Monday, August 2, 2010

Grooming Part 2: Taking it off

Like I said before, the decision to shave, trim, groom, what have you, is a personal one, and everyone gets to make that choice themselves, based on their own desires, not society or any one person's expectations. With that said, if you chose to take your pubic off or down, there are a multitude of ways to do so. All have their pros and cons, and I bounce back and forth between a lot of different things, depending on where I am, who's going to be seeing me naked, and what I have on hand.

1. Shaving - the old stand by
Pros- cheap, convient, can do it yourself, not painful
Cons - oh god the ingrown hairs, grows back quickly, coarse hair stubble

If you're going to shave, make sure you use a good shaving cream, I reviewed Wet brand's shaving cream. I also really like coochy shave cream (yeah, I know, stupid name, but it works really well) and Alba brand shave cream (which I get a whole foods). These are all the kinds that are an actual cream that rubs into your skin, as opposed to the shave gels or foams that sit on top, I've found they soften the hair better. I also recommend not using those female branded razors that everyone has, they get the job done and everything, but I've always preferred the Mach 3 it designed to take of coarser hair, it tends to be cheaper, and it fits on the venus handle if you already have one, I've always found them to give me a smoother shave, on any part of my body. Also, make sure you take a long shower or bath before hand. Finally, be careful not to nick yourself, pull things tight, become a contortionist if you have to, but I have a friend with a permanently notched labia as a result of a hasty and sloppy shave job. So be careful!

2. Waxing

Pros- Lasts longer then most methods, stubble is softer
Cons - expensive, ingrown hairs, may require nudity with a stranger, hair has to be at least 1/4 inch long for it to work

I had my legs waxed for years, and eventually my bikini line as well, but I've never gotten a brazilian. I consulted a friend who has. She said it's pretty painful, especially the mons pubis, but she thinks it's worth it. Hair grows in 3 2 weeks cycles, so for this method to be affective, you have to go either every two weeks or every 6, and you can't shave in between. Now the main thing to remember with waxing is that, if done wrong, it can lead to all sorts of problems, so if the place doesn't feel as sanitary as a doctor's office, don't let them near you. If the waxer does not put new paper on the table, put on new gloves, and uses a a new stick every time she goes to apply wax, DO NOT LET HER NEAR YOU. With waxing, this is not a place to skimp, generally the more upscale a salon, the more likely they will be cleanly/sanitary, though this is not always the case, so pay attention, and if something feels off, trust your instincts. Also, a brazilian will require you to be up on all fours and on your back with your legs spread in front of a total stranger, so it's not for the faint at heart.

3. Hair Removal Creams

Pros- Cheap, easy, can do it yourself, lasts slightly longer then shaving
Cons- Smells bad, ingrown hairs, may cause chemical burn

I'm not actually recommending this since on every brand they have warnings everywhere not to put this stuff on your vulva, but the honest fact is I've done it. I don't have sensitive skin, so I've never gotten chemical burn, but my roommate used it on his back and did, so really, don't do it. If you insist, don't put it on your labia, mons pubis only, but really, just don't. If you do, I'm taking no responsibility on you getting chemical burn on your most sensitive areas.

4. Electric Razor

Pros- Quick, no ingrown hairs, don't have to do it in the shower
Cons- Can be expensive up front, can pull if not charged

This is the method I'd settled on in the last few years. There is the full range of electric razors ranging from over 100 dollars to 15ish. I picked up a little con air one for 20 bucks at Ulta about 2 years ago. The little thing happily trimmed my hair close but not shaved completely since then. However, since a run in with my roommate's back hair, it has offically died and has been functioning as an epilady, slowly pulling each hair out individually. I need to replace it, but it proves that you don't have to go for one of the super expensive models for it to last a while and work well. I highly recommend it if you don't want to fully shave but prefer to trim you pubic hair short.

So, take these options, with of course full, natural bush also being an option as well, and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. Try anything and see how you like the feeling and the look of fully shaved, trimmed, natural and see what you like. And, don't forget, if you don't know, ask, if you're unsatisfied, give direction.

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