Talk:Underarm hair

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The picture[edit]

axillary hair as a sign of modernism?! please take your head out of your ass and save the reductive readings of western culture/art history for yr term papers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

We seriously need to get a standard picture. The damn thing changes every single week! Why don't we get a male and female one.

I didn't know that European having armpit hair was a stereotype! Sorry Jaberwocky6669 20:47, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)

I have lived in four European countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy) and I can say that the norm is hair removal for females.

Girls and women who don't shave are looked down on as either lazy, or butch feminists.

This anti-furriness taboo may be slightly stronger in the US, but not enough to imply our gorgeous European women go around hairy! Look to certain third-world countries for places where it is normal for women not to shave. — Chameleon Main/Talk/Images 20:58, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Awesome, thats great! Thanks! =D May I add, your girlfriend is one fine babe, much congratulations! Jaberwocky6669 21:07, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)

She's a fine Australian babe. Fortunately for me, they shave over there too  ;) — Chameleon Main/Talk/Images 21:23, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I was just wondering about the sentence that says in the western world it is common for women to shave their armpits. Isn't that steroetype too? Because it says specifically "In the western world...". Jaberwocky6669 15:42, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)

No, it really is common for women not to shave in a lot of other parts of the world.

It is still freaky for men anywhere to do it. Chameleon 01:18, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's certainly not freaky. Waxing legs and arms is widely regarded as questionable for heterosexual men (other than bodybuilders), but removing underarm and pubic hair (not counting the "happy trail") is becoming an implied norm these days -- if only because of pornography and lifestyle magazines/shows (which usually seem to promote metrosexuality anyway). Probably so because body hair in general is often pointed out as primitive ("ape-like") and unfavourable by women (although that's probably a stereotype too). -- Ashmodai 08:59, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I was in central Europe a few years ago. The women generally did not shave.  :-)

I don't know what part of Europe you were in, but in the part of Germany I live it is generally very rare to see a styled girl run around without shaved armpits. Granted, I've seen my fair share of hairy armpits (ick), but I'd definitely say that it's considered the norm for girls and young women to shave. -- Ashmodai 08:59, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I want some proof in order to reconcile this irresoluble debate lol. Sorry for the big dose of words. =) Jaberwocky6669 21:09, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)

E.g. in Germany shaving became popular in the early to mid 1990ies.

  • I think should be merged with Armpit.

i am 14 yrs i am having full hairs my inder armsˑ

  • Why do we care? It's called puberty, it's nothing special. --Tyron1 00:42, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Since when was shaving your armpits hygienic?! References, please. Considering that the hair increases the surface area for sweat to evaporate from, thus keeping the armpits dry and maintaining unfavorable conditions for bacterial growth, I find that hygieny part highly dubious... Not even mentioning that he process of shaving itself damages the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

I don't think it's hygienic per se. It's no more "hygienic" than cutting your hair as far as I know. The main reason, however, is preventing body odour and, to a lesser extent, avoiding parasites (which is the main reason cutting your hair is "hygienic", i.e. why it's favourable in situations where normal hygiene cannot be maintained for an extended period of time (e.g. during a military operation)). As a matter of fact, it saves you from some forms of STDs (i.e. pubic lice).
The BO thing is, of course, not absolutely definite. It is easier to clean your armpits if your underarm hair is shaved or trimmed, simply because you would need to shampoo and lather it properly otherwise rather than just wiping it (also, as it is a cavity, it accumulates a lot more filth than, say, the top of your head).
Proper hygiene is very possible with natural underarm hair, but apart from the aesthetics (at least for women it is widely regarded as not particularily pleasant to look at, in most of the Western World -- which is of course completely arbitrary, as most such aesthetics are), laziness seems to be the main selling point (well, in addition to just following the herd; as you may have noticed, humans tend to be like that).
As for the shaving damage -- that's pretty much a non-issue. If you don't remove the hair via waxing (or simply trim it, which means you don't even get anywhere near the skin) but a normal shave, you should use the same stuff you'd use for any other shave as well -- i.e. shaving cream in the case of a wet shave (electric razors are a bit difficult to apply in places like that -- don't even think about shaving someone's gonads with that kind of tool, btw), etc. After-shave lotions or the like could probably not hurt either.
Y'see, the industry has come a long way and there are a lot of somewhat skin-friendly ways to shave (or at least good ways to avoid infection as a result from shaving -- most shaving creams and after-shave lotions contain antibacterial stuff, some after-shaves are simply based on alcohol).
Let's just say that it is easier to just wipe the filth OFF if your armpits are hairless and it's also easier to get them dry that way (just as you can dry your head easier if you're bald; it's a fact). Also, it allows the proper application of deodorant rollers or sticks, which are more direct than sprays (not to mention that you won't have to hold your breath until the cloud has dispersed, anymore). — Ashmodai (talk · contribs) 13:26, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree that you probably can dry your armpits better without underarm hair, but the hair plays a part in keeping them dry which is more relevant in reducing bacterial growth. I also admit that there are shaving methods that can cause negligible shaving damage, but also there are people with sensitive skin types who cannot apply e.g. alcohol based aftershave. 22:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if can be regarded as an authoritative source... 20:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

It is generally accepted that this practice began around 1915 in the United States and the United Kingdom

It is? Says who?

