Do You Shave Your Underarms Too?

Do You Shave Your Underarms Too?

By |2016-07-21T23:57:46-04:00August 25th, 2010|Everything Else|115 Comments

Shaving My Armpit

Something’s telling me not to post this one, but I’m going for it anyway…

As is often the case, I was just about 90% finished with a particular post that I’d been thinking of writing for a few weeks when another idea suddenly popped into my head. And as I generally welcome random changes in plan, I’ve naturally put the original post on hold and am moving forward with this new idea.

I think the initial problem was that the post I had almost finished was somewhat on the serious side, and today, my mood is far from being serious. From the moment I woke up this morning, I’ve been a bit more goofy than normal, evident by the number of times I pretended to do the backstroke while singing my new (but old) favorite song, The Swimming Song, by Loudon Wainwright.

It goes something like this…

“This summer I went swimming, this summer I might’ve drowned, but I held my breathe, kicked my feet and moved my arms around.”

Catchy, I know.

Perhaps this odd behavior is due to spending one hour yesterday evening getting battered around by what were the largest waves I’ve ever seen in this part of Mexico. It was fun stuff of course, but one can only take getting smashed in the side of the face by a brick of water so many times before it starts to have an affect on your brain.

Or perhaps I’m feeling so jolly because it appears that tomorrow I’ll be taking off for a two-day trip to La Isla Holbox, a tiny island about four hours from Playa del Carmen, where I plan to go swimming with the whale-sharks. I don’t even know what that involves really, but I can’t wait to go and find out!

However, truth be told, while the two factors above may have contributed to my increased silliness and joyous mood today, deep down, I know the real reason.


Today, my friends, is armpit shaving day!

Ever since I was convinced to start shaving my underarms about seven years ago, my bi-weekly dates with a Gillette 3-blade razor have been permanently etched onto my mental calendar. In short, these are not dates that I’m willing to miss.

I’ll never forget my first time, which occurred so suddenly while I was working on board a cruise ship in Hawaii. One day, upon returning to the ship after a few hours of hiking around the active Kilauea Volcano, I ran into a fellow crew member on the pier, who was also a good friend of mine. After swapping stories of how we had each spent our free time that day, I happened to mention how much I stunk because of all my sweating. My friend then looked at me with what appeared to be a look of compassion, and asked, “You don’t shave your pits?”

Twenty minutes later I was back in my one-porthole cabin, standing in front of the mirror in my goldfish tank-sized bathroom, shaving away, without any hesitation whatsoever.

Just like that, my sweating problem practically disappeared, and away went my odor problem along with it. Now this might not seem like such a big deal at all, but when you spend a significant amount of your time traveling, sweat and stench play a somewhat important role. Before I started shaving my armpits, the underarms areas of my shirts were always drenched and stained with sweat within a minute of walking outside into almost any climate. Now, it takes hours for that to happen, if it even happens at all.

And while nobody has ever come up and told me directly, I can’t help but assume that the locals I meet, as well as my fellow travelers, prefer to spend time in the company of someone whose presence can not be nasally-detected from two kilometers away.


I now spend about one minute every two weeks in order to help ensure that I….

  • Smell somewhat pleasant. (Shaving doesn’t necessarily reduce underarm odor, and I’m still using deodorant, but I’m quite certain that the shaving has helped. If anyone can vouch for me, I’d appreciate it!)
  • Feel cleaner and for longer periods of time.
  • Feel more confident no matter where I am.
  • Don’t have to replace shirts as often as I used to.
  • Can pack less shirts overall.

Clearly, you can now understand what caused me to go a little nutty with excitement today. And honestly, up until a few minutes ago, I never before realized just how excited I get. You would’ve thought I had just booked a flight to some place such as Kazakhstan!


As soon as I finished shaving this morning, I walked out onto the balcony of my apartment, raised my arms up high into the sky, glanced to the right, glanced to the left…

Well, I then noticed that I missed a big patch of hair on the left armpit so I had to return to the shower in order to finish the job…but then….

I returned to the balcony and spent a few blissful minutes enjoying the fresh ocean breeze against the bare skin of my underarm, confident that the coming days would be sweat and odor free.

I know that this post offers little more than an unnecessary glimpse into my personal grooming habits, but this is what my wacky mood has produced. Although, I will stop short of apologizing as I’m fairly confident that this can technically be classified as a traveler’s tip!

