From Bush to Bare: Tips for Grooming Your Public Hair (2024)

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Greatist only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

Read more about our vetting process.

Was this helpful?

Wonder wool, shag rug, carpet, bush, frontal fleece… you’ve got a smattering of options for what to call pubes. But you’ve got even more for how you groom, grow, and tame them.

The good news? There’s no wrong way to groom ’em. That myth you heard in middle school about carpets being dirtier than wood flooring? It’s just that: a myth.

“There is no medical reason that you need to be removing or trimming some or all of your pubic hair,” says Nina Carroll, MD, OB/GYN, of Your Doctors Online. According to Carroll, the risk of infection — be it bacterial, yeast, or sexually transmitted — is not higher or lower based on your pubic hair practices.

In fact, a 2019 study found it’s not your grooming practices that affect your risk of STI transmission, it’s your safer sex practices!

Keep reading to learn about the different hair-removal methods at your disposal.

From Bush to Bare: Tips for Grooming Your Public Hair (1)Share on Pinterest

Before you start grooming, you have to know what you want it to look like. Pick a style below because this will help determine what method you should use.

For people with vagin*s

StyleWhat it looks like
BushLeave it all be and feel free!
BrazilianRemoves everything in and around your vulva and anus.
BikiniGets rid of anything you can see when wearing, well, a bikini bottom (or your underwear of choice!).
French (aka landing strip)Keeps a little patch or strip of hair on the pubic mound and the hair around the anus but gets rid of everything else!

For people with penises

Styles What it looks like
BushAll the hair, don’t care!
BriefRemoves all the hair “leaking” out the bottom of your underwear.
Lion’s maneKeeps the fluff above the peen, removes all the scruff below. Apparently, this is a good option for penis owners who want their penis to look ~lengthier~.
TrimmedEntails using scissors to make the pubes shorter but doesn’t remove them altogether.
Landing stripThe idea here is that the only hair is on the penis and straight up the middle of the pubic mound.

Not a fan of flashing your hole(s) to a stranger? Or would rather spend money on like, rent than on your pubes’ appearance? Do it at home!

By far the most cost-efficient option on the list, shaving is also the most likely to cause razor burn (LOL, duh). But these dermatologist- and gynecologist-approved steps will slash your risk of slashing yourself.

You can expect hair to start growing back 1 to 3 days after shaving, though it’ll take a week or three to get back to bush length.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Get in the shower (or bath, if that’s your thing).
  2. Lather the hair and surrounding area with a chemical-free, fragrance-free, natural shaving cream or soap. If you have a vulva, do your best to avoid getting the product inside your vagin*l canal, warns Carroll.
  3. Pull the skin tight and shave slowly with the grain of the hair to minimize ingrown hairs.
  4. Go over the hair only once — especially if you’re prone to folliculitis.
  5. When you’re done, moisturize to help avoid ingrown hairs and irritation.

What to know going in

  • Designate a “vulva razor.” Do not dull this baby by using it on other parts of your body.
  • If your hair is longer than half an inch, trim with scissors first. Long hair will clog your razor and dull the blade faster.
  • The shaved skin will probably be itchy when your hair starts to grow back.
  • Store your razor in a cabinet, not on the shower ledge.
  • Replace your razor after every seven uses, or sooner if you see any rusting bits, says board certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD.

Was this helpful?

“Waxing removes the hair by the root, meaning that it is an effective way to keep the hair from coming back for a long, long period of time,” says Shainhouse. For some, this means up to 6 weeks, though many people’s hair will grow back faster, more like 2 weeks.

At-home waxing kits cost between $8 and $25 and include enough strips and wax for five or more waxes. That’s a heck of a lot less than the $50 to $120 salons charge.

Do it right, Shainhouse says, and it’s just as effective as a professional wax.

Psst… you should wax *only* your bikini line at home. Doing a full Brazilian can be super tricky and even dangerous.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Buy a waxing kit. Please don’t try to concoct wax in your kitchen (seriously, even if you’re a scientist!).
  2. If your pubes are longer than half an inch, trim them before applying wax, says Shainhouse.
  3. Heat the wax according to the instructions on the box.
  4. Do a test strip on your inner thigh to test the temperature.
  5. “Apply the wax in thin, centimeter-long stripes. Then hold your skin tight and firmly rip the strip away from the skin,” says Shainhouse.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Afterward, moisturize and put on a clean pair of skivvies.

What to know going in

Follow the box instructions to avoid tearing, bruising, or otherwise injuring yourself, says Shainhouse.

You can lessen the pain by taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen 20 minutes beforehand and applying pressure to the area after ripping.

Was this helpful?

Yup, we’re talking products like Veet and Nair.

“These inexpensive creams dissolve the hair that sits above the skin,” says Shainhouse. “But it’s physically safer [than shaving], as there isn’t a risk of cutting the skin or irritating it with a razor blade.”

The results will last 1 to 3 days — the same amount of time it takes your pubes to regrow after shaving.

