Pubic Hair Removal: Shaving | Sutter Health (2023)

If you choose to shave your pubic area, follow these guidelines.

Pubic Hair Removal: Shaving | Sutter Health (1)

Leigha Winters, College Student Writer

Palo Alto Medical Foundation

One change puberty brings is increased body hair. Some teens and young adults choose to depilate, or remove body hair. For females, the most common areas to depilate are underarms, legs, pubic area, eyebrows and face. For males, the most common areas are the face, abdomen, back, chest, groin and legs. Shaving is the most common way to depilate the underarms, legs and pubic area.

(Video) What is the best way to remove Pubic Hair? #womenshealth - Dr. Aruna Prasad| Doctors' Circle

Shaving the pubic area has become much more common among teenagers and young adults. However, that doesn’t mean you should do it. Shaving is a personal choice.

Any kind of depilation – shaving, waxing, clipping, tweezing, threading or laser treatment – can have health consequences. Your pubic area is especially sensitive to hair removal. If you decide to shave your pubic area, here’s what you need to know.


The pubic area consists of the:

  • Lower abdomen.
  • Mons pubis, the soft mound of flesh raised above the genitals by a pad of fat under the skin that protects the pubic bone. It’s usually much more pronounced in females than in males.
  • Genitals.
  • Perineum, the strip of skin between the genitals and anus.
  • Anus.
  • Buttocks.
  • Bikini area, the area along the lower abdomen and between the legs that’s exposed by bikini-style undergarments.

You can shave all of these areas.

Possible Consequences From Shaving

  • Itching.
  • Razor burn.
  • Nicks and cuts.
  • Bumps, blisters or pimples.
  • Genital infections.
  • Ingrown hairs.
  • Gas noises. A lack of hair around the anus makes it impossible to pass gas silently.
  • Folliculitis. This infection in a hair follicle is usually caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus (staph) or a fungus. A common cause of folliculitis is recently shaved hairs that regrow out of the follicle and curl back around.
  • Time loss. To keep the pubic area smooth and hairless, you’ll need to shave regularly, even daily. Consider if this is worth the trouble; it may become tedious after four or five weeks.
  • Cost. You’ll need to invest in special shaving equipment and care.


If you experience problems, some treatments can help. However, these are not comprehensive. If you’re having any serious problems, consult your medical provider.

  • Itching or irritation — Apply 1% hydrocortisone lotion two or three times per day. Avoid shaving for two months.
  • Razor burn — Use aloe vera gel to soothe sensitive skin and help reduce pain.
  • Bumps —Take a warm bath. See your doctor if the bumps don’t clear up after one week.
  • Blisters or pimples — As long as they’re not painful and don’t bother you, there’s no problem. Keep them clean and dry. Don’t pick at them.
  • Genital infections — Consult your doctor or visit Planned Parenthood.
  • Ingrown hairs — Don’t pick at them; this could cause infection. To prevent ingrown hairs, shave downward with the angle of the hair, or clip hairs instead of shaving. Some creams can exfoliate the skin and treat ingrown hairs. Check with your medical provider.
  • Folliculitis — If folliculitis is mild, use a topical over-the-counter antibiotic, such as Neosporin or bacitracin. Use it two or three times per day.

Remember: These treatments are simply recommendations. If symptoms don’t clear up, consult your medical provider.

Shaving Myths

Be aware of some myths:

  • Hair will regrow faster. False. After shaving, hair will not regrow any faster or slower than it did before you started shaving; you’ll probably just notice it more.
  • Hair will become thicker. False. Your body has a set number of hair follicles, and no new ones are created after you shave. This means that the hairs will not be thicker than they were before you started shaving.
  • Shaving always creates ingrown hairs. False. Every person is susceptible to ingrown hairs to a different extent. Some people get more ingrown hairs than others. That being said, you won’t get ingrown hairs every time you shave. Furthermore, certain practices and products help reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs when shaving, including scrubbing the area with a loofah or shaving in the direction of hair growth.
  • Shaving your pubic area will get rid of crabs and other STIs. False. Pedicularis pubis, commonly known as crabs or pubic lice, is highly infectious and transmitted through sexual contact. Shaving will not get rid of it. Shaving also won’t protect you from getting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that require medical treatment.

How to Shave the Pubic Area

If you decide you want to shave your pubic area, here’s a how-to guide in 10 easy steps.