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  1. […] hair cut on the road? Any interesting or funny experiences? After reading my friend Earl’s tribute to underarm shaving, I wonder how many more wacky stories I might be able to round up. Care to […]

  2. Ben April 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Hi I now Shave under my Arm pits I started on Wednesday 30th of March and it Feels Good I used an Electric Razor which is Good 🙂

  3. […] their value too. But if I have a chance to take a road trip, I’ll sign up faster than I would shave my armpits upon arrival in an intensely warm tropical […]

  4. Julia November 20, 2013 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Funny post! Just found your blog (researching Socotra, no less!), and couldn’t stop laughing at this one. Try waxing now – a bliss, long term too.

    • Wandering Earl November 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Hey Julia – Not sure I could handle the waxing 🙂

  5. […] 15. Clip toenails and fingernails and shave beard (and arm pits?) […]

  6. Shaun September 30, 2013 at 3:39 am - Reply

    Hey Dan.

    I can’t say that I’ve experienced those problems myself…

    Maybe it has more to do with what you used to shave your underarms than the act of shaving itself? But I guess, everyone is different so maybe the hair under your arms doesn’t like to be treated in that way. Ha!

    But yeah, as Earl, said, try using a razor instead next time and see how you do.

  7. Kim September 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    As a female in America, I started shaving my armpits as soon as they grew hair. But in my early 20s I went through a hippy phase and stopped shaving them. I soon noticed that I smelled a lot more than I previously had and started shaving again. It really does make a difference!

  8. Dan September 26, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Ok I read this article a few weeks ago and thought, why not. So I gave it a try. Well… It definitely works, there is no doubt about that! I gave a few of my shirts a good whiff and even after 2 days of wearing they were still pretty much good enough to wear again!


    It felt sooo uncomfortable! Skin sticking to skin, the hair became very prickly (though maybe because I used a machine instead of a razor), and I found myself tucking my tshirt into my pits to stop the irritation.

    Is this just me or how do you deal with that?

    I think I’ll try again for sure, but maybe just a good trimming instead of shaving it off completely.

    • Kim September 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      The prickly starts about 24 hours after you shave and lasts about 24 hours. So good strategies are to either shave every day, so it never gets to that point, or shave every few weeks, so you only have to deal with it one day every few weeks. But yes trimming would also work. Enjoy!

    • Wandering Earl September 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Hey Dan – I’ve never had any discomfort or irritation myself but I guess it does happen to some people. I do use a razor though so maybe it would be worth trying that out.

  9. Sean August 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply



    I feel like I have been living under a rock this whole time. It works! It really works! I suppose I should calm down now..

    But seriously, I could only manage to shave off my underarm with with my beard trimmer, as I don’t carry a razor, and for the first time in a long time I don’t really smell under my arms.

    It’s funny, today on the bus I checked to see if I smelt under there, forgetting that what I am doing is could look weird to other people. Haha.

    So my verdict is: yes, it works. I am so happy I came across this tip man. Not only do I not smell – which I have never wanted to, but, as you rightly say, you can now also wear t-shirts for (slightly) longer as they don’t stink as much.

    This is great for us minimalist, long-term backpackers!

    Thanks again Earl! I will definitely share this epic pearly of wisdom to all those I meet.


  10. Sean August 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Earl, I am now seriously considering shaving mine tomorrow morning! When I click on your website this evening, this outcome could not have been further from my mind!

    Do you think a beard trimmer on its shortest length would yield good (i.e., non-smelling) results? That’s all I have with me at the moment..

    • Wandering Earl August 12, 2013 at 3:51 am - Reply

      Hey Sean – How did it go?

  11. meelash July 22, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Muslims are supposed to shave their pits once a week. If not once a week then every two weeks (like you!). Leaving them for more than 40 days is actually considered a sin.

  12. Lee July 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Interesting post Earl – as always a big smile on face – when your read your quirky posts.!
    I agree that men should shave their arm pits while we have option of waxing them . Shaving is quick ! I also agree that the sweat stink reduces to a large extent 🙂

    • Wandering Earl July 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      Hey Lee – Always good to hear from another pit shaver!

