Does Body Hair Cause Odor?

Does Body Hair Cause Odor?
by Truly Beauty

If you always feel like you smell super fresh after shaving compared to when you’ve left things to grow fuzzy, you might be wondering, does body hair cause odor? Everyone deals with body odor (BO) every now and then. It’s part of being human. That being said, the experts believe there is a link between body hair and odor.

Ahead, find out does body hair cause odor and whether shaving can help reduce body odor.

What is Body Odor?

Body odor is what you smell when your sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin. Despite common belief, sweat itself does not smell. However, when sweat comes into contact with the bacteria on your skin, it causes an odor.

Body odor can smell sour, tangy, or even sweet. Interestingly, the amount you sweat does not impact your body odor. You can have an unpleasant body odor without being sweaty and you can sweat excessively without an unpleasant smell. This is due to body odor being caused by the type of bacteria on your skin and how that interacts with sweat.

Humans possess two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine glands, distributed throughout the body, produce primarily odorless sweat as a means to regulate temperature. Apocrine glands, located in regions like the armpits and groin, secrete a thicker sweat containing proteins and lipids. When this sweat reaches the skin's surface, naturally occurring bacteria break it down, generating byproducts such as fatty acids and ammonia. These byproducts, combined with sweat, create the distinctive smell known as body odor. 

Does Body Hair Cause Odor?

Does body hair cause odor | Model's underarm

Yes, body hair can cause odor. Odor is caused by bacteria. The sweat glands, such as those located under your arms, produce sweat that interacts with bacteria, causing body odor. There are two reasons why body hair causes odor.

For starters, bacteria can easily cling on to hair which can not only contribute to body odor but also make it linger. This is particularly noticeable in areas of the body with dense hair growth, such as the armpits and groin, where apocrine sweat glands are more concentrated. 

Second, body hair can make you feel warmer which can lead to sweating. Once that sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin, you may notice an unpleasant smell. 



Does Shaving Body Hair Reduce Odor?

Shaving your body hair can reduce odor. Since body hair traps the moisture on your skin, it gives bacteria a better chance of producing unpleasant smells. Shaving your armpit or bikini hair can also help maximize the effectiveness of your daily deodorant. 

Here's how shaving can contribute to odor reduction:

  • Less Surface for Bacteria: When you shave, you remove the hair that can trap sweat and provide a surface for bacteria to thrive. With fewer hair follicles, there is less space for sweat to collect and fewer places for bacteria to multiply.


  • Improved Hygiene: Shaving can make it easier to clean the skin. You can more effectively wash away sweat, bacteria, and other odor-causing substances from the shaved areas.


  • Enhanced Effectiveness of Products: Shaving can improve the application and effectiveness of antiperspirants or deodorants because these products can directly contact the skin's surface without the obstruction of hair.


We recommend that you read our How to Shave Body Hair guide for advice on how to safely shave for the smoothest results.

Best Shaving Sets to Beat Body Odor

Now you know that the answer to does body hair cause odor is yes, here are some delicious-smelling shave sets to help prevent and combat body odor while leaving you feeling perfectly smooth.


Ultimate Coco Cloud Shave Set

Does body hair cause odor | Ultimate coco cloud shave set


A creamy, dreamy shave. You can almost feel yourself chilling on a white sandy beach with the smell of coconut and vanilla amidst the gentle breeze. From the whipped shave butter to the soothing serum and rich moisturizer, everything in this set feels completely indulgent. Plus, it comes with an aloe-infused razor and fluffy bag to make your routine all the more luxurious. 

Positano Summer Set

Does body hair cause odor | Positano summer set


Italian getaway, anyone? Pick up a Positano Summer Set and whisk yourself away to the sunny Amalfi coast. Featuring luxe shaving formulas, a sweet and coconut-y perfume, plus cute accessories and more. This bundle is packed full of mouthwatering scents including juicy watermelon, creamy coconut, sweet vanilla glaze, and cotton candy. 

Ultimate Smooth Legend Shave Set

Does body hair cause odor | Ultimate smooth legend shave set


Get silky smooth and smell like a vanilla passion fruit dream. Ultimate Smooth Legend Shave Set features a fluffy pre-shave scrub, whipped shave butter, after shave oil, and five blade razor for the silkiest shave. Plus, a cute vegan fur purse to pack everything up in. 


Glazed Donut Shave Set

Does body hair cause odor | Glazed donut shave set


Irresistibly smooth, glistening skin that smells just like sweet vanilla glaze. Sound good? Grab yourself a Glazed Donut Shave Set. It comes with a cleanser, whipped shave butter, after shave oil, and cream, plus a razor and scoop for the most sensual shave ever. You’ll love the way your skin feels and smells after using it. 

Pit Perfecting Set 

Does body hair cause odor | Pit perfecting set


Dealing with underarm odor? Look no further than the Pit Perfecting Set. It features everything you need to get fresh, glowing underarms–from a scrub to a shave butter, pigment potion to an aluminum-free deodorant, and an award-winning razor. From odors to dark spots and discoloration, this 5-step routine will give your pits the ultimate glow up.

Does Body Hair Cause Bad Odor?

Body hair itself does not cause odor. However, it can contribute to body odor in several ways. First, it increases the surface area for sweat and bacteria to interact, causing odor to worsen and linger. 

Additionally, body hair can retain sweat, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that produce odorous compounds. Lastly, thick or dense body hair can interfere with thorough skin cleaning, potentially exacerbating the issue of body odor. 

Does body hair cause odor? It can indeed cause body odor but if you follow the tips above, and invest in a good shave, you won’t need to put up with unpleasant odors any longer. 


Watch our How to Smell Good All Day tutorial:


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