Everything You Need To Know About Pubic Hair

Pubes, pubes, pubes. The hair on our mons pubis is ridiculously controversial, but also super politicized and gendered. Think about how much of a statement it is for women to have a full bush of pubic hair. Think about how much hand wringing so many girls experience before getting bikini waxes. Think about how many dudes take to the internet for tips on how to convince their girlfriends to get rid of their pubes?

No matter where you stand when it comes to pubic hair and pubic hair removal, it doesn’t hurt to learn a little more about it. So check out everything you need to know about pubes. You think you know pubes, but you have no idea.

edward scissorhands cutting trimming dog

What is pubic hair?

Pubic hair–also affectionately known as pubes–is hair that grows all around one’s genitals. To be more specific, it grows on and around the mons pubis and the general crotch region, sometimes including the inner thighs and the bottom. Basically it’s all up in there. As you probably know, it begins to develop when you go through the magical world of puberty. From that point on, there ain’t no going back.

So why do we have it? 

There are a lot of theories about why we have pubic hair. One claim is that our hair down there works as a barrier against skin on skin chaffing. So, er, perhaps a buffer while people are goin’ at it? Perhaps. Another theory is that we have pubes works as a protective blanket for the bits and pieces, at least with female bodied individuals. Pubic hair prevents dust, dirt and other debris from easily entering the vagina or the urethrae (though folks who have a penis don’t have such protection from their pubes). Some also suggest that pubes exist for the sole purpose of catching some potential baes.

No seriously, hear me out: When you go through puberty, you start to develop pubic hair, right? Right. Around your genitals, aprocine glands secret oils and sweat that contain pheromones–a chemical with a scent that, basically, can get people turned on and want to do the nasty with you. The cool part about that is that everyone reacts differently to your special scent–also known as Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC). So…yeah, those are some of the theories going on right now about why we have pubes. Go with your fave.

Is everyone’s pubic hair the same?

Nope! Just like everything else, everyone has different types of pubic hair. Plenty of people who have light hair on their head have dark pubic hair. Many people who have straight hair on their heads can have curly pubic hair. The pattern of your pubic hair can also depend on your race or ethnicity. Basically, pubes are a bit of a grab bag.

Is it bad to remove it?

Depends on what your definition of bad is. There are no health benefits to removing pubic hair but there aren’t any real cons to removing it either. So why did I say that it depends? Well here’s the deal: Removing pubic hair can lead to some serious irritation down there. Ingrown hairs are super common after shaving your pubic hair, especially for people with curly hair. Ouch!

But other than that, if anyone ever tells you that it’s more hygienic to remove your pubes, don’t listen to ’em.

When did pubic hair removal become popular?

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Well, pubic hair removal has always been popular in some cultures. In some Middle Eastern cultures, removal of pubic hair has been considered standard for centuries. There’s proof that people in India were removing their pubic hair as far back as 4000 B.C.! But in modern western cultures, the popularity of pubic hair removal is super new. I mean, if you look back at nude photography–especially porno mags–from the ’70s, bush was everywhere. But in the ’80s onward, removal of most if not all pubic hair was all the rage, from bikini waxes to Brazilian waxes. Now, removal of pubic hair is seen as a norm, even an expectation for girls and women. Of course, whether you choose to remove your pubic hair o not is up to you, regardless of new standards in place.

What’s the best way to remove pubic hair?

The best way to remove pubic hair really depends on you. You could shave or wax or us a laser or depilatory creams. Decide which one is best for you!

Is it true that removing pubes is becoming less popular?

Within the last couple of years, the full blown Brazilian isn’t quite as popular as it used to be, but pubic hair removal is still pretty damn popular.

What should I do if my BF/GF wants me to remove my pubic hair but I don’t want to?

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If you feel strongly about keeping your pubic hair in tact, let them know. If you feel as if there’s wiggle room for compromise, let them know! If you’re willing to compromise–for example, agreeing to trim but not removing the bush completely–and your S.O. ain’t feeling it, then you guys should probably have a serious discussion about bodily boundaries. Know your deal breakers.

Er, okay, but what if I want my BF/GF to remove theirs? 

Then ask yourself how you’d feel if they asked you to remove your pubes. Be understanding and talk to them about it, see if you can reach a compromise. But this is a sensitive topic. Just make sure you’re not trying to make them fit a beauty–or pubic–standard that stems from porn or something. How awkward would it be to deal with your BF or GF telling you to remove your pubes so that you look more lie the girls in porn. Yikes.

How do you feel about removing pubic hair? Pro or against? Any horror stories about pubic hair removal to share? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

 

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  • Raven Misfortune

    I prefer it. I prefer the natural look in general though.