Why We have Underarms Hair & Should i Shave?

Whether to shave your underarms hair or not is currently a huge debate. However, it turns out that majority of women and teenage girls shave their underarms hair with their main reason for doing so being to remain hygienic. It is important to know why you have hair in your underarms first before you decide whether to shave or not.

Your underarms hair is like any other hair on your body. It is only that you are bound or started growing hair under your arms alongside your pubic hair when you reached puberty stage. Although you naturally have hair all over your body, you lose most of the hair with hair under your arms and pubic area remaining.

Why do you have hair under your arms?

The hair under your arms and pubic area serve different purposes, which is the main reason why they remain when you lose hair on other parts of your body.

  • Warmth – The hair under your arms is very important in helping maintain and regulate your body temperature especially when it is cold. How do you feel when it is cold without hair under your armpits?
  • Friction – Your underarms hair serve the important role of preventing friction. Removing your underarms hair exposes the surrounding skin to constant friction between the skin at the beginning of your arms and that at the beginning of your body. You are most likely to develop rashes and irritation without the hair, which acts as a buffer.
  • Sweat licking – The hair under your arms is also very important in licking seat away from the surrounding skin. Although it does not absorb the sweat, the mere fact that it is there prevents you from feeling uncomfortable with sweat resting on the surrounding skin.
  • Pheromones release – This is probably the most important role that the hair under your arms plays. You naturally produce individual scent, which, interestingly, is prominent in your underarms. Having hair under your arms makes it possible for anyone around you (particularly men) to “smell” your scent. Your scent plays a major role in what is referred to as Major Histo-Compatibility Complex (MHC), which informs whether or not a man gets attracted to you.
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Should you shave your underarms hair?

Whether or not to shave your underarms hair can be a personal decision or because of your cultural/religious belief.

You may choose to shave your underarms hair purely for personal reason. Indeed, most women shave their underarms hair in order to remain hygienic. One of the reasons you may present has to do with the fact that having hair under your arms creates a good environment for the growth of bacteria. Although this may be true, it is beneficial to realize that the said bacterium is not harmful. It is micro flora bacteria, which plays the important role of preventing inflammation and infections caused by pathogenic bacteria.

You may also choose to shave your underarms hair simply because it is a societal norm. This is mainly because society relates maintenance of hair under the arms as masculinity and not femininity.

It is also possible that you may choose to shave your underarms hair depending on nature of sports activities you engage in. Indeed, many women athletes in different fields shave their underarms hair.

There are also cultural and religious reasons why you may be obligated to shave your underarms hair. For instance, Muslims (men and women) shave their underarms hair to conform to Islamic culture of remaining clean.

Current Trend

Regardless of the reason why you may choose to or shave your underarms hair, the current trend is where more and more women are keeping the hairs. Social media sites have of late been abuzz with celebrities proudly showing off their underarms hair in public. Lady Gaga performed at the Much Music Awards in 2011 with shaggy wigs in the same color as that of her head in her underarms. Both Instagram and Youtube are also full of other celebrities showing off their colored underarms hair including Miley Cyrus and Jemima Kirke of “Girls”.

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The recent armpit hair competition in China organized by Xiao Yue on her blog (Sina Weibo) to protest against societal pressure for Chinese women to shave their underarms hair has also encouraged most women to reconsider shaving their underarms hair.

What you decide to do with your underarms hair is a personal choice. For a majority of modern women, underarms hair is just like any other hair. Having hair under your arms should not be a cause for ridicule.

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