Reasons Why Men Should Shave Their Armpits and Why They Shouldn’t
Everyone knows that women are big on shaving, plucking, trimming, etc. With the rate at which it’s discussed, one may think men enjoy as much hair
on their bodies as furry monkeys. But the truth is men manscape. Men are big on shaving: their chest, backs, legs, arms, shoulders, nostrils, eyebrows, etc. There are also the armpits and “down below.” But the focus of this article is the armpits.
It is also true that not all men shave their armpits, and they are still doing well in life, so it brings to mind the question if it is vital for men to shave their armpits. What are the reasons why men should shave their armpits? And are there reasons why they shouldn’t? We are look at the pros and cons of men shaving their armpits.
Whatever the case, it is safe to say that at least half of men manscape to an extent. It doesn’t have to be a full shave or trim from head to toe, it could simply be a concentration of some parts of the body such chest, armpits, pubic areas, etc. Don’t forget that there are specialized tools for these manscaping jobs.
Why Men Should Shave Their Armpits
There are several reasons why a man would want to shave his armpits, but the most popular reason would probably be because of
his appearance. Here are some reasons why men should shave their armpits:
Shaving Can Fight Body Odour
We probably know the early cavemen’s story that says they produced a scent to attract potential mates, just like how animals behave. That may be true, but we can also agree that humans have evolved a lot from those times, and there are better ways of attracting a mate now.
One of the items in the package of becoming an adult is when hairs start to sprout from all the areas where hairs are required, and sometimes, body odor accompanied them. That odor is a result of sweat that ming
les with the bacteria on the skin. With respect to the armpits, the apocrine glands secrete an odorless substance that eventually mixes with the skin’s bacteria, resulting in body odor. The hair in the armpits is the base for apocrine glands, and when you sha
ve, you can rid those glands of their base. The result is that they cannot produce a lot of their liquid that eventually mixes with bacteria.
Also, armpit hair can trap moisture. Bacteria love a dark, moist, and warm home where they can flourish. When you shave, you are not giving them any room to grow and, as such, preventing the odour process.
There’s no doubt that shaving makes one comfortable. It is also one of the main reasons why a man would choose to manscape. The armpits can get itchy sometimes and can be very annoying when it happens (well, maybe not as bad as “down there,” but bad). Armpit hair can be very uncomfortable and itchy. You sure don’t want to be caught itching away at your armpits during an important meeting or worse, a date!
Long armpit hair can get tangled, pulled, and gather dirt. Unlike beards that you
can moisturize and apply beard oil to, armpit hair is a bit more tricky. Using deodorant on long armpit hair doesn’t make much difference because you will still sweat, and
that sweat will get mixed up with the deodorant to release a not-so-fragrant scent. Imagine having an itch in your armpit, trying to scratch it, and your fingers coming away wet. That’s quite off-putting thinking about it. You don’t want that.
To Fight Sweat
This is probably one of the most important reasons why a man should shave his armpits. The armpit has lots of apocrine glands that produce sweat. The apocrine glands are found in places where you have hair, some more than others, for example, the scalp, armpits, and groin areas. Another major sweat gland is the eccrine gland.
These glands produce an o
dorless fluid that only begins to smell when it comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin. So, it’s safe to assume that when you shave your armpits, you reduce the chances of your apocrine and eccrine glands producing that liquid substance, and you create a less conducive environment for bacteria to thrive in. When those two things are taken care of, you give your antiperspirant a fighting chance (literally) because it will lend a helping hand in reducing your sweat production.
It is also important to note that sweating doesn’t only happen when you are hot. Some men sweat when they are anxious, nervous, or scared. Extra layers of clothes, warm fire-heated rooms, and campfires are also other reasons why men sweat. So, you may want to consider shaving during all seasons.
Shaving body hair has been a regular practice for athletes since the 1950s. The culture started with male swimmers who shaved off body hair to improve their performance because they claimed it reduced drawbacks while helping them reach the finish in shorter times. Several studies have shown that this might be true. A study by NASA revealed that drag was only reduced by a rate barely perceptible. Another study by the American College of Sports Medicine said swimmers who shaved completely had better stroke length and improved cardiovascular activity.
Wrestlers are known to shave their bodies to reduce the friction caused by other bodies. It also reduces skin irritation that may result from collisions with other people during fights. Professional road cyclists are known to shave their legs to improve their performance, and runners also do the same to help them catch a few seconds that may lead them to victory. Bodybuilders have a different reason for shaving, though. It may be a bit difficult showing off pecs and muscles with hair covering everywhere, wouldn’t it?
