Should You Really Be Grooming Your Vagina? Here’s What The Experts Say
Does your carpet match the drapes or do you have wooden flooring? No, I’m not talking about your living room decor. I’m talking about your pubic hair. Some say keep it; others say take it all off. So, what’s a girl to do? We turned to an expert for advice…
What Pubic Hair Won’t Do…
Many in the pro-pubes camp believe that pubic hair will prevent you from contracting STIs. The truth? It won’t. There is currently zero scientific evidence to suggest that having hair down there can 100 percent prevent infections. “[But] shaving can cause small skin tears, which can increase the transmission of STIs,” says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Kim Sonntag.
There are only two sure ways of protecting yourself from contracting an STI: condoms and abstinence. So, whether you have a full bush or go boldly bare, ensure you’re protecting yourself against infections by having your partner wrap it up.
Having pubic hair also won’t make you cleaner down there. Likewise, there is no scientific research to suggest that a lack of pubic hair equals a cleaner, healthier vagina. Provided you take care of your vaginal health by washing your vag with water (only water guys!), visiting your gynae and practising safe sex, your bits will be happy.
And as for intercourse? Rumour has it that pubic hair makes sex less… sexy. Again, totally false – it all comes down to personal preference. Some people like the feel of smooth skin against their partner; others like a little tug in the nether regions. Whatever floats your boat.
How To Care For Your Pubic Hair
It’s simple: just wash with water and leave it alone. The hair on your vulva doesn’t require the whole salon treatment, so no need to shampoo, condition or treat it.
Pubic Hair Removal 101
According to Dr Sonntag, the side effects of hair removal are dependent on each individual, their skin sensitivity and the type of hair removal method. Let’s have a look at your options…
Shaving is convenient because you can do it at home, but always go slow when a razor is near your lady bits. Prep the area by placing a warm cloth on your vulva to help open up the pores. Use a gentle shaving cream and ensure you don’t get any inside your vag. Use a good razor – a blunt one can do more harm than good.
Not stressed by a little bit of pain? If so, Dr Sonntag suggests going to a reputable salon – unless you have experience in DIY waxing. If the wax causes skin irritation, opt for an alternative method. It will hurt, but there are a few things you can do to help make it a smoother experience…
1/ Make sure your pubes are at least the length of a grain of rice. Any shorter and there’ll be no grip.
2/ Avoid going when you’re on your period – your skin is more sensitive during that time of them month.
3/ Wear a skirt for easy access.
4/ Prepare some topics to talk about to help keep your mind off the fact that a stranger is up close with your vag.
5/ Let your waxer know if you have any skin issues, moles or skin tags on your vagina.
If you’re looking for a more permanent hair-removal solution, laser might be the way to go. Pubic laser hair removal can be quite costly, ranging from R240 to R350 per session. Plus: it’ll take a few sessions to ensure the hair doesn’t grow back. A word of warning: in some cases, laser can lead to redness, scarring and skin discolouration, says Dr Sonntag.
Depilatory creams are an easy, pain-free option. They work by dissolving the hair at the skin’s surface – but, like shaving, the hair will grow back quicker than a wax job. Dr Sonntag suggests testing a small area of skin on another part of your body before applying to your vulva.
A Final Word…
If you’re looking to tame your lady garden, ensure you don’t have any skin lesions or infections first, says Dr Sonntag. If you’re opting for laser or wax, do your research. But, most importantly, your pubic hair is you own. Remove it or grow it out. Just find something that feels comfortable for you –and your wallet. You can wax, shave, laser, dye your pubic hair, vajazzle or leave it au natural – the choice is yours.