disadvantages of pubic hair

In this post, we will be discussing the Disadvantages Of Pubic Hair. Many people feel the need to groom or maintain their pubic hair in a certain way because they feel pressured to do so, or feel that their partner will only like them a certain way. Polls have shown that more and more people are removing most, or all of their pubic hair. If you’re on the fence about doing this, rest assured. There are people who will love you bare, trimmed, or sporting a full bush, so consider the pros and cons of keeping your pubic hair and make the choice that makes you feel best. So what are the disadvantages of having pubic hair?

Disadvantages Of Pubic Hair

Pro: Keeping your pubic hair natural is just much easier.

Leaving your hair natural saves a lot of time and money

It can take a lot of work to maintain a completely bare bikini area, or a neatly trimmed landing strip. Letting your pubic hair grow naturally is simply an easier option for most people, and gives you less to worry about in your regular beauty routine.Save money: Maintaining a completely bare pubic area can be a very expensive endeavor. While some people are able to get away with shaving, many stick with regular waxing to keep their skin smooth. This is an expense that can run up to hundreds of dollars a year, and more if you factor in after-care products. Save yourself the worry: Maintaining a completely bare pubic area is the kind of preference that can grow into an obsession. For how much we pay for waxing services, we expect completely smooth and blemish free skin. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case, and there is at least some discomfort that comes along with going bare. Avoid the spiky regrowth: Possibly the most frustrating part of removing all of your pubic hair is the awkward time when it is starting to grow in, but not quite long enough to wax again. Sharp, spiky in-between hairs are something you can forget about if you choose to rock the natural look

Con: With a full bush, you’re more at risk of pubic lice.

Kendal Schuler by Jody Pachniuk

With so many more people shaving and waxing their pubic hair off, one thing researchers and doctors have noticed is that there has been a dramatic dip in cases of pubic lice, particularly among people in their early 20s. This isn’t to say that if you have a bush, you are attracting pubic lice. It is pretty simple, if there is no hair to hang out in, lice won’t be able to stay. Pubic lice is pretty upsetting to think about, but shaving and waxing actually puts you more at risk of certain health problems and STIs…

Pro: Keeping your pubic hair is a good health decision.

There have been a lot of negatives associated with shaving and waxing pubic hair, particularly in people with sensitive skin. If you’re thinking about going bare, remember to keep these risks in mindWaxing causes skin itching, aggravation and rash: There are very few people who have absolutely no problems after a wax or a shave. For almost everyone, there will be some level of irritation. But for some, repeated hair removal can cause itching, skin problems and rashes. These are all pretty frustrating health issues to have occur in a very sensitive area, and letting your hair grow naturally lets you avoid all of themIt can also cause ingrown hairs and infection: Shaving bumps! Because pubic hair is so course and the skin around it so sensitive, ingrown hairs are a big risk for waxers. These ingrown hairs can cause ugly red blotches on your skin, but are also painful and lead to infection in many cases.

You risk problems from unsanitary salons: As more and more people begin waxing, there are more sanitary salons available. But, there is always a risk of going to a salon and getting an infection from unsanitary practices. Unfortunately, you often get what you pay for, and eliminating this risk requires going to a higher-cost salonIncreased risk of STIs: One upsetting factor in all of this is that having irritation and open sores near your bikini area can lead to an increased risk of STDs. Even the smallest irritations can increase the likelihood of transmission, and this is true whether a condom is being used or not.

Con: Aesthetics. Some people just love the bare look.

Photographer Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev

The main reason that most people want to remove their pubic hair is aesthetics. They, and their partner, simply prefer the neat look. There are very safe ways to maintain a bare bikini area, if you’re very interested in keeping things neat – so don’t be afraid to invest in services if this is very important to you. While it is true that many people prefer if their partners are absolutely bare, some people absolutely love the look of a full bush, or trimmed pubic hair. There is no universal preference, so make sure to choose the aesthetic that works for you!

Our Take: Do what works for you!

