How to Trim Arm Pit Hair

by Melissa J. Bell

No one expects you to be clean-shaven in the armpit area unless you're an athlete -- but long hair sticking out from your shirtsleeves isn't exactly the height of hotness either. Shorten and tone down your out-of-control underarm growth with regular grooming.

How Often Should I Trim?

There's no need to go overboard with manscaping if that's not your thing. Clip your underarm hair only if you notice it creeping out when your arms are down at your sides, if deodorant begins to clump in it or if you feel self-conscious when you raise your arms.

What Tools Will I Need?

Just like trimming other hair on your body, any type of cutting tool will do -- but they each come with their own pros and cons.


Forego the hairstylist's shears, as they'll be far too unwieldy to use on yourself, and opt for smaller cuticle scissors instead, which will be easier to maneuver.

In front of a mirror, lift your arm. Hold the scissors vertically so that the scissor tips point upward and nestle right into the hair tips. Trim away the excess length with the scissors tips directed skyward at all times.


  • If you angle the scissors horizontally and cut straight across, the trim will look blunt and unnatural.

Thinning Shears

If you're more concerned about volume than length, thinning shears can weed out the bulk without taking away all your hair. These hairstylist's scissors feature a blade on one side and a notched guard or comb on the other, which protects intermittent hairs from the blade and allows you to selectively trim.

Hold the shears at a 45 degree angle to the hair as you cut. Slide the blade gently down the hair section with each cut. If you want to take off more length, go over each section twice. If you want to take away more bulk, make multiple cuts at different lengths.


  • Avoid holding shears too close to the skin or you risk cutting yourself. Armpit skin is delicate and bleeds profusely when cut.

Electric Clippers

Select a long attachment for your electric clipper to thin out armpit hair and a short attachment if you just want to take off length. Electric clipper attachments also have notches, so you get the same natural look as with thinning shears.

Angle the edge of the clippers so that it touches the hair tips. Make slow, light strokes into the hair until you are satisfied with the length.

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.