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Trim, Shaved, or Natural: The Real Score on the Bush

Deciding on your pubic hairstyle? Whether you’re thinking of a trim, shaved, or natural, each choice has its own ups and downs. Here are the pros and cons of all sides!


Thinking about what to do with your pubic hair? Well, you’re not alone! In fact, studies show that a whopping 95% of college-aged folks groom their pubic hair in some way. Women often lean towards being hair-free, while guys generally seem to prefer a hair-free partner. But hey, it’s all about what makes you feel good. Whether you keep it natural, give it a trim, or go for a clean shave, just rock what feels right for you!

But which is best? We’re looking at the pros and cons of all your options.

Why Do We Grow Pubes, Anyway?

Ever wondered why we have pubic hair? It’s like nature’s own little mystery, tucked away in our most personal spaces. Whether you’re team trim, a shaving enthusiast, or all about rocking the natural look, the existence of pubic hair has a tale to tell.

First off, let’s talk protection. Pubic hair acts like a personal bodyguard against bacteria, keeping our nether regions safe from potential infections. These hairs provide a cushioning effect, reducing friction during those more, let’s say, intimate moments. So, in a way, pubic hair is the unsung hero in the bedroom.

Now, let’s journey back to our evolutionary roots. Pubic hair is like a badge of honor, signaling sexual maturity. This hair growth coincides with puberty, marking a significant milestone in our journey from adolescence to adulthood.

And of course, we can’t ignore the powerful role of society and culture. Through the ages, the presence *or absence* of pubic hair has been influenced by fashion, societal norms, and personal preference. From the trimmed and tidy trends to the au naturel look, these styles reflect not just personal choices but also the ever-changing landscape of societal expectations.

Pros of Keeping Your Bush Natural

Let’s start with the au naturel style. Keeping your bush natural isn’t just a style statement; it’s a choice with several underrated benefits.

1. Natural Defense Mechanism

Your natural pubic hair serves as a first line of defense, trapping dirt and potentially harmful microbes. This reduces the risk of infections, keeping your intimate area healthier. It’s nature’s way of providing a protective barrier without any extra effort from your end.

2. Maintains Optimal Skin Health

Shaving or trimming can sometimes lead to skin irritation, razor burns, or ingrown hairs. By going natural, you avoid these common skin issues. Your skin stays in its natural state, free from the stress of regular shaving or trimming.

3. Saves Time and Money

Think about the time and money spent on grooming products and procedures. Sticking to natural pubic hair eliminates the need for regular shaving or waxing. It’s a budget-friendly and time-saving approach to personal care. [Read: The lazy twentysomething’s guide to saving money]

4. Comfort and Sensation

Natural pubic hair provides a layer of cushioning that can enhance comfort, especially during physical activities or intimacy.

The cushioning can reduce friction and increase sensory pleasure, making physical experiences more enjoyable.

5. Balances Body Temperature and Sweat

Pubic hair plays a role in regulating the temperature in your genital area. It helps in wicking away sweat, which is particularly beneficial in preventing chafing and maintaining hygiene during the hotter months or intense physical activities.

6. Hormonal Health Indicator

Changes in pubic hair can sometimes signal hormonal imbalances or health issues. By keeping your hair natural, you’re more likely to notice any significant changes, such as thinning or thickening, which can be early indicators of underlying health conditions. [Read: Chemistry of love: How hormones make you feel love the way you do]

Confidence in Body Positivity: Embracing your natural body, including your pubic hair, can be a statement of self-acceptance and confidence. It encourages a positive body image and can be empowering in a world where there’s often pressure to conform to specific beauty standards.

7. Protecting Yourself Against Rug Burn!

While the thought of two partners’ pubic hairs inter-mingling might guarantee a frown from certain people, this is actually a great argument for keeping the hairs around.

Sex should be fun and comfortable, and two soft bushes make sure this happens! PRO TIP: Cowgirl position while a man’s prickles are growing in is a surefire way to scratch up your clit. Ouch! Nothing’s worse than trying to get your freak on while being scraped by your partner’s prickly, non-downy bush. [Read: Ways to own the cowgirl position and make it way hotter!]

8. No Hair-care Worries

When going all natural, you won’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself with a razor or suffering from razor burn, ingrown hairs, wax burns, or the expenses that go along with these.

9. Looking Like a Grownup

Alright, so we’re all adults here, but let’s be real: while being hairless is convenient for oral and might offer some visual appeal, the vast majority of people haven’t been hairless down south since they were 10 years old.

