack or divot.

Don’t sweat as much either knowing beforehand that you are going to be putting your life in your hands (literally) is a very uncomfortable feeling.

Comfort

One of the biggest reasons why many men start shaving their armpits is simply because it is more comfortable. They feel that their armpits will feel better and less uncomfortable without the natural hair there. After all, men don’t have a whole lot of natural body hair like women and shaving just a little bit of it probably isn’t going to make a lot of difference.

Easier Grooming

Some men also find that shaving their armpits makes it easier to groom and to trim their hair throughout the week. There isn’t as much risk of getting caught in public without having trimmed hair and it will be easier to keep the hair trimmed to a certain length throughout the week.

Stickier, Sweatier, Closer to the Sweat Glands.

The armpit area is a lot stickier, sweatier, and closer to the sweat glands than other areas of the body. A little bit of sweat in the underarm area can be almost too much because when it mixes with the hair and the salt that is found there, it can quickly cause a particularly bad odor. That is why men who shave their armpits often say that they do it because it keeps them smelling better.

Looks

Men have been shaving their faces and beards for many, many years and it’s now fashionable for men to shave their faces to the point where there are many websites dedicated to men’s skincare products and facial hair grooming. So, what about their armpits?

If you’re a man who is considering getting rid of their body hair, 1 in 3 women will choose their partner based on their clean-shaven (or clear of hair) scent under their arms. It’s no wonder that numerous body-positive campaigns have been launched by female celebrities to start a body hair revolution amongst men.

Many women have reported that they love the masculine confidence that comes with hairless armpits and women report that they love the soft, smooth feeling under the arms of shaved men.

According to a recent survey, 45% of women say the armpit is the sexiest body part on a man! If you’re shaving your armpits, you should consider the following reasons not to:

5 Reasons why men SHOULDN’T shave their armpits (A simple, illustrated guide)

It’s antisocial.

Do you know what’s next to armpits?

Other armpits. It’s a little known secret that men tend to be curious about one another, so when you shave your pits, others won’t be able to stop staring at you in disbelief when you reveal your smooth pits in the bathroom. A lot of people will assume you have a rash and feel awkward when they’re in tight spaces with you. Shaving your armpits makes you seem like a negligent boyfriend (or husband) when you can’t be bothered to tell your partner that you should go out shopping for deodorant because you’ve run out.

It’s unhygienic.

Once you’ve removed a layer of your skin, sweat and dirt will be able to get a better grip on the bit of skin you have left. In fact, by the time you find a white shirt (or whatever shirt doesn’t go with your lovely armpits), you’ll have left an unsightly yellow stain.

It’s expensive.

Grooming issues

Many men think that the underarms are a sensitive area of their body, and shaving that area can cause some problems. This is why many avoid to shave their armpits completely. Although there are many men who use some type of shaving cream for their sensitive underarms, some just prefer to skip it altogether.

Side Effects of Shaving the Pits

After nicking yourself in the pits with a razor, there is always that lingering feeling of pain that is brought on by irritation and itchiness. The cuts from the razor will usually heal within a day or two, but while they are healing, they are going to be aggravated by the constant rubbing action that is caused by movements and touching clothing. The constant irritation and itchiness can cause to be filled with pus forming little bumps.

You will also need to do more frequent shaving as compared to the rest of the body because it will be growing back faster. Most men choose to shave the pits only once a week as a result.

Other skin issues

Because armpit shaving is also more common among men, it’s often easier to notice when they suddenly stop. This is especially the case if the typical smoothness of the armpit is replaced with a patch of stubble. But stubble can also indicate that the person has begun growing out their hair for a longer style, which is a different sort of concern.

Other skin issues can also cause the armpits to grow hair or develop rashes. This might be an indication of an infection like a staph or fungal infection. Or it could be a sign of an auto-immune disease like lupus.

All of these should be looked at, particularly if the hairs are still dark, but they are not typically caused by shaving. So if you find that your skin is experiencing pain or discomfort for any reason, consult your doctor.

You’ll release more pheromones

Shaving is just classic manscaping. And when it comes to manscaping, some guys just don’t get it. They go at their bodies like grandma at the engine of her car, more worried about the product list than the job list. It’s about the whole package, the face, the ears and the little hairs in between.

A little shaving, a little trimming, reveals more chest, shoulders and reveals the man’s assets.

Shaving may not reduce sweat

If you are doing it to prevent sweat stains, you are out of luck. As a matter of fact, shaving will make your armpits produce more oil, which will make you more smelly.

That's right, it's like I said before, you just opened up more channels for sweat to travel through! Instead, try using anti-perspirants. They have aluminum-based substances which can stop you from sweating, which means no body odor.

Your white shirts will thank you!

Shaved armpits aren’t that attractive to everyone

Initially, I was all on board with the shaving. You know me: I love me a good, smooth shave. The first time I shaved my pits, with an electric razor, I felt a little light headed. I was a little nervous doing it by myself, at first, but once I did it a second time, it was smooth sailing.

I’d heard that my armpits were going to produce extra sweat while they tried to regrow some hair. This was true, so I wasn’t surprised when, a few days later, I woke up to extremely sweaty pits.

What caught me off guard was that this seemed especially pronounced in cold environments. My armpits were SO BUBBLY I felt like I was in a bubble bath.

I thought about putting deodorant back on in cooler days, but I was already going through new product at an alarming rate.

Thus, I was always putting deodorant on my rarely shaved armpits.

This leads me to my next reason for hating my shaved armpits: Razor burn, irritation and ingrown hairs.

Conclusion

For many men, the problem of requiring better-quality armpit hair is a problem of the past. The coolness of having hair in your armpits no longer has the same allure as it did in the '70s and '80s.

The problem now is over-development of armpit hair rather than under-development. Because of this, more men are turning to electric trimmers and depilatory creams to try to keep their underarm hair under control and to discourage further development.

When men don’t shave their armpits, they are often labeled unkempt or lazy. This is a sign of too much hair, and is a condition that can easily be improved upon with the appropriate style.

Of course, there is the argument that taking the time to shave every morning is very inconvenient and drives up the cost as well. Then again, girls can just keep buying hair conditioner for their hair, right?

At the end of the day, though, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to this hair grooming routine. Every man, at some point, has dipped his toes into both sides of the armpit hair spectrum.

Just remember to shave with the grain and to keep waxing, plucking, and electrolysis in mind for any stray hairs or stray thoughts.