Armpit hair has been a subject of debate for centuries. Some people say that it is natural, others find it gross and unhygienic.
Around the world, men are getting into body grooming, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, when it comes to resources for men’s body grooming, there is a lot less than what is accessible for women.
The most common question asked about armpit hair is “How To Trim Armpit Hair Without Itching?” If you are interested in the answer to this question, read on.
Trim Armpit Hair Without Itching
Armpit hair, if not shaved, is one of those things that tends to grow and become thicker and coarser as we age. Many people believe it’s unsightly and thus remove it or at least trim it.
If you do choose to shave your armpit hair, there are different methods depending on whether you want a smooth shave or to leave some stubble.
Wet Shaving with Razor
The first method is wet shaving using a razor like the Gillette Venus Swirl (see last week’s article on disposables). This method offers the closest shave but it takes time and can be somewhat painful for beginners.
Start by shaving during or after a bath or shower when the hair is soft and more pliable. Take your time shaving each armpit, carefully moving the razor in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritation.
An alternative to shaving with a razor is waxing.
Waxing Armpit Hair
If you don’t want irritated skin after shaving, try waxing. Although this method is more time-consuming, it’s gentler on the skin and leaves no stubble behind.
To prepare for waxing, you may want to do some softening beforehand by applying baby oil or softening cream before removing hair with strips of cloth.
Making Your Own Wax Strips
You may also want to consider making your own wax strips so you can customize them for your armpit hair. You can buy supplies in most pharmacies or beauty supply stores, including pre-cut muslin cloth, beeswax and honey (which act as a natural emollient), and lavender essential oil. Beeswax is available in several colors, which give you some leeway in color matching.
Here’s my recipe for making your own wax strips:
- 1/4 cup beeswax pellets or one 4-ounce candle (other types of wax can be substituted but may not produce the desired consistency)
- 5 drops lavender essential oil + more to scent your armpits
- 1.5-inch square of muslin, cotton or other cloth for each wax strip you want to make
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before making wax strips so they don’t get messy. Place the beeswax pellets in the top of a double boiler over low heat on the stovetop while you prepare the muslin or cotton cloth.
- Cut the square pieces of cloth into approximately 1.5-inch squares (use one for each wax strip). Pour hot water over them until they’re cool enough to handle but still warm to the touch.
- Remove a cloth from the water and spread it out flat on a work surface. Place a drop or two of lavender essential oil onto the center of the cloth and set your wax pellets close to it.
- Roll the sides of the cloth inward to make a funnel with a small opening and pour melted wax into it until the cloth is filled, but not overfilled. Then gather up and tie off one end of the funnel with string or ribbon.
- Next, push out the center of your funnel and flatten out the sides of the cloth so you have a strip with wax in the middle and cloth on either side.
- Let this cool completely. Peel off one layer of muslin or cotton and then peel off the other to leave behind only smooth, flat strips with wax in the center. You can make your wax strips any size or shape you like.
- When the wax has cooled completely, use it to wax your armpit hair in the direction of its growth.
While some people find this method works well for them, others prefer not to use beeswax strips. An alternative approach is using cold honey or latex-based household glue to remove hair.
Hair Removal Using Honey or Household Glue
If you want to avoid irritating your skin, try using honey instead of wax to remove hair in the armpit area. This method may seem odd but it’s actually tried and true—and no, bees don’t get caught in the mix!
Honey has antibacterial properties and is somewhat acidic, making it a natural exfoliant. It’s also sticky and bonds to armpit hair well, making for smooth removal.
Different types of honey have different moisture contents so experiment with them to find the one you like best. My favorite is raw honey because it smells wonderful and has a slightly acidic pH. Raw honey can be used topically on skin to help fade blemishes and scars, too.
Using Household Glue
Another alternative is using latex-based household glue that’s normally used for arts and crafts projects. This type of glue pulls hair out when dry, so it doesn’t irritate the skin like waxing does. It also has a better grip than honey, so it works better for some people.
Is Trimming Armpit Hair Using Scissors Fine?
Trimming armpit hair using scissors is not a big deal. The only problem with trimming the armpit hair using scissors is that you cannot give yourself a well defined edge to your underarm, which might leave your armpits looking frayed and jagged.
Well defined edges can be achieved by shaving or waxing off the armpit hair completely, but there are certain problems associated with both these methods.
Shaving lets your armpit hair grow long and bushy, making you look like a man, which is not at all an attractive sight. Waxing makes your skin break out in rashes and redness on the application of wax, which takes a long time to subside. It leaves a burning sensation on the skin for a few days after waxing.
Scissors don’t have these burning side effects, but they will give you an untidy look if not used properly. So, what do you choose? You can choose any of them as per your preference. There is no set rule for this.