While having hairless genitals may have been made mainstream by the porn industry, it’s still a little creepy when you think about it. [Read: Things you do while having sex that can completely turn him off]

Cons of the Natural Bush

Now, let’s talk about the downside of letting your pubic hair grow out naturally. While it’s a perfectly valid and natural choice, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not without its challenges.

1. Increased Sweat and Moisture

Natural pubic hair can trap moisture, leading to a sweatier groin area. This can be particularly noticeable during physical activities or in warmer climates.

The trapped moisture can create an environment that’s a bit uncomfortable, especially if you’re not able to freshen up immediately.

2. Potential for More Tangles and Knots

Longer pubic hair is more prone to tangling and knotting. This can cause discomfort, especially when the hair gets pulled accidentally.

Regular detangling can be necessary, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to personal grooming.

3. Difficulties in Spotting Skin Problems

With a full bush, it might be harder to notice skin issues like rashes, bumps, or other abnormalities. These signs can be crucial for detecting infections or skin conditions early. The thick coverage of hair can obscure visibility, potentially delaying identification and treatment of skin issues.

4. Friction in Intimate Apparel

More pubic hair can sometimes lead to increased friction against underwear or tight clothing. This can cause discomfort or irritation, especially with certain fabrics or in situations where you’re moving a lot. Choosing the right underwear becomes more important to minimize discomfort.

5. Challenges with Menstrual Hygiene

For those who menstruate, managing hygiene can be a bit more complex with a full bush. Pubic hair can sometimes interfere with the use of certain sanitary products, making it trickier to maintain cleanliness during the menstrual cycle. This can require extra attention and care during those days of the month. [Read: A girl’s ultimate survival guide to period woes]

6. Personal Preference and Partner Expectations

While it’s crucial to prioritize your comfort and preference, it’s also true that some partners might have different expectations or preferences when it comes to pubic hair.

Navigating these differences can be a delicate aspect of intimacy and relationships. It’s about finding a balance that respects both your comfort and your partner’s preferences.

7. Increased Risk of Heat Rash or Chafing

With more hair down there, there’s a higher risk of developing heat rash or experiencing chafing. This is especially true in hot, humid conditions or during vigorous physical activity. The natural bush can exacerbate these issues, requiring more attentive skincare to prevent discomfort.

8. Hairs Retain Scent

It’s true that your body hair is meant to protect your skin from the elements, but it also retains smells. This is no problem for those who regularly wash and keep clean *consider using an all-natural shampoo on your pubes for an even softer bush!*, but may be particularly gross for girls when they’re on their period.

9. Society is a Jerk

People have a funny relationship with body hair. We all have it, and it has a purpose for being on our body, yet if we choose to keep it around, people react with shock and awe!

In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter what we do with it – reactions will be aplenty. When a man shaves his chest, we judge. When a woman doesn’t shave her armpits, we judge.

10. Oral woes

Having a full, hairy bush might be fun for you, but it might not be such a joy for your partner if they are taking their mouth to your nether regions. A mouth full of hair is the last thing you want while trying to perform on your partner. [Read: How to make him go down on you without a push]

Pros of Going Bush-free

If you’re team shaved, then here are some compelling reasons why going bush-free might just be your preferred style.

1. Enhanced Sensitivity

Without the cushion of pubic hair, the skin around your genital area becomes more exposed, potentially heightening sensitivity. This increased exposure can lead to more intense sensations during intimacy, as the skin is more responsive to touch, temperature, and pressure.

2. Easier to Monitor Health

Going shaved makes it easier to keep an eye on your skin’s health. Without pubic hair obscuring the view, it’s simpler to spot any unusual skin changes, rashes, or bumps. It is particularly useful for early detection of potential health issues.

3. Aesthetic Preference

Yeah, it seems like there’s this unspoken rule in society these days: shaving down there is the way to go. With everything from movies to Instagram feeds showing off the clean-shaven look, it’s no wonder so many of us think that’s the standard.

4. Reduced Body Odor

Pubic hair can trap odors, especially when combined with sweat. By removing this hair, you might notice a reduction in body odor in your genital area. Going bush-free can be particularly appealing for those who are self-conscious about body smells. [Read: Smelly body parts that can ruin great sex!]

