Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

On Armpit Hair

We've returned from Austria and Germany. And it was wonderful.

It was nice to come back to weather that is above freezing. Man, I don't miss the Midwest one bit at this time of year.

I felt compelled to share my thoughts on armpit hair since I recently had that little survey on the subject in the right-hand column. I was not surprised that the majority of my readers find armpit hair "disgusting." I used to feel the same way. Why? Well, it just seemed gross.

When I was 19 and living in France, I saw a picture of a model in a magazine with armpit hair. I thought it looked so beautiful compared to those hair nubbins in the underarm one can never completely shave away anyway. So I stopped shaving. When I returned to the US, I got some strange looks in lockerooms. So I started shaving again.

But I never felt comfortable with it. Here's why:

1. There is a lot of chaffing in the pits while running if you don't have a completely smooth shave every day.
2. Armpit hair just looks better than poorly shaven pits.
3. It takes time to shave pits.
4. I have a pigmented papilloma in the middle of my left armpit that I was sick of nicking.

The only drawback is that people stare.

Happily, when I started dating SR, he said he liked unshaven pits. Perhaps we're a perfect storm, or perhaps we'll help turn the tide.

Why, I ask you, should women shave their pits? What is disgusting about not shaving?

We could discuss shaving in other places, of course, but this is of particular importance to me because of the chaffing while running. I'd love to hear other opinions.

Happy new year!


Abbie said...

I forgot to comment on your poll. I don't really like armpit hair on women... or men to be honest. I think it would be nice to have it removed via laser... The reasons for why you don't shave though make sense. I personally just don't find long hair in the arm pits or other areas of the body (excluding the head) very attractive. Just my two cents.

Danni said...

Somehow I have no idea what this poll is you're talking about!!! I don't really feel strongly about pit fur but I do know that it *can* absorb smell and thus make one smellier. Or actually I've been told I suppose I don't know this for a fact. Really, I don't care. I'm not disgusted but I shave every shower out of habit. Any chafeing I suffer is due to extra chub rather than fur.

Brianne said...

I'm not a big fan of it, but I know what you mean about chafing. My husband would flip if I grew it and I wouldn't be comfortable with it anyway, so maybe one day I'll be able to afford laser.

srinivas said...

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mcd137 said...

I think it depends on what you grew up with. I agree with poster who said it can be more stinky. But it's also your pheromones and that can help with, ahem, your love life.

mcd137 said...

I think it depends on what you grew up with. I agree with poster who said it can be more stinky. But it's also your pheromones and that can help with, ahem, your love life. Love photo of you skiing!!

SteveQ said...

I didn't vote on the poll, because I'm of two minds about it. Unshaved just doesn't work with some outfits, but then again, it's helped me decide between natural and dyed blondes more than once.

And then there's the disgusting ear hair that came from nowhere in my 40's which I sometimes forget.

SteveQ said...

Wait. You posted about a "turtle head" in your shorts once, then exposing breasts in an airplane and now armpit hair. What could possibly be next?

Emily Pease said...

I don't mind either way on other people, but whenever I let my own armpit hair grow out, I find the odor more unpleasant. I think it's because hairy armpits are more inviting to bacteria, which react with secretions from some glands and cause body odor.

Visually, I do not mind body hair and I think it is distracting when male athletes have shaven armpits.

I'm glad your trip was fun!!

Lisa said...

Okay, I'll play. I'm off to my third Laser Hair Removal Treatment next Saturday. I'm getting my Nethers done and my Underarms. The whole smash down there, for real! It costs me $380 and I give a tip for each visit for now, that will probably be reduced to a 'maintenance cost' when it becomes finer. So far, it has grown in more slowly and it is very sparse already.

Look, a lot of you people are fair while I am not. If you want to get all crunchy granola, who'm I to judge? Oddly, my aesthetician told me I have Medium coarse hair, but dang it, it is so black. After 4 treatments, but before a dozen treatments I will be free of fur in the two most annoying areas to contain fur. Sea Legs, I cannot imagine you have more fuzz than a preteen. Aw, go on. Let it grow.

Heather said...

I haven't had a problem with chafing *there* despite everywhere else on me...

I don't like armpit hair and shave it. Actually I'm not a fan of hair anywhere but my head and would shave it all left to my own devices... I used to shave my arms but my husband did not like that. This is even though I have blond body hair and do not really get noticed no matter what I do. But I'd say armpit hair, especially, if I miss shaving I notice it gets smellier... and uh, that is something I have to watch (at least in my own mind) and I already use super strong deodorant.

I don't really care what someone else does or does not do, however.

Michelle said...

I'm going to admit something here. If I didn't feel like I "had to shave," I wouldn't. In the winter I tend to let it grow until my hubby starts complaining. LOL! It is just a pain to shave and I hate the way the stubble feels.

Maybe I should move to Europe! ;-)

Emily said...

I have to respond to SteveQ's comment about deciding who is a natural blonde based on hair in other areas- they don't always equate. You can be naturally blonde up top and less blonde elsewhere. Just so you know.

Also, I hate the the skin irritation I get from shaving, but I hate the stubble from not shaving even more. Every time I try to go without shaving my pits, the stubble takes over and I break down and shave it all off again. Perhaps I'll never know the full potential of my pit hair.