How can I get rid of my pubic hair without going broke?
February 16, 2010 11:24 PM   Subscribe

How can I get rid of, and keep away, my pubic hair without going broke?

I'm a young woman. I hate having pubic hair. Shaving is not working for me, and I can't afford laser treatments or monthly Brazilian waxes. What can I do?

I've been shaving the whole thing for about a month, and it's kind of a huge disaster. I have zero problems with the delicate bits that should be the hard part, but the mons pubis is covered in razor bumps. Exfoliating, hydrocortisone, and fancy shaving creams don't help. Shaving in the direction of the hair leaves nasty sharp obvious stubble.

Is there some shaving secret that I don't know about? Because pubic hair seems to be pretty unacceptable these days, so everyone else must be finding some way to get rid of it. Are all my hairless peers getting regular waxes? Because that crap is $50+ a pop, I can't afford it, and I'd rather not have to regrow between treatments. The same goes for laser removal or electrolysis. I also tried using Nair, but it only removed about half the hair.

Are there any other options for me? Are there any hair removal creams that actually work on thick pubic hair? (I know they're not supposed to be used in delicate areas, but that's not the hair I'm worried about.) Is it worth it to try a home epilator? Or am I stuck choosing between nasty razor bumps and expensive salon waxes?
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Bikini Zone is a good friend to have for this habit.

Using an electric shaver meant for the project to get most of it down then using a manual razor to polish up works quite well for keeping everything nice and smooth. If you're using this method, performing the operation after a nice long soak will improve the experience and results.

Many swear by the Japanese dry electric shavers for perfect results. Using a powder on the hairs beforehand is supposed to help dramatically. Don't use talc - it's irritating & comedogenic in that area. Corn starch powders are a better choice.

Don't let sweat sit too long in this area after working out or other exertion. Dry thoroughly after cleansing & apply Bikini Zone each time. Do your best to wear cotton undies to keep bumps at a minimum (and perhaps non-existent).
posted by batmonkey at 11:49 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bliss' Poetic Waxing kit is phenomenal. That jar will last you a long time if you're just doing the small areas. Also, I've found that once you wax an area a few times, shaving is stubble free from there out (ymmv).
posted by iamkimiam at 12:02 AM on February 17, 2010

Have you considered trimming your trim, rather than shaving? That gives you the "sleek, neat, clean" look without the unsightly razor bumps or ingrown hairs -- and it's more visually interesting than completely bald.
posted by orthogonality at 12:18 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

Give magic shave skin conditioning shaving powder a go. I used it when i was pregnant and found it quite effective. It's designed for african men's faces to prevent ingrowns.
posted by sammyabdu at 3:06 AM on February 17, 2010

this is for image reference a big rotary razor will keep you trim without the ingrown issue. You can pick 'em up for half the price listed on that site.
posted by dabitch at 3:50 AM on February 17, 2010

this is the brand my pals swear by.
posted by dabitch at 3:52 AM on February 17, 2010

Seconding a trim rather than a total shave. I use an electric razor to go very short, and only have to do it every month and a half or so. If you condition down there, the remaining hair is still very soft.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:22 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just chiming in to say that I wouldn't necessarily file it under "unacceptable". Keep things tidy, and most people won't think twice.
posted by CharlesV42 at 5:56 AM on February 17, 2010

I've been shaving the whole thing for about a month, and it's kind of a huge disaster.

What are you using as a razor? Those plastic, disposable ones? If so, that's always going to be a disaster. It's worth it to invest in, and replace often, a top-notch razor and blades. I also soak my blades in a disinfectant to avoid having any dead skin or bacteria left on it the next time I go to use it. That can cause a lot of irritation.
posted by Hiker at 5:59 AM on February 17, 2010

My partner uses an epilator, with no bumps, irritation, or other side effects. She says that the first time hurt like you wouldn't believe, but after that it has been much less ouchie than waxing. Cost-wise it was a total win, because the epilator was about $50 with free shipping from Amazon, whereas the waxings she was getting before were a lot more than $50 each, plus tax and tip.