  13. […] every day, two or three times per day in fact! I shampoo my hair and I even shave. Heck, I also shave my armpits and even pluck my eyebrows. And I’ve found it quite easy to do all of these things and to […]

  14. Bob Elliott March 18, 2013 at 11:03 am - Reply

    so what other areas are you shaving? …Seriously, I’ve been shaving for years for the exact same reason…it totally works..sweat less and smells better……started with shaving my pits and now pretty much shave all of my body hair….feels better

    • Wandering Earl March 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Bob – I’m not getting into that one!

  15. Brittany D January 12, 2013 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Glad to know some men are shaving their pits. I personally prefer them shaved (on me AND on men) but of course it’s a masculine thing that seems to prevent them from shaving. As a teen I used to be embarrassed if I saw a guy raise up his arm and show his armpit hair. LOL I don’t know why I reacted that way but I did. I guess that fueled my preference for clean-shaven pits on men. Thanks for sharing this post.

  16. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm - Reply


    I know this is an older post, but I shaved my pits from the time I was 16 until just a few short months ago, in 2012. The only reason I grew them out was because I was doing P90X and I was literally sweating so much here in Mexico that I was getting razor rash and ingrown hairs in my underarms from the follicles being irritated after all the moving around from lifting weights/pushups/etc.

    Now that I’m back to being a lazy non-workout bum, I’m back to shaving them again. You are dead on about the lack of stench, and the lack of sweat….unless you are working out a lot, then you’ll sweat no matter what. But people have always laughed at me in my family because I’ve got a naturally hairy chest….but then when I raise my arm there’s nothing there!

    Nothing wrong with manscaping 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Hey T.W. – Nothing wrong with it all!

  17. Alyson December 14, 2012 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Well, yes, I shave my pits, being of the delicate gender, but I’d never thought about it for great hairy blokes. That’s it, I’m telling my husband to defuzz. He waxes every now and again for triathlons ‘n stuff, I’m sure he won’t feel his masculinity is treatened by shaving. What a great idea, less stinky laundry for me! Thanks.

    • Wandering Earl December 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Hey Alyson – Good luck and enjoy 🙂

  18. Keith R September 20, 2012 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I started shaving my pits 7 years ago when I was working for a lawn cutting service. I live in hot sticky humid Florida so sweating tends to happen often. I remember when I made the decision to shave them, It was a day off and I was just doing some light work when my dad commented “whew, you need to take a shower”. I was puzzled, I took a shower less than 12 hours ago and wore deodorant. I went off to take a shower and had a look at my pit hair, about two inches long and thick it now developed some kind of white stuff covering the hair. It was so disgusting, made me feel kind of sick to my stomach. I looked all over the internet to find out what to do about the white stuff, but found nothing. Later that night after I shaved my face I thought “I wonder if I could shave off the disgusting hair and leave the rest”, so I shaved very lightly but screwed it up and had a patch gone. Then in a brave moment I shaved them both clean. It felt a little weird, but I felt clean with that dirty hair now gone. I found out the next day that I smelled alot less, I didn’t get any remarks of me stinking. I think the hair makes it hotter in there and makes the deodorant have a hard time working at all. I’ve been shaving them ever since and I don’t feel any less masculine. I didn’t do it to look good, I did it to smell good and it paid off bigtime. The smell is like 60% less now then when I had the hair, and boy did I have hair under there.

    When I get a girlfriend she may not be as enthusiastic about me doing this. But until then I’ll shave mine every other day.

  19. […] this blog is this very subject, my personal relationships. I’m more than happy to talk about my armpit shaving and introduce you to my rubber ducky, but I do prefer to keep at least one aspect of my life all to […]

  20. Edward May 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Several years ago, I developed a rash under my arms. I finally discovered that the use of deoderant was the cause. So…. what could I do about it?? After consulting the internet, I decided to try shaving my armpits, and the results were fantastic. Now I sweat a lot less, and there is no odor unless I’m in a stressful situation for a while. In that case, I use baking soda(as somebody on the internet suggested). I rub it on and leave it on for about 5 minutes and rinse it off. It works wonderfully. I have ridden my bicycle for 20 or 30 miles in the heat with no deoderant or baking soada, and there is no odor. I now enjoy the smoothness of my armpits and shave them nearly every day. I never experienced any itching or other side effects.

