Does Manscaping Your Armpits (and Other Areas) Really Make You Smell Less?

Here's another reason to consider going bald all over.


83 percent of guys trim some or all of their body hair, according to a survey we conducted a few years back. What they may not realize, though, is that manscaping is good for more than just feeling silky smooth: It reduces body odor, too. Here’s how it works.

Body odor doesn’t come from your body as such, but from the bacteria that break down your sweat. Regardless of how manscaped you are — or how much cologne you try and disguise it with — hair-producing areas like your armpits and your groin are particularly prone to these smells because they’re home to large populations of apocrine sweat glands. These glands produce a kind of sweat that’s swarmed on by bacteria due to its high protein content — the more bacteria present, the stronger the smell. If you let the hair in these areas grow wild, however, the fur further traps this sweat, creating a swampy environment that allows the stink-producing bacteria to thrive.

There’s also the fact that hair is porous, so it traps odors and lets them hang around for far longer than they otherwise would. If you’ve ever sat around a campfire or hung out in a smoke-filled bar, you know first-hand how quickly your head hair can absorb strong scents — the hair sprouting from your armpits (and lower down places) is no different, and will readily absorb any and every nasty odor that your body produces.

If the thought of this has you ready to shave those pits (or any other area for that matter), keep in mind a few manscaping tips provided by Melanie Mari, owner and trained manscaper at Bare Skin Studio: Manscape in a hot, steamy shower to soften the hairs; trim or shave with the grain, never against (if you’re not sure which way to go, pull the razor in the same direction that your hair seems to be pointing); and moisturize afterwards to condition the hairs and clear up any irritation. Because you want to smell fresh and feel smooth, don’t you?