I must say, that I have never ever seen a girl who does not shave her armpits. If I ever saw one.. I'd be more than chocked.. actually I'd be disgusted. And yes, men do shave their armpits. I do. It is very common for Swedish men to shave their armpits. Maybe it isn't like that in other European countries, but it is as common for women to shave their armpits, as it is for men to shave their face - if nore more! //Boii90

Suggestions and comments[edit]

This article currently focuses almost exclusively on the removal of underarm hair. Besides its lack of scope, this article seriously lacks citations.

Here are some suggestions for direction of this article:

  • Add biological information. Who, what, where, why, how. Also: How is axillary hair different than other hair? How does it vary amongst ethnicities, races, geographies, etc.?
  • Discuss social attitudes towards it. How has this varied over time and amongst different cultures? See the pubic hair article for an example of this.
  • A picture should be added.
  • Add sources, references, and links.

Emiellaiendiay 00:43, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

New image[edit]

I would suggest this image be used for this page.

Gustave Courbet 009.jpg 14:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I second this Nick Michael 22:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Axillary hair in art[edit]

I propose a subsection of armpit hair in art, similar to that of pubic hair. The interesting thing is that unlike pubic hair, where there are portrayals in art from the middle ages (albeit rare), which become gradually more common in the renaissance and quite the norm in modern times, axillary hair draws a complete blank until, I believe, the late 19th century; and this goes for both males and females. Why this should be is a puzzle to me. Did our ancestors shave their armpits? Was axillary hair regarded as more 'shameful' than pubic hair? The whole thing is a mystery. If anyone is aware of any early portrayals of axillary hair in art (say up to about 1800), I should be most interested to know.
Nick Michael 22:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

More suggestions[edit]

I agree that the picture above should be added, but I believe more information should be added under "history", and create an "axillary hair in art" section under history first. As well, allow for a male and female section in order to give more detailed information on the stigmas associated with axillary hair among the sexes.. --Nalos Surith 04:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Information under the effects of shaving, stating that "Both use of underarm antiperspirants and shaving have been claimed to be linked to breast cancer in women. However, no valid scientific study has identified a correlation between breast cancer and antiperspirant use or underarm shaving." is false, there was an article published December 2003 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention distinctively linking women who shaved and used antiperspirants to an earlier age diagnosis of breast cancer. --Nalos Surith 04:46, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Im Cuban and French and spent most of my childhood in Europe due to our fathers work. None of my female relatives ever shaved any part of their body and none of them we're/are lazy. Three of them hold PhD's, four are medical doctors,teachers,nurses and on and on. I never had a negative statement about my lack of shaving till I went to school in the US. When I was in High School there a girl who followed me home and beat the hell out of me on my way home because "only nasty dykes dont shave".

what's the point of the last picture of 2 teenagers making stupid faces? 14:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

First the page states that "armpit hair naturally wicks moisture away from the skin, which aids in keeping the skin dry enough to prevent colonization by odor-producing bacteria." Then it states that "Removing armpit hair, whether by shaving or by any other method, decreases the amount of moisture allowed to cling to the skin by reducing the surface area for hydrogen bonding and is an effective way to reduce body odor." Which is it? Sharon Leigh Wilson (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:52, 28 February 2010 (UTC).

And once again...[edit]

This is supposed to be the article about Underarm hair, not its removal. Perhaps it ought to be rewritten. --arny (talk) 19:41, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


The section below is poorly worded. I moves from Western world to Religion to Islam and then jumps to Western world but with no way to know if it is talking about Islamic men in the west or just aestheticly minded men in the west. I suggest that the last reference to Western world be moved with the other information at the start of the paragraph and then reworded to indicate that those men who do remove in the west do so for aesthetic reasons rather than implying that it is the norm in the west. Finding the original reference might be helpful as well.

Today in much of the Western world, it is more common for women to regularly shave their underarm hair, but this practice is uncommon among men. The prevalence of this practice varies widely, though. Religious reasons are sometimes cited; for example, in Islamic culture, both men and women remove underarm hair to meet religious guidelines of cleanliness. Removal of underarm hair was part of a collection of hygienic or cosmetic practices recommended by Muhammad (570-632) as consistent with fitra for both women and men and has since usually been regarded as a requirement by most Muslims.[2] In much of the Western world, men also choose to remove their underarm hair for aesthetic reasons.

Idyllic press (talk) 20:03, 17 November 2015 (UTC)