It's not the 60's anymore. Although some ladies remain proud of their bushes, many of us prefer to partake in a little grooming. And there are lots of reasons for this. You don't like the idea of your short and curlies poking out of your bikini bottoms. It makes you feel cleaner. Or you feel you need to get rid of your lady garden in preparation for those hot and steamy nights of passion.
You may have a valid reason for removing the hair from down there. But for lots of women the process can prove problematic. Removing excess hair from your lady parts can be a painful and time-consuming process. And it's not as if it's something your parents teach you about as an adolescent - how cringeworthy would that be? So lots of women don't even know whether they're doing it right. But we're here to help! Here are the answers to some of your frequently asked feminine grooming questions.
13 Is shaving your bikini line bad for you?
OK, so getting rid of your pubic hair isn't going to cause you any major health problems. Calm down, your life isn't at risk. However, both shaving and waxing can cause ingrown hairs and irritation around your bikini line. This is what causes discomfort. Not only is it highly embarrassing to have to itch your crotch in public, the area can become quite sore too.
What you may not have known is that removing the hair from your pubic region also puts you at a higher risk of contracting certain STIs. Think about it, your pubic hair is there for a reason – to help prevent bacteria from entering your body. Pubic hairs absorb moisture and drain it away. Removing the hair also affects the skin membrane.
12 What's the right way to shave your bikini line?
If you're absolutely adamant that shaving your lady bits is right for you then you at least need to know how to do it the right way. Doing it the right means causing the least amount of damage to a highly sensitive area. The first step is getting yourself a good razor with multiple blades (spend a bit more ladies), avoid disposables where possible. More blades means that more hair is removed while putting less pressure on your skin. Prep your bikini line by soaking in the bath and having a good trim first. Apply lots of good quality shaving cream to avoid catching your skin. Always shave with the grain to prevent damage to your hair follicles. Rinse immediately and apply moisturizer.
11 How can I avoid irritation or a shaving rash?
A rash or razor burn just doesn't look nice does it? You definitely don't want to look patchy when your s/o goes down there. So it's important to take some steps to avoid unsightly and painful irritation. Firstly, you need to make sure you shave properly, using the tips above. Soaking in the bath, for example, will soften your skin and open up your pores making shaving easier on your bikini line. Applying tea tree oil post-shave can help with the swelling and redness. Moisturizers should also be light to avoid clogging your pores and unscented so as not to mess up the delicate balance of your intimate area. Soothing creams with lavender oil, vitamin E, jojoba oil or aloe vera work really well.
10 How do I get to those hard-to-reach areas?
If you're going to leave random patches of hair around your bits then you might as well not bother with hair removal at all because it will just look like a weird, patchy mess. But admittedly it's difficult to get into all of the little nooks and crannies. You might feel like you have to do some serious shower acrobatics to get it right. Most good razors are ergonomically designed for this reason i.e. with heads that tilt to flow with the shape of your body. So, again, get a good razor girl. Also, don't be afraid to use a mirror. What I'm saying is, don't be afraid to look at your own vagina! You ought to try some different positions too. Prop one or both legs up on a counter while lay on your back. Try squatting to get into those hard-to-reach areas or lie on your side, keeping your bottom leg straight but your top leg bent.
9 Do guys prefer shaven or unshaven girls?
This really is the million dollar question isn't it. I personally think you should never do something to your body that makes you uncomfortable but pleases your partner. It's ridiculous, your body belongs to you. You're the one who has to deal with the torturous waxing or painful razor burn afterwards. But I know that this is a burning question you'll want answering. Well, the general consensus seems to be that guys prefer it to be groomed but by no means demand the bald, adult film star look. A survey of 500 men showed that 79% prefer a neat and tidy bikini area; while the other 21% either don't care or prefer the natural look. So if you care about that stuff, then just keep your bits neat, guys don't expect you to go over the top.
8 What are the different types of bikini wax that can I get?
If you're a waxing-virgin then you certainly need to know a little waxing terminology before you head to the salon. Otherwise, you might leave with a style you weren't expecting, like a lightning bolt... just kidding! So a regular bikini wax is just a little maintenance and takes care of the hair outside your pantyline. If you want to go in a little deeper then you should ask for a full bikini wax which will leave you with a more defined coiffure. A French bikini wax removes all hair except for your booty area and a landing strip. A Brazilian removes all hair except for a landing strip and a Hollywood removes all hair.
7 How much does a bikini wax hurt?
If you're new to waxing, you'll also want to know whether it actually hurts or not. It's easy to imagine that a bikini would cause pain of monumental proportions, but is that really the case? The short answer is yes, but seasoned waxees will tell you that it hurts less and less each time you get a bikini wax. Some areas are much more sensitive than others. When the beautician is working on your thighs, for example, the pain might be a bit more bearable than when they're working on intimate areas.
6 How can I make a wax hurt less?
Thankfully there are some ways in which you can reduce the pain that comes with having a bikini wax. Try taking a painkiller an hour before the wax. Alternatively there are special skin-numbing creams and sprays on the market that you can apply to the area before you get it waxed. And be sure to start off small, get used to having a regular bikini wax before you move on to the full Hollywood.
5 Should I use intimate products to clean myself?
Lots of women are self-conscious about their vaginas. They're afraid that they're emitting unpleasant odours or that they aren't entirely clean. So the obvious response would be to use special feminine wipes or deoderants. Yet, any medical professional will tell you that this is unnecessary. Essentially, your vagina takes care of itself. A mucous (sounds gross but it's just the way your body works) helps maintain the pH balance and supports healthy bacteria which keep your vajayjay healthy and clean. So avoid any scented products that will upset the natural mechanisms and stick to washing with unscented soaps and water.
4 How can I stay smooth for longer?
We all want to know the answer to this question because down-there grooming is such a tiresome task! Wouldn't it be great if you only had to trim the hedge say once every six months? That isn't possible unfortunately, but there are a few tips and tricks for staying smooth for longer. Make sure you change your razor blades regularly so that you can get an extra-smooth shave to begin with. Continue to moisturise the area regularly to keep your skin soft and supple. You can also get lotions that contain ingredients, such as soy, that suppress hair regrowth.
3 What is the best form of down-there hair removal?
There are many different ways of grooming your nether regions, so which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on you. We all have different levels of skin sensitivity and different pain tolerances. We all have different amounts of time we can spend catering to such matters and different levels of patience. As regards to which form of hair removal is the least likely to leave you with an annoying rash, hair removal creams are the best. This is because they remove hair in a different way from waxing and shaving, via the use of chemicals. Yet, you can't use creams too close to your bits and therefore could not achieve the full Brazilian-effect if that's what you're after.
2 Do cosmetic procedures work for intimate hair removal?
There's always a buzz surrounding trendy cosmetic treatments. This is true for laser hair removal which is becoming increasingly popular seeing as it now works for people with any hair or skin colour apparently. Supposedly you will see results almost straight away. But the cost of such procedures is pretty steep (about $200 per sesh) and you might still have to keep going back to the clinic again and again to see the results you want. There are some people who charge much less but make sure you know a client of theirs to make sure that they do good work.
1 Is it all worth it?
It's not easy being beautiful, is it? It's strange the lengths we will go to for aesthetics. Hair removal in particular can involve unnecessary pain. But I reckon you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable, confident and sexy. If you're not really bothered, then don't go shaving for the sake of somebody else. Some guys and girls are big fans of ladies who leave their private parts au naturel anyway. But if you're self-conscious about the way you look down there then there's nothing wrong with a little grooming now and again.