Many of us have declared war on our pubic hair.  In the last 10 years, the hair removal industry has grown tremendously, especially genital hair removal. Cultural trends spawned by bikinis and thongs, certain hairless actors and actresses, a desire to return to childhood,  a misguided attempt at hygiene, or being more attractive to a partner, have all been motivations for this huge war.  

Surely us humans are not so naïve as to be susceptible to fashion trends and biases. Unfortunately we are (I raise my hand), and unfortunately, we will never win this war.

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Research has shown that surgeons have found that shaving a body part prior to surgery increases the opportunity for onsite infections. It doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive the method of hair removal –  razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis – they all can be harmful.

Here are the things you should know about pubic hair removal:

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  • It naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds.
  • Frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area.
  • When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy area for some of the nastiest of bacterial infections.
  • Some clinicians have found that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections and other STIs as well due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to viruses carried by mouth or genitals.

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I, too, was guilty of removing my hair down there until I kept suffering from the incessant nightmare of ingrown hairs. My OB/GYN explained to me how unhealthy it was that I was removing the hair because it is a form of protection for my womanly parts. She expressed that pubic hair does have a purpose,  providing cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury,  protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. She told me if I must remove hair from there, I should trim it low but not completely off.

So maybe it is time for us to declare a truce in the war on pubic hair, and allow it to stay right where it belongs.

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Have You Declared War On Your Pubic Hair?  was originally published on