Is Shaving Your Bikini Area Safe?
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
There's a fair amount of controversy over whether or not women and girls should shave their pubic area. If you've been wondering weather hair removal is safe or something you should do, we can give you the information you need to make that decision.
When Did Shaving Start?
The best guess is that hair removal for women began as early as the 1930s. The amount of hair left unshaven has been decreasing ever since. Only in the last decade and a half did the completely shaved pubic region come into fashion.
What Are the Different Types of Hair Removal?
Women remove pubic hair by shaving (either with a disposable or an electric razor), waxing, or through chemicals such as Nair. Shaving removes hair at the surface level, leaving the hair follicle in tact. Waxing uses types of wax or other solutions such as NADS to pull hair out by the root. Chemical creams often work by dissolving the hair either at the root or at the surface.
Some women prefer to remove all of their pubic hair, while others only shave their bikini line, so the skin outside of the bikini or underwear area is hairless. Many women who remove their pubic hair also remove any hair that reaches their upper inner thighs or buttocks area.
Why Do Women Shave?
Some women shave because they find it comfortable. Some women do so because it's commonplace, and they have no reason not to. Many women's pubic hair line extends past the bikini line, meaning that wearing a swimsuit will reveal hair. Because of this, most women at least remove hair from the bikini line. Some women even feel that shaving is more hygienic, though there's no evidence for this. Proper hygiene depends on regular cleansing, not shaving.
The Argument Against Shaving
Recently, some health advocates and professionals have started saying that shaving pubic regions is actually harmful. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that some 60 percent of women had experience a “health complication” as a direct result of hair removal. However, these complications included such common occurrences as cuts and ingrown hairs. And while none of that should be taken lightly, they're still the normal risks associated with shaving any part of the body.
Another study from the International Journal of STDs and AIDS suggested that shaving the pubic area can put women at an increased risk for contracting STIs, because damaged skin is an additional means for an infection to be transmitted. Numerous other healthcare professionals have stated that a lack of pubic hair can create more friction during intercourse, leading to damaged skin.
As with all things related to an individual's health and appearance, the decision ultimately belongs to the woman. No girl or women should feel like she needs to shave if she doesn't want to. But women who prefer to remove their pubic hair can do so safely as long as they take reasonable precautions. These include using extreme care with razors, waxes, and hair removal creams in the pubic region, and following all instructions when using waxes or chemicals. If one method of hair removal produces a negative response, stop and look for an alternative.