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Guide to shaving pubic hair

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  • Before shaving down there, prep the area by cleaning it with soap and warm water.
  • Then apply shaving cream to the area and stretch the skin before you start shaving.
  • Shave with small movements in the direction of the hair and then rinse with cool water.

While pubic hair is completely natural and healthy, many people choose to remove some or all of it based on personal preference.

Whether or not you keep your pubic hair is entirely up to you. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you choose to shave it off, you should take extra care.

Since pubic hair tends to be coarse and the skin is sensitive, you are more prone to irritation and ingrown hairs in the area if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

Here are some tips and tricks to get the best shave down there and minimize the risk of irritation.

How to shave your pubic hair

Whether you’re shaving some of it or all of it, it’s helpful to follow some general guidelines to get the best results.

Dr. Suzanne Friedler, board certified dermatologist at Advanced Computer Dermatology., recommends following these steps when shaving pubic hair:

1. Prepare the area: Prepare your pubic area by cleaning the area with soap and warm water. Friedler says using hot water helps open pores so you can shave more closely.

2. Use a shaving cream or gel: Apply something lubricating to the area, such as shaving cream or gel. This helps the razor glide over the skin more easily, which reduces friction and irritation, Friedler says.

3. Start shaving: Pull the skin taut, then use short, careful strokes to shave in the direction of hair growth, not the opposite, Friedler says. This helps prevent cuts and ingrown hairs. Between strokes, rinse the razor to make sure it’s not clogged with hair or shaving cream.

4. Rinse with cool water: Rinse hair and shaving cream with cool water. Friedler says choosing colder water over hot helps close the pores.

5. Moisturize: Especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to post-shave irritation, Friedler says it’s helpful to moisturize or apply a product specifically designed for post-shave use to soothe your skin and prevent ingrown hairs or bumps that develop inwards. Choose a mild, unscented moisturizer. If your skin is very sensitive, Friedler says you can use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to relieve redness and inflammation.

Should I exfoliate?

It is important to exfoliate occasionally before shaving if you are prone to pubic hair.

Exfoliation is a step that involves using scrubs or chemicals to remove dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. By removing these, you can prevent blockages that lead to ingrown hairs.

There are two categories of exfoliants: chemical and engineering.

  • Chemical exfoliants use acids to break down dead skin cells. Common chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
  • Mechanical exfoliators use microbeads or abrasive textures to remove the layer of dead cells.

When adding exfoliation to your shaving routine, King recommends starting slow, exfoliating just once or twice a week, and then increasing the frequency if your skin tolerates it well. On the other hand, exfoliate if your skin gets irritated.

How to exfoliate

The step by step depends on whether you are using a chemical or mechanical exfoliator.

According to King, here’s how to exfoliate if you’re using a chemical exfoliant:

You can get different types of chemical exfoliating products, so the process changes depending on the product you choose.

1. If you use toner, wipe it off without rubbing.

2. If using lotion, rub lightly.

3. If using a cleanser, wet your skin first and massage in gentle circular motions for two to three minutes.

Then rinse off the product with warm water and start the shaving steps.

With mechanical exfoliators, the process is quite similar, says King:

1. Moisturize your skin.

2. Apply the exfoliator and rub gently in small circles for two minutes.

3. Rinse with warm water and start the shaving steps.

If you’re going to use a product that’s a mechanical exfoliator, King says you should use something that has very fine particles and apply gentle pressure when you scrub.

If your skin is more sensitive, stick to chemical exfoliants. Make sure you only use your exfoliator on your external genitalia.

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Pubic hair care is a personal choice. If you do decide to shave down there, taking precautions like using shaving cream or gel, shaving in the direction of the hair, exfoliating and using fresh razors can prevent ingrown hairs and help you get the best results .

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