If you have a vulva and you’re wondering how to shave pubic hair the right way, you’re in good company. There’s a lot of curiosity (and variety) when it comes to intimate grooming practices. Case in point: When one TikToker asked her followers about current pubic hair trends, the responses were all over the place. (Our favorite: “I put mine in a messy bun so that it’s curly in the morning.”)
Let’s get this out of the way first: What you choose to do—or not do—with your down-there hair is 100% up to you. Maybe you like to leave it alone. Maybe you opt to go totally bare. Or perhaps you prefer to give it a little trim from time to time. There are no wrong choices here. But if shaving is part of your normal routine or you want to experiment with it, it’s important to know how to do it safely and successfully.
Here, dermatologists share exactly how to shave pubic hair, including the best tips, tricks, and product picks that will ensure your skin is smooth—no ingrown hairs here, thank you very much—and healthy.
Let’s go over some dangers of shaving pubic hair first.
While you absolutely can shave your pubic hair safely yourself, if you aren’t thoughtful about how you do it, you can increase the risk of irritation, cuts, ingrowns, and skin infection. To that end, you absolutely should not grab any old razor and get to work; a dull (or clogged) razor can up the likelihood of all of the above, according to the experts SELF spoke with.
Aside from a sharp, clean blade, you’re also going to need body soap and water, shaving cream or gel, and a moisturizer to use when you’re finished. Check, check, check, and check? Keep reading for our product recommendations, as well as detailed directions for how to shave pubic hair like a pro.
The best way to shave pubic hair
“There are certain steps that are important for shaving pubic hair,” Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF. Many of them are also key if you’re shaving other areas of your body, like your legs or face, he adds.
But before we get into the specifics of what to do—and not do—we have an important PSA (pubic shaving announcement): Never put any of the products below (moisturizers, shaving creams, scrubs, after-shave lotions, etc.) in the vagina, or you’ll risk disrupting its bacterial and/or pH balance, which could lead to painful inflammation or even infection. Stick with your upper vulva (mons pubis) and outer lips (labia majora). Okay, with that out of the way, here’s what to do:
Trim first if necessary.
If your pubic hair is a bit long, consider cutting it shorter with scissors or a bikini trimmer before you start shaving. Otherwise, excess hair can end up clogging up your razor and impact its ability to deliver smooth results, Elyse Love, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at GlamDerm in New York City, tells SELF. Yes, it’s okay to snip your pubic hair with scissors—just make sure you’re carefully staying above the surface of the skin, of course, Dr. Love notes.
Shave your pubic area before other body parts—or use a dedicated razor for the job.
Some people have a separate razor for different body parts, but if you don’t, Dr. Goldenberg recommends at least paying attention to the order in which you shave. “I would start with your pubic hair so that the razor is the sharpest,” he says. Next, he suggests moving to any other areas you want to shave. “Obviously, you have to be careful because the sharper the razor, the easier it is to cut yourself, but a sharper blade does make a difference,” he adds. That brings us to our next point…
Always use a sharp (ideally single- or dual-blade) razor.
Dr. Goldenberg says that sharp razors allow you to get a close shave without pressing too firmly on your skin, which can cause irritation and cuts. While many models have an indicator strip that tells you when the blade is dulling, Dr. Goldenberg says you might need to change yours more often than the strip would suggest.