laser hair removal, full bikini?
March 15, 2010 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Laser hair removal- full bikini area- will I regret this?

Ok, so I'm going for a full body laser hair removal- absolutely every inch of my body, barring eyebrows, eyelashes, scalp. The only thing I'm not sure about is my bikini area- should I get it ALL off, i.e. a full brazilian, or should I leave a bit? Either for aesthetic reasons or any other reason?

Please, I'm not asking about money (I'm doing this now because I'm in a country where it's fairly affordable), about pain levels, etc. Also, I understand that I have the ideal hair type for this, so this isn't really about any of these issues.

I saw a post which asked this question amongst many others, so there wasn't much focus on this issue.

For what it's worth, one of the reasons I'm unsure about this is that I've actually never slept with anyone before and I don't know how people generally prefer these things on their mates, if they say or don't say anything. Personally, since the process would cost the same for the full body whether or not I include this area, I'm tempted to because that way I don't have to worry about getting that area waxed before going swimming, or trimmed or anything. Aesthetically i might prefer keeping some, but how much?? Give me advice. where is the line between 'cleaned up' and looking a bit too pre-pubescent (with all respect to those who prefer it this way, it's the permanent nature of the decision that makes me feel uncomfortable)?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know how people generally prefer these things on their mates

That doesn't matter. This is your body. What do you prefer?

If it were me, I'd skip it for now and do a less permanent test run.
posted by sallybrown at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

Even if there were one specific look that everyone preferred, I wouldn't be surprised if fashions changed over your lifetime, so I'd be wary of anything permanent.
posted by cider at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2010

it's the permanent nature of the decision that makes me feel uncomfortable

If you feel uncomfortable, why do it?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think traditional bikini line would be wise - anything more would be ill advised. The hair down there is not for nothing and until you've enjoyed sex with it and without it - you should wait to have it all off permanently.
posted by Wolfie at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I heard that you need around 4-8 treatments total for everything to be gone for good, so you could probably try it once and make up your mind within the 3-7 subsequent visits.
posted by dobie at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2010

If it were me or my wife, I'd go for it. Not all of it, but just a clean up. Take it down to a little bit bigger than a brazilian.

Everyone has different tastes though. Do what you feel most comfortable with. However, if you are asking this question, it probably means you are comfortable with the idea.

You may want to think about how you will feel about it in 40 years as well.
posted by TheBones at 12:55 PM on March 15, 2010

Jeez, I'd totally leave most of my pubic hair. The whole Brazilian wax craze is just a fad. 10 years from now you'll just be a freaky older woman with no pubic hair. So get the bikini line trimmed up but leave some of your secondary sex characteristics!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:58 PM on March 15, 2010 [8 favorites]

What areas do you regularly shave now? There's a lot of ground between a full Brazilian and fully natural. If you just want to save time when you go swimming, why not just get your bikini line done and then see how you feel?

From what I've heard, your chances of running into a guy with a strong opinion on this topic are pretty low. I also don't think there are many guys out there who, in a situation where it's relevant, are going to stop short and tell you to trim things up before they go any further. It's not going to be a deal breaker, is what I'm saying.

Above anything else, though, including what the people here say or what your future partners prefer, do what you're comfortable with. It's your body and your hair.
posted by MadamM at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2010

Another vote for only considering what will make you happy! It's never a good idea to make permanent decisions concerning your body by only considering what people you haven't met yet might prefer.

Since you seem unsure of what you might want aesthetically, I would just get the sides cleaned up so you don't have to think about bikini wearing issues. Then experiment to find out what you like best. Get fully waxed a few times and live with it. Get partially waxed and see how that experience is different. You can always go back and get lasered later once you make up your mind about what you prefer.
posted by cecic at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2010

If I was the type to recommend sexy time shavings to ladies I don't personally know, I'd recommend that you do the parts that are difficult to shave (leg creases, labial folds, perianal area) and leave the...err "rest".

If you want to shave that part, it'll take 30 seconds w/o the "tough areas" and if you want to not, or you want to surprise a future mate with shapes/landing strips/whatever, or you want to try a fancy new bikini, or whatever, you can shave and grow to your hearts content.

It seems a little odd to me to remove all your hair and leave your pubes, however, I think at this point you'd be better off with the ability to have them, even if you don't necessarily want them now. Oh, and for me, I prefer a trimmed actual lady bits section, but the top part isn't much of an issue.

Are you doing this for aesthetic reasons? I suppose it doesn't matter, but the part about your lack of experience combined with an irreversible (although nothing like facial makeup tattoos, GAH!) physical alteration seems interesting to me.
posted by TomMelee at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I definitely agree that there's no one style that everyone likes. Some men (and women I imagine) change their minds more often than they change their sheets.

"You should go bare" "Aww, I miss the fuzz you used to have" "what if you shaved it into the shape of a heart" "A piercing would be awesome"

This can be maddening.

All the more reason to make decisions based on your own feelings instead of trying to please the currently unknown partner. They will be pleased as punch to get to sleep with you anyhow.
posted by Iggley at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2010

After reading TomMelee's comment, I agree full heartedly!

There are areas down there that are a pain to get to, not that I know from a woman's perspective, but my wife does and tells me when she shaves. Get them taken care of and make it easier on yourself in the long run. Definitely doesn't affect the aesthetics, but makes things easier (?)
posted by TheBones at 1:37 PM on March 15, 2010

Keep in mind that laser is permanent reduction, not permanent removal. Depending on your starting point, you may not be completely bare in the future even if that's what you ask for now.
posted by amber_dale at 1:38 PM on March 15, 2010

The whole Brazilian wax craze is just a fad.

Then it's a fad that nearly everyone I've slept with in 25 years of sexual activity has clung to.