  21. kyle April 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    my friends and i have been talking about going swimming soon and the one thing i’ve been thinking about is my armpit hair. it sticks out when my arms are down and looks horrible. tried trimming them but scissors don’t work for my left hand so it took a while and now i think i cut them too short because they feel a little scratchy 😛 so i was thinking about shaving them and didn’t want to ask my friends what they do, so i googled whether guys should or shouldn’t shave their pits, some people say yes and some people say no . this post makes me want to but i’ve heard so many negative points like it gives you rashes, the hair grows back worse than before, men shouldn’t do it because it looks gay etc… and i don’t wanna do it incase we do go swimming and everyone is like “do you not have hair?!” plus i would be scared of cutting myself, would be so embaressing. You said something about not staining clothes aswell sweating less, well that would be good for me because i can’t wear white ’cause it stains. sorry for the essay, haha. so i really can’t decide if i should or shouldn’t and if i did would i just use normal shaving gel and after shave/balm, or should i use something else? 😛

    • Earl April 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Kyle – I can tell you from experience that the hair does not grow back thicker at all, I’ve never had a rash and I’ve never cut myself 🙂 And who cares what people think…as long as it works for you, that’s all that matters. And yes, I just use normal shaving gel!

    • Donna May 18, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

      Kyle, Speaking for all the girls out there, SHAVE ‘EM! In 2012, guys are shaving their pits, and that’s a wonderful thing. You’re more apt to be talked about if you don’t shave. You’ll look and feel sooooo much better. The girls DO NOT like hairy pits, believe me!

  22. Jeff February 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Do you see many men with shaved armpits in your travels? Is this a common trend now? I haven’t been on vacation in a while. I never thought about shaving my armpits even though my armpit hair is like a wild forest. I’m wondering if I should shave my armpits for my next trip if this is a common thing among men. I don’t want to be the odd one out!

    • Earl February 20, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Hey Jeff – I don’t really ask other men about their armpit shaving habits but it seems to be somewhat common from what I’ve seen. Either way, you should just do what you’re comfortable with. You won’t be the odd one out no matter what you choose!

  23. Michael January 12, 2012 at 9:58 am - Reply

    What do you use for shaving cream, don’t they confiscate it at the airport if you take it carry-on?

    • Earl January 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Michael – I usually check my luggage even though my backpack can fit on board as I just don’t like carrying it around through airports. But I’ve also recently switched to using a, and I know this sounds odd, LUSH shampoo bar which lasts forever and also acts as shaving cream 🙂

  24. […] Shaving my armpits is excellent, but why am I plucking my eyebrows as well? […]

  25. Lori September 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I love how honest you are. So refreshing! You’re halarious!

    • Earl September 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      Hey Lori – Well, I just figure that if I’m going to have this blog, I might as well share as much as possible so that people know more about the person behind the posts!

  26. [email protected] September 23, 2011 at 5:53 am - Reply

    Very interesting! After the ridiculous armpit sweat from the heat in India and now SE Asia my solution has been to carry an extra deodorant around and roll it on as needed. It’s functioned to a large extent but surely not as effective shaving which I’d never thought of.

    • Earl September 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Mike – I don’t even know if armpit shaving is effective in the intense Indian heat! But even if you are still drenched in sweat, chances are that you’ll still smell quite nice without all that hair to soak up odor 🙂

  27. Colleen Setchell September 23, 2011 at 4:11 am - Reply

    You’re wonderfully mad and delightfully honest, Earl. Always a delight to read. Can’t wait to hear all about your incredible trip to Eastern Europe 🙂

    • Earl September 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Colleen – Glad this post didn’t turn you away! I wasn’t sure at the time if readers wanted to know such information about me 🙂

  28. Eddie September 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl, I started shaving my armpits a few weeks ago and I can definitely say I don’t smell at all anymore. I no longer use antiperspirant, just a bit of deodorant, if at all. I’m definitely saving big on buying deodorant bars. I used to use a lot of deodorant and antiperspirant. Now a bar lasts for so long. Awesome post.

    • Earl September 23, 2011 at 1:57 am - Reply

      Hey Eddie – It is amazing what one shave can do! Glad to hear you’re another convert 🙂

  29. Josh September 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Just wondering what all the ladies think out there! I’ve heard nothing but praise regarding the shaved pits but just curious. I see more and more men shaving. Esp if they’re going sleeveless. The ladies LOVE it; can’t stand the armpit hair at all.

  30. […] As I was poking around the web 4 days ago, I found this blog post from ‘’ (another travel blogger that backpacks around the world and shares his stories): Titled: Do You Shave Your Underarms Too? […]

  31. Chais Meyer July 17, 2011 at 12:21 am - Reply

    This is a great post.