Step-by-step instructions

TBH, it completely depends on which brand you choose. So make sure to follow the instructions on the box.

Generally, those will read something like:

  1. Apply the product.
  2. Let the product sit so it can break down the keratin in your hair, making it easy to remove.
  3. Wipe away the product and your hair with a warm towel.

“If you develop an itchy rash, remove the product immediately and discontinue use. Apply a topical hydrocortisone cream and take an antihistamine pill,” says Shainhouse.

If the rash hasn’t gone away within a few days, see your doctor or dermatologist.

Sensitive skin? Skip this

According to Shainhouse, hair removal creams tend to have irritating ingredients. but they aren’t supposed to hurt. Chances are, if you’re experiencing a burning sensation rather than your skin feeling hot, you should stop using the product immediately.

Was this helpful?

Pro waxing, sugaring, lasering — maybe be a little (read: A LOT) pricier. But professional hair removal is generally longer-lasting and more thorough.

“A professional can typically get the hair at a better angle, so that you’re actually getting the root, which means it can last longer,” says Shainhouse. “And you’re less likely to miss hairs — it’s a really hard area to see.”

Going to a professional waxer is a great option because an expert can minimize pain and potential skin damage, says Shainhouse.

The cost depends on where you live, but expect between $50 and $120 per waxing. The results should last 3 to 5 weeks.

As mentioned above, taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen 20 minutes beforehand can help lessen the pain. Also, board-certified dermatologist Rita Linkner, MD of Spring Street Dermatology notes that waxing can hurt more if you’re menstruating.

What to expect

An aesthetician will apply a layer of warm wax to a portion of your bits using a tool. They’ll press down on the area for a brief moment and then yank it away with cloth strips until they’re done.

“Sugaring is similar to waxing, but instead of wax, it uses a hot water/sugar/lemon juice solution,” explains Shainhouse.

Even though you can technically find these ingredients in your kitchen, don’t try this at home. “It’s not going to be effective or sticky enough if you try to concoct your own sugaring goo,” she says.

Sugaring costs between $10 and $60. The price depends on whether you get a bikini, a Brazilian, or some other style. It hurts more than shaving but less than professional waxing. It doesn’t grab at the skin the way wax does, says Shainhouse.

You can expect the results to last 2 to 5 weeks. If your hair typically grows quickly, you’ll likely start to see some stubble after 2 weeks.

What to expect

The sugar-er (aka the professional) will apply the paste to the sugar-ee (aka you) and then grip and rip the sugar away, pulling out the hair in the process. No special strips are needed.

Laser hair removal is a treatment that removes as much (or as little) of your fleece as you want gone. “It’s a great option for folks who struggle with constant ingrown hairs,” says Linkner.

Although lasering is often said to be permanent, your hair follicles do actually heal themselves in time. For many people, this means the hair will start to grow back months or years down the road.

What to expect

The procedure uses a light laser to zap-zap-zap the hair follicle. It takes multiple 15-minute sessions, spread out in 4ish-week intervals, to remove all the hair.

“The larger the contrast between the skin color and pube color, the less sessions it will take,” says Linkner. If you have pale skin and dark, dark pubes, you may need only four treatments. If you have very dark skin and very dark hair, it may take six to eight treatments.

It does hurt quite a bit, especially the first session. But most dermatologists will apply a topical numbing agent 15 minutes before the treatment to reduce the pain.

Expect it to cost between $250 and $450, depending on how much hair you want to get rid of. “But you can usually get session packages that help lower the cost,” says Linkner.

Electrolysis is another method that’s similar to lasering. It uses short-wave radio frequencies to damage hair follicles and prevent hair from growing back. Although electrolysis has fewer side effects, it generally takes more sessions to get rid of all the hair.

If you’ve already got some post-pube-removal irritation, now is not the time to remove the pubes that have grown back! Press pause on waxing, shaving, and sugaring until the area is slightly less sensitive.

If it’s really bothering you, either apply a warm compress to the area or take a warm bath. Feel free to rub a washcloth in circles over the area to help exfoliate it. This can help bring the hair to the surface faster.

If the hair pops free, go ahead and use some sterilized tweezers to pull it out. But for the love of your privates, don’t go digging, squeezing, poking, prodding, or hunting for it. Wait for it to grow to the surface.

In the meantime, try one of these OTC anti-inflammatory products:

And if the ingrown starts to hurt A LOT or starts excreting pus, call your doc or derm. They’ll be able to prescribe you an antibiotic wash or cream to clear up any infection. Steroid cream can also reduce swelling.

Try trimming with scissors

If you’re especially sensitive to lumps and bumps, try trimming with scissors instead. This won’t create a smooth, hairless effect, but it’s an effective way to keep hair at bay.

Tip: Invest in a pair of facial hair scissors, which have a rounded edge, or the small trimming scissors. Make sure to sterilize the blade with rubbing alcohol and when you get to the delicate nooks and crannies around your lips, slow way down.

Was this helpful?

