We get lots of questions on which method is best. Should I shave? What’s it feel like to have a brazilian? Can I put XYZ products down there?
Well if you have ever had questions on hair removal around your lady bits, wonder no more! One of our therapists has taken on the challenge for us and is here to report.
So, let’s talk about hair removal, AKA Depilation.
Pubic hair is not the same on all folks. Some have darker, more coarse hair. Some it’s blonde and “barely there”. Some grow in a very neat boundary around the pubic area, for others it is more wild, growing beyond the pubic area onto the lower stomach, inner thighs, and buttock. However your hair grows, we hope this information is helpful in making your decision about if you wish to depilate, or not, and how.
Let’s start easy-ish - Shaving
If it has been a while since you’ve groomed your pubic hair and you’re ready to take on the task once again here are some quick tips.
If your hair is longer - let’s say longer than long grain rice - it would be best to use a trimmer to first shorten the hair prior to shaving. This will prevent drag of the razor on the skin. See the section on trimming.
If it’s been a while since changing your razor or the razor has been living in your moist, warm bath tub or shower it is time to switch it for a fresh blade. The environment of the shower/tub is perfect for bacterial growth and razors should be changed routinely - about 1x per month if you shave 1x per week. A dull, dirty razor can cause skin irritation and infections.
Exfoliate the pubic area - GENTLY - with a scrub (one made for down there) or a clean washcloth. This helps remove debris from the base of the hair follicle and prevents ingrown hairs.
Finally, it is time to tackle the task of shaving. Shave WITH the hair, not against it. Another way to prevent razor burn and skin irritation. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water and apply a moisturizer, like coconut oil or aloe, to the area once dried.
The OH SO SCARY - Waxing
If you think you’re ready to adventure into this category you should first know there are two main waxing products and two methods to apply the wax. We have all heard, and maybe feared, the Brazilian. This is complete hair removal from all vulvar and anal tissues, meaning it’s ALL GONE. The other method is the Bikini wax, which removes hair from the bikini area - inner thighs, upper pubic area, lower buttock - but avoids the tissue right over the labia and anus. So, what’s best for you?
Well, if you tend to have hair growth beyond the borders of your pubic region and you don’t want to commit to a full Brazilian then the Bikini wax is for you.
If you want to be fresh and squeaky clean everywhere, and we mean everywhere. Then a Brazilian is for you.
Prior to applying the wax or sugar the esthetician will clean the skin and apply baby powder to help the hair stick to the wax/sugar. In both techniques the product is applied warm, a strip is placed on top typically, and then it is quickly pulled off. The strips are usually small, so they don’t rip off the entire labia at once - usually…thankfully. NO DOUBLE DIPPING should occur, with each dip into the wax the esthetician should NOT, I repeat NOT, then re-dip the same stick into the wax pot. This is VERY unsanitary as the wax is applied to your skin…and everyone else’s.
A few tips from our therapist -
Sugar wax is easier on the skin than traditional wax, so go this route if you tend to have skin sensitivities. Sugar is not as harsh as wax, but also won’t get all the hairs, so some tiny maintenance may be needed afterwards. We have found that hairs that remain after a wax do tend to fall out in a day or so or can be easily plucked with tweezers.
The first wax - bikini or brazilian - is the most painful. Speak to the esthetician about your hair growth schedule and they can recommend how often to get a wax. Stay on schedule and the pain is much less. As someone who had been waxed routinely for about a year I can say it feels like having an eyebrow wax or threading. Hurts for about 3-5 seconds, then gone.
After a wax apply moisturizer, aloe, or hydrocortisone to the external skin areas that are irritated to help relieve discomfort. You may feel sore for about a day. Avoid swimming, hot showers or baths, and intercourse during this time.
DO NOT SHAVE in between waxes, this will make your next wax more painful.
It’s a Buzz - Trimming
Trimming is an excellent way to manage hair growth for those who do not wish for a completely hair free outcome. Similar rules apply to trimming as do shaving. Routinely change the blades, some trimmers have detachable blades that can be sanitized and replaced. Advice from an expert who has tried it-
When it comes to trimmers, you get what you pay for. Find one that can be used in the shower and is rechargeable.
The male market is ahead of the ladies in this regard. No shame in buying a “male” trimmer. They tend to be more cost effective and get better results.
Trim the hair WITH the grain first, and if the shave is not close enough to the skin for you, THEN go against the grain.
If you feel pull or drag from the trimmer, it is time to replace the blade.
Last, but not least - Hair Removal Creams
Now, these tend to get a bad rap around the clinic. There are so many products it can be hard to keep up. Keep things to avoid are scented products and hair removal products NOT intended for the pubic area. When applying the cream avoid the inner labia, vaginal canal, and anus as these areas are easily irritated by the chemicals in the products.
Tips from someone who learned it the hard way -
Read the instructions BEFORE you apply the cream. Usually they mention doing a test run on an area - like the thigh - prior to diving into a more sensitive region.
Some creams give a range of time for it to sit on the skin - usually 5 -10 min. Check the area each minute to see the results, letting it sit too long can lead to skin irritation. Note the time it took for your desired results and repeat next time.
Cleanse the area after with warm water and a clean washcloth to make sure all the cream is removed.
Remember, whether you depilate or not is totally up to you. There is no right choice for everyone and many of us try a few different options for various reasons - time of year, hair growth type, personal choice. We hope this guide is helpful in the ever confusing struggle of hair removal.