    I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to go for gold and shave my pits. I also wrote a post about it and why:

    Thanks for the inspiration Wandering Earl!

    • Earl July 17, 2011 at 12:45 am - Reply

      Hey Chais – I just read your post and I’m happy to hear it turned out so well! And as I mentioned on your site, my apologies for not mentioning that one should wait a few hours after shaving before applying deodorant 🙂

  32. […] stink means you don’t have to launder your clothing too frequently. Many people, mostly but not limited to women, also shave their underarms to help with their odor problem. Some deodorants are stronger than […]

  33. Bluegreen Kirk July 6, 2011 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Seems like that 1 or 2 minutes every two weeks saves you a lot of sweat and smells!

    • Earl July 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      @Bluegreen Kirk: You have no idea. A non-shaved underarms is no longer an option 🙂

  34. Joseph dominic June 15, 2011 at 1:53 am - Reply

    i have been thinking of shaving my armpits for some time, but i never got round to it because i thought that more hair would grow in those areas.I have the same problem as yourself, that is, sweating profusely and really stinking as a result.i intend to start shaving my armpits.Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

    • Earl June 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Hey Joseph – I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me! Good luck 🙂

  35. […] three hours south of Sydney, I stuffed a few clothing items into a daypack, cut my toenails, shaved my armpits and joined the group.And as expected, I loved every minute of this nature break. Jervis Bay turned […]

  36. Verity February 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Yes that’s true… they were a rather ungroomed bunch out there. I feel like I have gone between extremes though… now I am in the most groomed place in the world. They don’t need the word metrosexual here because all men are metro by default 🙂

  37. Verity February 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Good for you for sharing this! I thought it was only over here in Sweden that men shave their underarms. A lot of them do here. I was quite shocked when I found that out, coming straight from Australian mining camps with some of the least groomed men on the planet.

    You are right. It definitely makes a difference. There have been a few times when travelling I’ve ended up with a more bohemian look and found that my t-shirts were getting more stinky. I don’t usually sweat very much and I can tell you it does make a difference for us ladies too.

    • Earl February 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      Hej Verity! Thanks so much for the comment and glad to know you are in agreement about the underarm shaving situation 🙂 Although, I’d imagine that after Australian mining camps, most men you come across anywhere probably seem a lot more groomed!

  38. Mimi - SleeplessInKL October 27, 2010 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I just found this post today and had a good laugh over it 😀 I wonder if you have a post somewhere about changing shower habits once you’re in hot and humid Asia…

    • Earl October 28, 2010 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Hey Mimi – I don’t have one about changing shower habits….yet! But just thinking about that made me smile as I thought about all the odd ways in which I’ve been forced to shower over the years…

  39. Windhoek, Namibia: Crazy Meat, Sandboarding and a Haircut | the 9 to 5 alternative September 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    […] hair cut on the road? Any interesting or funny experiences? After reading my friend Earl’s tribute to underarm shaving, I wonder how many more wacky stories I might be able to round up. Care to […]

  40. vewe September 6, 2010 at 12:55 am - Reply

    LOL OMG!!! what a hilarious post!

    But seriously Earl, I know someone who has shaved armpits and still sweat like crazy.. so I guess this might not work for everyone 🙂

    • Earl September 6, 2010 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hey vewe – That’s indeed true. I don’t think the method works for everyone, although I have yet to hear of the sweating getting any worse with shaving! So even if it stays the same, at least one can enjoy the cool breeze on the skin every now and then 🙂

  41. Keith September 2, 2010 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Golf clapping here. I keep it trimmed and tidy – need to with my partial Italian heritage. But now I’m thinking about going bare as you’ve so helpfully laid out here. Loved it.
    .-= Keith´s last blog ..Tourism’s Slow Death =-.

    • Earl September 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      Hey Keith – It’s funny how heritage plays a role. I guess you have the opposite problem of @migrationology Mark! Well, you already know my vote, I say go bare, especially during the months you’re out there traveling!

  42. James Schipper August 31, 2010 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    I don’t do it myself, but anecdotally I can say that I believe hair tends to hold onto odors much more than bare skin. Dancer friends of mine all swear by it.

