Most athletes shave their body hair. Some shave their legs only, while others shave armpits, legs, and the hair on their arms. Different sports have different reasons for shaving, some of which are practical, and some of which are simply the culture of the sport. If you plan to engage in a sport frequently or professionally, like swimming, running, or biking, you may want to shave as well.
Athletes shave for some or all of the following reasons:
Any sport or exercise produces sweat. Sweat accumulation is gross, and if you have ever soaked your armpit hair in sweat, you know how nasty that can feel. Many athletes chose to shave their hair to make it easier to clean their bodies and to prevent sweat accumulation as they exercise.
Injuries are a part of the game for athletes. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, rashes, and a variety of other minor injuries occur frequently. Body hair can make caring for injuries easier. If you have ever tried peeling a sticky bandage off of a hairy wound before, you know that the pain of removing the bandage can be worse than the injury itself. Additionally, dirt, gravel, and other contaminants can catch in body hair, causing additional infections and other problems. It is also easier to apply rash cream and anti-bacterial ointment to smooth skin.
In some cases, body hair can actually be a safety risk. Athletes that exercise in outdoor environments and the wilderness may find they attract fewer tick and chigger bites with less body hair. Small bugs catch in the hair and then make their way to the flesh beneath.
Hair can also catch on equipment, like bicycle chains, zippers, and other surfaces. This can cause additional injuries and is painful.
Swimmers and runners may find that shaving their body hair increases their performance in their sport. Usually, this only makes a difference on the professional level, but if you feel like it improves your performance, then go for it.
Some athletes simply shave for aesthetic purposes, or out of tradition. Many people feel that the appearance of hair sticking out of tight athletic clothing is unappealing. Body builders traditionally shave to show off muscle definition.
Body shaving techniques
Shaving your body is a little different from shaving your face. If your hair is long, you cannot use a razor straightaway. You first must trim the hair short enough to shave. Use electric hair clippers to trim the hair close to the skin. After clipping the hair, rub a shaving cream or gel all over the areas you want to shave. Shave the hair with a new razor working in small sections. For legs, shave against the growth of the hair. For arms and armpits, shave in the direction of hair growth.
While shaving your body hair may not make much difference in your athletic performance, there are many other reasons why you may want to consider shaving your body. If you end up not liking the look, you simply have to wait for it to grow out again.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon, a part-time guest-blogger and a full-time private tour organizer. Her interests are education and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She suggests you check out this site for a straight razor if you’re looking for a good deal.