Read This Before Shaving Your Pubic Hair
Your comprehensive guide on how to get a smooth, razor bump-free finish — if that's your thing.
Whether you're new to shaving because you're a diehard waxer, or looking to enhance your current at-home hair removal ritual, you've come to the right place.
While shaving is the most affordable way to remove hair from your pubic area, there's a right way of doing it to get a super smooth and razor bump-free finish.
But before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to shave your public area, let's set the record straight: there's no medical reason to remove your pubic hair. What you do and don't do to your body hair is entirely your choice and varies from person to person. Prefer to trim your pubes? That's great! Like to shave everything off? That's great too!
"Pubic hair is completely normal and, as long as routinely cleaned, it poses no health risks," says dermatologist Dr. Nadia Kihiczak of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. "Some feel that more hair leads to more moisture, more odor and prefer to groom or completely remove the pubic hair."
Regardless of your personal preferences, pubic hair serves a purpose. "Pubic hair forms a protective barrier for the underlying delicate skin. It is believed to fend off pathogens, like bacteria and viruses, and is a shield for the skin from friction during sex," Dr. Kihiczak explains. "It also forms a natural cushion to the sensitive skin in the pubic area."
However, if you plan on shaving your pubic area in the foreseeable future, follow our expert guide on how to properly do it without getting razor burn or worse, cuts.
Step One: Get in the Shower
Shaving your pubic area should never, ever, be done while skin is dry. "Shaving of the pubic area should be the last step in your shower routine as the warm shower water preps the skin for shaving," says Dr. Kihiczak.
She suggests cleansing your skin with a loofah and a gentle, hydrating body wash like one from Dove or Cetaphil. "Use a gentle cotton wash cloth or loofah when cleansing the area and move it in a circular motion," she says. "This can help gently prep and exfoliate the skin before shaving and even 'dislodge' any early ingrown hairs that may be forming."
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
To buy: $11; target.com.
Step Two: Perfect Your Angles
When it comes to shaving your nether region, angles are everything. Allie Melnick, general manager of Flamingo, recommends using the ledge of your tub to prop your foot up so you have better access of the area you're shaving.
Step Three: Shave Away
Before picking up a razor, decide how much hair you're going to take off. "Grooming your pubic hair is as much about shaping as it is hair removal, so make a plan for how much you want to take off before you start," says Meknick.
Once you start to shave, always work in the direction of the hair growth. Going against the grain can result in redness, irritation, and ingrown hairs. If you're brave enough to shave around your vulva, take it slow and find a comfortable angle first.
And you can also use a shaving cream to help the razor glide smoothly. Flamingo makes a foaming gel that's formulated with soothing aloe vera and emollients to keep skin smooth.
Flamingo Foaming Shave Gel
To buy: $5; shopflamingo.com.
Aside from not using a shave gel, Meknick says one of the biggest mistakes people make when shaving their pubic hair is using the wrong razor. "A fresh, sharp razor blade and a thick shave gel will make for a much more comfortable shave and protect against nicks, cuts, and irritation," she explains.
Dr. Kihiczak also stresses the importance of regularly changing your razor blade to prevent irritation or worse, bacteria from causing an infection. "The frequency of changing of the razor blade is determined by the frequency of shaving and the coarseness of the hair," she shares. "Single blade razors can be disposed of after each use. Razors with multiple blades can be used a few times, though any tugging, rubbing or nicking of the skin by the blade are a sign it should be changed immediately."
And don't wait for your razor blade to dull before switching it out. Dr. Kihczak says that old blades carry bacteria and increase the risk of infection or folliculitis, a condition where the inflamed hair follicles look like red bumps or whiteheads.
To buy: $9; shopflamingo.com.
How often you shave you shave your pubic area depends on how close of a shave you're after. Dr. Kihczak says a close shave typically lasts one or two days and requires upkeep every two to three days.
Step Four: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
After you step out of the shower and pat yourself down with towel, and don't forget your pubic area when you're applying body lotion. Use a hydrating cream or lotion that also gently exfoliates to prevent ingrown hairs. Dr. Kihczak is a fan of Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion
To buy: $10; target.com.
Step Five: Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Along with regularly moisturizing your pubic area post-shave, you can use a product that treats and prevents ingrown hairs. Fur's Ingrown Concentrate contains antibacterial tea tree and tamanu oils to eliminate excess oil and speed up cell renewal. Conditioning coconut oil and soothing chamomile extract round out the mix.
To buy: $28; dermstore.com.
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