    • Earl August 31, 2010 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Hey James – I saw on Twitter that you mentioned you were sweating less, so I assumed you must have tested out the shaving method! But I guess that hasn’t happened yet 🙂

      Thanks for helping me back up my claim of less odor!

      • James Schipper September 1, 2010 at 9:12 am - Reply

        Nope, just felt a little like autumn around here. I went outside and it didn’t feel like I was breathing in hot fog, so the humidity must have gone down a bit.

  43. Shannon OD August 29, 2010 at 10:04 am - Reply

    He he he…All I can do it kinda giggle at this one. I like the freshly shaven days too 🙂 Glad you are feeling so on top of the world and enjoy your trip!

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Hey Shannon – I agree that the first day, just moments after the shave, is by far the best! Perhaps I should be shaving every day just to experience that feeling over and over again…

      • Shannon OD August 29, 2010 at 10:42 am - Reply

        You totally should! Once every two weeks is not very often…I’m a habitual daily shaver but maybe that’s a girl thing? Or perhaps I’m just addicted to that “first day feel!”

        • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:50 am - Reply

          Haha…ok, I’m going to shave again today! Let’s see how that goes 🙂

  44. Maria Staal August 29, 2010 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I had no idea that a shaven armpit smells less than an unshaven one…
    I hope you have a great time with the whale sharkes!
    .-= Maria Staal´s last blog ..A New Title For My Book! =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Hey Maria – Well, I think the odor issue is up for debate. I definitely notice a different, as do endless numbers of people, but as Raam pointed out, apparently it is the armpit hair that is supposed to help eliminate odor. Oh well, I’m going to keep on shaving as it seems to work for me!

  45. Dave and Deb August 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Funny post Earl. Love it!

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Dave and Deb! And welcome back from St. Kitts!

  46. Daniel Noll August 28, 2010 at 1:28 am - Reply

    Earl, I’m with you. Most definitely a traveler’s tip. Ever since I met a veteran traveler in Turkmenistan who showed me the light, I’ve been shaving my pits…for all the reasons you listed.

    And I wondered whether I was crazy. But now I see I’m not alone.
    .-= Daniel Noll´s last blog ..Panorama of the Week- Bolivia and the Banana Millionaire =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Hey Daniel – You are definitely not alone my friend! And thanks for the confirmation that this is a traveler’s tip. It’s a tough call I guess but I just don’t think that such benefits can be ignored, especially as travelers tend to interact with so many new people on a daily basis!

  47. Kyle August 28, 2010 at 1:46 am - Reply

    TMI! TMI! 🙂

    I expect a follow up post on how to pack the least amount of underwear.
    .-= Kyle´s last blog ..Our Website Redesign- A Labor of Love =-.

    • Raam Dev August 28, 2010 at 3:00 am - Reply

      Packing the least amount of underwear? I already do that (2 pair). How about a post on keeping that small number of underwear clean? 😀
      .-= Raam Dev´s last blog ..Fear of Failure as a Barometer for Success =-.

      • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

        Raam – If you’re traveling around with only 2 pair, you’re clearly the authority on this topic!

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Hey Kyle – I travel with 6 pairs of underwear so I’m not in a position to write that post!

  48. Jennifer Barry August 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    You are definitely rocking the hairless look there. 🙂 Sure, I shave my armpits and … other things. No laser for me because my hair is too light. I’m sure your fellow travelers appreciate the shaving!
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Live Richly Round Up 4 =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Hey Jennifer – Without them telling me, I’ll definitely assume that my fellow travelers appreciate the shaving. I certainly would appreciate it on them!

      And thanks for sharing your shaving habits as well, glad to have another shaving enthusiast as a reader!

  49. Alan August 27, 2010 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hilarious. I shaved my legs, arms and pits for swimming in high school, and I keep my armpit hair trimmed (not fully shaved) every couple of weeks, for the exact same reasons you wrote about. I’m laughing so hard reading through everyone’s comments.
    .-= Alan´s last blog ..Gaborone- Botswana- Lost Luggage- Developmental Success and Idle Travel =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hey Alan – Apparently the trimmed method is the best way to go based upon my ‘research’. I guess it gives you the best of both options. And I’m having a wonderful time reading and replying to these comments. It’s keeps getting better with each one!

  50. Osborne August 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I have shaved them in the past, but they always got incredibly itchy and uncomfortable regardless of what I did.


