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7 Surprising Benefits Of Not Shaving Down There That’ll Make You Rethink Your Razor

Listen, razors are expensive.

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Maybe you keep a standing monthly appointment at your waxing place. Maybe you never remove a single pubic hair and you like it that way. Many people fall somewhere in the middle, and a lot of us keep up with new growth by shaving at home. Whatever your stance on pubic hair is right now, you should know there are some surprising benefits of not shaving your pubic hair that might make you rethink your razor habits.

Shaving as we know it began in the early 1900s when it became common for women to shave their armpits, though women have been removing hair from their bodies since the time of cavemen according to Mic. Shaving has only become more prevalent with time, and removing pubic hair specifically became a widespread practice in the last forty years or so. But it’s become mega popular since then, with a study published in JAMA Dermatology from 2016 finding that almost 84% of women groom their pubic hair to some degree.

But despite the high number of people who shave, there are actually a lot of benefits to not shaving down there, which makes sense. Your body grows that hair for a reason, so naturally there are reasons it would be good for you to have it. Of course, shaving or waxing isn’t dangerous to your health, and it’s up to you and you alone on what you want to do with your pubic hair. But finding out the benefits of keeping it might just make you rethink your weekly shave.


Hair is like built-in protection.


You might not think of sex as a dangerous activity, but it can be if you don’t have pubic hair. “Pubic hair acts as a cushion during intercourse since it pads the pubic bone during thrusting,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck M.D., FACOG, an OB-GYN based in New York. “Think of it like knee pads for your sensitive parts.

Sex injuries aren’t uncommon, so having an extra layer of protection couldn’t hurt. But there are much more practical reasons why you might decide to stop shaving.


You’re less likely to get rashes.

Rashes and skin irritation are a common side effect of shaving, whether it be razor burn, an allergic reaction to your shaving cream, or accidentally cutting yourself (the worst). If you don’t shave, those things aren’t really a possibility anymore, leaving you and your lady parts in peace. Dweck said folliculitis is one of the most common issues she sees from patients who shave, and it can be particularly painful.

“Folliculitis is a condition where the follicle actually becomes infected. The result is red bumps all across the area shaved. This will need to be treated as it usually doesn’t go away on its own,” says Alicia Johnson, a certified nurse midwife at Lone Tree OBGYN and Midwives. “Treatment can include antibiotic ointment, vinegar in water soaks, or if unresolved with these methods, it will need antibiotics.”

That doesn’t sound like a fun time, so maybe just skip the razor.


It can make people more attracted to you.

Some people might prefer you sans pubic hair, but others might not (though all that really matters is doing what you like). The preference for a partner with pubic hair might just be biological, Dweck says.

“Pubic hair likely traps pheromones, chemicals that provide one’s own scent, and may have a role in mate attraction,” she says.

When you shave, your body can’t trap those pheromones quite as well, and since they’re intended to make people want to have sex with you, you may become less attractive on a totally unconscious, biological level. Who knows, maybe keeping that hair might add a little spark to your sex life.


You’ll have fewer ingrown hairs.


Ingrown hairs are hairs that have grown into your skin instead of up and out of it. They can get red and inflamed, making them painful (and red bumps are probably not the look you were going for). Ingrown hairs can develop naturally, especially if you have curly hair, but shaving is the most likely cause. So naturally, not shaving is the best way to prevent them.


It won’t be painful when your partner touches you.

Lots of people think shaving or getting a wax before intimacy will make things more fun, but it can actually have the opposite effect. As Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., an OB-GYN and the founder and director of the Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine told Romper, “Immediately after hair removal there can be some skin irritation... That could [make] those sensitive tissues more prone to feeling irritated, burning, or itchy when touched or stroked.”


You’ll actually have a lower risk of getting STIs.

A study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found a correlation between frequent pubic hair removal and a higher risk of STIs. The study didn’t uncover why the correlation existed, but backed up other research, which has found that “infections that affect the skin, such as HPV and syphilis, were most strongly associated with aggressive grooming,” according to NPR. Whatever the reason, letting your hair do its thing really helps.


You’ll save so much time and money.

Two of the biggest drawbacks of shaving are how time-consuming and expensive it is. If you’re trying to be thorough and safe, you’re probably spending 10 to 20 minutes at least once a week to keep things trim. That’s about 21 days each year spent shaving. Plus, an affordable razor pack is still about $12 (on Amazon anyway), which doesn't sound like much, but will definitely add up over the months. If shaving is worth the time and money to you, go for it, but it’s worth thinking about what you could do with the savings.

At the end of the day, removing your pubic hair is a personal decision, and there are lots of ways to do it safely if it’s what you want. But if you only remove it because of societal pressures, knowing the benefits of keeping the bush might make you feel more comfortable giving up shaving. Bottom line: do you.

Studies referenced:

Rowen, T. S., Gaither, T. W., Awad, M. A., Osterberg, E. C., Shindel, A. W., & Breyer, B. N. (2016). Pubic hair grooming prevalence and motivation among women in the United States. JAMA Dermatology, 152(10), 1106. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.2154

Osterberg, E. C., Gaither, T. W., Awad, M. A., Truesdale, M. D., Allen, I., Sutcliffe, S., & Breyer, B. N. (2016). Correlation between pubic hair grooming and stis: Results from a nationally representative probability sample. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 93(3), 162–166. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2016-052687


Dr. Alyssa Dweck M.D., FACOG, an OB-GYN based in New York

Alicia Johnson, certified nurse midwife at Lone Tree OBGYN and Midwives

Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., an OB-GYN and the founder and director of the Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine

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