Summer is here, and so is your pubic hair! We all have it, and yet it’s often a subject shrouded in mystery and taboo. Well, let’s shed some light on it. Pubic hair is the hair that grows in the genital area, covering the pubic bone. It’s a natural part of human anatomy and serves interesting purposes.

Why do we have pubic hair?

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Why do we have pubic hair?” Pubic hair acts as a barrier, preventing friction between the skin and clothing. It also helps to reduce the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. So, yes – it’s a good thing!

Do I need to get rid of it?

Hair is normal. It does NOT need to be removed. It is also protective – against colds, infections, and irritation as mentioned above. If removing pubic hair is not for you, outstanding! Don’t! Second, you do NOT need to “clean it up” for your gynecologist. I repeat – you DO NOT need to groom before seeing your gynecologist. We don’t care. REALLY, we don’t. So come on in all natural and work what your mama gave you.

But, if you are interested in grooming for personal reasons remember there’s no right or wrong answer. Some people choose to trim, shave, wax, or even go bare. It’s all about personal preference. There’s no medical necessity to remove or trim pubic hair unless you want to.

What are my best options for removing pubic hair?

If you decide grooming is for you, here are a few tips to remember. First, be gentle. The skin in the pubic area is delicate, so take your time and use proper techniques to avoid irritation or cuts. Also, ensure you’re using clean tools to reduce the risk of infection. I’ll list your options on getting rid of the hair from least irritating to most irritating.

  • Trim – allows you to groom a bit without the irritation to the skin
  • Laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) 
    • Best on light skin and coarse dark hair 
    • Requires 4-6 treatments, possibly yearly maintenance 
    • Expensive, somewhat painful, low risk of burn-like side effects or pigmentation changes 
  • Home light devices – some reduction in hair with dedicated use – unlikely as effective as the systems in a doctors office

What other options are there? (These aren’t my favorite!)

  • Waxing
    • Effective up to 6-8 weeks
    • Moderately painful, may get burns from hot wax
    • Irritation at the hair follicle (folliculitis) or skin reaction to the wax
  • Chemical depilatories – ie Nair
    • Home use, not painful
    • Only effective up to 2 weeks
    • It’s smelly, you might get skin irritation from the chemicals, a rash, or even pigmentation changes in severe cases
  • Shaving 
    • It’s cheap and easy
    • It does NOT cause hair to grow back thicker and only lasts 12-24 hours
    • There is a high risk of skin irritation from abrasions, infections and shaving cream. Irritation can also cause shave bumps. Can potentially spread warts, molluscum, or even HSV.
    • I’m NOT a fan
  • Electrolysis
    • Permanent but mostly used for smaller areas of the body. Also painful and slow.
  • Plucking
    • Seriously, who is going to pluck all of that? Good for small touch ups only in my opinion.

Grooming can increase the risk of ingrown hair and skin infections. If you notice redness, swelling, or pain after grooming, it’s essential to keep an eye on it. Contact your healthcare provider if you’re worried.

Removing your hair is NOT more hygienic

Now, let’s talk about myths. One common misconception is that removing all your pubic hair is more hygienic. Our bodies are designed to be self-cleaning. A healthy vulva maintains its own pH balance and bacterial environment. Removing all the hair won’t make you cleaner.

Does it impact sexual activity?

When it comes to sexual activity, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Some people find that removing or trimming pubic hair enhances their sensations. Others don’t notice a significant difference. Communication with your partner is key – discuss your preferences together. This will ensure a comfortable experience for both of you.

When should my teenager start grooming?

Parents often ask me about their teenagers’ interest in grooming. It’s essential to have open conversations about body positivity. Knowing the reasons behind their choices is essential. Remind them that there’s no right or wrong way to have pubic hair. They should feel comfortable with whatever decision they make.

Always remember, our bodies are diverse

What’s right for one person might not be suitable for another. The important thing is to make choices that make you feel comfortable and confident. If you need more clarification about grooming methods, consider asking your healthcare provider for guidance.

Remember, pubic hair is a normal and natural part of our bodies. It serves protective and hygienic functions. Whether you choose to groom, trim, or leave it as is, it’s all about what makes you feel good. Be kind to your skin, and remember that your choices are valid. Embrace your uniqueness and stay educated about what’s best for your body.

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