There's a lot of discourse surrounding what hair "should" or "shouldn't" be present on the body. While there's a time and place for that discourse, we just want you to do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If that's not shaving any of your body hair, great. If it's shaving your body hair entirely, that's great too. If it's just trimming your pubic hair down, that is also great. Everyone is different, and part of being different is wanting different things for our bodies.
That said, some people do want to get rid of their pubic hair, and learning how to do it if you haven't before can be kind of daunting. It comes off as treacherous, largely because there's not really much room for mistake. Because if there's a place you don't want cuts, in particular those ridiculously painful accidental razor cuts, it's your nether region.
What You Need
- Comb and scissors or clippers
- New pivoting razor with multiple blades
- Shaving cream or gel
- Pre-shaving oil
- Shaving brush (optional)
- Cortisone cream if pubic area starts getting itchy
- Light, unscented moisturizer
What works for one person doesn't always work for another here. If you have long pubic hair, you're going to want to start out with a comb and scissors. If you're transitioning from waxing to shaving, the comb and scissors aren't necessary. What we do recommend for any hair length, however, is actually to keep your pubic area moisturized. We like Quim's Happy Clam Everyday Oil ($48).
Regardless of whether you trim your pubic hair or the length you trim it, remember to moisturize with an oil. It can make a big difference in how the area feels before and after.
Putting cheap things near your pelvic region is rarely a good idea; it's an easy way to get hurt in an area where it's particularly painful. Instead, opt for a razor with safety features like this one from Billie. If you get your razors from an online subscription service like Billie or Dollar Shave Club, you'll absolutely get a better product for the cost. Razors have come a long way, and replacements are less expensive than they used to be.
Now, we have to talk about shaving cream. Some people use it, some don't, but we recommend you do. The biggest thing you want to look for in a shave cream is that it's made for use everywhere, including your most delicate bits.
How to Shave
"Never. Shave. Dry." warns Lindsay Wynn, founder of vaginal wellness brand Momotaro Apotheca. "Unless you want a raging rash of razor burn, shave your pubic hair at the end of your shower or bath, once your hair follicles will have had a chance to thoroughly soften."
- Take a warm shower or bath.
- Dab on some pre-shaving oil.
- Apply shaving cream or gel. Make sure skin is damp but not overly wet. If you have a shaving brush, work the product with the brush in circles to help lift hair so you get a closer shave.
- Shave. Using a fresh blade, first, go in the same direction of hair growth and then in the opposite direction. Don't go over the same area too many times.
- Rinse. In between strokes, be sure to rinse the blade. A clogged razor won’t work well.
- Cleanse. Rinse skin thoroughly and lightly pat dry with a soft towel.
- Moisturize. Apply a light, preferably unscented product. It can be an oil like Momotaro's Tonic ($44), which is pH balanced, or a light and unscented lotion. (Wynn echoes this idea: "You can apply the tonic as needed between shaves to keep skin moisturized and alleviate any itching or irritation as hair grows back.")
- Fight redness. There's a chance of getting ingrown hairs. fur.'s Ingrown Concentrate ($28) can help with bumps, redness, and ingrown hairs.
- Keep all products on the outside of your body only. And avoid shaving during your period, as skin may be more sensitive.
- Shaving while taking a shower, rather than a bath can make things easier because you can prop up legs on side of the stall.
- If you're daring, you can create pubic hair designs at home.
- Shaving only takes hair even with the skin, waxing will keep hair away weeks at a time. You may want to consider a Brazilian wax.
Falcone D, Richters RJ, Uzunbajakava NE, Van Erp PE, Van De Kerkhof PC. Sensitive skin and the influence of female hormone fluctuations: results from a cross-sectional digital survey in the Dutch population. Eur J Dermatol. 2017;27(1):42-48. doi:10.1684/ejd.2016.2913