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42 Burning Questions on Body Shaving Answered by Flo

Body hair can be a touchy subject. Some people opt for hair removal methods like shaving and waxing. Kate Shkodzik, medical consultant at Flo, answers some of the most common questions regarding hair removal.

What is the best age to start shaving?

Everyone is different when it comes to deciding on when to start shaving and whether to do it at all. If you choose to shave, It may be a good idea to wait until you’re 12 to 14 years old to shave your legs. Teens of this age are more likely to have the maturity to shave safely without hurting themselves. Skin cuts can result in bleeding and infection.

What is the least painful method to remove hair for the first time?

The best choice for the first hair removal is probably a depilatory cream. Make sure to read the instructions before hair removal because creams differ in how they’re applied.

A depilatory cream will dissolve the hair shaft. Keeping it on your skin for a longer time than necessary can cause skin burn. Make sure to test the product on a small area of your arm first to make sure you aren't allergic to it.

How often should I shave?

It depends on how fast your hair grows. Most people shave once or twice a week. Shaving more often than necessary can lead to skin irritation.

Is it necessary for a girl to shave down there?

It is your personal choice whether you want to shave your pubic hair. Shaving your pubic area is an aesthetic choice, and it doesn't offer any significant health or hygiene benefits. 

What is the best way to get rid of pubic hair?

Nowadays, there are many ways to get rid of pubic hair, including shaving, waxing, sugaring, laser epilation, and photo epilation. To choose from the variety of options, take into account what type of pubic hair you have (thin or thick) and your skin characteristics, like susceptibility to irritation or allergy. 

Shaving is the most common way to remove pubic hair, but the result lasts for only two to three days. Waxing and sugaring results last longer, but the process is generally more expensive and can cause irritation. 

The most effective way to get rid of pubic hair is laser epilation. The risk of side effects such as skin irritation and burns is minimal. After about five procedures, the pubic hair should stop growing in that area. However, there are few circumstances in which you shouldn’t receive laser epilation:

  • Pregnancy
  • Active infection such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) in the area to be treated 
  • Recent isotretinoin (an acne medication) intake

Is it better to shave or wax down there?

Waxing removes hair below the skin level. This weakens the hair follicle, making the hair grow back more slowly. However, it is rather painful. Shaving is not painful but needs to be done more often.

How should I shave down there?

To shave your bikini area properly, take a hand mirror to see the area you are going to shave. Prepare a sharp, clean razor. Soak in the tub for about five minutes to soften the skin and pubic hair before shaving. 

Apply shaving cream over the areas that you are going to shave. Press firmly on the skin with one hand and shave lightly with the other, using slow strokes.

Rinse your skin with warm water and pat dry. Apply lotion with aloe vera on the area that has been shaved.

What happens if you cut yourself down there?

If you end up with cuts, make sure to treat them promptly. Wash the area gently with water and soap (you may use antiseptic). Next, add a little ointment (with aloe vera) to soothe the cut. Try not to irritate this area too much, and it will heal in a day or two.

Are electric trimmers effective for shaving down there?

Trimmers are effective for pubic hair shaving. Make sure to use the plastic guard at all times and to soak your skin before shaving.

Shaving is a personal choice, so do what makes you feel comfortable. There are different methods of removing body hair, with different advantages and disadvantages. If you want to remove hair, weigh the pros and cons before selecting a method.

Does a lack of shaving make your vagina smell?

By following simple hygienic habits such as bathing regularly with unscented soap and regularly changing clothes, leaving your pubic hair will not create a vaginal odor.

How to remove dark spots from your vagina?

If the spots don't hurt, they could be veins showing through the skin. It’s still helpful to seek a health care provider’s advice to rule out any concerns.

Do you shave down there before going to the gynecologist?

Gynecologists are comfortable caring for patients across the shaving spectrum. They’re only concerned with your health and well-being, not whether you opted to shave. The choice is totally up to you. Your grooming habits will not affect the results of the examination and treatment that you might be prescribed. 

How to get rid of nipple hair? 

Tweezers offer an easy solution to get rid of one or two hairs (trying doing this after a shower). 

If you notice that more hairs are appearing in this area, consult a health care provider. It may indicate an underlying medical condition.

How can I get rid of facial hair?

There are a lot of methods that tackle unwanted hair on the face. People can choose from shaving, tweezing, epilation, waxing, depilatory creams, or threading. Each option differs in effectiveness, level of pain, and cost. You may choose the most comfortable option for you.

