Your Complete 'Down-There' Grooming Guide

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Growing up, every girl struggles with what to do about hair that grows in the bikini region. With so many different grooming options, how can you be sure you’re working with the right one? What’s a normal look for down there? Am I the only one who does that? What do guys actually like? What’s “in” right now? Wait, what about pubic hair dye? Hot Pink? YES! Vajazzling?  Sign me up!  (Not Quite). While you might not want a platinum blonde star adorning your bikini area—the truth is, there’s no right or wrong way of dealing with your lady bits—just suggestions and some safety guidelines. Here are some different grooming options to suit every collegiette. But remember, every girl has her own preference and that’s totally ok!

The Different Looks...

Just Around the Edges
When all the hair covered by your bikini or panty lines is left untouched. Typically, this look works to take care of those pesky hairs that start to wander off grid.

Landing Strip
The removal of all pubic hair, except for a narrow, vertical strip that typically starts either at the natural pubic hairline or above the vulva, and ends just above the clitoris. This looks varies in width and length, leaving the decision up to you!

Completely Bare
The complete removal of all hair, from the pelvic region up towards the butt. Those looking to rock the most revealing lingerie or swimwear usually don this smooth, hairless style.

The Different Grooming Options...

Shaving
The most popular and inexpensive method of grooming down there. According to a study conducted in 2006 by the Vagisil Women’s Health CenterSM, 23% of all women aged 18 and older report that “they shave part of their pubic hair off.” Shaving with a razor consists of five simple steps: trim, soak, lather, shave, and moisturize. Keep in mind to avoid shaving during your period, as your skin is very sensitive during this time. For the best results, shave in the same direction your hair grows. Avoid spending too much time going over one area. In order to avoid irritation, stop after three strokes. Beginners should look to shave once a week. Veterans will find their own preferences.    

schick quattro

The Razors

When it comes to grooming your lady bits, avoid straight, disposable razors or ones that have gone dull. Key components to look for in order to minimize nicks and cuts are a pivotal head, multiple blades, and moisturizing strips. It’s no wonder the two most recommended razors have all three!

  • Schick Quattro For Women TrimStyle Razor and Bikini Trimmer: What doesn’t this thing do? Whether you prefer grooming in or out of the bathtub, Schick Quattro for Women TrimStyle has you covered! On one end you have the Razor comprised of four thin blades for a close shave and strips of Aloe and a Duo-Vitamin Complex to moisturize your skin. On the other end is a waterproof, battery-powered trimmer, which comes with three different combs of varying lengths. Did I mention the $11.99 price tag? Sold.
  • Gillette Venus and Olay Bikini Kit: For only $9.99, this bikini kit comes equipped with trimmer, Venus Embrace razor, and Olay bikini lotion. The razor features three blades and protective cushions for a smooth nick-free shave. The reviews are in on the battery-less trimmer, and women cannot stop raving about how easy and effective it is! And last but not least, the Olay bikini lotion is sure to leave you feeling fresh and clean, and the hydrating lotion works to eliminate razor burn.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Down-There Shaving: 

  • DO trim your hair down with scissors as short as possible before shaving.
  • DON’T use a heavy scented lotion to moisturize afterwards. The chemicals within the lotion often times irritate the area. Instead, look to apply aloe vera, baby oil, or baby powder.
  • DO bathe beforehand to soften coarse hair.
  • DON’T simply use soap when shaving. Apply a shaving cream that will work to lather the pubic area, helping to reduce irritation.

Waxing
Whether you’ve bought your own wax kit or have scheduled an appointment at your favorite salon, waxing is another method for grooming hair that grows in the bikini region. However, the truth is hot wax is, well, hot wax. To avoid the swelling and pain from removing the strip of wax from your skin, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen 30 minutes before waxing. Whether at the hands of a professional or from within your own bathroom, the directions are the same: hot wax is applied to the desired area, then a strip of cloth is applied with pressure. The strip is then pulled in the opposite direction of the hair’s growth. Voila, hair is gone! 

