Society is at war with hair. We are constantly told to shave it, trim it, or style it to make it acceptable. This is a nuisance for so many men, we can’t imagine what it must be like for the girls!
This phobia of hair extends to our nether regions. There are baldness expectations for the pubic area that often seem unrealistic. Some of us deal with this by shaving, some by trimming, and some by giving not a damn.
That said, there’s a unique feeling of freedom you get when you’ve just rid yourself of your pubic hair. If you’re one of the men who like to keep it light and breezy down there, you probably opt for the shaving option.
That’s why we’ve assembled this handy guide on how to shave your pubic area for men. Read on to find out how best to make your crotch a smooth area.
As you might have guessed, shaving your pubic hairs requires a bit more than just picking up a razor and going at it. You first need to go through some preparatory stages (not least the psychological).
1. Best Way to Trim Pubic Hair
Whichever kind of shaving tool you plan on using, it won’t be able to cut very long hairs. That’s why it’s important for you to trim your pubic hair as much as possible beforehand.
You can use scissors for this. Pull your hair up and away from the body and then cut it as close to the skin as you can. Be careful not to cut yourself!
An even easier option is using an electric trimmer equipped with guards that prevent the blade from touching your skin. You might want to consider a multipurpose trimmer with an attachment for body hair, like the Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100. That way, all your grooming needs are covered by one device.
It would be irresponsible not to tell you that you can just stop at trimming your pubic hair. Or don’t even do that! It’s OK to sport whatever kind of body hair you want.
2. Soften the Area
Pubic hair is not head hair, obviously. It’s coarser and more difficult to manage. That’s why it’s a good idea to soften it before shaving.
A warm shower or bath will do the trick here. If you’re too lazy to do that, then cover the area with a warm wet towel for a few minutes. This will relax the hairs enough to make them easy to cut.
This sounds excessive. And OK, you don’t have to do it. But exfoliating will remove all dead skin cells and make your hair stick out. You’ll then achieve a closer shave than you normally would.
How to Properly Shave Your Pubic Area
Once you’ve gotten your skin and hair soft, you can get to the actual deforestation. It goes without saying that you should be extra careful here.
1. Get Your Lather On
Whether you’re using shaving cream, foam, gel, or whatever else, it should be unscented. Otherwise, you risk irritating your nether region. And if you’ve never had it, take our word for it – you don’t want irritation there.
A good razor also helps prevent this. Don’t grab one you’ve used before – you don’t want dull and corroded blades to cause an inflammation. Also, razors with multiple blades tend to cause more ingrown hairs, so a safety single-blade razor might be a better option here.
2. Shave with the Grain
You know this from your learning-how-to-shave days. Never go against the grain. This causes irritation and razor burn. And it applies to pubic hair as well.
You will come across some guides that claim you should go against the grain for a closer shave. This is technically correct, but the curliness of pubic hair makes them especially prone to bending back into the skin, creating the worst kind of ingrown hair. This is one risk we wouldn’t be willing to take.
3. Stretch Your Skin
Your pubic area, especially your scrotum, is all grooves and folds. This is why you need to tighten the skin to prevent cuts and get a better shave.
Stretch the skin with your free hand so that it leaves a flat surface for the razor to glide on. Don’t apply too much pressure and try not to go over the same area too many times.
If you’re wondering how to shave your pubic hair without razor bumps, it’s best to move slowly and gently. It would probably make sense to set aside a good hour for this to avoid any accidents.
What About Aftercare?
Now that the hardest part is over, you should take a few final steps to take care of your skin.
Wash the area again with mild soap. It’s important to remove all traces of your shaving cream because this can cause irritation.
Don’t wipe yourself dry – just pat the area with a soft towel. After this, you have to apply moisturizer to nourish your skin. There are moisturizers and aftershaves formulated specifically for sensitive areas, so you might want to consider one of these.
Baby oil and products with aloe vera and egg oil can all help calm your skin after shaving. Find a soothing agent of your choice and apply it to the whole area.
It would be wise to avoid tight clothing while your skin is recovering. You need to give it room to breathe, or it’s just going to break out in rashes.
How Often Should You Shave Your Pubic Hair?
There is no easy answer to this. If you’re just starting to groom this area, you should go a few days between shaves.
Once your skin gets used to this, you could even shave every day, but you probably won’t need to do it that often. Either way, never shave on skin that is already irritated, unless you want to pave the way for an infection.
So, if you were wondering how to shave your pubic hair, the short answer is: with extreme care. We wish you the best of luck with it and we hope you’ll remember to clean the drain after yourself.
The benefits of manscaping are multi-fold: as well as helping you feel cleaner, more confident and sexier (the top three reasons cited for hair removal according to a Braun survey on the subject), it also enhances muscle definition if you work out regularly. It’s no co-incidence that the Braun survey also revealed that men who visit the gym at least once a week are 63% more likely to trim or completely remove their chest hair.
The likes of Nivea now have a dedicated body shaving collection for men. More at niveamen.co.uk
But with nipples to navigate and ‘Private Ryan’ to protect manscaping is one male grooming activity that needs to be carried out with care and attention. On a very basic (and in some cases quite literal) level, it’s gorilla warfare: a man has to be armed, ready and experienced to fight the fur. So, here’s a top-to-toe masterclass in body hair removal – one that that will help turn even the most cack-handed of body groomers into the smoothest of operators.
Your Manscaping Choices
There are several ways to remove unwanted body hair. Some straight-forward; some plain eye-watering. Below are your best manscaping options.
Waxing rips hairs out from the root and offers longer lasting results than shaving (you’ll be reasonably hair-free for around four weeks). And because hairs grow back with fine ends there’s less chance of itchiness and irritation. If it sounds too good to be true that’s because it is – grown men have been reduced to tears by a back wax.
An ancient hair removal technique which uses a sugar paste to remove hairs. Sugaring is a bit like waxing – though generally a little less eye-watering – and is good for larger areas. Though home kits are available, it’s best done by a professional.
The manual removal of individual hairs with tweezers. Plucking is ideal for errant eyebrows but isn’t a technique you want to employ near your nether regions.
Fast, simple and inexpensive, shaving is probably the easiest way to phase out the fur. But, as with shaving your face, you run the risk of razor burn, cuts and ingrown hairs. If you’re shaving ‘Private Ryan’ you’ll also need a steady hand and nerves of steel.
Effective and simple to use (apply, leave on for a few minutes and wash off) depilatory creams contain chemicals that weaken hairs at the root so they just fall away, leaving skin super-smooth. What’s more, Veet claim their depilation creams result in up to 80% fewer ingrown hairs. They’re especially useful for chests, backs, shoulders and legs but should not be used on your man bits unless you have a high pain threshold or an excellent sense of humour.
Veet for Men Hair Removal Cream 200ml, £6.49 at BOOTS
According to Braun, 21% of men now own a body grooming tool, and you can see why. Easy to use, trimmers give total control over how much hair you remove, get the job done in a matter of minutes and rarely cause nicks, cuts or irritation.
Laser hair removal
The best option for long-term hair removal and manscaping, this treatment is especially good for problem areas like the back and shoulders. Best done by a professional, it’s the most expensive and time consuming option as you’ll most likely need several sessions to get the job done. And though treatments often permanently reduce the number of hairs they often don’t strop regrowth altogether.
Using an epilator is a bit like having your own private army of hair pluckers waging war on unwanted hair by removing them from the root and en masse. As with waxing, results last around a month. Although women have been using hand held epilators for legs and armpits for years they’ve never really taken off with men. Possibly because, like waxing, epilation isn’t entirely painless.
If you insist on keeping body hair
1. The Tree (20%)
The typical version of The Tree involves shaping a moderate amount of hair on the upper chest with a small trail leading down to the stomach. Most popular amongst the ‘younger generation’ (21%), this evergreen approach to manscaping allows men to proudly display a standard growth of hair all year round.
2. The Top Heavy (15%)
These manscaping heroes rock a well-trimmed mat of hair on the top half of their chest but keep the stomach area smooth. As seen on Brit legends Keith Lemon and Robbie Williams, this look is popular across the board, sported by men of all ages.
3. The Rug (14%)
This look epitomises ‘daddy cool’ with celebrity supporters including Tom Selleck and The Hoff. Fans of this style tend to be 25 years and over, with a chest full of hair to be proud of, keeping the look defined with a quick trim over the summer.
4. The Snail (11%)
This notable male landscape is common amongst younger men who want to keep any hair above the belly button at bay, with a small trail of hair across the stomach.
5. The Woolly Jumper (11%)
Most impressively, but not for the faint at heart, these hirsute gentlemen channel their inner cavemen externally in a style which is most popular amongst those 31 years and over. To keep this look under control, trim hair to a suitable length on a regular basis.
How can you properly shave your own pubic hair ?
Being in the habit of taking care of their facial hair, men often decide to shave themselves. However, certain techniques that we frequently use while shaving our facial hair often prove unfit for our pubic hair.
This is notably the case with shaving against the grain – a technique that involves shaving in the opposite direction that the hair is growing – ripping the hair out more than cutting the hair off. The result is redness or ingrown hairs – cumbersome, painful, and hard to get rid of.
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It’s best to trim your pubic hair before shaving. Apply a thin layer of shaving cream in the natural direction of your hair. Don’t shave the same spot multiple times. It’s better to take it slowly and precisely than to risk cutting yourself – something that happens frequently when you shave your face.
Tilting your penis to the opposite side of the area you’re shaving and carefully shaving one area after the other is an important technique to prevent your razor from slipping and causing any accidents.
Which razor is best for shaving the pubic region ?
It’s best to invest in quality and find a razor with multiple blades – these are more precise and more efficient than using a single-blade razor. It’s also wise to use an electric shaver to trim your hair before shaving them with a razor. Using an electric shaver allows you to adjust the position to make shaving dense areas much more manageable.
Try to avoid using disposable razors that only have one blade – they wear out quickly and are not especially effective.
Shaving pubic hair women
Pubic hair removal in women is associated with younger ages, receiving cunnilingus, and a positive genital self-image . Grooming was associated with modestly higher genital satisfaction but this relationship did not persist after multivariable analysis. While female body hair removal is generally practiced according to psychosocial reasons regardless of the body part the hair being removed from, genital hair removal does have health risks because pubic hair has a definite biological purpose as a safety net to protect the vulva from bacterial infections . A study based on data from the “National Electronic Injury Surveillance System” showed that the number of emergency room consultations due to genital injuries after shaving increased 5-fold from 2002 to 2010 . The authors stated that 81.9% of the injuries were caused by nonelectric shaving methods. The long-term consequences of these injuries are not yet clear . Another study gathered data from 1110 college students in the United States, who reported on the complications they experience during genital shaving, namely, pain, rash, cuts, and itching with genital itching as the most common complication of genital hair removal being reported by 80.2% of the participants in this study . The Federal Center of Health Education in Germany, with the University of Hamburg, interviewed 160 teenagers aged 16–19 years and found that 94% of the female and 81% of the male participants shaved their pubic hair . A study at the University of Leipzig in 2009 investigated the shaving patterns of 2,512 young participants aged 18–25. In this study, 88% of female and 67% of male participants admitted to practicing partial or total pubic hair shaving. This trend strongly declined at the beginning of the 31st year of age .
Pubic hair removal may be a risk factor for vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) or correlated with the increasing incidence of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) . Researchers noticed that the women with vulvar dysplasia or vulvar cancer reported that they completely or partially shave their pubic hair more often and experienced recurrent inflammation. These results are in accordance with those of a previous study , which showed that shaving the pubic hair leads to a 4-fold increase in the risk of vulvar dysplasia or cancer.
Complete shaving and shaving only the labia majora were correlated to the occurrence of dysplasia and cancer more frequently than those who did not perform this extent of shaving. The correlation between age and the degree of shaving in our study was similar to that reported by a previous study .
Women who completely shave their pubic hair or shave the labia majora show more correlation with developing vulvar dysplasia and cancer. A possible explanation for this may be that shaving the genitals leads to an increased risk of inflammation. This would also account for the higher rates of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia and cancer in the anterior commissure . Other means of removing pubic hair, such as waxing, were not accessible to the participants in the rural area in northwestern Germany where the study was conducted. Therefore, this study could only analyze the impact of shaving and not other forms of hair removal .
Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia was classified by the international society for the study of vulvovaginal disease in 2004 into the following categories :
- Classical vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia: including lesions formerly known as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia II and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia III, bowenoid, condylomatous, and mixed form
- Differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia: previously known as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia of simple type.
Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia presents clinically as elevated or flat vulvar lesions with a color that varies from white to grey or red to brown or black . Vulvar cancer appears as a vulvar lump or mass that might also be ulcerated .
Classical vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia is the most common form of vulvar dysplasia with an incidence of 5/100,000 women . The common age of patients at presentation is between 30 and 40 years. The progression rate of classical vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia to invasive cancer is 3.3–5.7% within 2.4 to 13.8 years . Differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia constitutes only 5–10% of all vulvar preinvasive lesions and is often found associated with lichen sclerosis . In 33% of cases, it progresses to vulvar carcinoma .