Do I need to shave my upper lip?

Most people have some kind of hair on their upper lips; it often varies in visibility based on a person’s age, genetics, and health. If you’re not comfortable with the way your upper lip looks, you can remove hair by using a depilatory cream, threading, a cream bleach, or waxing. If you feel okay with it, there is no need to get rid of them.

Do I need to shave my arms?

Shaving your arms is a personal choice and doesn’t improve your hygiene. Although there is no need to shave your arms, some people like to remove arm hair (through shaving, waxing, or bleaching). If you are comfortable with your arm hair, just let it grow.

How to shave underarms?

Start by using a clean, sharp razor. Apply shaving cream to the area you are planning to shave. Shave gently without exerting excessive pressure, pat the skin dry, and apply moisturizer at the end.

Do I need to shave my stomach?

Removing stomach hair is a personal decision. If it will make you feel more comfortable, you can remove stomach hair by shaving, using hair removal creams, or waxing. If you opt for a cream, apply it to the skin and then wait for the specified time before wiping the area.

How to get rid of stomach hair without shaving?

In order to get rid of your stomach hair, you can use a hair removal cream or waxing strips. If you select a hair removal cream, follow the directions on the packaging. Apply the cream to your skin and wait for a couple of minutes before wiping away the cream and hair. 

Waxing strips should be melted with the warmth of your hands. Then, apply the strip to the skin and remove it in the direction of hair growth. People who are prone to allergic reactions may want to avoid waxing.

Is it necessary to shave before sex?

Shaving before sex is a personal choice. It is a cosmetic preference, and you don't have to shave if you’d rather not. But if you decide to shave, trying doing it the day before sex; this will give your skin time to heal from any redness or sensitivity.

Is it necessary to use shaving cream?

Shaving cream is helpful because it moistens the hair during shaving, making it softer and easier to cut. The shaving process will be easier and more pleasant when you need to apply less effort to trim every hair.

How to get rid of ingrown hair?

If you notice ingrown hair, take a break from hair removal in that area until the issue has resolved. Apply warm compresses and pull out the hair carefully, using sterile tweezers or a needle. Wash and gently exfoliate the area and use a moisturizer to reduce inflammation.

How to keep the hair from growing back so quickly?

After waxing, your hair grows back more slowly and becomes finer. You can also try to apply medicated creams that slow the growth of hair you may not want, like on your face or under your arms.

If I shave with a razor, will the hair grow back faster and thicker?

Shaving doesn't change your hair color, thickness, or rate of growth. If you notice darkening or thickening body and facial hair, consult a health care provider to determine the cause.

Does hair grow back darker after shaving?

Shaving hair doesn't change its color. After shaving, a blunt hair tip appears on the skin. This tip might feel coarse as it grows. During this time, the hair might appear thicker and darker, but its structure hasn’t changed. 

Some hormonal and other medical conditions can lead to changes in hair color and thickness. If you observe these changes, consult a health care provider to investigate the reason.

How to get rid of bumps after shaving?

If you get razor bumps, don't shave the affected areas until they clear up to avoid worsening any irritation. Apply a moisturizer with aloe vera or shea butter to the affected area to hydrate and soothe the skin.

Do I need to shave my legs?

You don't have to shave your legs if you don't want to. It doesn’t affect your health in any way. Do what makes you feel more comfortable. If you’d prefer to get rid of leg hair, then shave it. Otherwise, you can let it grow. 

Mom won’t let me shave my legs. How can I make my body hair less noticeable without shaving?

In some cultures, shaving body hair can be taboo. If you’d like to minimize the appearance of body hair but aren’t able to shave, options like bleaching cream can help. Apply the cream on your body hair and rinse it with cool water after about 10 minutes. Bleaching cream removes the dark pigment of the hair. The result lasts for two to four weeks, depending on your hair thickness and its growth rate.

How do I convince my mom that I have to shave?

It might be a good idea to talk to your mom, as parents were once teenagers too. Perhaps, she will explain how to shave properly.

Be ready to explain to her maturely why you want to shave and then discuss her feelings on the topic. Be polite and calm, making appropriate points to support your goal.

How to start shaving?

First, exfoliate the skin on the area you're going to shave. Take a clean, sharp razor — never use dull blades! Wet your legs and apply a shower cream to the skin. Take care not to apply excessive pressure with the razor. After shaving, apply moisturizer, body oil, and/or aloe vera gel. 

How to shave your legs?

Shaving your legs may seem difficult at first. But when you make it a routine, you'll see how easy it is. Start by exfoliating the skin before shaving. Moisturize your legs and take a clean, sharp razor. Apply a shower gel on the area you are planning to shave. Shave your legs without excessive pressure, rinse the legs carefully, pat them dry, and apply moisturizer.

How to shave your legs without hurting yourself?

Before shaving your legs, exfoliate the skin. Take a clean, sharp razor and wet your legs. Apply shaving gel to the area you are planning to shave. Shave with slow, smooth movements and avoid applying excessive pressure to the skin. Rinse your legs, pat them dry, and apply moisturizer.

How to get soft legs after you shave?

Use a sharp, clean razor to shave your legs. Exfoliate your legs before shaving. Apply shaving cream to the area you are planning to shave. Remove the hair while avoiding excessive pressure with the blade. Rinse your legs and dry them. Finally, moisturize your legs with body oil or aloe vera gel.

How to avoid itching after shaving?

Exfoliate the skin before shaving. Take a clean, sharp razor — never use dull blades! Wet your legs and apply a shower gel to the area you are planning to shave. Shave your legs without putting excessive pressure on the blade. Rinse the legs carefully, pat them dry, and apply moisturizer, oil balm, or aloe vera. 

How to avoid cutting yourself while shaving?

To avoid cutting during shaving, use a new, sharp razor. Don't rush; instead, shave with slow movements. Use a rich shaving cream or gel to ensure you only apply gentle pressure with the blade.

How to treat itchy legs after shaving?

Rinse the skin of your legs thoroughly to make sure the shaving gel is completely removed and pat them dry. Moisturize your skin with body oil or aloe vera gel.

How to avoid razor bumps?

If you want to prevent razor bumps along your bikini area, buy a designated bikini razor. Before shaving, wet the skin and use a rich shaving cream or gel. To prevent ingrown hairs, shave in one direction only — the direction the hair is growing. Use new, sharp blades to shave sensitive skin areas as few times as possible.

How to get rid of small red dots after shaving?

Small red dots that appear after shaving may be razor bumps or razor burns. As soon as you notice them, you can begin treating the area. Moisturize the area frequently, use cooling compresses, apply some anti-inflammatory remedies like aloe vera, and don't shave the area until the bumps resolve.

How should I shave sensitive skin?

Choose a shaving cream for dry and/or sensitive skin. Don't use creams containing menthol and alcohol because these components can irritate your skin. When possible, find shaving products that are fragrance-free. Moisturize your skin after shaving with body oil or aloe vera.

Does waxing hurt?

Waxing can be painful, especially during your first time. Certain body regions like the bikini area, genitals, or upper lip are more sensitive than others. Waxing could cause rashes or other kinds of irritation. To ensure the best experience, make an appointment with a waxing specialist. If you buy an at-home waxing kit, don't forget to read and follow all the instructions provided.

How does hair removal cream work?

Hair removal cream breaks down the protein keratin, which forms each hair’s structure. As a result, the hair rubs away when you wipe the hair removal cream. Removal creams usually contain chemicals that break down hair proteins without harming your skin.

How effective is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that targets hair on the bikini line, legs, arms, underarms, face, and other body areas.

Lasers can selectively target the hairs and don't damage the skin. Most people need three to seven sessions to see a noticeable effect. 

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Rowen, Tami S et al. “Pubic Hair Grooming Prevalence and Motivation Among Women in the United States.” JAMA dermatology vol. 152,10 (2016): 1106-1113. U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27367465/.

DeMaria, Andrea L et al. “Perceptions and correlates of pubic hair removal and grooming among college-aged women: a mixed methods approach.” Sexual health vol. 13,3 (2016): 248-56. doi:10.1071/SH1503 U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26885885/.

Hovenic, Whitney, and John DeSpain. “Laser hair reduction and removal.” Facial plastic surgery clinics of North America vol. 19,2 (2011): 325-33. doi:10.1016/j.fsc.2011.04.002

Haedersdal, M, and H C Wulf. “Evidence-based review of hair removal using lasers and light sources.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV vol. 20,1 (2006): 9-20. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2005.01327.x

“Pubic Hair Removal: Are There Benefits?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/pubic-hair-removal/faq-20455693.

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