She also says that it is easiest and least painful to run the epilator once a week, so in any one session you are only removing a few hairs, rather than waiting a month for a bunch of regrowth.

Having said all that, however, I'd question the necessity of shaving/plucking/waxing/etc. Some people shave, and many do not. Some just trim up the edges, some do nothing. Do the hair removal thing if it makes you happy, or even if it makes your partner super happy, but don't do it just because you are feeling some kind of abstract pressure to do so.
posted by Forktine at 6:19 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Because pubic hair seems to be pretty unacceptable these days, so everyone else must be finding some way to get rid of it.

You would probably be surprised by how many people don't find it unacceptable and aren't trying to get rid of it.

Using electric clippers is the most painless option. The stubble left over is longer, so it feels downy instead of scratchy. It's a different feeling than total baldness, but it gives the same general effect.
posted by hermitosis at 6:44 AM on February 17, 2010

If you want to be hairless because you prefer the look or feel of it yourself, then absolutely go for it -- I hope people here can give you advice that solves your problems.

But in my experience, pubic hair is only "unacceptable" to the kinds of people no lady should be dating. We're not 12-year-old-girls, we're women. Keeping it neat is one thing, but expecting someone to be hairless and shaming them if they aren't is completely ridiculous. I suspect that hairlessness isn't as common as you think.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:59 AM on February 17, 2010 [8 favorites]

Because pubic hair seems to be pretty unacceptable these days.

Please don't wax because of this. I wax because I live in Houston, and in our 9-month-long 90% humidity summers I feel fresher when waxed.

$50 is an average price for Brazilian (neither high, nor low) but my waxist charges $30. She is AWESOME, though a little flaky with appointments. But I never have burns, ingrown hairs or strays. Also, I usually wait about 6 weeks between waxes, so the hair grows back somewhat, but it hasn't totally filled in yet. So, you might want to shop around and see if you can get a better deal. Also, a lot of salons will give you a punch card so that after so many waxes you get a free or discounted one.

Another thing you can do it try home waxing for the sides (\/) yourself in between full Brazilians.

FWIW I use an epilator about once a week on my underarms. The results last much longer than shaving and my epilator was about the price of 2-3 underarm waxes. In the winter, when I just let everything grow*, the hair is very soft and doesn't seem too thick. Haven't tried epilating the bikini yet because honestly, it still hurts when I do my underarms.

*I have been really surprised that no one has commented on my hairy pits since I started doing this. I thought I'd be having to defend myself and my beauty choices.
posted by Brittanie at 7:01 AM on February 17, 2010

I have to agree with Hermitosis here (which occurs rarely enough, so pay attention, anonymous). Speaking from my knowledge the significant sample of pubic areas I have had the privilege to access, total baldness is far more rare than the mass-media and internet porn would have you believe, for the very reasons you have laid out; and also because many potential partners are just not into a woman whose parts look like a little girl's.

A nice close trim + conditioners (so I hear) is a tiny fraction of the hassle and makes your parts very attractive indeed.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:07 AM on February 17, 2010

Because pubic hair seems to be pretty unacceptable these days, so everyone else must be finding some way to get rid of it.

If you don't like your pubic hair, there's some great advice above. But if you're putting yourself through all of this because you think other people don't like your pubic hair, I think you're likely putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Based on conversations I've had about it, I think most "bald" people are people for whom $50 (or $200, since a lot of people I know who get waxed regularly also consider pedicures, facials, and highlights to be absolutely vital to their health and hygiene) every 6 weeks seems like a wise investment, or just isn't a big deal financially. That's not the majority of the population. It's not even the majority of the young and beautiful population. The fact that the majority of bodies we see are hairless is a function of trends in pornography, not a representative sample of the general population. So decide what's really important to you, and spend your money accordingly.
posted by decathecting at 7:17 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pubic hair is still completely acceptable. Most of my lady friends don't talk about their landscaping, but some of my guy friends have said they actually prefer hair down there, and the rest are neutral.
posted by sallybrown at 7:17 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

i would just like to reiterate what others have said: don't go through this hassle if pubic hair isn't a big deal for you. as in, don't let others dictate to you what hair you have/don't have. i shave because i like how it feels better, not for aesthetic purposes. i have yet to be involved with anyone who requires baldness, just people who appreciate trimming and upkeep. the lack of hair is for me, not for them.

