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Though it may seem like a modern trend, shaving hair around the genitals dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece, when prostitutes shaved their pubic areas to show health and availability. Shaving groin hair isn't for everyone. There are multiple theories on the necessity of having groin hair, ranging from protection against environmental hazards to spreading pheromones and regulating body temperature.
Determine the amount of hair you'd like to remove. Some women opt to remove just the hairs that stick out around their bikini line, while others prefer to take off more hair. Remember that you can always return to shave more, but need to wait about two weeks for hair to fully regrow.
Prepare the area by cutting any particularly long hairs. Doing this prevents the razor from snagging and pulling at them uncomfortably.
Wet the hair. Moist hair is more pliable and easier to shave than dry hair. You may also opt to shave in the shower or bath to keep the area moist.
Apply shaving cream to the areas to be shaved. Choose your shaving cream or gel wisely -- artificial scents and colors may be too irritating for such a sensitive area. If you're a woman avoid getting shaving cream in your vaginal opening, which can lead to discomfort, a pH imbalance and fungal or bacterial infections.
Shave the hair you have decided to remove. Use one hand to hold the razor and the other to pull the skin taut, if needed, to create a flat surface for the razor to glide. Move the razor against the grain of the hair. This may be trickier for men. Go slowly and shave a little at a time.
Rinse the area and repeat the process if necessary to remove any stragglers or hairs that weren't shaved the first time. Rinse again and apply an aftershave moisturizer designed for sensitive skin to help soothe irritation caused by the razor or to prevent the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
- The Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Pubic Hair Removal: Shaving
- Girlology: A Girl's Guide to Stuff that Matters; Melisa Holmes, Patricia Hutchison
- The Male Body Owner's Manual; K. Winston Caine, Perry Garfinkel
- Other hair removal options include waxing, chemical depilatory sprays and creams, and sugaring. Examine the product label carefully to ensure it is safe to use around your groin if you choose one of these alternate methods.
- The Palo Alto Medical Foundation cautions that shaving when you first wake up isn't the best idea -- fluid accumulates under the skin during sleep. Wait 20 to 30 minutes before shaving to give time for fluids to disperse, exposing more of the hair shaft.
- Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images