Summer is here and it's the best time of the year to cut your hair short and shave your beard, but what about those wild hairs poking out from your armpits? It's tank top season, so you might notice your armpit hair is more on display than usual, but what do you do about it? Is it manly to have a full mane under your arm? Readers voted, and the answer was clear: Yes, men should absolutely shave their armpits. At least sometimes.
Of the 4,044 men surveyed, 68 percent said they trim their armpit hair; 52 percent said they do it for aesthetics, and 16 percent said they do it for athletic reasons.
(About 1 in 10 guys surveyed said they never trim their armpit hair.)
Five years ago, the answers to this survey would be very different, speculates Craig Whitely, Hollywood’s leading expert on all things male grooming. Whitely (who goes by Craig the Barber) says that the manscaping push in recent years isn’t contained just to pubic hair.
“If you’re already doing some form of manscaping and you’ve got your shaver out, why not keep going?” he says.
Now, you may not think it’s manly to trim your armpits, and that’s all good. But humor us and take an objective look at your pits: If you have giant tufts of hair emerging from under your arms, you may want to reconsider.
Interestingly, science isn’t certain why guys have armpit hair. It’s possible it was once used in attracting a mate, says Daniel Lieberman, Ph.D., professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University.
Your underarm has a lot of apocrine glands, which produce sweat. This perspiration is made up of steroids, lipids, proteins, and other chemicals that can communicate “information.”
So, for example, your ancestors might have needed that armpit hair to trap their sweaty scent for attracting a mate. But that’s almost definitely not working for you today.