Best hair removal techniques for your lady parts


Best hair removal techniques for your lady parts

Everything you ever wanted to know but were too shy to ask

By ELLE team  August 3rd, 2017

Hair removal in your bikini area can be tricky, with one doctor telling you one thing and that viral WebMD article promoting something completely different. Not to mention being scolded by your parlour lady because she knows you cheated on her with that white wax offer somewhere else. It’s especially awkward if you’re living in India, where conversations about genital grooming — or any topic related to your lady parts, really — aren’t openly discussed or encouraged, for fear of being labelled  a *insert patriarchal insult*.

While the vagina is a miraculous self-healing body part, picking the wrong hair removal technique could expose you to skin irritation, eczema, ingrowths and worse. We break down the various options available to you and the best one to chose, depending on your hair growth and skin type.

A word of caution: while our doctors weigh in with their expertise, at the end of the day, we still recommend an individual consultation to figure out what works for you specifically. 

Best grooming techniques for your lady parts 

Laser hair removal

Zapping off hair with a laser sounds only mildly less appealing that having hot wax peeled of you in strip or a sharp object inches away from your most sensitive area. But it is a procedure that is gaining popularity. Dr Gandhali informs us that PCOD and PCOS, if not under control, may be detrimental to the procedure. But Dr Lohia is confident that the increase in hair growth attributed to PCOD is limited to regions like the face, back and chest. “Lasering the bikini area does work even in the case of PCOD. At the most you may require a few extra sessions.”

Pros:

Reduces ingrowth. This one is a biggie as anyone with painful ingrowth is aware. Laser kills hair at the root so the chances of it growing under your skin into a boil are reduced.

It’s effects are long-term. While laser doesn’t completely remove your hair growth, it does reduce it by 70 percent. The remaining growth is sometimes so negligible, people choose not to landscape at all or simply trim.

Aside from the 24 hours after each laser session, the treatment is fairly low maintenance. But for those 24 hours, you can’t sweat and have to apply a dermatologically-recommended moisturisers to that area.

Cons

Laser treatment is expensive. “In the long term, it works out cheaper than removing hair for the rest of your life,” says Dr Lohia, who has done the math. 

It’s painful. Depending on your threshold for pain, laser can range anywhere between “is someone poking me with a blunt pencil?” to “I choose death”.

It doesn’t remove all your hair, so if you’re going for bald, you’ll need occasionally groom your vaginal hair.

Maintenance sessions will be required, depending on your growth. These will also be expensive.

You may miss your bush if the '60s ever return. It’s a commitment.

Best for:

If you've got the dough, laser is the way to go. Laser favours thicker and darker hair growth.

Shaving

Razor sharp precision isn’t exactly what comes to mind when mowing the lawn. Most women don’t know the road well enough to avoid those bumps and curves, which could cause some serious injuries. Still, dermatologist Kiran Lohia and gynaecologist Gandhali Deorukhkar agree that shaving is a better alternative to waxing. "The common misconception is that shaving makes the hair grow back thicker. Shaving simply cuts off the naturally rounded tips of your hair growth, causing it to grow back with a flat tip, which is rougher to the touch,” explains Lohia.

Pros:

The hair isn’t being removed from the root so chances of the skin breaking are reduced.

It’s cheap and convenient for most women.

Cons:

Women don’t invest in the proper tools or don’t keep their tools clean, which could lead to infection. Change your razor regularly to avoid rusting. Use coconut oil or aloe-gel prior to shaving to avoid irritation. 

The skin feels rougher to the touch.

The hair grows back relatively faster compared to other procedures.

Best for:

Shaving is a better option if your hair growth is minimal.

Trimming

No school like the old school. “We grow hair because we were intended to have hair,” Dr Gandhali weighs in. “Some hair on the vagina is required to avoid infections and diseases. The Royal College of London guidelines state that trimming with a sterilized pair of scissors is the best method”

Pros:

Low maintenance

Cons:

You won’t get that polished finish but you won’t get a UTI either.

Waxing

While this is the preferred method of hair removal for anyone within walking distance of a parlour, waxing comes least advised from our professionals. “Waxing is essentially removing all your hair along with a layer of your skin which could potentially disturb the skin's natural PH balance, making you more susceptible to UTIs and GBS diseases,” Dr Gandhali informs us. “ We sometimes prescribe vaginal washes but they don’t fully counter the effects or neutralize PH balance.”

Pros:

Hair doesn't grow back as quickly as with shaving.

Skin is softer to the touch.

Cons:

It’s expensive. Waxing can range anywhere between Rs 300 to Rs 3,000 for each sitting. Not to mention you’re going to have to tip your parlour lady for all that extra judgment that follows spreading your legs for a Brazilian.

It can be painful. Do you ever really get used to the pain?

Ingrowth. “The hair is being pulled out from the root, so sometimes when it grows back, it gets stuck under the skin. Ingrowths become marks and marks become scars,” warns Dr Lohia.  

Best for:

Waxing is best if you aren't prone to ingrowths or infections. Those with sensitive skin should avoid this technique. 

Photo Credits: Flickr