The endless pubic hair debate: shedding all myths
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about pubic hair. Strange, but true.
Who is your pube-spiration? TV and movie characters shape public opinion regarding pubic hair.
We gasped at the sight of Gaby Hoffmann’s character Caroline’s full-frontal amazon (before deforestation) in a bone-chilling scene in Girls; and let me (oh please!) take you back to Sex and the City. So many great pube moments. Remember Samantha’s epic Bozo the Bush incident (or accident, rather) or when Carrie gets it all waxed off?
Her reaction? “I feel like walking sex” and the even funnier “I feel like one of those freaking hairless dogs.”
A Hello Giggles article says that this 2000 SATC episode actually started a full-blown waxing trend in the U.S. which saw the decrease of instances of lice in female pubic areas.
These days it seems that women are embracing their hair down there a little bit more. Especially in a way that sees women opting for the neater, cleaned up look rather than the landing strip or the naked mole rat. *shudders*
Vogue reports that after Cara Delevingne induced the thicker eyebrow trend it has become more “acceptable” for women to have hair.
Ah, so sweet of you patriarchy. You REALLY shouldn’t have.
But what is the Public State of Pubes in 2016?
The Independent notes that 62% of women surveyed in a study chose to remove their hair completely. 84% of women said that they groom their pubes to some extent.
Well-known SA retailer Sorbet says that the Hollywood wax (the complete removal of all hair in the bikini area) is currently the most popular waxing treatment requested in their salons.
So, are women interested in a trim, a buzz cut or rather keen for the bald look? A lot of women opt to go ‘clean’ for hygiene reasons (which, by the way is not necessarily true. Removing pubic hair can lead to vaginal and vulvar infections, inflammation of the hair follicles, allergic reactions and the list goes on. Hair also protects skin to skin contact during sexual contact – which can protect you against STI’s like genital warts, just saying). While many attribute their grooming practices to wanting to look (and feel) sexually attractive for a partner.
Personally I think it’s all about conditioning. Trends set by mainstream media, films and porn in particular. Women are getting labiaplasty (or should I say vaginal rejuvenation?) because of porn, dressing in high heels in the bedroom because of porn, and - I’m deadly serious - bleaching their assholes because of porn.
So, instead of looking at why (BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW IT’S PORN), let’s rather look at what’s actually “best” for you personally:
People are always like, “did you know that strippers shave instead of wax?”, like it’s kind of revolutionary. Of course they shave. Having a daily one-man show with your bits being “the man” requires a close up only shaving can provide.
So, why shave? Shaving is cheap and painless, yet regrowth happens very quickly. So this is a never-ending struggle basically. Not ideal for the girl on-the-go.
And some of us are much hairier than others, thus requiring a more frequent shedding.
Dermatologist, Dr. Dilshaad Asmal says that “Sometimes people with high levels of certain sex hormones may have faster hair growth. This may lead to ingrown hairs especially after shaving”.
According to the Independent, shaving can also lead to both visible and microscopic open wounds and cuts which could lead to infection.
So do you live for the now and go for the close-close shave and risk ingrown hairs or even infections? Mmmm. Yet shaving is not the only hair removal treatment that comes with… issues.
The issue with razors and shaving is that bumps and ingrown hairs occur, plus you sometimes get cut. With waxing these issues are often avoided, plus hair tends to thin and grow back softer with every wax.
According to Stylecaster the biggest pro is that hair is removed from the root which makes upkeep easier as this usually lasts for up to 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately, waxing is quite painful plus it requires some regrowth in order to be effective, which is not ideal.
Woman's Day also notes that waxing and bleeding follicles often go hand in hand. Your follicles are directly connected to a little blood vessel, so don't blame your poor waxer when your crotch starts bleeding. To avoid this, try exfoliating to loosen your hair from the follicles before going in for your wax.
Hair removal creams
Products like Veet and Mandy’s use chemicals to weaken the hair follicles, says Stylecaster . The smell of these products often put women off it – yet it is pretty effective in removing hair from legs and bikini lines.
It is pain free, quick, inexpensive and can be done in the very comfort of your toilet. And no flashing your koek at a random stranger, hoorah!
The only issue is that because of the chemicals, these depilatory creams can be an irritant for sensitive skin.
Celebs like Kim K has confessed to Allure that her body is entirely hairless and that she believes in the power of laser hair removal. Beyonce, the mighty, also achieves her flawless, and we mean, flawless bikini line, this way.
So yes, I agree with Harling Ross of ManRepeller.com; who writes: “The way I see it, there are two plausible explanations for this clear discrepancy between the bikini lines of famous people and those of the masses. Either celebrities are commissioning celestial creatures to come pluck their pubic hairs out one by one and massage each freshly emptied pore with a thimble of unicorn saliva, or…there is a Great Ingrown Hair Conspiracy afoot.”
Celebs just have flawless bikini lines. Just deal with it.
But this, my dear, is mainly because of permanent laser hair removal.
How does it work? The laser penetrates the skin which means that it ultimately destroys the very follicles that grow your bush. The soil to your garden that is. Without the soil, plants simply cannot grow.
Thing is, it’s expensive. Very expensive. However, I’ve heard about many a 21st laser removal gift voucher, so it’s truly seen as an investment as it leads to permanent hair removal. It’s also eina, as most describe it as a rubber band flicked against the skin. Continuously.
A lot of lasers also target the melanin in the hair, which means it’s not effective on dark skins, where the skin and the hair is similar in colour, or white skins with very pale hair (for the same reason). Stylecaster notes that this is because “The laser needs to be able to lock on to the dark pigment in order to differentiate the dark hair from the skin.”
Yet local clinics like Skin Renewal and The Laser Beautique (N-Motion™ technology) offer laser treatments they promise to be effective on all skin tones. The Lightsheer is a diode laser offered in the treatment of hair removal at Skin Renewal that is capable of treating all skin types and hair colours, only excluding white or grey hair.
So, there you have it.