    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Hey Osborne – I haven’t run into that problem yet, but I could see how that would stop you from shaving. I read something that said if it is itchy, you should just leave a little bit of hair instead of shaving all the way….

      On a side note, am I really giving armpit hair shaving advice on my blog?? Haha…

  51. Connie August 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    I’m going to tell my boyfriend to shave his armpits too! We’re traveling all over Asia at the moment and in all this heat, my English boyfriend is literally melting and turning into nothing more than a sweat bag walking around stinking up the place. Maybe this will help him! =) Thanks for the tip!

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Hey Connie – Asia is the perfect place to test the armpit shaving idea and I’m willing to bet your boyfriend will be happy with the results! You’ll probably be happier as well since you spend so much time with him 🙂

      • Connie October 27, 2010 at 5:51 am - Reply

        Earl, guess what?!?!? My boyfriend started shaving his armpits and swears it’s been keeping him drier! I’m slightly happier but the only problem is that now that he’s shaving his armpits, I’m actually the one doing it for him because he “can’t” reach the deep part without using an extra hand! Thanks for the tip, but no thanks for giving me extra work! =)

        • Earl October 28, 2010 at 5:04 am - Reply

          Hey Connie – That’s hilarious and now my goal is to get someone to shave my armpits for me as well! I can imagine that it’s not the best experience for you but your boyfriend sure benefits, although I’d question his claim that he can’t reach certain parts as that does seem a bit doubtful to me 🙂

  52. Nate August 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    HAHA awesome. Maybe this is something I should consider on my walk because showers could become quite scarce?
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..reasons =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 8:54 am - Reply

      I highly recommend shaving for your upcoming walk Nate! You might find that people along the way will be a lot friendlier if you at least try and reduce odor a little. Haha…
      Seriously, though, it’s not a bad idea!

  53. Moon Hussain August 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Heh, this is funny Earl. I just never understood why it’s okay for guys to leave their armpit hair but not girls? I mean, it’s armpit hair for God’s sake, freakin’ shave it, whether you’re a male or a female.

    I’m glad you can walk outside now and enjoy the cool breeze against…. your armpit. Rock on.
    .-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Random Ramblings- Confronting Fear &amp Doubt =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Hey Moon – I personally don’t mind what anyone chooses to do with their underarm hair, but with the benefits of shaving that I’ve experienced, I have no problem in pulling out the razor! Shave away, I say.

  54. Andi August 26, 2010 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Hahaha, OMG, I LOVE that you just told the world this. You kick ass!!! Nothing better than a nice smelling man…

    Enjoy your mini-vacay, how fun!
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Brasil- Day 2 Part 2 =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Hey Andi – I definitely thought twice before hitting the “publish post” button, but in the end I figured ‘why not?’!

  55. Raam Dev August 26, 2010 at 8:38 am - Reply

    The second to last paragraph had me laughing out loud in the cafe where I’ve been sitting all day in Kathmandu, Nepal. 😀

    As someone who has sworn to never shave his pits, you’ve now given me a compelling reason to reconsider!
    .-= Raam Dev´s last blog ..Fear of Failure as a Barometer for Success =-.

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      That’s funny Raam! Just reading your comment had me laughing out loud as well as I tried to picture you laughing out loud in Kathmandu!

      But swearing to never shave the pits is a little harsh, don’t you think? Where’s that open-mind???

      • Raam Dev August 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm - Reply

        Well, I like to think that nature must have had a good reason for armpit hair. 🙂 I don’t like following the crowd and doing things just because everybody else is doing them, so I guess that’s the biggest reason! I also hate the inconvenience of needing to carry around or buy stuff for shaving.

        A quick search on Wikipedia (yes, there’s an “underarm hair” article) reveals that underarm hair is actually supposed to help wick moisture away from the skin to help prevent odor:
        .-= Raam Dev´s last blog ..Fear of Failure as a Barometer for Success =-.

        • Earl August 29, 2010 at 9:04 am - Reply

          Hey Raam – I actually did read that Wikipedia article, which in the end caused me to put the “Shaving doesn’t necessarily reduce odor…” line in the post. I’m still quite certain it has reduced odor in my case, although, nobody’s vouched for me yet! But, fair enough, keep your armpit hair. No hard feelings at all 🙂

          And I love the fact that you checked this out on Wikipedia!

