How to Groom Hair Below the Belt
Loving the way you look "down there" is empowering, but there's more than one way to do it. Many women embrace the "full bush," while others prefer how they look with less pubic hair or even none. Deciding to remove or restyle pubic hair—and which method to use—is an extremely personal choice.
So, whether you prefer to be completely bare, tidy up around the edges for bathing suit season or you've always wanted to craft the perfect landing strip, there are many hair removal options at your disposal. Choosing the one best for you depends on a number of factors, including budget, pain tolerance and how often you're willing to devote time for maintenance.
The basics: shaving
Shaving is undefeated in terms of convenience: You can do it yourself in the shower, and you likely already have a razor on hand you can use. If you don't, they're affordable—usually less than $15, or even cheaper for fully disposable ones. You'll need to buy blade refills periodically to keep your razor in good condition, but this comes in at just a few dollars a month.
Shaving is also relatively pain-free—but be careful, you don't want to end up with razor burn or accidentally nick your skin. You'll get better at avoiding these issues with practice, but razor burn can be an ongoing problem for some skin types.
The major downside to shaving is it can only remove hair above the skin, rather than pulling it up from the root. This means you'll need to shave often if you don't like feeling or looking prickly. You may get regrowth in as little as a couple of days, or even within hours of shaving. Some women may also notice their skin appears darkened or discolored after shaving because the hair root is visible under the skin.
Depilatory creams can remove hair above the skin and slightly below, making the results smoother and longer lasting than shaving—but they don't remove the hair all the way down to the root, like waxing or epilating.
If used correctly, depilatory creams are painless, but you have to be careful as you don't want to get a chemical burn. It's also important to ensure that the cream does not make contact with your genitals.
Depilatory creams may not give you exactly the results you're looking for when it comes to pubic hair removal, and they are more popular for use on other parts of the body, like your face or legs. Please note that depilatory creams are created specifically for different parts of the body—you should not, for example, use the cream marketed for your legs on your face.
Also, considering the cost—around $10 a tube—it may be worth a try to see if it's the right method for you before making a major investment.
Waxing is long-lasting and leaves your skin feeling soft. It is possible to wax at home, but in general, and especially for the pubic area, waxing is best left to the professionals. Depending on how much hair you want to have removed (ranging from the bikini line to a full Brazilian), you can expect to pay about $40 to $60 or more, plus tip of course.
Since waxing pulls your pubic hair from the root, it's more painful. However, it's over quickly and means the hair won't come back for a few weeks.
The major downside to waxing is it leads to an awkward regrowth period. Exfoliation is key, but even so, it can be hard to avoid ingrown hairs. You'll also need to wait until the hair is about a quarter of an inch long before you can wax again.
An epilator is a handheld electric device you can use at home to remove hair from the root.
Think of an epilator as tweezers on steroids. As you can imagine, using an epilator is pretty painful, and since the hairs don't come out all at once as they do with waxing, this might not work if you have a low tolerance for pain. It can be especially difficult to use an epilator on more sensitive areas, such as the skin closer to the labia.
But if you can get past the pain, an epilator gives you the same smooth, long-lasting (two to three weeks) results as waxing, but without the frustrating regrowth period. You'll be able to epilate again as soon as you notice your pubic hair coming back.
An epilator can be purchased for $60 to $100, and that's a one-time cost, unlike waxing.
Laser hair removal
Over the course of six to eight sessions spaced several weeks apart, a doctor can use a laser to target hair follicles. It's noninvasive and there's minimal pain. Results of laser hair removal vary from person to person, but in general, hair is permanently reduced by at least 90 percent.
Laser hair removal is a significant investment, though, and can cost about $500 to $1,000 for the full series of treatments. Since it's permanent, you'll need to seriously consider your commitment to your style of choice, but if you're tired of short-term solutions, laser hair removal can save you time and effort for the rest of your life.