After you hit puberty, it is normal to grow a bush down there, but most of us are not fond of it. In fact, in one particular study, it was found that 95% of men and women got rid of their pubic hair at least once in the past four weeks.
Even though we don’t see the need to have hair in our pubic regions, there are actually a few reasons why we may have it in the first place. And, whether you choose to flaunt it or chuck it, there’s no harm in learning everything you should about pubic hair.
Benefits of pubic hair
There are quite a few theories out there about why we have pubic hair in the first place. Now, even though there isn’t concrete reasoning for its existence, scientists have agreed on the following plausible reasons:
- No matter the weather conditions, pubic hair helps to maintain an optimal temperature in the genital region.
- It helps the naturally occurring microbes in the vagina to thrive.
- It acts as an indicator of puberty, thereby portraying that you are biologically ready to reproduce.
- It helps attract pheromones, the chemical sex messages produced by humans, and possibly serves to select sexual partners for reproduction.
- It reduces friction during sex, workouts or from clothes, thereby protecting the vagina from cuts and chafes.
Did you know that it was always there?
Hair in the genital region usually starts to show when a person has hit puberty. But, the area is never really hairless, even when you were a kid. Vellus hair is extremely short, light and of finer quality and it covers the skin all over the body. Even though it’s nearly invisible to the naked eye, this hair serves a purpose. It is meant to protect the skin and keep the body warm.
But, during puberty, the other type of hair called terminal hair begins to appear in the pubic region. This is thicker, coarser and darker in colour and usually appears on many areas of the skin, including the pubic region.
Does your pubic hair always match your hair colour?
Usually, the colour of your pubic hair is not dependent on the colour of your scalp hair. Even though they may bear a resemblance, the colour is usually determined by the amount of melanin in the hair, and different body parts may have different melanin content.
Mostly, the pubic hair colour is the closest match to your eyebrow colour. As you age, the melanin content of your body decreases, making pubic hair turn grey as well.
Removing hair down there has nothing to do with hygiene
Many women reveal that removing pubic hair has close ties to maintaining hygiene for them. However, there is no real connection between being barren down there and being hygienic. Sure, if you have hair, it can get harder to keep the area dry and sweat-free, and it can make odour a possibility.
But, if you choose to remove the hair, it also removes the protective barrier between bacteria and your genitals, and you may end up contracting something, even though it’s rare.
Why does it stop after growing up to a certain length?
The length of your hair depends on the anagen phase of hair growth. This is the first among three phases of growth that all the hair in your body undergoes. How long the anagen phase lasts depends on your genetics, hormones and stress level, but universally, while the anagen phase lasts between three to five years for head hair, it is only a couple of weeks for pubic hair. The longer this phase lasts, the longer your hair grows.
Is it okay to have pubic hair ?
There is absolutely no real requirement for the removal of pubic hair. It is a completely personal choice whether you choose to keep it or get rid of it. However, there are a few risks associated with its removal such as possible infection, even sexually transmitted ones like herpes, cuts from friction and a possibility of inflammation and ingrown hair.
But, if you are cautious, follow protocol, and practice safe sex, you can confidently opt for a bald vulva any day.
A short history of pubic hair removal
Believe it or not, hair removal has been a trend for centuries, spanning all across the globe.
- Egypt - In ancient Egypt, pubic hair was viewed as a sign of indecency and so, they invented the sugaring and waxing methods to get rid of the bush down there.
- Europe - In Rome earlier, pubic hair was actually considered to be a status symbol. They used a variety of items like pumice, tweezers and a special depilatory cream made from goat bile, viper venom powder, resin and bat blood to achieve smoothness in the hair down there. Trimming the pubes came into fashion in Europe around the late 1900s and not before.
- The United States - The US opened its first waxing salon back in 1987 and brought the technique of Brazilian waxing into fashion. It refers to the complete removal of hair down there to achieve a completely bald pubic region.
India - India was into shaving pubes as early as 3000 BC. However, it was not widely prevalent until recently when hair removal became a trend amongst all social classes.
How to remove pubic hair women ?
If you are planning on ridding yourself of pubic hair, you have some options to choose from. But, only you can decide which one is the most suitable for you.
- Waxing - This is best done in a parlor by a professional as it’s not always possible to see your pubes completely by yourself. Besides, they know the proper technique to give you a Brazilian wax without possibly injuring you and achieve a better result. However, if you are not comfortable with baring your genitals to another person, you may attempt this at home, but after certain precautions so you don’t hurt yourself. Also, if your skin is more on the sensitive side, waxing can prove to be very painful.
- Trimming - This method is the least painful and the safest one, where all you need is a pair of scissors or a trimmer. But, even if you won’t get a completely hairless result from this, you will minimize your chances of getting cuts, burns or ingrown hair.
- Shaving - Using a good quality razor, you can opt for shaving your pubes. However, you should keep in mind certain preparations and precautions so you don’t hurt yourself while shaving.
- Hair removal cream - Certain hair removal creams can be used in the bikini area, and while they are usually safe, your skin may be sensitive and end up getting a chemical burn. Also, you cannot use the creams in your genital area, as this is not safe at all. Before attempting this method, it’s best to do a patch test.
Laser removal - You can opt for permanent removal of hair by attending laser hair removal sessions. Sometimes, your hair may come back in a few years and you would need to go for a session again. Speak to a dermatologist at a clinic and opt for this method if you are into it and have the resources to afford it.
Do you need to use shampoo to wash your pubic hair?
You should not use products like shampoos, soaps or perfumed products in your pubic area as you risk disrupting the natural pH of your vagina, causing a variety of problems. Warm water is usually enough to clean the hair down there, but if you want to keep the entire genital region thoroughly clean and odour-free, opt for a gentle and natural intimate wash like the Carmesi Intimate Cleanser to safely groom your pubes.
Is it normal to have a lot of hair around the vagina?
It is completely natural to have a lot of hair on your vulva or around the vagina. Hair growth varies from person to person and having less or more hair does not indicate an abnormality.
Hair around the anal region: is it normal?
By now, you are probably convinced that pubic hair is completely natural. But, what about the hair that grows around the anus? Believe it or not, even that is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Even though the reason for this hair growth is not completely clear, some scientists believe that it helps to retain the smell, thereby possibly attracting potential mates. Another theory is that the hair eases the irritation caused by friction.