Pubic hair removal (if that’s your cup of tea—we’re totally here for the full bush if that’s your choice) can be accomplished by waxing, lasering, or shaving. But what’s the best way to get the job done? Shaving remains the most popular way to remove pubic hair due to its convenience. And you may think that you have this tried-and-true method down pact, but there are a few things you can do to keep from hurting yourself. While other alternatives, like waxing and laser hair removal, make up in longevity what they lack in convenience. Although there is usually a trained professional administering these procedures, there are a few tips and tricks to making the whole ordeal as painless as possible.
To minimize the nasty aftereffects of any hair removal technique you choose—which can include burning, ingrown hairs, and bumps—follow these tips to get smooth skin, soothe irritation, and, hopefully, stretch out the period between sessions just a bit more.
Guide to Shaving Your Pubic Hair
- First, take a shower or bath to loosen up the follicles. Exfoliate with a washcloth, shower sponge, or loofah. Be gentle! Then use shaving cream before you shave your pubes. Your lady bits will thank you later.
- Trim down the hedges first. Cut any long hairs with haircutting scissors. It makes the job much easier.
- Using a regular razor is safer than an electric one, as you don't want to accidentally hurt anything important (eek). Whatever you do, use a fresh new blade, as a dull one is dangerous. Trim in the direction of the hair growth if possible to avoid razor bumps. You might have no choice, however, but to trim some of the hard-to-navigate areas in the opposite direction.
- The downside of shaving is razor bumps and ingrown hairs, but there are a number of things that can help. The first is cortisone cream. It really works and can be applied as soon as you're done. Some dermatologists recommend refrigerating the cream to immediately cool down the razor burn, though you may want to let your roommates know first.
- Try an aftershave serum, oil, or cream. We love the Lady Business Oil by Lady Suite; it has a subtle grapefruit scent with cedarwood and sweet orange essential oils. It also contains jojoba and sesame oils to calm razor burn and irritation from the in-grown hairs. The oil doesn’t feel greasy and dries quickly, and it not only moisturizes but also soothes sensitive skin. Or check out the shaving kit from DeoDoc. The company, started by two sisters, was “developed by women doctors for women everywhere.” The pre-shave oil provides a shielding layer and softens skin before shaving, reducing inflammation and red spots. The shaving foam moisturizes and keeps the skin smooth, and the Intimate After Shave Balm calms the skin down.
SHOP NOW: Lady Suite, $46
SHOP NOW: Violet Grey, $55
Guide to Laser Hair Removal
This procedure, which averages $225, involves a laser light that zaps the hair follicles to remove them permanently. This is fine for your legs, armpits, or your upper lip, but doing it on your nether parts is not as easy. Some women get their panty lines zapped, which is usually fine, but if you’re doing this as a permanent pubic hair removal technique for a completely bare vag, it can grow back unevenly or cause skin discoloration, especially if you have a darker complexion. If you really want to give it a go, try it on another body part first and see how it looks.
And here’s a fun fact: Since laser hair removal targets melanin, the pigment in your hair follicles, it doesn’t work for (natural) blondes or redheads. Also, in order to have an effective permanent result, you’ll need to do about six sessions, spaced about five weeks apart. You won’t be able to expose the treated skin to sunlight while going through treatments, so you can forget wearing that sexy new bikini while lasering.
Guide to Bikini Waxing
A professional wax job can cost anywhere from $20 to $120, but one thing is for sure—don’t try this at home. You might think the temperature of the wax seems fine, but by the time it is too late, you might have done some serious burn damage to that sensitive pubic skin. Trust me: I tried it once and felt like I had a sunburn down under for a week.
To prepare for a pro bikini wax, wait until your pubic hair is at least one-quarter inch long. If it’s shorter than that, the wax won’t grip the hair. The salon will offer you a “panty line” wax which just removes the hairs on the top and side so they don’t peek out when you are wearing a swimsuit. Then there is the full bikini wax that takes it all off with the option of a landing strip, triangle, or whatever other shape the salon might offer. And finally, the full Brazilian wax goes one step further by removing the hair in your butt crack.
A professional bikini wax lasts about a month, so it’s high-maintenance. But the good news is that the hairs grow in thinner and softer each time you do it since the hair is removed at the root. And make sure to use cortisone cream or an essential oil serum afterward, like any of the products from Fur.
SHOP NOW: Fur Full Frontal Kit, $102
Our Favorite Post-Hair Removal Products
SHOP NOW: Aesop, $37
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $15.96
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $5.59
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $11.95