Things You Only Know If You’ve Grown Out Your Armpit Hair

Since Miley pictured her armpit hair there's been a lot of chat about how it feels. Here's the truth.


by Monica Heisey |
Published on

I recently gave the armpit afro a go. My experiment started last November when I forgot to pack a razor when I went home for Christmas – and I never bought one when I came back to London in January. I really enjoyed the time I spent growing them out, and especially the few weeks I let them chill at full growth. It was a time of laughter, a time of shy sensuality, a time of applying and reapplying deodorant. But by last month it was clear this wasn’t happening for me, so regretfully I finally shaved it all off.

Here’s why – and what I learnt in the process anyway:

You’re gonna get distracted and play with it.

It’s like twirling your hair, but sweatier. And kind of more satisfying.

You can really only pull this look off if you’re exceptionally fuzzy and/or dark-haired.

My feminist foray into untamed pits met an abrupt ending when the weather turned warmer and it was time to reveal my underarms to the world. Not because I was ashamed of the hair there, but rather because you couldn’t really tell there was any. It looked like I hadn’t shaved in a while, but not like I was Doing Something under there. I’ve seen dark-tressed women throw their hands in the air like they just don’t care and reveal dense, dark armpit fuzz, and it looks cool and subversive and sexy and amazing. On me it just looked like I’d made a blonde mistake. Such is the life of a ginger, I guess.

For a while, you will feel like a bohemian princess from France.

Try lifting your arms up and feeling the wind literally blowing through your pit hair and tell me it’s not the most boho you’ve ever felt. Tell your fringed bag to stuff it. (But only put it in a back corner or something, because the novelty wears off eventually and pit hair becomes just another part of your body.)

Social norms are real and awkward.

The first few times I went to raise my arms or take my shirt off in front of someone, I hesitated. I found myself telling everyone in advance, ‘I haven’t shaved my armpits in forever,’ as though they needed to be prepared for the HORRIFYING sight of a whisper of hair where we all already know hair constantly grows, on everyone. It was interesting to catch myself policing my own behaviour in an effort to fit into mainstream beauty standards. Interesting and gross.

Straight up, you do stink more.

A few weeks of full growth and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was RIPE. Forgetting to apply deodorant for the day was not an option, and I found myself applying it more than once, or pausing in single-stall bathrooms to wash my underarm area in the middle of the day. I’m not even a particularly sweaty lady! I was a step away from panicking like a teen boy at school and dousing myself in Lynx using the over-the-head cloud method.

No (worthwhile) sexual partners care how your armpits look. Not a single one.

Do you know how close your armpits are to your boobs?

Follow Monica on Twitter @monicaheisey

Pictures: Ada Hamza

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us