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The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital
At Maine Medical Center

22 Bramhall Street
Portland, Maine 04102-3175
www.bbch.org


Is It Safe to Shave Pubic Hair?

Can I shave my pubic hair? Is it safe? How do most girls maintain their pubic hair?
– Sydney*

Shaving is one way to remove pubic hair. It is fairly inexpensive, and you can do it yourself. Go slowly, pulling skin taut before running the razor over the hair. Always shave in the same direction that the hair grows, not against it. Change razors often to avoid nicks, which happen when the blade gets dull. Using shaving cream also may help protect your skin from cuts and irritation. If you're nervous about cutting yourself, you can try an electric razor instead.

There are some downsides to shaving. First, there are obvious risks. Using a sharp razor means that you could cut yourself. Then there's the regrowth stage: Shaved hair grows back after a couple of days, and when it does it can be prickly or itchy. This can leave you feeling uncomfortable.

There's also a chance some hairs will become ingrown. This means that the hair that’s trying to grow back gets trapped under the skin. This can lead to redness, pain, and tiny bumps in the area. Sometimes people can get skin infections from shaving. For these reasons, some teens choose to wax or use depilatories (creams or lotions that weaken the hair so it comes off) on pubic hair. These methods have their downsides too, of course.

Like clothing or hairstyle, maintaining pubic hair is a matter of individual preference. Some teens don't do anything with their pubic hair, leaving it to grow naturally. Some girls remove hair when they'll be wearing a bathing suit, and some remove hair regularly as part of their beauty routine.

No health benefits are linked to removing pubic hair, so choose what feels right for you.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD
Date reviewed: December 2020