Personal hygiene is an area where almost all of us want to do our best, especially in the maintenance and care of our nether regions. Today, for many women, this also means removing pubic hair. But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, a couple of decades ago, au naturel was the way to go. It was only after the Second World War that hair removal began to be advertised as an ideal of femininity and female hygiene (1).
Let’s make it clear first, pubic hair removal is a matter of personal preference. We are not here to judge one choice over another as right. We are here to help you make an informed decision.
What is the function of pubic hair?
Most of our organs and bodily features exist for a reason. As mankind has evolved, the human body has developed several features that have helped it cope with changing times. Body hair may seem unnecessary, but it did appear as a result. In fact, hair regulates body temperature and facilitates sweat evaporation (2). But what about pubic hair?
This also serves the purpose. Pubic hair acts as a cushion for the skin around the lower parts and protects it from abrasions and cuts. Instead of interfering with maintaining and maintaining the hygiene of the area, it protects the vaginal entrance from dust and bacteria by trapping them. It also helps the evaporation of sweat in this area (3). So the fact is, although you may think of it as a minor inconvenience, pubic hair has a very important function.
What are the disadvantages of shaving?
There are many ways to remove pubic hair. There’s waxing, electrolysis, laser hair removal, over-the-counter chemical hair removal creams, and shaving. Although all these methods have their pros and cons, women prefer shaving because it is affordable and can be done at a time that suits them.
There is also another school of thought that cautions against this because they claim that shaving your hair makes it thicker and also makes it grow back quickly. There is no basis for this claim, and at best it is just a myth. However, there are other disadvantages to shaving, and we want to warn you about them. They are here:
In order to keep the pubic area smooth, you may have to shave quite often, which can cause micro-scratches or cuts in the skin that can leave the area vulnerable to infection.
Then comes the problem of razor burn.
You may also have ingrown hairs that not only spoil the appearance of the area, but also cause you a lot of discomfort.
Hair removal can also increase the risk of getting an STD because hair removal removes the skin membrane, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the body (4). However, this risk exists with other hair removal methods.
You may also develop folliculitis in the genital area. Folliculitis is a condition where small red papules appear on the skin. These nodules also have pus. Although the condition is easily treatable and relatively harmless, it can lead to scarring (5).
How to minimize discomfort?
Always use a lubricant or shaving cream to prevent cuts and use a moisturizer afterwards to minimize irritation. You can also use an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream. However, be careful not to place any of these products too close to the vaginal opening.
Do not wear tight clothing or exercise immediately afterwards to avoid further irritation of this area. Your skin is more sensitive to rubbing.
You can treat razor burns or ingrown hairs by using a washcloth to gently exfoliate the area while showering. If you have these problems, wait for them to go away before driving again. In the meantime, you can cut your hair.
Also, avoid long hot showers or steam baths immediately after hair removal, as hot water can irritate the skin and cause bumps.
At the end of the day, the decision to remove or grow hair is yours. However, in terms of hygiene, hair removal does not actually increase your hygiene factor, but rather increases the risk of contracting several diseases. Using a chemical depilatory cream can reduce this risk, but there is always the possibility that it could end up in the vagina. So this option is again not suitable.
On the other hand, if you decide to go the natural route, make sure Gloria Steinem is proud of you! Do you have other concerns about pubic hair removal? Share them with us in the comments section.