Photo by Neave Bozorgi

If you’re on the fence about how you’d like to maintain your pubic hair, you’re not alone. While many people absolutely enjoy going completely bare down there, many others feel pressured to remove their pubic hair when they don’t want to, or find it can be very rough on their skin. What you need to keep in mind is that the choice is yours, and there are lots of options to find the look that works for you! Some tips to keep in mind:

Waxing vs. Shaving: If you really want to go for the bare look but have had some problems with your skin reacting, hope is not lost. If you’ve found shaving to be a problem, try visiting a professional salon to have your waxing done. Many people find their skin reacts better to this, particularly if they have sensitive skin. You also have the opportunity to speak to a professional about exfoliating and after-care, to make it as likely as possible that you’ll avoid a rash or ingrown hairs! Change it up: If you love the look of a Brazilian or a landing strip, but find it is hard on your skin (or bank account), you can always change up your style throughout the year! Many people find that during the summer when they tend to be more exposed, they stick to a shaving or waxing regimen, and give their body a break during the more cozy winter months. This is a great solution for anyone who loves to try different looks, or has very sensitive skinYou can change your mind: Remember, changing up your pubic hair is just like changing up your haircut, nothing is permanent here. If you’re very worried about whether you can maintain the bare look, or whether you’ll feel good with a landing strip, just experiment! Keeping an open mind will help you find what works best for your look and for your skin, and can be a delightful surprise for your partner.

You’ve got the hairy questions, we’ve got the answers

From the moment we sprout our first wiry hairs, we’re conditioned to think they should be trimmed or yanked. Just look at all the advertisements, gadgets, and methods out there for wrangling pubes.

And that’s just until we meet someone who then says au naturel is the way to go.

Maybe that’s a partner who likes a lush look or a gal pal who’s a free bird. Everyone’s got an opinion about pubic hair. No wonder we’re confused on which way is really best for us.

Should you nix your monthly wax? Are there benefits to having a bush? “Pubic hair patterns vary widely, according to one’s age, ethnicity, and most importantly, their own individuality,” says Katy Burris, a dermatologist at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center. “Although the trend at this time encourages grooming, or even removal, of pubic hair, it should be a decision one makes for themselves.”

So how do you decide what to do with your hair down there? We’ve plucked some pointers and safety tips from the experts.

Pube primping possibilities, from DIY to salon safety

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1. Letting it grow

If you’re going au naturel, you don’t need to do anything. Your hair will only grow to a short length. You won’t look like Rapunzel down there. You can trim or shape to your liking using a dedicated pube clipper, trimmer, or haircutting shears.

Pro tip: If you use scissors, disinfect them first. Designate the tool as your official pube cutter. Don’t use it on anything else. For your clipper or trimmer, follow the manufacturer’s directions for keeping it clean. Don’t share it.Shop for bikini line trimmers.

2. Shaving

“Anyone who shaves knows that it’s not uncommon to cut the skin accidentally,” Burris says. Plus, shaving can cause tiny tears that we don’t even know are there. This creates opportunity for bacteria to enter. That’s why it’s important to operate with a clean razor and a clean bikini zone.

Pro tip: Suzanne Friedler, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology PC in New York City, recommends using a shaving gel or other lubricant to protect your skin. Slather on a moisturizer and an over-the-counter cortisone cream afterward to counteract any irritation. Avoid applying products around the vaginal opening.razorsshaving cream

3. Waxing and threading

Waxing and threading both yank hair out by the root. According to Friedler, this could expose the follicle to infections like:

A recent study suggests that waxing may leave you more vulnerable to the skin virus molluscum contagiosum. Burns from both DIY and professional waxing are also a concern, Buka adds.

Pro tip: That doesn’t mean you have to shy away from these methods. Just choose a reputable salon that follows proper protocol. Your aesthetician should have a clean workstation, wear gloves, and never double dip the waxing stick. They should also have you fill out a consultation form prior to your first treatment. The waxing or threading table should be draped with a clean, disposable paper.

4. Chemical depilatories

Chemical depilatories break down hair so it washes away from your skin. Although convenient to use, they can lead to allergic reactions and irritation. Many people are sensitive to these products. Be sure to do a small patch test on your skin before trying on a larger area. Avoid using near the vaginal opening.

5. Laser hair removal or electrolysis

Laser hair removal and electrolysis are different methods of long-term hair removal. They both target the hair follicle underneath your skin’s surface. With electrolysis, Buka says scar tissue is a concern. If you have a history of keloid scar tissue, this approach isn’t a good choice.

