Pubic hair... Groom it or grow it, we've all got it. If there's one thing I've learnt about body hair is that it's absolutely okay however you choose to deal, or not deal, with it. Pubic hair, unfortunately, is something that women are ashamed of, I'll never quite understand why. It's probably society telling you that you shouldn't have it, or perhaps that parlour lady shaming you when you get your legs waxed.
If you do choose to groom it, there are tons of ways you can get rid of pubic hair. Let's grade it from the most painful to the easiest.
Since we're all stuck in lockdown, staying home and staying safe is our top priority. Even if salons reopen in June, I know for a fact I'm going to be avoiding them. So if you're wondering how to groom your nether regions in the absence of your bikini wax sessions or your laser hair removal ones, we've got you the lowdown on shaving.
Shaving your pubic hair isn't as easy as it may seem. Your vulva (yes, it's called your vulva, your vagina is the inside) is made up of complex anatomy, to say the least, so you definitely need to be prepared before you take a razor and venture down there. Shaving is the easiest way to groom your pubic area though. It can be done as frequently as required, and is convenient and low maintenance, cost-wise. Once you master this you're probably never going to want to endure the pain of getting a bikini wax again.
And before you start wondering, no, shaving does not make your hair grow back thicker. That's just a myth!
Before you decide to grab a razor and start shaving, make sure you trim the hair. Experts recommend that you don't shave hair that's longer than a quarter of an inch. You will end up clogging your razor and needing to go over each area multiple times, causing irritation and possibly leading to razor burn and nicks and cuts. If your hair is longer, use a trimmer first.
Dry shaving is not everyone's cup of tea. Yes, estheticians do it before you get laser hair removal done but there's a method they follow. It isn't something you can do yourself so most experts recommend shaving when your hair is wet. Take a warm shower for 5 minutes and after the hair is soft, that's when you can begin to shave.
You want to make your shaving process a clean and comfortable experience. To minimize any tugging and pulling of the skin, use a shaving cream or a shaving gel. It will act as a lubricant between your skin and the razor, making sure that it glides smoothly. Make sure you use products that are designed for use in your pubic area and they're fragrance-free. In the absence of shaving cream, aloe vera gel or coconut oil are great substitutes.
I've been shaving for 17 years and this is new information to me. The hair in your pubic area is thicker than the rest of your body and the skin around your vulva is extremely sensitive. It's also very soft and difficult to manoeuvre around and, therefore, it is recommended that you hold your skin taut before you shave. This makes the razor glide over your skin easily.
Take it from someone who shaves frequently, razor burn and cuts and nicks down there aren't pretty. You want to be extra careful while you shave. The first pass of the razor, go in the direction of the hair growth and in the second, go in the opposite direction. If you go over each area more than once, you could potentially irritate your skin.
Your pubic hair, unfortunately, is much much thicker than the hair on your hands and legs, and this also means that it's harder to shave. You want to use a good quality razor and make sure you dispose off the blades every few weeks. Shaving with a blunt razor isn't only ineffective, it will cause friction to the area and irritate it.
Shaving around the lips of your vulva or the labia, as it's called, is much harder and so is shaving the anus (the butthole). As much as I hate to break it to you, yes hair does grow there too. The hair here is coarse and the skin is extremely thin and sensitive. It's also harder to see. Lift your leg up on a stool or on the pot so you have better visibility and access to these areas. Use a table mirror if you have one. Now, slather on your shaving aid, pull the skin firmly and then shave. It is a little tricky, it does require you to have acrobatic skills, especially to reach your anus area - but with practice, you'll get better.
As much as you hate this step - don't shave unless you plan to apply some moisturiser after. Use a light-weight, non-comedogenic moisturiser, body oil or even aloe vera gel for 1-2 days after you shave. This will minimize any irritation and itchiness associated with shaving. Don't use something too greasy and sticky though, it might lead to clogged pores and ingrown hair.
While you don't necessarily need to exfoliate before you shave, it will help and create the base for a smoother shave. Don't use any harsh, fragranced scrubs though as you might get a UTI if any of those chemicals gets into your vagina. Use a warm washcloth dipped in soap and water and gently rub the skin there. Do this once a week or once in 15 days to keep the area free of any dead skin build up.
Now that you've successfully shaved the area, I bet it feels great. But don't forget that your pubes usually protect the area from infection. So now that you've gotten rid of it, give your body some time to adjust. Wear comfortable cotton clothes, especially underwear,for a few days so there's minimal friction and sweating down there. If you can't do this during the day, make sure to do it at night!
And if you do get a UTI after you shave, don't panic. It happens to me all the time, it is usually caused by your shaving aid getting into your vagina. To prevent this from happening, don't use any fragranced soap, body wash or men's shaving creams. Use chemical-free products designed for use in your pubic area or just use coconut oil. If you do get a mild UTI, drink a lot of water, keep the area clean, dry and ventilated and you should be okay in a day or two.
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