  56. Chris Mewhort August 26, 2010 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I can vouch, Earl! When I was young my mom put me into dance class, which turned into a serious hobby, competing in ballroom, hip-hop, breakdancing. At some age I was forced to shave my armpits for a production and as hard as I fought with my instructor it had to go down. The first time, I felt like I was shaving my manhood away, but shortly after I noticed that odor was gone and I sweat way less.

    Nowadays, I keep a rough-n-scruff beard trimmed with an electric set of clippers, and since I lug the things around I end up trimming my chest and armpits as well. It helps with laundry as well as overall just looking tidy when I have my shirt off arond women. No one ever mentions it and I feel better about my appearance. Long live shaved ‘pits!

    Good, unorthodox post! haha
    .-= Chris Mewhort´s last blog ..Why I am politely declining your partnership proposition =-.

    • Earl August 29, 2010 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Hey Chris – I completely agree with you. For some inexplicable reason, even when I’m wearing a shirt, I just feel better and more confident overall when my armpits are shaved. And for the short amount of time it takes to shave them, it’s well-worth it, especially if you’re already carrying around clippers! It’s just too easy.

      Thanks for the comment!

  57. Dina August 26, 2010 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Love this post, so funny and honest 😀 Yes, I do that. No surprise though, I think many of the members of my gender around my age do that! I recently did laser too, which was super awesome (but kinda expensive, but Ryan found a discount coupon). Yes, it does make different in the stink level. When I get stinky too fast, usually turn out I forget to… ehmm… shave… ehmmm..
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..World’s Biggest Carrot and Gumboot are in New Zealand =-.

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Hey Dina – So you took that next step and went with the laser! I’m going to hold off on that for a while and stick to old fashioned razors for now. But if I ever decide to go for it, hopefully Ryan can find me a discount coupon as well! 🙂

      Either way, having no hair under there does take care of the stink problem…

  58. Migrationology August 26, 2010 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Hilarious man, this is an awesome article!

    I’m half Chinese and lucked out with just a few underarm hairs…might just have to shave them off and see if it’s even better! You offer some of the finest tips!
    .-= Migrationology´s last blog ..20 Detail Photos of Angkor Wat =-.

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Mark – You are lucky! You’ve been enjoying the benefits all along while I had to suffer for so many years! I say go for it and shave off the remaining few…there’s no doubt in my mind that it will get even better…

  59. Dave from The Longest Way Home August 26, 2010 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Ha ha, this is one of the most bizzare travel articles I’ve read in a while 🙂 Which is good.

    Sadly, I sweat everywhere! Yes, big wet bum patch to dripping forearms.

    So underarm shaving is not for me I think! Made me laugh though!


    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Hey Dave – I’ll take ‘bizarre’ as a compliment any day! And you never know with the shaving, the breeze that you’ll feel on your underarms might help cool down the rest of your body. You can always let it grow back if it doesn’t work!

  60. kiwivic August 26, 2010 at 12:26 am - Reply

    even better, get your armpits lasered and never need to shave them again, no more stubble either. Hope you got a swim with the whalesharks, i did it a couple of years ago at Ningaloo Reef, West Australia, and it was one of the best things I have ever done – mindblowing

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Kiwivic – My trip to go swimming with the whale sharks has been delayed by a day, so I’m now heading up there tomorrow. But ‘mind-blowing’ is pretty much the exact same term that everyone else I know who has done it has used to describe the experience.

      And I’m not sure if I’m ready for some armpit laser treatment but I will certainly keep it mind!

  61. Juno August 26, 2010 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Appreciate for sharing your story Earl! It’s interesting read. And you know what? Sometimes I wonder about ‘very basic, but somehow kind of too intimate to ask’ things. Like what you wrote today. Not the exactly same one but anyway So I appreciate it 🙂
    Good to know!

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Hey Juno – Well, now you know this one little thing about me! It’s hard to know what is appropriate to ask these days, but I don’t mind sharing such things about myself. Glad you found it interesting and thanks so much for commenting!

  62. Jonny | August 26, 2010 at 12:24 am - Reply

    Wow, lol, just wow Earl. It has just gone 7 in the morning this side of the world and I woke up to this post. What a great way to get set for the day…now where is my razor.
    .-= Jonny |´s last blog ..The Beauty Of Data Visualisation the New Oil- From A Silky Voiced Englishman =-.

    • Earl August 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Hey Jonny – Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? I hope you followed through with it!

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