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Pubic hair - to shave or not to shave?

Pubic hair, which is the hair found in the genital area of adolescents and adults, may vary in terms of texture, colour, and amount. While cultural attitudes of pubic hair have generally been negative, our hair ‘down there’ may actually serve a purpose. In fact, pubic hair has not always been such a taboo as in modern times.


What are some ways to remove hair?


Some cultures have considered pubic hair removal as a form of hygiene practice. Others consider it for aesthetic purposes. Hair removal methods include waxing, shaving, depilation, and laser. There are also many pubic hair styles such as the landing strip, the triangle and the full Brazilian. Any person of any gender may choose to remove their pubic hair.


What is the purpose of pubic hair?


Pubic hair may protect us against friction during sexual intercourse or even against bacteria as they are able to trap dirt and some microorganisms. If you shower regularly with a mild soap, your genital area is not more prone to infections than other areas even if you do not shave it.  


What are the side effects of hair removal?


There may also be unwanted side effects of hair removal. These include:


  • Skin reactions to hair removal products e.g., shaving foams or from techniques such as waxing

  • Ingrown hair

  • Infections


What if I still want to remove my pubic hair?


There are some ways to remove pubic hair safely. Firstly, you should have a warm shower before to soften up the hair follicles, which may make it easier for shaving or waxing. During the procedure, remove hair in the direction of hair growth to minimise the risks of ingrown hairs. Afterwards, moisturise your genital area to soothe the irritated skin and avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear. In between each procedure, you should exfoliate gently on a regular basis (i.e., once a week) to remove dead skin cells and reduce the risks of ingrown hair. Additionally, if you choose to shave, you should disinfect your razor blades after each use or use a disposable razor every time.  


Remember – removing all or parts of your pubic hair should be a personal preference. Nobody should tell you what you should or should not do. It is ultimately your choice, and not your partner’s. If you would like to shave or wax your skin, you should do it safely and carefully.

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