why do we have hair under your armpits

Today in much of the Western world, it is common for women to regularly
their underarm hair. Older generations of men typically do not trim or shave the underarm, but the practice has increased among younger men. A recent study found that 9% of 45-60 year old American men groom their underarms, while 73% of 15-20 year old American men either trim or shave their underarms. The prevalence of this practice varies widely, though. Religious reasons are sometimes cited; for example, some in 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 (570-632) as consistent with for both women and men and has since usually been regarded as a requirement by most. In much of the Western world, some men also choose to remove their underarm hair for aesthetic reasons.


Many remove nearly all of their body hair, including their underarm hair, believing it makes their bodies more streamlined during races. Many male and also remove their body hair for cosmetic purposes. suggests it was common practice in ancient Rome: "One is, I believe, as faulty as the other: the one class are unreasonably elaborate, the other are unreasonably negligent; the former depilate the leg, the latter not even the underarm. " ( ). In the West, the practice began for cosmetic reasons around 1915 in the and, when one or more magazines showed a woman in a dress with shaved underarms. Regular shaving became feasible with the introduction of the at the beginning of the 20th century. While underarm shaving was quickly adopted in some -speaking countries, especially in the US and, it did not become widespread in until well after.


In 2015, underarm hair became a trend with some in the U. S. I have been trying to read up a bit on this. I started out looking on and it seems there are three hypotheses which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. 1. Aid the wicking of sweat away from the skin 2. Reduce friction between the thorax and upper arm 3. Facilitate the release of sex pheromones The first would seem possible because it would help to prevent s under the armpits and that also fits with the fact there are a lot of sweat glands there. The second, I can't find any citations which support this but I understand that people who shave their armpits tend to suffer from dry underarms. This could be a result of increased friction.


The third is apparently controversial although it seems perfectly reasonable and highly likely to me. There is by Claus Wedekind who got men to wear a t-shirt for a few days. He then got women to choose a most preferred male purely by the scent of the t-shirt and found interesting results relating to the MHC profiles. The armpit hair could help to trap the odour produced by the sweat and help with mate attraction, like some kind of scent sponge. I don't understand why this is so controversial, loads of animals influence mate choice with scent - perhaps people don't like to think we are genetically attracted to each other by sweat because it seems animalistic and less romantic. In summary, there is no sure answer and it could well be all of the above, or something entirely different.

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