For our final segment of "What's Going On Down There?", we chat with owner and founder of NYC's Completely Bare spa, Cindy Barshop, to get the scoop on laser hair removal and waxing, offer up the skinny on trimming and shaving and explain why we have hair down there in the first place.
What's The Point of Pubes
Remember those interfering pheromones that you blamed for creating an instant attraction between you and the guy in the tech support department at last year's Christmas party? Well not surprisingly, some of those pheromones are located in your pants. They are sexual chemicals that are released through the sweat glands, some of which are in the pubic area. Some scientists believe that pubic hair holds on to those pheromones making the sexual attraction even stronger.
Don't worry, as I'm sure you've figured out already, going bald down there is not a guarantee that you won't get laid. It's more of a primal thing. Besides, you're body's got plenty of pheromones to go around.
Ways to Shave
Shaving saves money, that's about it. If you have coarse or curly hair, shaving is a sure-fire way to get ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Using the right products can help you get a smoother shave, however. Shick Quattro for Women has a pivotal head and conditioning strips that make it easy to maneuver through your more sensitive and harder-to-see areas.
If you've been thinking about laser hair removal, rest assured that it is totally cool to use a laser on your pubic area. Yep, all of it. Watch out for grays though. "Everything can be removed, but hair that is missing pigment, aka white or gray hair, cannot be removed. All hair that is being treated should be darker than the skin," Barshop explains.
Unfortunately for us, the easiest skin to use lasers on is very pale with dark hair. Barshop recommends the YAG laser for darker skin types and advises all her clients with skin "darker than a six on the Fitzpatrick skin scale to meet with [Completely Bare's] medical advisor."
Bump Bump Bump
Barshop says the best way to eliminate ingrown hairs is to undergo laser hair removal. "It's faster, it reduces and eliminated ingrowns based on the entire process and is much more effective."
Use a salicylic or glycolic cream to reduce ingrown hairs, Barshop says. We love salicylic-based Tend Skin products for ridding your bikini area of razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
"After a wax, be sure to wear loose cotton clothes to reduce irritation," Barshop says. Her spas carry a Bikini Bump Blaster that she recommends applying the day after waxing.
"[After] laser hair removal, you can apply a cortizone cream on the area to soothe the skin. Also exfoliate the area to help with removal of hair," Barshop says, but she advises not to exfoliate on the day of your treatment.
Trim and True
If you want to hold on to more of your pheromones or if baring it all is not your thing, stick to trimming the hair on your lady parts. A guideline: use small scissors with rounded tips like the ones used for trimming nose hairs. Be on the lookout for Gillette's Venus brand's bikini trimmer, set to retail come February 2010, which is supposed to make grooming your girl super easy.
That's the end of our girls guide to "What's Going On Down There," we hope the info that we've provided over the past week leads to happier, healthier times for you and your lady parts.