i don't do anything fancy for hair removal, just razors and shaving cream really. but i recommend not doing it every day. this leads to less razor burn. also: take it slow and gentle!
posted by itsacover at 7:52 AM on February 17, 2010

"Are there any hair removal creams that actually work on thick pubic hair?"

Veet works great, and it is okay to use on your bikini line. Be very careful not to leave it on too long, and don't get it on any part that is already hairless (uh, lets just say the "inside").

It's a foam and it comes with a scraper that looks like a bladeless razor. Apply, let it sit, scrape off and then hit the shower. Err on the side of taking it off too early rather than letting it sit too long.
posted by soelo at 8:13 AM on February 17, 2010

Pubic hair is not unacceptable. If you truly feel this deep down in your heart, then you need to stop watching porn and listening to frat boys.

I tried to shave once and had the same horrible experience as you. I also couldn't fathom paying someone money to wax my cooch. So here's what I do - half shave - I shave my lips. I trim the mons pubis. I pluck my bikini line (epilator is probably faster, but I like having total control to get only the hairs that are outside of my underwear / swimsuit line.

Now I'm going to go worry about my privacy on Facebook...
posted by WeekendJen at 9:22 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Keep your pubes, or get rid of them, but only because you want it that way. I could never get rid of my bush - I need something to catch the crumbs when I eat naked. I'm a diehard trimmer though - this site has a lot of shavers, you might find something you like.
posted by poissonrouge at 10:06 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just chiming in to say that I totally feel you on the razor burn/shaving thing. When I used to shave, I would always get the worst ingrown hairs and razor burn, to the point where I would worry that my partners would think I had some kind of STD. I ended up moving to waxing at home (a glass or two of wine first usually helps; apply some baby or mineral oil first, keep the skin taut, and pull straight up, not at an angle. Immediately apply pressure afterward, and be sure to keep heating the wax as needed), but when that also gave me irritation (not as much, but still some), I just kept it trimmed short. None of my partners ever had a problem with it—the general response when I told them I was no longer bare was usually along the lines of "Whatever." When I first started sleeping with my current, long-term boyfriend, I was trimmed short. A few weeks in I mentioned needing to trim again, and he asked me not to, as he actually prefers a wild jungle bush. I now trim every couple months, when it starts to pull against my undies and cause pain.

My point here is that most guys don't care as much as you'd think. Of the six or so guys I slept with in the interim between switching to trimming and meeting my boyfriend exactly none of them seemed to care at all. As my bf illustrates, some even prefer it. Unless a guy's attitudes toward what sex should be have been mostly shaped by porn/the mass media, he probably won't mind a little hair, and almost certainly wouldn't find it gross (and if he did think that sex ought to be what it is in the pornos, I'd expect his attitudes toward sex are already somewhat unhealthy; YMMV.) If you want to be rid of pubic hair because you hate it, I suggest home waxing. But if you think you need to because it's not ok to have pubes and guys will be turned off, I say to you: Don't worry. They're just psyched to see you naked and touch all your awesome ladybits.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:46 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding the trim.

And personally, I love the fuzz down there... so soft...
posted by Arthur Dent at 3:39 PM on February 17, 2010

Tend Skin or do it yourself tend skin (which is way cheaper, just google, its basically rubbing alcohol + witchhazel + lots of uncoated aspirin) should help a lot with the bumps. Just pat on with a cotton ball regularly and leave on.
posted by whoaali at 6:53 PM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

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