Let’s face it, you probably don’t need to shave off all your body hair to look good. But, if you were to walk around with your underarms on display, would you be proud of the tuft of hair growing out of it? We have heard about people who do all sorts of things to their armpit hair like dyeing it, braid it, etc. If you can make armpit hair look good, then that’s a plus for you. After adolescence, having hair in your armpit can simply mean you are unkempt, unlike the heavy significance it held during your adolescent days.
We will say here that there is nothing inherently wrong in having armpit hair, as long as you know how to take care of it. You also won’t be the only one choosing not to shave.
Most importantly is: do women find a clean-shaved underarm more attractive
than hairy pits? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to that; however, in times where manscaping is becoming more popular, women are bound to tilt towards the side of shaved armpits.
Why Men Shouldn’t Shave Their Armpits
There are disadvantages for every advantage, and it’s no different when it comes to men shaving their armpits (or not). Here are some reasons why men shouldn’t shave their armpits:
Shaving is Risky
Several things can happen to you when you shave. None of them may be considered deadly or dangerous, but the results of shaving can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Your armpits have delicate skin, even if the rest of your body is coarse and stiff. This can mean that you can give yourself injuries if not careful when you shave, and you will most likely end up with inflamed, irritated ‘pits. Cuts on the armpits may take longer to heal, so you end up with
sore ‘pits for days.
Your underarms are uneven on the surface. This can become quite a challenge when you try to move a shaver around it to remove unwanted hair. Another major issue with men shaving their armpits is ingrown hair. This happens when the hair on the skin curls and grows back into the skin instead of out. It is itchy and can result in bumps.
Shaving your armpits may result in other skin issues such as folliculitis. This is a tongue-twisting name for when your hair follicles become inflamed and cause small bumps around the hair follicles (which is where hairs grow). Other causes of folliculitis are fungal and bacterial infections. Folliculitis causes itching, sores and generally doesn’t look or fell good.
Luckily, mild cases can clear off within a few days.
Another skin issue is your armpit becoming dark after shaving. This happens to particularly with extra sensitive skin. Even though it might not be such a big deal, it still isn’t so nice to have different skin colors on your body.
Shaving Doesn’t Reduce Sweating
There is no scientific proof that shaving reduces sweating. The apocrine and eccrine glands that are responsible for producing sweat open into the hair follicles. There are beliefs that shaving the hairs in the armpit do not reduce sweating because they have nothing to do with the sweat glands present on the skin.
We can all agree that shaving your armpit helps you reduce body odor, but there is no solid proof about the sweating matter. In addition, underarm hair helps remove moisture from the skin and releases pheromones that can help you attract a potential mate (or not).
Body hair in men has more function than simply making you look gruff and manly. It helps release pheromones. Pheromones are a combination of compounds that creates a scent, albeit subtle, capable of attracting a mate. In animals, the function of pheromones is obvious. Think about animals in heat and insects during the mating season.
In humans, some women may be able to relate to “manly smell” more than others. That could be as a result of the pheromones they have unconsciously picked up from a man. The man may also be unaware of the scent he is giving off, though. Many studies back up the pheromone and mate attraction connection theory.
Shaving Your Armpits Isn’t Everyone’s Cup of Tea
Manscaping has become ever so popular, and many men choose to do it (complete manscaping or just selective, such as their armpits and down-below). Recent studies show statistics claiming that women prefer men who shave, but there are also lots of women who prefer their men hairy, including the armpit area.
Under the arm, the underarm is precisely that, so there is little chance of people noticing what is beneath it, except you have underarm hairs that poke out of the sides. A little trim might be all you need to keep everyone happy.
While this may not be very likely, especially if you are using your own shaving tools, it doesn’t hurt to add it to the list. Shaving blades can carry germs that can get into your skin during a grooming session. Germs are super tiny, and a small nick is all they need to get into your skin and wreak havoc.
Skin infections from shaving blades can lead to itching, inflammation, sores, etc. These can be very uncomfortable and painful. Remember that the underarm skin is quite sensitive, so it wouldn’t take a lot for it to become inflamed. Severe cases can result in pus and ingrown hairs.
As it is with every decision you will ever make, there are pros and cons to consider. You need to understand your skin and what works for you. You also need to consider how each decision you make about your grooming will make you feel. Consider the pros and cons and decide if you can live with the final decision about whether you want to keep your ‘pit hair or shave it all off. The choice is yours.