When it comes to both of these options, Buka recommends finding a trained medical professional to administer the treatments. Think twice before jumping on a coupon-code bandwagon without doing your homework. “It could mean you’re rolling the dice,” he says.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our twice weekly Women’s Wellness email

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Should I go full bush or mow the lawn?

Although pubic hair has many modern purposes, it likely played a larger role in health long before humans had an array of undies or chafe-resistant leggings in their dresser drawers. “Pubic hair is the vestigial hair from our days as apes,” says Bobby Buka, a dermatologist and contributing founder and chief science officer of the First Aid Beauty skin care line.

These days you can do as you please: Keep it all, trim it up, or go buff. “While natural is probably the healthiest,” says Friedler, “having good habits for trimming and shaping can make any style a healthy one.”

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Pick a style

If you do decide to head to the salon for a waxing sesh, communication is everything. Don’t be shy while you’re spread-eagle. Describe to your aesthetician exactly what you want — or don’t want.

StyleDescription
bikiniremoves the pubes that peek out of your panty line
Brazilian, aka Hollywood or Full Montyremoves all the hair from your pubic area, labia, and even your bum
Frenchthe happy medium between a bikini wax and a Brazilian; it leaves your labia and bum hair intact but tidies up the front

Pick a shape

For any waxing option, you’ve got a shape choice as well. If you’re going Brazilian, you can choose to keep some rug up front and select a cut. If you’re choosing the French wax style, your shape will trail down your labia.

Hair shapesWhat it’s like
landing stripa classic, short-haired, inch-wide path
mohawklanding strip but with a thicker line
postage stampa square version of the landing strip
Bermuda trianglewide at the top, narrow at the bottom
martini glasstrimmer than a triangle
hearta romantic choice
vajazzleadhesive faux jewels temporarily adorn your nether regions

Banish red bumps

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Ingrown hairs are the bane of shaving, waxing, threading, and chemical depilatory hair removal. But they don’t have to be. “An ingrown hair is your immune system’s reaction to a hair growing sideways,” Buka explains. Your body begins building up scar tissue around the area.

If you do get a case of red bumps, avoid using tweezers or other devices to remove them. “This often leads to more trauma in the area and increases the risk of bacterial infections,” Burris says. “Warm compresses can help reduce the inflammation, and the hair may heal on its own and spontaneously dislodge.”

Try over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to bring down swelling and benzoyl peroxide to nix bacteria, Buka recommends. Again, avoid using products near the vaginal opening. If an ingrown hair doesn’t resolve or becomes painful, see your doctor or dermatologist.OTC hydrocortisone creambenzoyl peroxide

The science behind pubic hair

As a general rule, if it’s on our bodies, it’s probably there for a reason. The same is true for our pubes.

“Pubic hair functions to cushion and protect the sensitive skin around the genitals,” Burris says. “It also plays a role in hygiene, trapping dirt and bacteria and preventing it from entering the vaginal opening. Although many people feel it’s more hygienic to remove the hair, it’s actually the opposite.”

Pubic hair’s purpose

  • protects the vaginal opening
  • wicks away sweat
  • prevents chafing
  • offers some infection protection
  • plays a role in basic sexual instincts

Our pubes help wick away sweat from our bodies for faster evaporation, explains Friedler. Essentially, our pubic hair can help cool us down when we’re on a run or dripping puddles at the hot yoga studio. And there’s a bonus: “Hair acts as a barrier, which prevents friction and chafing,” Friedler adds.

Speaking of activities: “Last I heard, sex was a contact sport,” says Angela Jones, an OB-GYN and Astroglide’s resident sexual health advisor. Our pubes can step up and prevent irritation while in the sack, but that’s not all.

Although more research needs to be done on this topic, leaving your pubes intact — rather than risking nicks, cuts, or abrasions — could offer some protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). “Certain STIs have an increased risk of spreading or being acquired if there’s a compromised skin surface involved,” Jones explains. But our pubes aren’t meant as a substitute for using protection, such as condoms, during sexual activity.

Our pubic hair also plays a role in finding the person to do the rolling with. Hair traps the scents commonly known as pheromones that our apocrine glands produce. “These scents are important for mating in all types of animals,” Friedler explains.

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