  1. Go shopping for the appropriate supplies:
  • A pair of sharp scissors.
  • A new safety razor (no dull, disposable or switchblade razors), preferably with moisturizing strips and “micro-fins” or cushions. These provide extra protection from nicks and cuts. Using an electric razor is not recommended.
  • Female shaving cream, soft baby oil and aloe vera cream (preferably with vitamin E). Female shaving cream is recommended for both male and female pubic shaving because it’s milder and gentler than almost any male shaving cream. Also, male shaving creams are often perfumed, which may cause stinging and irritation. Choose a cream for your skin type. If you can’t find specialized creams for female shaving, use the mildest, non-perfumed male variety. For aftercare, use baby oil to prevent pimples and aloe vera cream to calm inflamed skin.
  • Tweezers and hair conditioner (optional). Hair conditioner can help soften the hair before shaving. Tweezers can remove stray or hard-to-reach hairs.
  • Keri Lotion.
  • Aveeno moisturizing products with oatmeal.
  • Eucerin creams and lotions.
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.
  1. Use the scissors to clip as much of the pubic hair as possible. This will help make the shaving less painful and more effective.
  2. After cropping as much hair as possible, soak in a hot bath or shower for at least three minutes to make the pubic area soft and smooth. This will allow you to shave more easily and avoid pimples and irritated skin.
  3. Dry off and wait a few minutes to allow the skin to recuperate.
  4. Apply generous amounts of female shaving cream specific to your skin type, or the mildest, non-perfumed male cream. Do not use soap! Let the shaving cream sit for a few minutes.
  5. Use your safety razor to begin shaving.
  6. Pull the skin tight with your free hand and shave without applying pressure. If you have to apply pressure, your razor is too dull.
  7. Move slowly over the skin in the counter-direction of the hair. In the pubic area, this means shaving upward. For people prone to ingrown hairs or razor burn, shave in the direction of hair growth. As you shave, feel free to keep applying shaving cream.
  8. When you’re done shaving, wash the area generously with lots of warm water.
  9. Apply soft baby oil to keep skin smooth and free of pimples. (Some people find baby oil perfume irritating. Ideally, you want a moisturizing cream or lotion free from perfume, antiaging ingredients, sunscreens or other additives. Do not use male aftershave; it will sting terribly!) You might want a moisturizer that’s labeled for sensitive skin.
    Suggestions include:
  • Keri Lotion.
  • Aveeno moisturizing products with oatmeal.
  • Eucerin creams and lotions.
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.
(Video) How to shave pubic hair without having itches and rashes #Health #Shaving

Other Considerations

Don’t plan to shave when you first wake up. During sleep, body fluids accumulate and make the skin puffier. Wait 20 to 30 minutes after you get up so skin is less puffy and the hair shaft is more exposed.

After shaving but before sex with a condom, wash your pubic area to remove any baby oil, which can deteriorate latex.

Last reviewed: August 2019

(Video) Best way to remove pubic hair l dermatologist


Are there health benefits to removing pubic hair? ›

Keeping it clean can help prevent odor. In separate studies, 59% of women and 61% of men stated that they groomed their pubic region for hygienic purposes. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest any health benefits associated with removing pubic hair — other than the removal of pubic lice.

Is it healthy to shave all pubic hair? ›

From the gynecologist's perspective, shaving regularly to eliminate pubic hair has drawbacks. Razors harbor bacteria and cause some abrasion of the skin; especially in a moist environment. This creates a setup for a bacterial skin infection.

What do doctors say about shaving pubic hair? ›

Removing pubic hair does not improve hygiene and it may actually increase your chance of infection. Hair removal can sometimes irritate or burn the skin, and cause micro-abrasions, ingrown hairs and pain or itchiness. These can facilitate inflammation and actually provide the entry point for infections.

Do doctors care if you shave your pubic hair? ›

The truth is that your doctor and their staff do not care if you are clean-shaven or not. They are medical professionals. They know that hair growth is natural and normal. It doesn't hinder their ability to do their job, and it doesn't harm your health.

What happens if you never shave your pubic hair female? ›

You're Less Likely To Get Rashes

If you don't shave, those things aren't really a possibility anymore, leaving you and your lady parts in peace. Indeed, Dweck listed infected hair follicles (folliculitis), rashes, and irritation (razor burn) as some of the most common issues she sees from patients who shave.

Does shaving pubic hair reduce odor? ›

Pubic hair holds on to residual urine, vaginal discharge, blood and semen. Bacteria line up all along the hair shaft just lunching it up and creating odor. (Very appetizing, I know.) Trimming your pubic hair reduces that surface area for bacteria, thus reducing odor.