5. Smoother Canvas for Tattoos or Piercings

If you’re into body art or piercings around your pubic area, shaving provides a smoother canvas that can make both the process of getting tattoos or piercings and the visibility of them more manageable and visually appealing.

6. Sports and Athletic Comfort

If you’re an athlete, going for a shaved pubic area could be a game-changer for your comfort and hygiene. The absence of hair in this region can reduce both sweat and friction, making physical activities and sports more comfortable.

Especially when wearing tight athletic gear, having less pubic hair can enhance your hygiene and overall experience during strenuous activities

7. Personal Empowerment and Confidence

Choosing to shave can be a personal statement of empowerment. Taking control over your body and how you present it can boost self-confidence. It’s about making a choice that aligns with your personal identity and comfort. [Read: 55 secrets & self-love habits to build confidence and realize your worth]

8. Everything Feels Smooth and Sexy

If you’re a first time bikini waxer, you’re probably going to love the smooth and sexy feel of your genital area, especially for women. That is, after the pain subsides.

9. It’s Cleaner

Humans are visual creatures, and when it comes to our partners, we want to see exactly what they’ve got going on downstairs. Having pubic hair doesn’t make you dirty, but going bald looks a lot cleaner and more visually accessible.

Plus, going bald makes oral pleasures much more enjoyable for the giver. I once heard a guy talk about having to “part the hairs” when going down on a girl – gross!

10. Makes Your Penis Look Gigantic

Obviously a pro that applies only to men, but it needs to be said: If you go completely bare, your penis is going to look bigger. Plus, your balls will also be way more fun for your partner to lick if they aren’t draped with hair! [Read: Tips to get a girl to give you head and love it]

The Cons of Baring it All

But it’s not all “smooth” sailing *see what we did there?* when it comes to baring it all down there. Alongside the prickliness, the dangers of shaving, constant maintenance, ingrown hairs, and hair seeming to multiply, here are five more considerations to keep in mind:

1. Increased Sensitivity to Friction and Irritation

When you shave off all your pubic hair, your skin becomes more vulnerable to friction and irritation. This is especially true in your intimate areas where the skin is naturally more sensitive. Tight clothing, rigorous activities, or even just daily movements can lead to discomfort, chafing, or rashes.

2. Risk of Skin Infections

Ever had those annoying, itchy little bumps pop up the day after shaving? Yeah, not fun at all, right? That’s actually a common downside of shaving your pubic area.

Those tiny cuts and abrasions you can barely see are like open doors for bacteria and viruses, upping the risk of skin infections. So, if you’re going the shaving route, keeping things super clean and using the right techniques is key to dodge those pesky irritations.

3. Temperature Regulation and Sweat Absorption

Pubic hair plays a role in regulating temperature and absorbing sweat. When you remove it, you might notice changes in how your body handles heat and moisture.

This can lead to increased sweating in the genital area, which might be uncomfortable or lead to more frequent washing.

4. Cost and Time Commitment

Maintaining a completely shaved pubic area requires a significant investment of time and money. Regular shaving or waxing sessions, purchasing quality razors, shaving creams, and aftercare products can add up. Not to mention, it’s a routine you have to keep up with consistently to maintain the bare look.

5. Changes in Skin Texture

Over time, regular shaving can alter the texture of your skin. You might notice increased dryness, or your skin might become tougher in response to the constant shaving.

This can change the way your skin feels to the touch and may require additional skincare routines to keep it healthy and smooth.

6. It’s Prickly

One of the annoying parts of keeping yourself bare below the waist is that you have to let your pubes grow out a bit before getting rid of it.

When getting a bikini wax, it’s recommended you wait 2-3 weeks before getting another one done, so that your hair can grow at least a 1/2-inch long – long enough for the wax to properly grip it.

Even those who go bare via at-home razor are going to want to wait a few days before shaving again to avoid ingrown hairs and skin irritation. The waiting process can kind of suck, and may scrape your partner in the process. [Read: At home bikini waxing – The complete guide for beginners]

7. Shaving and its Genital Dangers

If you go bare by shaving at home, just be prepared for some awkward angles and potentially sensitive nicks. Shaving the scrotum, the lips of a vagina, or the anal area are tricky areas to take a sharp object to! Go slow and steady to avoid unnecessary cuts.

8. You’ll be Caring For It… Constantly

Not everyone is lucky enough to have slow-growing hair. In fact, many people have facial or body hair that grows like weeds. It can be annoying when caring for your shaven genitals because you’ll be taking care of your new look in every single shower!

9. Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs happen when constantly cut hair will grow back improperly, curling back into the skin, and creating a painful red bump that you will inevitably scrape at and attempt to pop. Avoid these little buggers by shaving with the grain of your pubic hairs, not against them! It won’t offer the closest shave, but it will avoid these unattractive and painful little suckers.

10. It Comes Back With 10 of Its Friends

Some people worry that with shaving, once you shave one hair, 10 of its friends will show up to its funeral! Even if you think this is just an old wives’ tale, it’s definitely something to consider when you bring the razor to your sensitive bits! [Read: Awkward questions girls wish they could ask guys]

Trimming – the Best of Both Worlds

Seemingly the absolute best option for those unsure of their preference, trimming involves cleaning up, shortening, and shaping your pubic area without removing all of your hairs.

The Pros of Trimming

Can’t quite decide, or maybe you want the best of both worlds when it comes to pubic hair? Trimming offers a neat compromise, combining aspects of both the shaved and natural styles.

While it’s visually appealing, just enough to be considered sexy, and gives you absolute control, there’s more to it:

1. It’s Visually Appealing

Something about creating crisp, clean lines down south is entirely alluring. You’ve trimmed off enough hair to feel fresh and to let your partner know that you know how to take care of yourself, all while being able to explore sexy styling options.

This option lets you have the most creativity by shaving in shapes like the triangle, landing strip, heart, star, and the ever sexy lightning bolt! [Read: New body trends – Plastic surgery for your genitals]

2. Just Enough Hair to be Sexy

Even a partner who likes their lover to go completely bald will be fans of the “trim” because here’s just enough shaving done to make it smooth and silky, and just enough hair to remind your partner that you’re not 10 years old!

3. Absolute Control

Trimming gives you not only creative control, but practical control, as well. For example, a woman shaving her vagina may want to keep a big bushy landing strip, but shave the labia majora *outer lips* for easier oral access, or she may choose to keep all of her pubes and just shave her bikini line. See? Total control!

4. Reduced Risk of Ingrown Hairs

Trimming is gentler on your skin compared to shaving. By simply shortening the hair instead of removing it at the skin level, you substantially lower the risk of developing ingrown hairs, which can be painful and unsightly.

5. Minimizes Skin Irritation

Unlike shaving, which can cause razor burns and skin irritation, trimming is much less abrasive. It leaves your skin largely intact, reducing the chances of irritation and discomfort, particularly for those with sensitive skin.

6. Hygienic Yet Low Maintenance

Trimming strikes a balance between hygiene and maintenance. It keeps hair short enough to be clean and manageable but doesn’t require the frequent upkeep that shaving does. It’s a practical choice for those with a busy lifestyle.

7. Personalized Styling Options

Trimming offers versatility in styling. You can choose how short you want your hair, shape it, or even create designs if you’re feeling creative.

This level of control allows for personal expression while maintaining a groomed appearance.

8. Avoids the Itchiness of Growing Back Hair

One major downside of shaving is the itchy feeling as hair grows back. Trimming bypasses this issue. The hair remains long enough not to cause discomfort as it grows.

9. Maintains Natural Protection

By keeping some hair, you preserve its natural functions like protecting against friction and bacteria. This is especially important for those who are physically active or prone to skin sensitivities.

10. Cost-Effective Grooming Solution

Trimming doesn’t require the same investment in specialized products as shaving. A good trimmer can last a long time, making it a more cost-effective option in the long run compared to regular purchases of razors and shaving creams.

The Cons of Trimming

Lastly, let’s discuss the cons of trimming your pubic hair. Just in case you thought it was all smooth sailing, here are some points to consider. Remember, every grooming method has its drawbacks, and trimming is no exception.

1. Risk of Cuts and Nicks

While trimming is generally safer than shaving, there’s still a risk of accidentally cutting yourself, especially with electric trimmers. These cuts can be uncomfortable and may even lead to infections if not properly cared for.

2. Requires Regular Maintenance

Trimming doesn’t demand as much upkeep as shaving, but it still requires consistent effort. Hair grows back relatively quickly, so to maintain a specific length or style, you’ll need to trim regularly, which can be time-consuming. [Read: Your first Brazilian wax: What it is & 29 MUST-KNOWs before, during, & after!]

3. Can Be Messy

Unlike shaving, which often happens in the shower, trimming can be a bit messier. Hair clippings can end up on your bathroom floor or sink, necessitating clean-up after each grooming session.

4. Potential for Unevenness

Achieving an even trim can be challenging, especially in hard-to-reach areas. It can result in uneven hair lengths, which might not give the neat, groomed look you’re aiming for.

5. Equipment Cost

While not as expensive as regular purchases of razors and shaving creams, good-quality trimmers can be a significant initial investment. Additionally, they require maintenance like cleaning and, occasionally, blade replacement.

6. Irritation for Some Skin Types

Even with trimming, some people might experience skin irritation. This can happen if the trimmer pulls hair or if you trim too closely, causing similar issues as shaving, like redness and sensitivity.

7. Not as Smooth as Shaving

For those who prefer the completely smooth feel, trimming might not be satisfactory. It leaves hair behind, which means the skin won’t be as smooth to the touch as it would be post-shaving.

8. Challenges with Specific Styles

If you’re aiming for a particular style or design, achieving this with trimming alone can be tricky. It requires a steady hand and a good eye for detail, which might be challenging for some.

9. May Not Align with Partner Preferences

Just like with any grooming choice, trimming might not align with the preferences of your partner. This can be a minor issue in relationships where both parties have strong opinions about pubic hair styling.

10. Hygiene Management

While trimming does help with hygiene compared to keeping hair fully natural, it still requires a certain level of cleanliness and care. Longer hair can trap moisture and bacteria, so even trimmed hair needs regular washing and care to maintain hygiene.

[Read: How to look fabulous naked using real life tips]

Trim, Shaved, Or Natural – How Do You Choose?

So many choices and reasons, so how do you actually decide on your pubic hair grooming style? While we can’t make the decision for you, here are some things to consider that could guide you to the perfect choice for your lifestyle and preferences:

1. Individual Comfort

First and foremost, it’s about what feels right and comfortable for you. Does a smooth, shaved look make you feel more confident, or do you prefer the natural feel of being untrimmed?

Consider your skin’s sensitivity as well, if you’re prone to irritation, certain styles might be more comfortable than others.

2. Partner Preferences

While your comfort comes first, if you’re in a relationship, your partner’s preferences can also play a role. Open communication about each other’s likes and dislikes can lead to a mutual understanding and respect for personal grooming choices.

3. Experimenting Safely

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different grooming styles. You might start with trimming and then decide to try shaving or leaving it natural. Remember to do so safely, using the right tools and techniques to avoid skin irritation or injuries. [Read: How to manscape: 43 manscaping tips most guys don’t know but girls like]

4. Consider Your Lifestyle

Your daily activities can influence your grooming choice. For example, if you’re an athlete or someone who sweats a lot, you might find that less hair is more comfortable and hygienic.

5. Sexual Activity

Your level of sexual activity can also be a factor. Some find that certain grooming styles enhance sexual pleasure or sensitivity, while others might prefer a natural look for its cushioning effect during intimacy.

6. Cultural and Societal Influences

Be aware of how cultural norms and societal influences might be affecting your choice. It’s important to distinguish between what you genuinely prefer and what you feel pressured to conform to by societal standards.

7. Time and Maintenance

How much time are you willing to dedicate to grooming? A shaved look requires regular upkeep to stay smooth, while a natural or trimmed style might be more low-maintenance.

8. Skin Health

Pay attention to how your skin reacts to different grooming methods. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to ingrown hairs, some methods might be more suitable for you than others.

9. Personal Aesthetics

Consider what you find aesthetically pleasing. Your grooming choice is a personal expression of your style and body image.

10. Hygiene Practices

Regardless of the style you choose, maintaining good hygiene is crucial. Regular washing and possibly using specialized products can help keep your skin healthy and prevent infections.

What You Do With Your Pubes is Your Business

At the end of the day, what you do with your pubes is your business, and you shouldn’t be basing your decision off of what your partner or society thinks you should do. It’s not about conformity, it’s about what you like!

Choosing to trim, shave, or keep your pubic hair natural is a deeply personal decision, one that you have every right to make based on your comfort, preferences, and lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here.

Whether you prefer the neatness of a trim, the smoothness of a shave, or the authenticity of a natural look, it’s all about embracing your body and your choices. Remember, in the grand scheme of things, how you manage your pubic hair is a small part of who you are. So, make your choice with confidence, knowing that it’s one of the many ways you express your unique self.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer, and the creator and author of her short stories on TheLonelySerb. She completed her first degr...
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