Different Waxing Options

waxing shaving hair down there

At-home Waxing 

A good waxing kit isn’t hard to find and you’ll soon find yourself seasoned at the process. However, be sure to thoroughly read the instructions and don’t be afraid to look up videos providing demonstrations.

  • Warm the wax, allowing it to take on a honey-like consistency. You can alsopurchase wax strips to avoid the mess!
  • Before getting started, make sure the area and your hands are clean and sanitized.
  • Until you feel comfortable with the process, try practicing with the wax on your forearm or calf. One thing is certain though: always be sure to test the temperature of the hot wax before applying it to the pelvic area! No need for a burn down there.
  • Dip the utensil—typically a flat wooden stick—into the wax and apply the wax to the area. Try not to smear too much onto the skin and always be sure to move in the same direction. At-home waxing is completely feasible; however, if you’re looking to go any further than the basic bikini wax, be prepared to continue pulling those strips despite the obvious pain.
  • For any stragglers, pull out a pair of tweezers and snag them. Do not, I repeat, do not apply wax on the same area twice. Bleeding and scabbing can result otherwise.

This is a great video to help you get started with a simple bikini wax.

Salon Waxing

With such a sensitive region, it’s no wonder many go to a salon for waxing.  Alana, junior at Syracuse University, confesses, “I tried waxing at home, but I just couldn’t bring myself to actually continue pulling away at strips!” When dealing with such a personal part of your body, choosing an esthetician is just as important as choosing the salon!

  • A lot of women tend to go to frequent salons recommended by word of mouth. Ask around and you’ll definitely find a salon your friends trust or check out yelp.com for reviews from past and present customers.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop in and ask some questions and meet the staff. If it’s your first time, speak up! Specialists are more than willing to guide you through the process so there are no surprises.

Feeling awkward?

Just remember, waxers are seeing old and new customers everyday for appointments—they have seen just about everything. Kristie, senior at Rutgers University, first started visiting the salon for bikini waxes, and she “just felt really comfortable with [her] waxer right from the beginning. She would discuss everyday things like how classes were going, but would still make sure I was aware of what was going on.”

Beginner
Bikini Wax: hairs outside the bikini/panty line are removed.
Full Bikini Wax: hairs outside and a bit deeper within the panty line are removed. This style can also look to create a more definitive triangle shape by eliminating some of the hair resting towards the top of the pelvic region.

Intermediate
French Bikini Wax: A more thorough wax, all of the hair in the front of the pelvic region is removed, expect for a small strip, which can resemble a landing strip.

Experienced
Brazilian Bikini Wax: All of the hair, from the front of the pelvic region to the back (including the area leading to the butt) is removed. Typically, a small strip is left behind. Foresee a thong bikini in your future? This might be just the style for you.

Hollywood Bikini Wax: results in the pelvic region, including the labia and area reaching the butt, becoming completely hairless. The Hollywood is probably the most physical of the waxing styles—requiring a team effort from you and the waxing specialist. Expect to twist and turn into different positions to ensure a smooth result. You will be asked to lay on your stomach in order to remove the hair around your butt.  

Do’s & Don’ts of Bikini Waxing:

  • DO wait until your hair is ¼” long before making an appointment or heating up your own wax kit. This way, the wax has more of the follicle to attach itself to, providing a cleaner removal.
  • DON’T tan before or after waxing,
  • DO stick to cotton underwear afterwards. Allowing the area to ‘breathe’ after a wax will greatly diminish the chance for irritation afterwards.

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About The Author

Kaitlyn Monteiro is a senior at Syracuse University majoring in English & Textual Studies and Psychology. Having just returned from a semester abroad in London, she spends most of her time calculating just how many frequent flier miles it would take for a one-way flight back. Aside from the Love Actually marathons and the ridiculous amounts of tea she’s been brewing these days, Kaitlyn is actually happy to return to her hometown of Oceanport, NJ – although, she would never openly admit that. When she’s not defending the beaches from the annual ‘guido’ summer invasion, she’s most likely tweeting, tumbling, or checking into Starbucks on Foursquare.  Sometimes all at the same time. In the words of Glee’s Kurt Hummel, “Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton.”