This is The Most Effective Hair Removal Method to Decrease Smelly Armpits8

This Is The Most Effective Hair Removal Method to Decrease Smelly Armpits

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

They are many factors that contribute to how much armpit odor you produce. Many forget that armpits are a dark, warm, and moist environment that also has hair. Today we’re going to discuss whether armpit hair can increase odor and if hair removal methods can affect odor. 

Why Armpit Hair Contributes to Odor

In order to understand how armpit hair affects how much odor you produce you need to know about the bodies sweat glands, specifically apocrine glands.  Apocrine glands are located in the areas where you have hair like your armpits and groin, and they play a role in body odor. Apocrine glands release an odorless milky fluid that creates odor when bacteria encounters it and feeds off the protein from this secretion. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The sweat gland ducts open into the hair follicles, and the sweat is released through the hair opening in the skin.” Since the sweat is released through the surface of the skin the moisture from your sweat clings onto your hair follicles. This makes your armpits an area that is particularly prone to trapping odor causing bacteria. 

Which Hair Removal Method is Proven to Help Decrease Armpit Odor?

Shaving and Waxing 

In 2015, The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology conducted a study comparing how different methods of hair removal can reduce axillary odor. The study was conducted with 30 participants. Three methods of hair removal were tested, shaving, waxing, and clipping with scissors.   

After the study was completed, it was discovered that shaving or waxing, “significantly improved the immediate effectiveness of soap washing in reducing axillary odor up to 3 days post‐treatment compared to not shaving at all.” The study suggests that, “shaving and waxing was more effective in reducing armpit odor because these methods allow for the soap to have better access to the skin and follicular openings than clipping with scissors.” 


For those who wonder why the men in their life still have a pungent odor coming from their armpits even though they clip their hair it is because trimming the hair does not help decrease odor.  The study further found that, “clipping your hair with scissors followed by soap washing offered no significant improvement in immediate odor control.” When you are simply trimming the hair shorter, you aren’t completely removing the hair from the surface of the skin. The hair is still sitting on the skin in a moist environment in which the bacteria can further cause odor while the fluid continues to cling onto the hair follicles.


A study was conducted by the Journal of Lasers in Medical Science on whether laser hair removal will affect one’s underarm odor. The results of the study, “showed that the sense of odor improved by about 63% after the last laser session. The frequency of all bacterial strains decreased in the intervention group except for Staphylococcus epidermidis which was significant.” Staphylococcus epidermidis is type of bacteria that lives on the skin and can be found in the areas we sweat in. Once this bacteria encounters other organisms it can contribute to odor. 

Thus, the journal found that lasers can, “alter the microbial flora in the axillary region, and it can be accompanied by the improvement of odor.” However, just because laser hair removal can help reduce armpit odor doesn’t mean it will work for you. How effective it is in decreasing armpit odor depends on the person and what kind of laser is being used. 

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So What Is The Best Hair Removal Method for Decreasing Odor?

After looking at the research, shaving is proven to not only be the best method of hair removal to reduce armpit odor but it’s also the most cost-efficient.  Although, waxing is also effective in decreasing odor it can have harmful side effects to the skin. 

Since enduring stress, participating in physical activity, and being in hot environments are known to increase apocrine gland secretion shaving your armpits during these times might be ideal. 

If You Don’t Want to Remove Your Armpit Hair, Try This Method

Simply swiping your armpits with a highly fragranced soap will not get rid of all the bacteria from the previous day. Whether you have armpit hair or not, using an anti-bacterial soap will help you eliminate yesterday’s bacteria. The less bacteria in that area the less odor break-through you’ll have. 

After reading studies, that proved that resetting your underarm microbiome is how one can prolong the effectiveness of their deodorant I created the takesumi detox underarm bar. 

You need to lather and massage the underarm bar for 30 seconds or more depending on how much armpit hair you have. Massage the soap deep into the armpits where the hair follicles reside. 

The bar is made with apple cider vinegar which creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria. It leaves a barrier on the skin to protect you from producing odor throughout the day. Alternatively, after careful washing with a regular soap you could dab apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball on your underarms. 

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All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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