Shaving the Bikini Area – All you Need to Know

Why Remove Pubic Hair?

In years past, and when I was a teenager, the most likely reason to remove hair down below was so that it was not on show when you went swimming.

It was commonplace to shave or wax the bikini line, removing any hair that showed when you had on a pair of skimpy bikini bottoms, hence the term.

Nowadays, it is more and more common for ladies to remove most or all of their pubic hair - but why is this?

Now it may be that you just like the way it looks and feels and of course, it's your body, your personal choice and if this is your reason then great, why not?

However, there are some other reasons sometimes cited, which are not so clear-cut and even some even based on myth:

  • It is more hygienic - no, not the case and in fact, pubic hair can act as a barrier, helping to prevent harmful bacteria from reaching the most delicate and potentially vulnerable vaginal area.
  • It Gets Rid of Pubic Lice - no, simply shaving will not cure lice - you will still need medical treatment
  • It Increases Sensitivity - well, a bit subjective this one, but no real evidence to support the claim and keeping your pubic hair can help protect the area from friction and irritation
  • It is More Sexy - again, subjective, but there is a school of thought that pubic hair holds pheromones (special chemicals) which attract the opposite sex

The worst reasons, in my opinion, for removing pubic hair are peer pressure and because your partner has told you to do it:

Firstly, it really is nonsensical to feel pressured into doing anything that you don't wish to do - easily said, I know, but when it comes to such an intimate thing as pubic hair removal it really should be down to personal choice.

Naked male and female facing away from camera

Secondly, it is different to leg and even underarm hair, in that it can cause problems, so you need to be perfectly happy with your decision and that it has been made without coercion.

Of course, if you are in a long-term, loving relationship and your boyfriend expresses a preference for less hair below, you may decide to give it a go. 

If you are happy to make the choice to please him, fine, but I would think twice if he pressures you or makes it into a big issue - after all, he should love you for who and what you are.

Best Way to Shave Bikini Area

To deal with this most sensitive of areas, you will need to get together all the things you need and make sure that you have allowed enough time so that you do not need to rush the job, specially the first time.

Tools for the Job

Here is a list of what you need :

  • Mirror - as undignified as it may sound, you need to be able to see clearly what you are doing - a hand mirror or one on a low stand, ideally magnified, is a must!
  • Scissors or Trimmer - a good pair of scissors or a specially designed bikini trimmer is essential to trim the hair prior to shaving to enable you to get a clean shave without pulling.  
  • Shaving Cream - choose a shaving cream for sensitive skin - some are specially formulated for bikini shaving.
  • Razor or Shaver - whether you opt for a razor or electric shaver is down to personal choice.  Either way it needs to be good and sharp and well-maintained, ideally kept for the one area.  A single bladed razor is best to cut down on razor burn and irritation.
  • Moisturizer - a soothing moisturizer such as Aloe Vera applied after shaving can help to reduce any irritation and softens the skin.

Before you Start

Ideally, you want to start by having a soak in a warm bath or shower, so that the skin and hair follicles relax and the hair softens.

Make sure that you have gently exfoliated the area to be free from build-up of dead skin cells.

Woman in bath, bathing

After bathing/showering wait for a few minutes for the skin to settle before you begin.

When you are ready, choose a comfortable place with plenty of light so that you can position the mirror appropriately - it is a good idea to sit on a towel or sheet to catch the debris.

If you can manage it, sitting on the edge of the bath is an idea - the mirror can be propped in a good position and it is easy to clear up afterwards!


First, you want to trim the hair as short as possible to make shaving easier.

If you are using an electric trimmer, it will likely have a special comb attachment or similar guard to give you a close, even trim without danger of nicks or cuts.

Most give a choice of lengths, and you may even decide that this is as far as you wish to go - a neat, tidy look, with literally just the outer bikini line shaved clean.

trim hair with comb and scissors

If you are using scissors, pull the hair gently up away from the skin with your spare hand and snip carefully off.  Whatever you do, take your time and be extremely careful - although the scissors need to have sharp blades, blunt ended one's are best for this.

A safer option is to use a comb to comb the hair up and then lay it flat against the skin so that you can snip the hair above the comb using scissors or trimmer.


To shave the hair, first apply a generous amount of shaving cream.

If you are prone to very sensitive skin, it would be a good idea to apply shaving oil first, to increase the glide of the razor.

Pull the skin as taut as possible with your spare hand and shave the hair in the direction of growth, gently and without exerting pressure.

The blade should glide easily across the skin.

Try to avoid going over the same area again and again.

Rinse the blade after each pass, so that it does not clog up with hair and shaving cream, as this will lessen its effectiveness and increase the risk of irritation.

bikini line shave wax

Don't forget that your hair will extend back to the anal area - it is a good idea to run your hand over to check that it is smooth and you have not missed any vital bits!

When you have finished, rinse well and gently pat dry.


lounge bed pyjamas loose clothes

Immediately afterwards, apply a soothing moisturizer and leave for a few minutes to absorb before putting on underwear and wear cotton panties.

Try to avoid wearing tight fitting jeans/trousers for a while as the friction will exacerbate any irritation.

If it is the first time you have ever shaved down below, it is a good idea to do it in the evening when you are not planning to go out.  Then you can loll in loose pj's or the like - just to see how your skin reacts.

Possible Side Effects

Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hairs are always a risk when it comes to shaving, and this is particularly so when dealing with your pubic hair.

Ingrown hair, as the name implies, is hair that has either grown back in on itself or grown sideways under the skin and is more common where hair is curly.

How ingrown hairs are formed 

To reduce the risk, make sure that you gently exfoliate the skin regularly between shaves - this will not only help avoid them but may release any that are just below the surface.

Shaving in the direction of hair growth can be slower, and perhaps not as close, but will reduce the likelihood of ingrown hair.

Soreness and Irritation

The skin in this area is very sensitive, so you may experience soreness/redness (razor burn) in the area after shaving.

It is important to use a sharp blade and plenty of shaving cream (you can keep applying more as required) and not to keep going over the same area too often.

Also, never exert pressure - if you need to exert pressure then the blade is dulled and you need to replace it.

Using a single blade razor is, in my experience, the least irritating.

If you experience razor burn, you can use a soothing lotion e.g. aloe vera or something similar.


You may be more susceptible to genital infections as pubic hair does provide the first defence and a level of protection against external irritants.

It is important, therefore, to maintain a good level of hygiene.

It goes without saying that you should never share a razor, and it is advisable to keep one specially for the purpose.


Itchiness and chafing are usual as the hair grows back - how often you shave will depend on how quickly your hair grows, but for some it will be a daily chore.

Using a very mild, unscented conditioner can help to soften the hair and wearing loose cotton clothing, if possible, will also provide relief.

Best Products for Bikini Trimming

We have taken a look at the myriad of bikini trimmers and shavers on the market and pulled together our top 7 picks.

If you would like more information see our article here: Best Bikini Trimmers and Shavers.


For the past 12 months, I have been testing and playing with all sorts of hair removal products for Hair Free Life. My goal is to provide the most accurate and up-to-date hair removal consumer information on the internet. When I'm not photographing, reviewing and researching hair removal products I play the drums in a samba band and am a volunteer for the Swindon Lions! Got any questions? Write to us below: