I’m constantly suffering from ingrown hairs ‘down there’ after I shave. They’re extremely painful and make me uncomfortable and self-conscious. Am I doing something wrong, is there a right way to remove the hair? Can you please guide me on the correct way to shave that area and any aftercare tips? Any product recommendations would be great too!
To be perfectly honest, no, there is no single right way to deal with pubic hair. Whether you leave it to grow, trim it, shape it, or remove it completely – whichever makes you feel the most comfortable is the right way for you. There are also multiple ways to remove hair, which can make the whole thing feel very overwhelming. Shaving is probably the easiest way to remove hair in your pubic area – your other options are waxing (great for a smooth finish and minimal upkeep, but potentially painful), depilatory creams (not all suitable for the super-sensitive skin near your vulva), or laser (expensive!).
As it sounds like shaving is your preferred method of removal, we’ll stick with that. Like I said, there’s no right way to shave, but there are certain tips you can use to get as clean, efficient, and safe a shave as possible. If you’ve never shaved before then start by trimming your pubic hair with a small pair of scissors – the shorter the hair is, the easier it is to shave. It’s easier to shave when hair and skin are wet, as the heat and moisture aid the hair removal process, so complete the next steps in the shower or bath. Start by exfoliating the area you’re shaving using a gentle scrub that won’t irritate your skin. This will help to remove dead skin which can clog pores and cause ingrown hairs. Next, apply shaving cream, (or in a pinch, use a shower gel or cream). This will help the razor to glide smoothly over the skin, resulting in an even and painless shave. Pubic hair is thick, so you’re going to want to use a fresh, sharp razor and rinse the blades between strokes, to prevent hair and shaving cream from building up – remember, the cleaner the blade, the cleaner the shave. Holding skin taut, shave downwards, in the direction of hair growth (shaving against the hair will result in a smoother finish but can cause more irritation). Use small strokes to maneuver around the different curves and folds, and if you’re struggling with any hard-to-reach areas, try squatting or raising a leg. Once you’ve shaved and rinsed away any remaining shaving cream, gently pat the area dry and apply a soothing cream or gel if you’re experiencing any irritation or redness.
To keep on top of things, exfoliate and moisturise your bikini area when you shower, just as you would the rest of your body. This will help to prevent the ingrown hairs and dryness. How often you shave is totally up to you, but once a week is frequent enough to keep on top of things.
Hair removal is quite a hot topic at the moment – it’s actually a pretty complex subject because there are so many methods and techniques and tips you can subscribe to. If you’re curious and want to learn more, we’ve covered how to get rid of razor bumps, the best products for ingrown hairs, how to dermaplane, and we answered our readers’ most common hair removal questions. Take notes!
If you have a question for our resident beauty editor and esthetician Grace Day, tweet us at @beautybay using the hashtag #AskGrace for a chance to be featured.