The nice thing about hair is that it grows right back if you happen not to like your new downstairs ’do. You’ll get a chance to try a new one soon! Keep experimenting until you find a method and ’do that best suit your budget and your preferences.

Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.

From Bush to Bare: Tips for Grooming Your Public Hair (2024)


How do you groom a pubic bush? ›

Soften skin and expand the hair with 5 to 10 minutes in the bath or shower. Lather up with shaving cream, gel, oil, or butter. Choose products designed for sensitive skin and avoid applying directly to the vagin*l opening, anal opening, or urethra. Rinse your razor after each swipe.

What is the best way to shave your pubic hair? ›

Gently press down on the razor, pull the skin so that it's tight and shave in short, steady strokes in the direction of the hair growth. Rinse off the razor after each stroke to keep the blades clean. For a closer shave, reapply shaving gel and carefully shave against the direction of the hair growth.

How do you keep your pubic hair clean? ›

To care for your pubic area, all you need to do is regularly rinse with water. Long story short, there is nothing dirty or unclean about pubic hair. There is no medical reason to remove it. And yet, many people feel pressured to shave or wax because of our society's long-standing ideas of gender, beauty, and purity.

How do you trim pubic hair without itching men? ›

How To Shave & Trim Pubic Hair For Men
  1. Shower before you start. We shouldn't need to remind you that you're approaching a delicate area with a rather sharp object. ...
  2. Trim first, shave later. ...
  3. Apply shave gel generously. ...
  4. Shave with caution. ...
  5. Moisturise, and moisturise again.
Apr 28, 2022

How long does it take to grow a full pubic bush? ›

A cycle takes between 30 and 44 days. Your pubes will grow back about ⅛-inch a week or around a centimetre every three weeks. This is the average amount and your rate of regrowth might be different. There are other factors that can affect how fast your pubes grow back including medication and hormones.

What is the best razor for women's private area? ›

Gillette Venus for Pubic Hair and Skin

With a rubbery ergonomic handle and a patented "Irritation Defense Bar," this razor puts you in control of your shave. One of our testers calls it a "real game-changer, especially for delicate areas."

How do you get the smoothest shave pubic area? ›

Shave lightly with steady strokes

Using steady strokes, very lightly shave your bikini line in the direction of the hair growth. You do not have to apply much pressure on your razor. In fact, if you have a sharp blade, it should do most of the work for you.

Is it better to shave pubes wet or dry? ›

Warm water hydrates and softens your pubic hair and skin for an easier cut. So, shower for a few minutes before you dive into shaving down there. In the meantime, you can wash the rest of your body…or practice your karaoke faves. Lubrication is essential for shaving, especially when you're shaving pubic hair.

What not to do when shaving pubes? ›

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.

What oil is good for pubic area? ›

Jojoba oil (for deep hydration) Grapeseed oil (which has skin-soothing vitamins A and E) Tea tree oil (anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, to ward off ingrown hairs and inflammation) Clary sage seed oil (reduces inflammation and helps control oil production in pores).

What moisturizer is good for pubic area? ›

Be sure to apply a soothing moisturizer after shaving as well, and think unscented. Lotions with colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno) are good choices due to the soothing skin properties.

Is it OK to cut pubic hair with scissors? ›

How to trim pubic hair at home? Trimming with scissors Using scissors can be a safe way to give the pubic area a well-groomed look. Since the operation does not come into contact with the skin, trimming the pubic hair with scissors has a relatively low risk of injury.

Why is pubic hair important for men? ›

The skin on your genital region is delicate. Pubic hair acts like a protective buffer, reducing friction during sex and other activities. Some sources even refer to pubic hair as a “dry lubricant.” That's because it's easier to rub hair against hair than it is to rub skin against skin.

What is the least itchy way to remove pubic hair? ›

Related Skin Conditions to Itchy Pubic Hair
  1. Shaving with the grain.
  2. Using a sharp razor.
  3. Switching out your razor regularly.
  4. Soaking your skin in warm water for 5-10 minutes before shaving.
  5. Using a moisturizing agent when shaving; 6) use short, light strokes to minimize tugging.
  6. Switching to a trimmer.
Jul 27, 2019

Is it better to shave pubes with razor or clippers? ›

Trimmers do a lot of great things, but they aren't perfect. Above all else, a trimmer can never get as close a shave as a razor. Top-of-the-line trimmers get close, but it's never perfectly smooth. Because of that, trimmers also don't perfectly capture that fresh, clean feeling that you can get from a shave.

Is it healthy to shave pubic hair female? ›

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.

Should you shave your pubic hair all the way? ›

Removing pubic hair is a purely personal decision, and there aren't any health benefits associated with it. If you do decide to take the plunge, make sure to prep your skin and use the right tools to minimize discomfort.

Is it better to shave pubic hair or not? ›

Shaving, whether it's your legs, armpits, or pubic area, is a personal choice. You certainly don't have to shave before sex if you don't want to. Shaving pubic hair (or not) is a cosmetic preference, and it does not mean you are "cleaner" if you shave. If you do prefer to shave, try not to do it right before sex.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6513

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.