Pros and Cons of Pubic Hair

To bare or not to bare, that is the question. Remove it all, trim it down, or leave it natural? We've got all the pros and cons of keeping your pubic hair here, so you can decide whether to go au naturale or not.

Photo by Marius Sperlich

Many people feel the need to groom or maintain their pubic hair in a certain way because they feel pressured to do so, or feel that their partner will only like them a certain way. Polls have shown that more and more people are removing most, or all of their pubic hair.

If you're on the fence about doing this, rest assured. There are people who will love you bare, trimmed, or sporting a full bush, so consider the pros and cons of keeping your pubic hair and make the choice that makes you feel best. 

Pro: Keeping your pubic hair natural is just much easier.

Leaving your hair natural saves a lot of time and money

It can take a lot of work to maintain a completely bare bikini area, or a neatly trimmed landing strip. Letting your pubic hair grow naturally is simply an easier option for most people, and gives you less to worry about in your regular beauty routine.

Save money: Maintaining a completely bare pubic area can be a very expensive endeavor. While some people are able to get away with shaving, many stick with regular waxing to keep their skin smooth. This is an expense that can run up to hundreds of dollars a year, and more if you factor in after-care products. 

Save yourself the worry: Maintaining a completely bare pubic area is the kind of preference that can grow into an obsession. For how much we pay for waxing services, we expect completely smooth and blemish free skin. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case, and there is at least some discomfort that comes along with going bare. 

Avoid the spiky regrowth: Possibly the most frustrating part of removing all of your pubic hair is the awkward time when it is starting to grow in, but not quite long enough to wax again. Sharp, spiky in-between hairs are something you can forget about if you choose to rock the natural look 

Con: With a full bush, you're more at risk of pubic lice.

Kendal Schuler by Jody Pachniuk

With so many more people shaving and waxing their pubic hair off, one thing researchers and doctors have noticed is that there has been a dramatic dip in cases of pubic lice, particularly among people in their early 20s. 

This isn't to say that if you have a bush, you are attracting pubic lice. It is pretty simple, if there is no hair to hang out in, lice won't be able to stay. Pubic lice is pretty upsetting to think about, but shaving and waxing actually puts you more at risk of certain health problems and STIs...

Pro: Keeping your pubic hair is a good health decision.

There have been a lot of negatives associated with shaving and waxing pubic hair, particularly in people with sensitive skin. If you're thinking about going bare, remember to keep these risks in mind

Waxing causes skin itching, aggravation and rash: There are very few people who have absolutely no problems after a wax or a shave. For almost everyone, there will be some level of irritation. But for some, repeated hair removal can cause itching, skin problems and rashes. These are all pretty frustrating health issues to have occur in a very sensitive area, and letting your hair grow naturally lets you avoid all of them

It can also cause ingrown hairs and infection: Shaving bumps! Because pubic hair is so course and the skin around it so sensitive, ingrown hairs are a big risk for waxers. These ingrown hairs can cause ugly red blotches on your skin, but are also painful and lead to infection in many cases. 

You risk problems from unsanitary salons: As more and more people begin waxing, there are more sanitary salons available. But, there is always a risk of going to a salon and getting an infection from unsanitary practices. Unfortunately, you often get what you pay for, and eliminating this risk requires going to a higher-cost salon

Increased risk of STIs:  One upsetting factor in all of this is that having irritation and open sores near your bikini area can lead to an increased risk of STDs. Even the smallest irritations can increase the likelihood of transmission, and this is true whether a condom is being used or not. 

Con: Aesthetics. Some people just love the bare look.

Photographer Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev

The main reason that most people want to remove their pubic hair is aesthetics. They, and their partner, simply prefer the neat look. There are very safe ways to maintain a bare bikini area, if you're very interested in keeping things neat - so don't be afraid to invest in services if this is very important to you. 

While it is true that many people prefer if their partners are absolutely bare, some people absolutely love the look of a full bush, or trimmed pubic hair. There is no universal preference, so make sure to choose the aesthetic that works for you! 

Our Take: Do what works for you!

Photo by Neave Bozorgi

If you're on the fence about how you'd like to maintain your pubic hair, you're not alone. While many people absolutely enjoy going completely bare down there, many others feel pressured to remove their pubic hair when they don't want to, or find it can be very rough on their skin. 

What you need to keep in mind is that the choice is yours, and there are lots of options to find the look that works for you! Some tips to keep in mind: 

Waxing vs. Shaving: If you really want to go for the bare look but have had some problems with your skin reacting, hope is not lost. If you've found shaving to be a problem, try visiting a professional salon to have your waxing done. Many people find their skin reacts better to this, particularly if they have sensitive skin. You also have the opportunity to speak to a professional about exfoliating and after-care, to make it as likely as possible that you'll avoid a rash or ingrown hairs! 

Change it up: If you love the look of a Brazilian or a landing strip, but find it is hard on your skin (or bank account), you can always change up your style throughout the year! Many people find that during the summer when they tend to be more exposed, they stick to a shaving or waxing regimen, and give their body a break during the more cozy winter months. This is a great solution for anyone who loves to try different looks, or has very sensitive skin

You can change your mind: Remember, changing up your pubic hair is just like changing up your haircut, nothing is permanent here. If you're very worried about whether you can maintain the bare look, or whether you'll feel good with a landing strip, just experiment! Keeping an open mind will help you find what works best for your look and for your skin, and can be a delightful surprise for your partner. 

Annie Kiely
Annie Kiely

Annie Kiely is a freelance writer, editor and researcher who lives in the 'burbs of Toronto with her pets and her partner. Annie is an advocate for wellness, mental health education, and literacy. She loves animals and gardening (and food). 

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