These days, everyone seems to keep it hair-free down there. But lately we’ve read a few stories that call for women to let their pubic hair grow in. Why? Because it has a purpose.
First your pubic hair is there to provide a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion, it also protects bacteria from getting too close to your privates. Removing the hair, regardless of what weaponry you use to de-fuzz—a razor, electric shaver, tweezers, wax, depilatories, electrolysis, etc.—causes irritation and microscopic tears in the skin that can be an entry for infection, says Cosmo Radio women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D.
When irritation and open wounds are combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it can become a happy culture for icky bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). (Other clinicians are also finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to the virus carried by his mouth or genitals.)
All that said, if you prefer to go bare down there just take precautions. Dr. Wider suggests going to a professional, reputable place to have your hair removed, so you can rest assured the technician knows what they’re doing. If you’re a DIY kind of girl, avoid things that can cause irritation right after you wax or shave, including wearing abrasive fabrics or going commando, which can cause more irritation.
A good rule of thumb: Whether you’re having your hair removed professionally or doing it by yourself, wait a day or two before hooking up with your guy, since the tiny nicks will have had a chance to heal, leaving you with less of a chance to get an infection.