Men Shaving Their Armpits

Man shaving his armpit
Photo: Jan Schneckenhaus/Shutterstock
Q: Should a man shave his armpits? Is it a good idea for hygienic reasons or is it wrong since shaving your armpits is so feminine?
A: Well, I'll address the purported femininity of shaving the armpits by suggesting that some of the most "manly" men in our society shave their armpits for different reasons.
Many professional athletes shave off almost all their body hair (Olympic swimmers, body builders, some runners, etc.) and do so for different reasons. Some of the reasons are hygienic.
Other reasons are practical, while still others have to do with pure aesthetics. Regardless of the reasons, I doubt that many of these men who opt to shave their armpits consider themselves the least bit feminized by doing so.
Now to address the hygienic aspect of armpits shaving: Shaving the hair from the armpits does indeed provide certain benefits. Since the odor from sweat is caused by bacteria and the bacteria can more easily proliferate in the swampy environs of damp armpit hair, shaving the armpits can result in a lessening of body odor and increased effectiveness from your deodorant products.
The choice to shave or not is typically a matter of personal preference. The act of a man shaving his armpits is a comparatively new thing, and some men still have prejudices against it. But it doesn't need to be an "all-or-nothing" proposition. You can still reduce the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria by simply reducing the amount of hair in the armpits (or other areas).
Consider it extended grooming or manscaping, if you wish. This can make a beneficial impact without a dramatic change in the look of the area. Simply use a trimmer to cut down the length and volume of hair in the underarm areas, especially if you are an individual with copious amounts of underarm hair or if said hair is very long.
See also:
A look at men's hair care