Hair Removal Methods That Cause Irritation
While waxing and using honey or household glue may safely remove your armpit hair without causing irritation, not everyone is a good candidate for these options. If you have sensitive skin, eczema or any other condition that makes you prone to skin irritation, waxing and using household glue can cause further problems.
If you’re not sure whether your skin might be irritated by waxing or household glue, try conducting a patch test: apply a small amount of the product to a small area on your inner arm and wait 24 hours to see if there’s any reaction such as redness or breakouts.
If your skin reacts badly to the test, don’t use these products on your armpits. Stick with another hair removal method that’s less likely to cause irritation, such as shaving or plucking.
Post-Trim Care After Trimming Armpit
To avoid itching, irritation, or ingrown hairs, you’ll need to do a couple of things after trimming armpit hairs. First, wash and dry your hands and armpits thoroughly so that they’re free from any dirt and bacteria before starting the trimming process.
- Don’t use regular soap because it leaves behind oils and salts that can cause itching and irritation. Instead, you should use an antibacterial soap or specifically made armpit cleanser. After washing and drying your hands and armpits, trimming the hairs should be the next step.
- After trimming your armpits, make sure to wash them once again to remove any leftover hair clippings that can cause itching and skin irritation. You should also use a fresh washcloth to pat dry your armpits to minimize the risk of infections and skin inflammation.
- After all, you don’t want to experience any severe itching while going through this process.
- You’ll also need to apply some natural moisturizers or shaving cream that’s alcohol-free to keep away excess dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Some of the most recommended products to use include witch hazel, aloe vera gel or cream, jojoba oil or almond oil.
- You should also avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes because it irritates the skin and can cause inflammation.
In general, you should leave your armpits alone for at least a couple of days after trimming. It takes time for the open wounds to heal and even longer for new hair follicles to form.
You should only put on deodorants if absolutely necessary, but make sure it’s alcohol-free. Alcohol can make you prone to infections which will prevent further hair growth.
Why is Trimming Armpit an Essential Hygiene Practice
Men have always gone to great lengths for cleanliness, but it wasn’t until the invention of bar soap that hygiene became more prominent in society.
Before the discovery of soap, people depended on sweat and body oils to protect them from germs. However, once they began bar soaps, there was a need for additional personal hygiene practices because the soap didn’t clean the whole body by itself.
Some of these hygiene practices include; dandruff removal, stinky feet deodorant, and armpit trimming (vanity reasons aside) because it can prevent bacteria growth in the sweat glands under the arm.
Women should perform this practice as well, but if you think women don’t need to trim their armpit hair, just remember that one of the main reasons people shave away body hair is because it gives off a more clean and shiny appearance.
This will not only help you win prom queen, but also helps prevent bacteria from growing in the sweat glands under your arms while preventing foul odors. If you think cutting armpit hair is not a habit you want to start, consider these facts about the bacteria that grows under your arms.
Bacteria Growing in Armpit Hair
Some people are squeamish about their own body odors, but they have never considered how much bacteria can grow where it doesn’t belong.
- You may go through your entire day without breaking a sweat, but when you do, you will start to notice the foul odor accumulating under your arms if you don’t regularly trim your armpit hair.
- Every time you eat food or even breathe out of your mouth, bacteria builds up in your saliva and on the surface of your tongue. If not regularly cleaned off every day, you might be surprised by how much bacteria can build up in just a single day.
- When you begin to perspire, the sweat glands under your arms create a source of moisture that provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. The more food and dead skin cells that gather there, the larger the chance is for bad bacteria to grow and produce body odor.
- When you don’t regularly trim your armpit hair, the sweat gland becomes a hotbed for bacteria and soon enough, you will notice foul odors even if you do not perspire heavily during the day.
If you have tried multiple deodorants that stop working after a few hours or if it is becoming noticeably difficult to find an antiperspirant that works well enough to hide underarm odor, it may be time you try trimming your armpit hair.
Overactive Sweat Gland
When the sweat glands are blocked by underarm hair follicles, they can become overactive. Bacteria is able to grow on the surface of your skin while producing a distinct and unpleasant odor. When you suddenly cut your underarm hair, it takes time for the glands to balance out and produce less sweat which could also contribute to body odor.
Even though women do not have as much of a reputation for having smelly armpits, they can still become affected by this problem. An overactive sweat gland is also a source for body odor, and if you do not cut your armpit hair, there is a greater chance bacteria will grow on the surface of the skin.
As long as you regularly trim your underarm hair with clippers or shaver at least once a week, it will prevent bacteria from building up in the sweat glands which could be a very difficult problem to fix once neglected for too long.
If you do not feel comfortable trimming your armpit hair, it is time to start looking into antiperspirants and opt for other options like waxing or electrolysis for reducing body hair.