Everybody that has gone through puberty has pubes – and everyone wonders what to do with them. Pubic hair is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Some people have preferences for their own hair and their sex partner’s, but alot of people just don’t mind. There are many many variances between everyone’s pubes be it in shape, length, thickness etc etc etc. What you do with your body is your choice! You’ve got free reign.
Alot of people with vaginas feel pressured by the media and others to completely remove their hair. This was backed up in a JAMA Dermatology study from last year that found that half of women remove their hair because they believe it makes their genitals look more attractive or because their partner prefers it. Pressure can come from anywhere, including women who boast about their Brazilians and men who’ve grown up watching internet porn and try to push their ideals onto you! Despite all this pressure and insecurity, what you do with your body is your choice. It’s important if you do shave to think about whether you do it for someone else, or because you actually want to!
You may also want to have a think if your reason for shaving is hygiene- if you wash correctly and do a little upkeep (trimming) then pubic hair is completely hygienic! It’s fine if you personally feel more sanitary when you remove your pubic hair, but don’t start feeling like you’re a dirty person just because you skip a few days of shaving. In fact, pubic hair is there to protect you from infection and act as a cushion for friction e.g. during sex! The hygiene worry is also invalid because hair removal can be pretty bad for you. Hair removal irritates and inflames hair follicles left behind, leaving teeny tiny microscopic open wounds. When that irritation is combined a saucy warm moist environment , it becomes a perfect breeding ground for the growth some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens. However, if you remove all your hair you definitely won’t get pubic lice, but this is now pretty uncommon in the UK.
Ways to remove pubic hair
- Bog standard shaving
- Hair removal cream
- Laser removal
Shaving your pubic hair (or ‘bikini line’ if you’re feeling fancy) is one of the most popular methods of removal. It’s best to invest in a razor with changeable blades over a disposable one for a closer better shave. To reduce nicks, it can help to:
- Use lots of shaving cream/gel/oil (always)
- Shower/bathe beforehand to open up pores
- Go slow!
- Trim with scissors beforehand if you’re getting rid of over 1/4 of an inch
- Change your razor/blades often
To prevent ingrown hairs and shaving rash, it can help to exfoliate beforehand. A post by Cosmopolitan was circling in March about how to reduce the risk but it was incredibly unhealthy. The article described using a stick of deodorant and rubbing alcohol to get the best shave- which I would no advise in any way/shape/form. Always fact check any articles you read, and never take what even the big magazines say for granted!
Waxing is one of the more painful options. However, because it really rips the hair from the root- this lasts longer (about 3 to 6 weeks)! The hair waxed does need to be longer than 1/4 of an inch in order for the wax to stick. You can have soft or hard wax.
Hard wax- this is warmed up and hard at room temperature. It’s applied thickly and shrinks around the hair as it cools, becoming a strip.
Soft wax- this is the more common form of wax. You can find it heated in a pot, cold or on pre made strips.
Hair removal creams
Depilatory creams such as good old Nair dissolve the hair. They’re not so good for coarser hair but are pretty effective, dissolving right down to the skin or even a little below. They’re normally painless but might tingle a bit, and the smell is pretty potent.
Sugaring is much like waxing, but done with a sugar based substance instead. It was used in the Middle East for centuries and in ancient Egypt, even by Cleopatra herself. It’s done with white granulated sugar, lemon juice and some filtered water.
Laser removal is a fairly expensive long term option which destroys roots. However, it doesn’t work as well for white/blonde hairs or for people with darker skin- as the laser detects pigment. The people who benefit most from this have lighter skin with darker hairs.
Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved form of permanent hair removal. It works by destroying the root of each hair at the follicle with an electric current. And whereas laser hair removal is not always the best option for certain types of hair or skin, electrolysis can work for any type. It does take pretty long though as each hair is done individually.
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