First of all, there is no one right way to deal with pubic hair. You can leave it as it grows, shave it into a shape, wax it completely, trim it a little, or something else entirely – it’s all good. Ultimately, how you decide to manage your body (including your pubic hair!) is entirely up to you. That being said, if you decide to modify your pubic hair in any way, you want to be armed with the right tools and information to avoid getting nicks, bumps, or razor burns, because these can be uncomfortable anywhere, but especially there. . Read on for expert advice on how to shave your pubic hair and answers to all your grooming questions.
First, do I have to?
We understood. You’re bombarded with what seems like a million posts about pubic grooming – friends talking about being totally naked, waxing ads in every salon – and you’re all like: Is this the norm? Am I a monster? Should I shave any stat? But the truth is, some girls love a bare bikini area, while others get a little scared feeling exposed. Some may be a little out of shape, but they’re not so enthusiastic about the upkeep of taking it all off.
Consider your pubic hair styles a very personal preference, says Jennifer Ashton, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist and author of The body scoop for girls. Like everything you would do for your body — your haircut, your nail art, your makeup routine (or lack thereof) — choose what works best for you.
Should I shave, or wax, or… something else?
Waxing is fine – and TBH, it’ll probably leave you with a smoother surface and slightly less frequent maintenance than shaving – but the truth is: pulling your hair out can be quite painful. On the other hand, hair removal creams can be quite painless, but you should read the packaging and instructions very carefully, as not all of them are made for the ultra-sensitive skin of your vulva and bikini area. And even those who are can irritate or burn your skin if left on too long. Shaving might seem like an easier and more familiar introduction to bikini line grooming: you’ve done it on your legs, so you’ve got the basics covered, right? Again, though, that decision is up to you. Do your research and choose what works best for your situation.
So how do you shave there anyway?
Let’s say shaving is your go-to for hair removal, there are still some specific steps you need to take in order to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself there. It sounds complicated, but just follow the steps below and you’ll be smooth in no time.
1. Trim your pubic hair.
Shaving will be all the easier when the hairs are shorter. Simply use a small pair of scissors or a hair clipper and cut the hair to be about a quarter inch long.
2. Exfoliate your skin.
This step is important. “Every time you shave or wax, that hair follicle on your skin is going to open up,” says Dr. Ashton. “This allows bacteria to easily enter and cause infection.” So you want to make sure the area is clean before you head to work. An exfoliant will remove dead skin and help prevent ingrown hairs. Again, be sure to use a simple product that doesn’t irritate your skin. Also remember that these products are not for the inside of your vagina, but just the outer area.
3. Take some shaving cream.
Again, be sure to choose a simple shaving cream for sensitive skin. Then dab it all over the pubic area.
It’s finally time for the big shave. Since pubic hair is the thickest hair on your body, grab a brand new blade or a fresh, sharp disposable razor. Then shave downwards *with* the hair, i.e. in the direction it grows. Using light strokes and holding your skin taut with the other hand will help protect you from nicks and cuts. And of course: Take. This. To slow down.
Before going completely bare, keep in mind that certain areas are more sensitive and prone to redness and irritation. “It’s best to leave the hair just around the vaginal opening because the skin is so sensitive there,” warns Dr. Holmes. “Grooming is fine, but shaving can create a problem.”
After you’ve finished shaving and rinsed off the excess cream, moisturize with a fragrance-free lotion.
Will it really grow back faster/thicker/darker?
According to Dr. Holmes, this is totally a myth. “It has a sharp edge after shaving, so it just looks thicker or coarser,” she says. In reality, however, the hair has not changed.
What are all these little bumps?
So you shaved and now it’s like your bikini line is popping all over you. It’s probably folliculitis, or razor burn, and it happens when bacteria get into those little hair follicles and inflame them, causing those prickly pink and white bumps that you see.
Many times this problem will resolve on its own within a few days, but in the meantime you can soothe your skin by applying a little 1% hydrocortisone cream (available near first aid products in pharmacies) or ointment with vitamins A and D/zinc oxide (aka diaper rash cream).
If it doesn’t go away or it’s driving you crazy, see your doctor for a prescription antibiotic. “It can really help,” says Dr. Ashton.
But I just have this BIG bump?
It’s like the biggest and most painful pimple of your life appeared right next to your swimsuit line, huh? Don’t panic, it could be ingrown hairs, which happens when dead skin cells clog a hair follicle and force the hairs inside to grow sideways under the skin (rather than up and down). outside).
Resist the urge to dig or pick, and instead treat it once a day with a gentle toner containing salicylic acid, the same exfoliating ingredient used to fight acne. Consult a physician for treatment if itching/burning/pain becomes severe.
Wait, why is it so itchy over there now?
Sneaking scratches through your bikini bottom is not a good look. Most likely, this itching is caused by dry, prickly skin or some kind of inflammation. If you shave with soap, try switching to shaving cream, as it will moisturize your skin a bit more. And to avoid the little bumps and micro-nicks that cause the aforementioned irritation, use a fresh razor and hot water next time.
I’m Kim, a freelance writer/editor/explainer of all things goofy. I’m also *obsessed* with vintage dresses, Instagram Dogs, Taylor Swift and pizza. (PS Tweet me your health questions, please!)