IMO, everyone on earth should hairless from the neck down, including me.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:40 PM on March 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'd definitely do (and am in fact doing) all the bits that get shaved in order to go swimming, and then a bit more (the difficult areas, as mentioned above). I also couldn't bear (ha!) to have everything removed since it made me feel pre-pubescent.

I see no way on earth to regret my decision. I'll never have to deal with in-growns during bikini season, but I'll still have something there to remove at will. Best of both worlds!
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:46 PM on March 15, 2010

Don't go prepubescent!! Nthing "get rid of what would show in a bikini" but not the rest. You can always get rid of more as the mood strikes -- which you can't do in reverse.

And moods wax (sorry) and wane, you know.
posted by kestrel251 at 2:13 PM on March 15, 2010

If it were me I'd keep a landing patch. Not a landing strip, but a little square or triangular patch. This way most of the hair is gone (I really can't envision you ever missing the hair on your labia) but you still look like an adult woman. Leaving a patch will also allow you to tailor things down there, such as shaving it all off, shaving it into a strip or shaving it into a heart, as the mood strikes you.

For what it's worth, I like to stay almost completely bare down there except for a small strip or patch and I have never had a man complain about it. In fact they've all loved it.
posted by sickinthehead at 3:20 PM on March 15, 2010

coolguymichael. Shenanigans. Per your previous question in which you state your age -- the people you were with twenty-five years ago probably didn't have pubic hair because they hadn't hit puberty...

Nth "fad" -- this was not mainstream until relatively recently. I can't imagine why one would want to do this if at all uncertain.
posted by kmennie at 3:25 PM on March 15, 2010 [11 favorites]

I would just get the traditional bikini line, whatever will allow you to not have to shave/wax whenever you want to wear a swimsuit. For the rest, I would leave some, since it is permanent after all. If later on you really wanted more gone, you could just wax that area, or go back to get laser hair removal on it (it would presumably be a small area and not horribly expensive, even in a country where it costs more).
Caveat: I am a pube proponent and would probably never even get a Brazilian.
posted by ishotjr at 3:48 PM on March 15, 2010

Nth removing the hard-to-get or frustrating areas, and leaving/shaping the mons. You'll be able to choose how you care to maintain that area with minimal hassle— but you still have the choice.
posted by a halcyon day at 3:54 PM on March 15, 2010

Don't listen to the haters, laser it all to hell. You won't regret a thing, except that even laser hair removal isn't permanent.

Pubic hair refutes intelligent design--what purpose does it serve? It really accomplishes nothing but serving as a repository for rancid skin oils and bacteria. In a worst case scenario, if you decide that you want to have smelly bacteria-infested hair down there again, you can get a sweet collection of merkins.
posted by mullingitover at 3:56 PM on March 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'd advise restraint. You never know when you might need that pubic hair.
posted by gjc at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2010

Actually, pubic hair supposedly reduces friction near the vaginal opening when penetration is attempted, and in general. This makes sense, if you think about it. (Think of skin on skin vs skin on hair-covered-skin vs hair-covered-skin on hair-covered-skin). It also supposedly collects pheromones.

Really, I think that it would make the most sense to only get rid of the pubic hair that would show if you were wearing any bikini or underwear you'd be likely to wear. And maybe intra-butt cheek hair, if you've got that and wear thongs or just don't like it. (And if you know you like how it feels without it!)

Even if you feel like you (and not your potential partner or cultural norms or whatever) like being completely hairless crotch-wise, your personal feelings could still be due to the current societal norms and their subconscious influence on your aesthetic sense. So, maybe in ten years if/when the fashion winds change, your aesthetic preference will change too.

So, I would advocate leaving hair a la the "American Wax" photo/style in the wikipedia article. Pick your skimpiest underwear/swimsuit, and use that as a guide. Perhaps also ensure that removal includes the creased areas where your legs connect to your crotch and abdomen -- where seams/elastic of underwear tend to sit -- since those are the most irritation-prone and problematic to shave or otherwise remove.

You can always shave/wax/epilate/trim further if you so desire.

By the way, regarding the "only make changes for yourself" thing: while it's certainly important to act primarily in accordance with your own aesthetic sense, there's something (positive, imo) to be said for making a minor modification that's a turn on for your partner, assuming it's at worst a benign change for you. It's probably a turn on for you if it's a turn on for them, and it does take two...
posted by sentient at 5:29 PM on March 15, 2010

TomMelee: "If I was the type to recommend sexy time shavings to ladies I don't personally know, I'd recommend that you do the parts that are difficult to shave (leg creases, labial folds, perianal area) and leave the...err "rest". "

This is incredibly brilliant.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:31 PM on March 15, 2010

mullingitover: Pubic hair refutes intelligent design--what purpose does it serve? It really accomplishes nothing but serving as a repository for rancid skin oils and bacteria.

It certainly doesn't help protect against said bacteria actually getting into ones vagina and causing ruckus...

Do what you enjoy. I tend to think of my pubic hair as somewhat like eyelashes and eyebrows - a small level of protection and a small way to adjust my appearance. And contrary to what a lot of those with a predilection for hairlessness say, not all of us like the hairless look or feel.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:06 PM on March 15, 2010

Sounds nice, but it won't work. The hair will grow back. I had it done on my face and know some friends, and it didn't work for any of us. It cost a lot, made my face temporarily red and irritated and then the hair grew back.
posted by meepmeow at 10:23 PM on March 15, 2010

I don't think oral sex is going to go out of style any time soon. If I could afford it, I would zap the whole muff.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:47 PM on March 15, 2010

FYI - urban legend has it that after pregnancy it grows back.
posted by k8t at 11:48 PM on March 15, 2010

Go with the landing strip. Good luck.
posted by stormpooper at 6:34 AM on March 16, 2010

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