Is it unhealthy to not shave pubic hair? ›

It is more hygienic not to shave it (although depilation does make pubic lice homeless). In removing their pubic hair, most women will get cuts or ingrown hairs, and some will develop inflammation of the hair follicles or hyperpigmentation.

Is it bad to never shave pubes? ›

Some people choose to let their natural selves be. Since pubic hair removal usually isn't medically necessary, there's no reason it has to be removed. Some simply prefer the natural look. The texture of pubic hair can be unique and the patterns can vary in different places.

Is it better to trim or shave pubic hair? ›

Trimming pubic hair will prevent skin irritation: Trimming will help you keep yourself tidy. It will not cause any skin irritation if done in the right manner. It is a good idea to trim after speaking to the doctor to avoid any unwanted problems. Shaving gives you a cleaner appearance.

Why do surgeons shave your pubes? ›

Hair is removed to avoid problems during and after surgery, for example when stitching up wounds or applying dressings. However, some studies claim that removing hair could cause infections after surgery and should be avoided.

What are the pros and cons of shaving your pubes? ›

One benefit of shaving pubic hair is that the incidence of pubic lice has decreased, say researchers. However pubic hair removal can also have some pretty negative repercussions. Firstly, because pubic hair is coarse, the regrowth after shaving it off can aggravate the skin.

What is best way to remove pubic hair? ›

Home removal
  1. Trimming with scissors. Using scissors can be a safe way to achieve a groomed look. ...
  2. Shaving. Shaving is a popular option for removing pubic hair, and it is generally painless. ...
  3. Waxing. Some people prefer using over-the-counter waxing strips or kits. ...
  4. Using hair removal creams. ...
  5. Tweezing.
May 4, 2020

Do gynecologists care about pubic hair? ›

Nope! You do not need to shave before a gynecologist appointment (or any doctor's appointment!). Your doctor doesn't care how you care for your pubic hair, because it isn't a health or hygiene concern.

How often should a woman shave her pubic hair? ›

To keep the pubic area smooth and hairless, you'll need to shave regularly, even daily. Consider if this is worth the trouble; it may become tedious after four or five weeks.

Is it better to have pubic hair or no pubic hair? ›

As mentioned above, pubic hair serves a protective function by trapping pathogens that could otherwise enter your body. Removing pubic hair may therefore make a person more susceptible to common infections, such as UTIs, vaginitis, and yeast infections.

Do most girls shave down there? ›

Pubic hair removal is common — approximately 80 percent of women ages 18 to 65 report they remove some or all of their pubic hair.

Is it alright to shave your pubes as a woman? ›

tl;dr. In short (lol), there's nothing wrong with trimming or completely removing your pubes if it makes you feel good about your genitals and confident in front of sexual partners. However, it may be best to avoid shaving and stick to waxing instead, as shaving increases the risk of laceration and infection.

When did females start shaving their pubic hair? ›

The practice of removing female body hair is not new, it can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Some of the first razors, made of copper, were used in Egypt and India around 3000 BCE. Egyptian women removed their head hair and considered pubic hair uncivilized.

Why does pubic hair itch? ›

Common causes of genital itching include contact dermatitis, jock itch, scabies, yeast infection, and folliculitis. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the cause and point you to the best treatment and prevention strategies.

How do I keep my pubes from smelling good? ›

Wear loose, cotton underwear. This type of underwear helps your groin area breathe so that sweat, bacteria, and other substances don't build up and cause odors or infections. Trim your pubic hair. Long pubic hair can hold in moisture, dirt, and bacteria.

What percent of females shave their pubic hair? ›

Pubic Hair Trends

According to the researchers, when asked if they removed their pubic hair, 80% of women and 39% of men removed their pubic hair near the time of the survey. Also, 3% of women and 21% of men had never removed their pubic hair.

Is it OK to cut pubes with scissors? ›

Yes. It's perfectly fine to carefully trim your pubic hair with small scissors along your swimsuit or underwear line. Many girls trim their pubic hair, or go to a salon to have a “bikini wax”; others prefer to shave just about every day, and many just leave it alone. Removing pubic hair is a personal preference.

Is it better to trim pubic hair wet or dry? ›

Keep your skin moist if you're planning to shave. You need this lubrication to minimize friction and avoid nicks. Using cream or gel can also allow you to see where you've just shaved so you can avoid going over the area twice and causing irritation.

What is the disadvantage of shaving your private part? ›

There's also a chance some hairs will become ingrown. This means that the hair that's trying to grow back gets trapped under the skin. This can lead to redness, pain, and tiny bumps in the area. Sometimes people can get skin infections from shaving.

