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The Grooming Manual

Does Body Hair Make Your Body Odor Worse?

Does Body Hair Make Your Body Odor Worse?

Body odor is a deal breaker. Your co-workers don’t like it. Your SO (or any perspective partners) don’t like it. It’s all around bad news.

But what can you do about it?

Guys who deal with strong body odor are often frustrated with the problem. But there are some easy things you can do, like:

  • Improve your grooming and personal care routine.
  • Switch to a natural body wash that cleanses without drying or irritating your skin.
  • Wash your clothing more often.
  • Use a natural deodorant. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor about stronger deodorant and antiperspirant options.

Many guys arrive at this question too - Is my body hair making my body odor worse? Does armpit hair cause body odor? Does shaving your armpits reduce odor? Good questions - that deserve answers.


What Causes Body Odor?

Before you decide what to do, consider what’s causing your body odor in the first place. The stink is coming from the bacteria that feed on your sweat. They tend to multiply in damp areas. So your body’s sweatiest nooks and crannies are perfect for BO causing bacteria.

This is why antiperspirants and deodorants work well together. The former prevent sweating. Less sweat mean less bacteria. And less bacteria means less odor. The latter masks your BO. So if you already have less sweat and add an odor masking product over that, you’re all set in most cases.


Does Shaving Your Armpits Reduce Odor?

Is shaving your body hair - your armpits, for example - the answer?

Could be. It depends.

Researchers from the Czech Republic looked into this very question. They found only a “transient effect on perceived body odor pleasantness” from shaved armpits.

In their studies, they had men shave one armpit and leave the other all-natural. They collected scent samples from both for women to smell. After multiple experiments over the course of several weeks, they determined that “axillary hair shaving has an impact on body odor quality and intensity. However, the effect is relatively weak and was not observed in all experiments and also not when the hair was relatively short.”

So shaving your armpit hair might help, but it's likely going to be a minimal change, if at all.


Everyone Is Different

The research shows that body hair by itself is not a cause of bad body odor. But everyone is unique. Some guys report smelling better after their shave their armpits, body hair, or pubes. They feel that it makes them sweat less and smell better.

Are they wrong? Not necessarily. And what matters is how you feel and how others perceive you. So if shaving works for you, great. But don’t feel obligated to do it for scientific reasons.


If You’re Going to Shave Your Armpits, Do It Right

Most guys have years of experience shaving their face. But that doesn’t mean they’re doing a great job. Many men suffer from ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and itchy irritation.

Now imagine taking those problems and applying them to your chest. Or back. Or armpits. Or pubes. Not a pretty picture.

Whether it’s your face or your body, make sure you’re shaving the right way.

  • Always use wash the area before shaving.
  • Finally, always finish up with a calming natural aftershave. Choose one that leaves your skin relaxed and hydrated, like our alcohol-free Instant Relief Aftershave.

 Collection of Brickell shave products.


Win the Battle with BO

Do you struggle with severe BO? It’s not easy. But a smart approach can help. Start by using a quality natural deodorant - like one of ours, available in several fresh scents.

Shaving your armpits might help you reduce odor, but isn’t guaranteed to be the right answer. If - despite your best efforts - body odor continues to be a problem, speak to your doctor.

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