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Safety Guidelines when Shaving Pubic Hair:
- Use a hand mirror so you can see the area you want to shave.
- Trim as much hair as possible before you begin shaving – DON’T use a dull pair of scissors.
- Soak in the tub for at least 5 minutes to soften the skin and pubic hair before you shave.
- Apply shaving cream or gel with aloe vera or another soothing agent (made for women) over all the areas you plan to shave. Reapply as needed.
- Use a new/sharp razor or “bikini” razor – DON’T use a dull blade. Try a razor with a built-in moisturizing strip.
- Hold the skin tight with one hand and shave with the other hand. Avoid using too much pressure.
- Shave in the direction that the hair grows, using slow strokes.
- Rinse your skin with warm water after you are done shaving and then pat dry.
- Apply baby oil or lotion with aloe vera to the shaved area when you’re done. Avoid scented products because they may sting your skin.
Possible risks from removing pubic hair include:
- Razor burn (rash)
- Chemical burn from over-the-counter cream hair removers (depilatories)
- Cuts, pimples and/or blisters
- Infection in the hair root – the medical term for this is “folliculitis”. Shaving is a common cause.
If you develop a rash, red bumps, or itching on your pubic area (vulva), there are remedies you can try at home. Symptoms usually go away within a couple of weeks. If bumps don’t go away in a week, see your primary care provider.
Most of the time you can relieve discomfort by doing the following:
- Soak in a warm tub or take a shower and let the warm water spray your pubic area
- Pat the skin (don’t rub) with a soft towel or dry with a hair dryer on the low or cool setting
- Apply a fragrance-free lotion
- Stop shaving for a while
- Do NOT squeeze! Soaking in warm bath usually helps. If it doesn’t improve, see your health care provider.
- Your health care provider may have you use an over-the-counter topical medicine such as hydrocortisone cream.
Folliculitis (Infection in the hair root):
- Soak in a warm bath, pat dry, and apply a thin layer of a topical over-the-counter antibiotic such as Bacitracin®.
- Stop shaving.
- Call your health care provider if you do not have any relief within a couple of days or the bumps are getting bigger or your skin is red.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, body hair, on average, grows to its full length in about a month. Male hair also tends to grow faster than female hair. The hair on your head can grow about six inches in a year.
Certain factors can affect the rate of hair growth, including nutrition, medications, and genetics. The rate of growth may slow down as you get older.
Hair growth is a complex process that starts deep in the hair follicle. Hair is dependent on blood to feed it as it makes its way to the skin’s surface. The sebaceous (oil) glands also play a role by keeping the hair lubricated and healthy.
Shaving simply gets rid of hair at the surface, which is why it grows back so quickly. Tweezing removes the hair as well as its root, which helps slow down regrowth. But even with tweezing, the hair will likely grow back in a couple of weeks.
If you’re looking for longer-term hair removal solutions, it may be time to consider other hair removal techniques. The following methods are ranked by their ability to remove hair for the longest amount of time.
Electrolysis involves the use of shortwave radio frequencies distributed through fine needles placed directly into your hair follicles. The intention is to destroy the hair follicle so that it doesn’t stimulate new hair growth. This procedure needs to be done by a dermatologist or a certified electrologist.
Unlike other hair removal options, electrolysis is considered a permanent solution by the Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source. However, for best results, you will need multiple follow-up appointments.
Most people need follow-up sessions every week or two. Depending on the length of the session, the cost is typically around $35 to $100 per session.
Electrolysis can be done anywhere on the body, and works for most skin types. The most common side effect is pain and redness from skin irritation. Rare but serious side effects include scarring and infection from the needles, as well as keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue).
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is another longer-term hair removal option. Like electrolysis, this treatment targets the hair follicle. It works by damaging the follicle with high-heat lasers to stop new hair from growing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, laser hair removal can be done anywhere on the body, with the exception of the eye area. The treatment tends to work best in people with light skin tones who have dark hair.
Like electrolysis, laser hair removal requires multiple sessions for best results. Depending on the area of hair removal, you may need about four to six treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart. It can cost up to $250 a session.
In most cases, hair removal lasts several months, and in some cases it might last for years. When hair grows back, it’s often finer and lighter in color. However, laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal.
The most common side effect is skin irritation and redness, but this usually goes away after a few hours. This treatment can also cause temporary pigment changes, especially with darker skin tones. More serious side effects include blistering and scarring, but this is rare.
If you don’t like the idea or the cost of electrolysis or laser hair removal, you may want to talk to your dermatologist about prescription creams.
One type in particular is called eflornithine (Vaniqa), which you apply twice a day for one month. It works by inhibiting the production of enzymes that stimulate hair growth.
According to a study on this treatment, the results can last up to eight weeks, after which you can start the process over again. A month’s treatment costs about $50.
Eflornithine works only for facial hair, and is better suited to women. Some side effects may include burning, rashes, and acne breakouts from follicle disruption.
Professional tweezing and waxing
An option for smaller areas of your body is professional tweezing and waxing done by a certified aesthetician. When hair is removed this way, it’s pulled directly out of the root. Depending on how fast your hair grows, results may last from two to eight weeks.
This is a less expensive option than laser hair removal or electrolysis, but you may need to repeat the treatment more often.
While tweezing can be done on any area of the body, waxing shouldn’t be done around the genitals, nipples, ears, or eyelashes. You should also avoid applying wax over varicose veins, moles, or warts, or on skin that’s chapped or sunburned.
The most common side effects of both professional tweezing and waxing include mild rashes and irritation, but this is usually temporary.
This treatment consists of an over-the-counter gel or cream that you put on your skin. It works by weakening a protein in your hair called keratin. This causes the hair to fall out and be easily wiped away.
Depilation doesn’t target the hair follicle, so the results may only last for about two weeks. However, it’s an inexpensive option that you can do at home.
Make sure you use the right type of cream for the area where you want to remove hair. Some creams are formulated for the face, and others for the body or pubic area.
It’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small part of your skin before using chemical depilation on a larger area of your body. Side effects of this treatment can include chemical burns, rashes, and blisters.
Although natural solutions aren’t permanent, they may help remove hair or limit hair growth. Some options include:
- sugar waxes and scrubs
- honey instead of wax
- drinking spearmint teaTrusted Source twice a day to limit the growth of facial hair