Do they shave your pubic hair before hysterectomy? ›

You will be asked to have a shave or a clipping the evening before your operation, depending on which type of hysterectomy (abdominal or vaginal) you are having. There will be a period of time just before your operation when you won't be able to eat or drink - you will be informed of this at PAC.

Should a woman shave before a colonoscopy? ›

You may not eat anything the morning of your procedure, but you may continue to drink clear liquids up until 2 hours before your procedure. You may shower and brush your teeth. Will I be shaved before my colonoscopy? You will not be shaved.

At what age does pubic hair stop growing? ›

Pubic hair may extend out to their thighs, and some girls may have a line of hair up to their belly button. Most girls attain their peak height by age 16, but some may continue growing through age 20.

What are the cons of removing pubic hair? ›

Irritation: Removing pubic hair by waxing or shaving can cause skin irritation, razor burns, or ingrown hairs, which can be uncomfortable or painful. Infection: Shaving or waxing can create small cuts or openings in the skin that can increase the risk of infection, especially if the area is not kept clean.

What is the easiest and safest way to remove pubic hair? ›

Shaving is the safest choice when it comes to removing pubic hair. With the new generation of razors, pubic hair can be removed quickly and easily. The razor and some shaving gel are all you need. Don't worry, you won't get coarse hair regrowth.

Does pubic hair stop growing after menopause? ›

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, pubic hair - along with the hair on the head - stops growing. Not everyone will experience pubic hair loss after menopause, it may simply turn grey or simply thin.

Should men shave pubic hair? ›

It's all up to you. There's no right or wrong way to handle your pubic hair. Stats show that men are split right down the middle when it comes to pube grooming, so it's really all about personal preference. Some men go completely pube-less, while others just keep it trimmed.

What are the cons of plucking pubic hair? ›

Plucking your pubic hair can be painful and takes a long time. Plucking can cause redness, swelling, itching, irritation, and damage to the skin. It can also result in ingrown hairs (where the hair curls backward or sideways under the skin) and infection.

How often should you remove pubic hair? ›

To keep the pubic area smooth and hairless, you'll need to shave regularly, even daily. Consider if this is worth the trouble; it may become tedious after four or five weeks.

Does pubic hair stop growing at a certain length? ›

Does pubic hair cease growing once it's reached a certain length? All hair grows at a contstant rate, but eventually falls out. With body hair, which typically does not grow as long as head hair, the rate at which it falls out is greater. This results in hair that appears to reach a certain length then stops growing.

Is it better to pluck or shave pubic hair? ›

If you have sensitive skin, it's best to avoid waxing, tweezing, depilatories, and even laser removal or electrolysis, which may be too harsh and cause long-term damage. Trimming or carefully shaving are the best options.

What happens if you tweeze your pubic hair? ›

Myth: Tweezing is the best treatment for ingrown hairs

They're simply wrong. “Tweezing can lead to trauma of the hair follicle, which will just cause more redness and inflammation,” she explains. “Avoid picking or squeezing as this can lead to scarring.” If you have razor bumps or ingrown hairs, Dr.

Does pubic hair fall out with old age? ›

As you age, your pubic hair will thin naturally. If you're losing large amounts of pubic hair and you don't think it's attributable to aging, it could be the symptom of a serious condition. Make an appointment with your doctor so they can diagnose the underlying condition and recommend treatment.

Does pubic hair smell? ›

"The hair traps the smell," Michael Cackovic, M.D., an ob/gyn at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. "What you can smell is bacteria mixing with the sweat and oil." But Rowen says that as long as you have good hygiene in general, your pubic hair isn't any worse off than the hair on your head.

Do you get more pubic hair as you get older? ›

Pubic hair and hair on the body doesn't usually grow back after the menopause, this is due to levels of estrogen and progesterone remaining low as we continue to age.

At what age does pubic hair turn gray? ›

"This is a predestined thing—it's genetic and can happen at any age." With that said, she cites the late thirties as the time at which pubic hair typically begins to gray. Some health factors, however, may accelerate the graying process, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD.

What are the advantages of shaving pubic hair? ›

Here are our top seven reasons why you should shave your pubes and how to ensure that you're using the right tools for the best results.
  • Grooming Optimizes Hygiene. ...
  • It Enhances Down-There Aesthetics. ...
  • Grooming Can Increase Sex Appeal. ...
  • It Can Enhance Sexual Sensitivity. ...
  • It Boosts Your Self-Care Practice.

What is the best length for pubic hair? ›

Trim between 2mm and 6mm lengths for neat and tidy pubic hair.


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