Looking for a safe, sensible and comprehensible guide to pubic hair and how to trim it? Look no further, WUKA experts discuss: what is pubic hair, what is the purpose of pubic hair and what are the best ways to get rid of it? Find out the answers, plus learn how to trim pubic hair here.
What Is Pubic Hair?
Pubic hair: the hair that grows in the pubic area, around the genitals. We all have it (although some of us wish we didn’t) and it is a clear sign of puberty, along with acne, developing breasts and getting your first period.
Thanks to fluctuations of hormones around this time, hair starts to grow in other places too – under the arms, for example. And, just like the hair on our heads, pubic hair can vary from person to person. Some will have more hair than others, some will have darker, some lighter, some thicker. Once we begin to approach sexual maturity, we all have it in one form or another.
What Is The Purpose of Pubic Hair?
Pubic hair is different to the hair on the rest of our body, as no doubt you have already noticed. It is a lot thicker and coarser, and there are a few theories as to why this is the case, some more accurate than others.
For starters, the unique wiry texture of pubic hair plays an important role when it comes to having sex. It acts almost like a cushion, helping to reduce fiction during intercourse, and reducing the risk of abrasions or rashes in delicate areas.
It is also thought that pubic hair helps to trap pheromones, thanks to its wiry, curly shape. The theory is that back in the day (and we’re talking cave men here), pubic hair helped humans to not only attract a mate by keeping these pheromones and releasing them to act almost like an aphrodisiac, but to deter competition too.
There is even a theory that suggests we even have pubic hair as a definitive external sign to others that we have reached sexual maturity and are therefore ready to mate, but experts aren’t in quite in agreement over that one.
But the most important function of pubic hair is actually its ability to protect the vagina from infection. Again acting like a cushion, the hair creates a barrier that helps to prevent bacteria and other pathogens from entering the vagina. Pretty clever, huh?
How To Trim Pubic Hair For Women
Cleverness aside, most of us actually prefer to get rid of pubic hair. A 2021 YouGov survey found that, in the UK, 52% of those surveyed expressed a preference for trimmed pubic hair, with 46% of women favouring this over complete removal, or other pubic hair styles.
If you are thinking about trimming your own pubic hair, you are not alone. So, how to actually trim pubic hair, and how to avoid irritation and injury?
Best Way To Get Rid Of Pubic Hair
Trimming your pubic hair can be tricky to master. Remember that the skin down there is sensitive, and the hair you are removing is a lot thicker and coarser than the hair on your legs, for example. Because of this, you are more prone to irritations and rashes, so bear this in mind when you decide how to remove the hair.
The options you can choose from are: shaving, waxing, sugaring, depilatory creams, epilator and laser removal. It is up to you which you try. We recommend experimenting to find the method that suits you best.
Shaving is probably the quickest and easiest option, and the cheapest too. Always shave in the direction of the hair growth, make sure your razor is sharp, use shaving cream and follow up with a good, unperformed moisturiser that will help to hydrate the skin.
Waxing can be done at home or in a salon, and is often a little more tricky to master by yourself. Wax should be applied in the direction of the hair growth and removed in the opposite direction.
Sugaring, similar to waxing as it involves the hair being pulled from the root, is best done by a professional. A mixture of sugar, lemon, water and honey is applied to the area and hair is pulled in the direction of growth.
Depilatory creams dissolve the hair using chemicals, leaving the root behind. They can be used safely and easily at home, but always take care to read the instructions carefully to avoid irritation.
Epilators work by removing the hairs in a plucking motion, which removes them from the root. Always move the epilator in the direction of hair growth.
Laser hair removal can only be done by a professional and is probably the most effective method of hair removal, as it works by heating the hair follicle and preventing new hair from growing. It doesn’t completely prevent new growth in the area, but less hairs tend to grow back afterwards, and those that do are much finer than before.
Removing pubic hair doesn’t come without potential pitfalls, sadly, thanks to the sensitivity of the skin down there.
Always make sure you exfoliate the area before you start, and soak the skin in warm water for a few minutes to prevent ingrown hairs. If you do get an ingrown hair, you can treat it at home by applying a warm compress over the course of a few days until the hair emerges.
Rashes and razor bumps can also be avoided by exfoliating before shaving, and by always using a clean, sharp razor. Don’t forget to moisturise the area afterwards too.
If you do experience irritation or a rash that doesn’t seem to clear up by itself, make an appointment to see a doctor, who can check for possible signs of infection.
There are also a few after care steps that you can take to minimise the risk of irritation after hair removal. We spoke to Natalie Turner, a registered nurse with over 24 years medical experience, and full member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses and the Aesthetics Complications Experts Group. She runs the Adonia Aesthetics Clinic and Academy and told us:
“In general, with any method of hair removal you should do the following to help promote skin healing and to prevent side effects:
Apply cool compresses
Wet a clean, soft washcloth with cool water and place it on the treated area for several minutes at a time. You can also use an ice pack wrapped in a paper towel. This method helps to reduce temporary swelling and pain after your hair removal treatment.
Protect your skin from the sun
Since your skin will be sensitive after hair removal, your therapist will recommend that you avoid getting direct sun exposure to the treated area - it can also increase your risk of hypopigmentation (light spots) so should be avoided.
Avoid tanning and fragranced lotions
Similarly Don’t use tanning lotions, or lotions with fragrances or perfumes. While seemingly harmless, these products can be irritating to skin that’s just undergone hair removal and can cause rashes, burns, and bumps.
Finally, avoid body scrubs for at least a few days, as it can irritate your skin.”
Long Pubic Hair
Just as some of us have long hair on our heads, some of us also have longer pubic hairs too. If this is the case for you, you might need to give them a trim first before you start to remove them. Some women prefer to simply trim their pubic hair and leave it at that – and that is completely fine.
Either way, you will need to follow these simple steps to get the job done:
Use either a pair of clean, sharp scissors, an electric bikini trimmer or an electric razor. Position a mirror so that you can easily see what you’re doing, and take your time.
Trimming your pubic hair is an important first step before removal because it helps to prepare the area and prevents over-shaving in areas that have longer hair. It will also prevent your razor from getting ‘clogged up’ if you choose to shave.