Not shave my pubic hair—isn’t that gross? If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not alone! A lot of people believe that hair down there is dirty, gross or unattractive. If you’ve been thinking of putting down the razor and have wondered more than once, “Who am I really doing this for?” then you’re in luck, because most of what you’ve heard is probably either myth or personal opinion.
The fact is, like anything else from how you wear your hair to the style of your clothes, whether or not you shave (or wax or trim) your pubic hair is completely up to you. It’s an individual choice, despite the way it’s been historically gendered (when’s the last time you heard a bunch of guys wondering whether they could get away with not waxing before vacation?). We’re here to tell you that there are at least nine great reasons to let your pubes grow wild and natural.
1.You don’t need to listen to the patriarchy
Isn’t that reason enough? For real, though—who cares what anyone thinks? Whether or not your pubic hair is shaved, trimmed or completely waxed has no bearing on you as a person.
Making your own decisions about your pubic hair is a totally feminist thing to do, whether you decide to shave or not.
Also, “If it is acceptable for men to not shave there at all, it should be for women as well,” says Ariana*, a recent graduate of Marianopolis College.
Related: How to Shave Down There
2. Your partner should be okay with either choice
Would you date someone who didn’t want to date you because you had short hair, or dyed it purple? If someone can’t get with who you are—and what choices you want to make about your own body—then they don’t deserve you, anyway.
As Robin*, a freshman at Emerson College, says, “If my partner doesn’t like it, well then, don’t put your face down there!” And if someone doesn't want to give you oral sex just because you've got pubic hair, then you may want to reconsider dating them, anyway.
Kelly*, a senior at University of British Columbia, says that in the LGBTQ+ community, it tends to mean even less whether or not you shave ‘down there.’ “I'm a lesbian and there isn't as much judgment around pubic hair, or body hair in general, among lesbians and bisexual women as there is among straight people, in my experience,” she says.
3. Ingrown hairs down there really suck
If you’ve ever had an ingrown hair—which, if you shave parts of your body regularly, you probably have—you know how much they suck. Now imagine that in your pubic region. Yikes, right? No, thank you.
Lynsey G, a professional sex writer, says, “When I shave, especially my pubic hair, I get itchy, raised bumps that refuse to go away for days or sometimes up to a week, and sometimes ingrown hairs. Not sexy, and uncomfortable, too.”
4. The growing-back period can be so excruciating
A lot of people experience itching and discomfort when the hair is growing back, which can prompt them to shave it again hastily—leading to ingrown hairs. It’s not a fun cycle.
“Every time I shaved it just got incredibly itchy,” says Robin.
If you’veexperimented with shaving and you find it’s uncomfortable every time, why keep doing it?
5. And razor burn? Please say no.
Thought razor burn was impossible in the pubic region? It’s absolutely not.
Ashley*, a recent graduate of Westfield State University, only trims and shaves some of her pubic hair for this reason. “I hate razor burn. I don’t get it as bad in the places I do shave,” she says.
6. It keeps you comfortable.
Your pubic hair is designed to protect you from infections and bacteria, but also just from regular run-of-the-mill uncomfortable scenarios. Think of like a protective shield against the world! Your pubic hair is basically a superhero.
“I feel protected when I leave all my hairs as is,” says Ariana.
Kelly agrees completely. “To be honest, I love my pubic hair. It's nice and comforting to have. I think without it I would feel very exposed.”
And if you’re going commando? It’ll keep you warm in the winter!
7. You like the way it looks naturally.
Maybe you’ve heard the awful myth that, as someone with a vagina, you’re not supposed to enjoy your pubic hair, and you’re supposed to think it’s gross instead. Well, that’s just what it is—a myth!
Plenty of individuals like their pubic hair. Why not? It’s just another place on your body where hair naturally grows.
“I like the way it looks,” says Katie*, a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. “It makes me feel sexy and real.”
Sam*, a recent graduate of University of Washington, agrees. “For me, I feel much more powerful with a full bush,” she says. “I think it’s sexier. On me, and on others.”
8. You can save time and money.
Think of all the time you’ll save not hunkering down for a regular shave. You’ll also save money, especially if you were thinking of waxing instead of shaving.
“It's easier and more comfortable,” says Katie. “I don't feel comfortable getting it waxed—nor do I have the money to.”
Use all that extra money on a rainy day fund instead, and do something for yourself. You can get a manicure, a massage or a nice lunch from your favorite local café.
9. You don’t run the risk of getting a painful cut.
We don’t even want to imagine what this would be like. It’s scary enough to be reason enough all on its own.
“I can't even imagine how horrible it would be to accidentally cut myself in my pubic region,” says Kelly.
If the idea of nursing a wound down there fills you with dread, it might be better to play it safe. After all, even careful shaving and following proper safety precautions isn’t foolproof.
And if you’re going to shave some or all? Be safe about it.
If you want to shave some or all of your pubic hair, you can still be as careful and as safe as possible while doing so, to decrease your chances of ingrown hairs, cuts and discomfort.
Jen*, a recent graduate of Whitworth University, says, “When I shave the bikini line, I go over with a razor in one direction and apply Neosporin to the area afterwards to heal. I learned from experience that shaving the hairs in the middle will always and immediately lead to itch!”
Although the same won’t be true for everyone, we recommend going slow and figuring out what irritates you, and what works.
Honestly, there are so many reasons to let your pubic hair grow naturally that we could almost keep going forever. Love yourself, and love your body the way it is—and the way you want it to be. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision that doesn’t fit in with what feels comfortable to you. It’s your body, and yours alone, so you should be the one making all the calls.