Armpit Hair: Unnecessary Fuzz, or Sweat Stopper?

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Women have been at the forefront of armpit hair trends for forever. First they had it, then they didn’t, now they’re growing it long, dying it bright, and even styling it with glitter.

And, now, guys are experimenting with their underarm hair styles, too. But before you book that waxing appointment, know that your underarm fuzz ain’t just for looks. It also does your body a few favors:

Why It’s There In the First Place. For at least three reasons: (1) It wicks sweat away from the skin to keep our pits from incessantly dripping; (2) it reduces the friction between our underarms and torso to prevent chafing; and (3) it acts as a pheromone diffuser. Or better put, it helps spread our irresistible, musky scent to potential mates. A scent that, according to a 2007 study, not only increases a man’s perceived attractiveness but also helps women feel more relaxed. Turns out, sweaty is sexy.

It’s Second Cousin, Follicle-ly Speaking. Armpit hair is a lot like your hair down there. Both are what’s known as “terminal hair.” Which means androgenic hormones, a.k.a. steroids for our follicles, were pumped into those areas during puberty, making the hair thicker, darker and bushier.

One Guy’s Opinion. “When I was going through puberty, my church’s janitor told me, ‘There’s no shame in a man who shaves his armpits,’” says 35-year-old Dave. “I’ve kept my pits clean shaven ever since. Thanks, Vince.”

But Is Bare the Way to Go According to Women? Twenty-seven-year-old Risa certainly has gotten a good whiff of the all that pheromone diffusing, serving as a living, breathing anecdote of the scientific fact that it’s an attractive scent. “Pit hair is super sexy as long as there’s no crusty, white deodorant trapped in there. Wash that sh*t out.”

Tame It If You Must. You don’t want to go clean shaven. Besides being super sexy, armpit hair keeps our underarms from becoming irritated sweat sprinklers. So if you want to keep it short, use an electric clipper. But again, don’t trim it so short that it becomes prickly. Maintain at least three-quarters of an inch if you have straight hair. And if your hair is of the curly variety, anything longer than an eighth of an inch should be just fine according to men’s grooming expert Craig Whitely.

If You Prefer to Go Full Caveman… Armpit hair transplants are a viable option. It costs a few thousand dollars, though, so you better have deep pockets to match that new glorious armpit hair.

Armpit Haircon. Prince. “She’s Always in My Hair just took on a whole new meaning.