Trimming and Shaving your Pubic Hair – How to Get it Right
Why Groom Your Pubic Hair?
The first thing to say about why you should groom your pubic hair is - you don't need to!
There are no health or hygiene benefits to be gained from grooming down there, it's a myth, so if you decide to go for it make a properly informed choice and be clear about your reasons.
Although there is not a huge amount of published research on the practice, you probably won't be surprised to know that aesthetics, sex and partner preferences have all been cited as reasons to keep your pubes in trim.
Based on the findings of several studies carried out in the US, other reasons include comfort, cultural or religious considerations and peer pressure.
Depending on the level of grooming i.e. a simple trim or a total shave, side effects may cause complications which, in the worst case scenario, can be quite severe.
Therefore I believe it is important that your own reasons are sound ones and based on fact - after all, "knowledge is power."
Does Pubic Hair have a Purpose?
In a word, yes, pubic hair does in fact have several purposes:
Barrier to Infection
Pubic hair can help to prevent potentially harmful bacteria and other infectious agents from reaching your vaginal area. It is therefore the case that pubic hair may offer some protection against certain sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections and vaginitis.
Pubic hair acts as a cushion, reducing the friction between your clothing and your delicate vaginal skin during everyday activities. It also reduces the friction and consequent discomfort that can be caused by sexual activity.
All body hair helps to regulate temperature, including pubic hair. Therefore keeping your pubic hair helps to keep the area comfortable and reduces sweat and odour.
There is speculation that human pubic hair traps pheromones (special chemicals known to cause sexual attraction in animals) and therefore can increase sexual attraction in humans.
In fact, as far as I can see, there is no actual evidence to support the theory and so I hesitate to quote it as a true benefit of pubic hair.
However, I feel it's worth a mention - you can draw your own conclusions.
How to Trim your Pubic Hair
If you have decided that all you want to do it tidy your pubic hair so that it just looks neater, then all you really need to do is give it a trim.
You can either do this with a pair of sharp bladed round-tipped scissors and a fine toothed comb or there are plenty of electric trimmers available to buy, designed specially for the purpose.
If you are using scissors, comb the hair up between its teeth and lay it against the skin. Then you can safely cut the hair to the comb, to ensure an even length all over.
If you want the hair to be longer, then you can hold it up between two fingers of your spare hand, resting the fingers against the skin, and trim to that.
Electric trimmers have special guards or a comb attachment for pubic hair trimming to give you a nice even trim whilst protecting against nicks or cuts.
Usually they offer a choice of lengths and I would suggest you start long and see how it goes - you can always take a bit more off.
Side Effects of Trimming your Pubic Hair
The good news is that trimming your pubic hair is pretty safe and more or less free from side effects, providing you are careful not to cut yourself.
The most likely side effect will be itching as the hair is cut at the wide part of the hair shaft, leaving it with a sharp point rather than its usual tapering end.
You can alleviate this by softening the hair with gentle, unscented hair conditioner.
Although you can still get ingrown hair from trimming it is much less likely than from shaving, especially if you don't trim it too short.
How to Shave your Pubic Hair
Even if you opt for trimming your pubic hair, it is likely that you will want to shave your bikini line - the visible hair poking our of the side of your swimwear.
However, you may want to go further, leaving just a landing strip or even going completely bare.
Things You will Need
Whatever you decide , there are things you need in order to ensure that you get it right and minimise risk of the nicks, cuts, razor burn, ingrown hairs and irritation commonly associated with shaving:
You also need a mirror, small enough to position appropriately and big enough to give a good view and plenty of light.
Firstly, you need the area to be thoroughly clean so take a bath or shower in warm water, which will also soften the skin and hair. Exfoliate gently to clear the skin of dead skin cells and lessen the risk of ingrowns.
If the hair is long, trim first with a pair of round-tipped scissors and comb or an electric trimmer.
Apply shaving cream or gel - if you have invested in a good one, you will only need a thin layer so you should still be able to see what you are doing.
Glide the razor across your skin without exerting pressure in the direction of the hair's natural growth, whilst holding the skin taut. If you go against the hair's natural growth you are more likely to cause ingrown hair, whilst exerting pressure will increase razor burn.
Avoid going over the same area more than once and rinse your razor after each stroke so that the blades do not get clogged. Make sure that there is always sufficient cream or gel for a smooth glide and apply more as required.
When you have finished, rinse with cool water, pat dry and if the area feels sore or irritated, apply a cold compress to soothe it.
Apply your after shave solution and allow it to dry and settle, then moisturize generously.
Avoid tight clothing for as long as you can and wear cotton undies, as synthetic materials are more likely to aggravate any irritation.
It is a good idea to shave your pubic hair in the evening when you are not planning to go out, so that the skin can recover overnight.
Side Effects of Shaving your Pubic Hair
We have spoken a lot about ingrown hair because it is a common side effect of shaving and one which just about everyone who shaves will experience at some point.
As well as ingrowns, shaving side effects include razor burn, redness/irritation, cuts and nicks, itching or folliculitis (infection in the hair root).
Minimize the risks by making sure that you follow the correct method, exfoliate regularly, always use sharp, clean blades, use fragrance-free lotions and products and stop shaving for a while if irritation is severe.
The results of shaving are short-lived and you will probably need to be prepared to shave every couple of days.
As regrowth starts to show, it will be itchy but regular moisturizing and exfoliation will help alleviate this as it softens the hair and skin.
Most side effects can be soothed by soaking in a warm bath, drying by patting gently with a clean towel and using a soothing lotion. Witch hazel is generally my go to product of choice, followed by a light, gentle moisturizer.
However, if symptoms persist or become severe e.g. rash, bleeding, discharge, you will need to seek proper medical advice.
Why Choose Shaving for Pubic Hair Removal?
Shaving is the preferred option for pubic hair removal for many, and there are several advantages compared to other methods: