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Erotic Hair Removal at Home:

Salon Results Without the Salon Fuss

Did your sweetie casually mention how cool it would be if you shaved "down there?" Have you wanted to shape, smooth or sculpt your pubic hair? Welcome to a centuries-old club! People as far back as the ancient Egyptians and Romans liked a smooth pubic region on a woman. They, of course, were limited in how they could accomplish this. You, however, have many options.

Our best advice is to take a trip to your local waxing salon, and let the professionals handle it, but as we discussed in our Brazilian Waxing Bulletin, salon waxing has some drawbacks. Maybe it's too far a trip, too much a burden on the wallet, or maybe you're just not comfortable having some stranger apply heated wax to your pubic hair and pull it out by the root. Fair enough.

If the salon isn't for you, you can try a number of at-home options that vary in result, effort and cost. Having had the taxing task of researching and trying most of these out, I'm here to report back on what works best and what, well, frankly just isn't a good idea.

Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are available at your local pharmacy. Essentially, these creams generally contain two chemicals (sodium thioglycolate and calcium thioglycolate) that, when combined, dissolve keratin, the substance that makes up hair. In most cases, you simply apply the cream (you'll need to apply a fairly thick layer for pubic hair), wait ten to fifteen minutes and rinse the cream off. While the cream is working, you'll smell a strong, foul odor, but it goes away after you wash. Be sure to wash all of the cream off when you're finished, and don't use anything that would dry or irritate the skin further (like soap) for several hours.

The Good News: You'll be super smooth, as the hair is removed down to the root. Most likely your results will last for two to three weeks.

The Bad News: The chemicals in depilatory creams may cause irritation, which none of us want "down there." Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions exactly, and please do a patch test on the hair on your arm or leg first to make sure you're not going to have a reaction to the cream itself.

You need about a quarter inch of hair for depilatory creams to work, so you'll most likely be maintaining your look every two to three weeks with some stubble in between.

Home Waxing or Sugaring
Follow the manufacturer's directions for heating the wax or sugar compound. Apply the hot wax or sugar to the desired area and cover it with the included cloth strip. When the wax has cooled, pull the cloth strip off in the opposite direction of your hair growth, pulling the hairs out by the root. Remove stray hairs with a set of tweezers.

The Good News: Again, because your hair is removed to the root, you'll be super smooth, with the results lasting two to three weeks.

The Bad News: Obviously, there's some pain involved here. More importantly, waxing is extremely hard to do on your own if you're trying to remove hair anywhere beyond your standard bikini line. It can also be messy, leaving wax chunks all over your bathroom.

You need about a fourth of an inch of hair for waxing or sugaring to work, so you'll need to re-wax every two to three weeks with some stubble in between.

Shaving with a Standard Razor
Whether you're using your own razor or the one you just stole from your partner, shaving is the most popular method of keeping those wild pubic hairs under control. The key, of course, is to use a fresh blade and a thick shaving gel or cream; one with a moisturizer will work best.

The Good News: You can shave just about every day, so if you're a frequent lingerie or bathing-suit wearer, or you just can't stand ever having stubble, this solution keeps you close to the skin more than any other. It's also low cost and low effort compared to many other options.

The Bad News: Shaving with a traditional razor shaves off a layer of skin around the hair follicle, which causes red bumps, tiny nicks and ingrown hairs. You can minimize some of the effects by applying a thick layer of moisturizing lotion after you're done shaving. You might also try our favorite secret: roll unscented deodorant over the freshly shaved area when you're done. Another drawback is re-growth, which can be coarse and messy. Finally, if you're going for a completely bald look, it might be hard to reach all the curves and corners by yourself.

You can shave as often as you want, depending on your tolerance and needs Just be careful down there with that blade!

Shaving with an Electric Razor
Just like shaving with a traditional razor, but with the good old electric razor. There are some differences though.

The Good News: Instead of shaving off a layer of skin, like a traditional razor does, an electric razor just pushes down the skin near the hair follicle, reducing your chances of getting red bumps and ingrown hair. Your re-growth should also be a little softer than it is with a razor blade.

The Bad News: You'll need at least a quarter inch of hair for an electric razor to work, so you can't smooth down every day. Also, be careful with electric razors and bathrooms full of water.

Because shaving leaves the hair's root intact, your hair will grow back faster than it would with waxing or depilatories. You'll also need to wait for some re-growth for your hair to be long enough for the razor to work, about one to two weeks.

So there you go, the pros and cons to each of your shaving options. Just be careful with things like razor blades, electricity and water ... and remember, all hair removal works better when you apply a moisturizing lotion afterward!

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