Debunking common myths about pubic hair

28 March,2023 12:27 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Ainie Rizvi

There are multiple myths that have sprouted up around pubic hair. We debunk those myths for you to help you understand your intimate world better

Quash the myths around pubic hair to ensure a healthy and hygienic aura for your intimate parts. Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Let*s address the elephant in the room: the pubic hair. Irrespective of gender identities, the desirability to have smooth, glossy skin has increased manifold over the past few decades. People enjoy the feel of shaved skin for optics as well as physical touch. Some also believe that a clean skin paves way for hygiene in their intimate areas. But how legitimate is the claim, clinically?

Sahil Arora, 29, gets his boy-bits waxed every three weeks. In a conversation with, he reveals that he is waxed by the same male beautician who services Hrithik Roshan. When asked about why he chooses to get waxed, he said "I have a strong aversion towards body hair since my adolescence. Not only my intimate parts, but I also get my chest waxed to feel comfortable in my skin."

Dr Anagha Chhatrapati, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Global Hospital, Parel shares that the role of pubic hair has evolved with over generations. "In ancient times, it was a marker of sexual maturity and would help people choose the right mate for reproductive functions." To understand the role of pubic hair in human anatomy, we spoke to obstetricians and gynaecologists from Mumbai.

Myths about pubic hair
With a lackadaisical sex education system in the country, there are multiple myths that have sprouted up around pubic hair. Dr Pratima Thamke, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar debunks common myths with fact-based evidences:

Myth: Pubic hair is a sign of bad hygiene
Fact: The presence of pubic hair is a signifier of good sanitation. If someone has pubic hair, it does not mean that their intimate parts are unhygienic. On the contrary, pubic hair serves the purpose of trapping sweat, oil and bacteria. It also prevents harmful microorganisms from coming in contact with the fragile skin of the genitals. However, care has to be maintained in cleaning the pubes at regular intervals. Due to hair growth, there is a natural smell associated with the intimate parts which is completely natural and can be eradicated with a deep wash.

Myth: Pubic hair makes sex less pleasurable
Fact: Many women and men as well believe that pubic hair causes friction between two bodies leading to a messy sexual act. However, the presence of pubic hair provides a natural cushion and grip while performing intimate acts with your partner. Additionally, it traps the exchange of bacteria and candida (fungi) which prevents you from acquiring infections.

Myth: The colour of the hair on one*s head and pubic hair is same
Fact: This statement is false as there is very minimal correlation between the colour on your head and the colour on your pubes. Doctors are of the opinion that there can be similarities, however, it all boils down to melanin. Melanin is the substance responsible for the production of hair and skin pigmentation. A high melanin would imply high growth of hair and darkening of body parts which undergo friction, for e.g. under arms and genitals. Due to increased friction down there, there will be an increased melanin production which can lead to darker hair down there.

Myth: Pubic hair will grow endlessly
Fact: Unlike the hair on our head which continues to grow, pubic hair does not grow forever. After reaching a certain point, it stops. This stage is subjective to each individual and the length at which it stops growing varies from person to person. The average range of pubic hair growth lies between 0.5 to 2.0 inches.

Myth: One should never remove their pubic hair
Fact: This myth is not only wrong but can be life-risking as well for those who believe in it. If not cleaned for long, pubic care can cause abrasion, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even dirt and sweat will get trapped in the hair leading to a bad odour. It can also lead to redness, burning, and itchiness down there. It is advised to remove pubic hair well within 40 days to ensure sanitation and hygiene in your private bits.

Myth: Pubic hair wards off diseases
Fact: The underlying fact is opposite in certain cases. If one does not clean their pubic hair at regular intervals they might be housing one or the other STD. As the pubic hair traps bacteria and other microorganisms, it needs a robust mechanism to wash off the dirt. If you are not cleaning them at proper intervals, your pubes can become a housing ground for a host of diseases.

Purpose of pubic hair in human anatomy:

1 As with eyelashes and nasal hair, pubic hair has the potential benefit of preventing the entry of harmful bacteria into the genital areas.

2 Pubic hair offers protection against friction leading to skin irritation in this sensitive area. It helps to deal with the amount of sweat produced down there. It helps block your vagina/penis from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

3 Pubic hair reduces the friction during sexual intimacy but providing a cushiony base. It also keeps the organs warm, increasing sexual pleasure.

Tips to maintain clean pubic hair:

1. Whether you decide to grow pubic hair or keep them trimmed, cleaning and maintaining hygiene should be a daily ritual.
2. Washing the hair with mild soap during the shower keeps the germs at bay and also removes dirt and discharge from getting stuck in there.
3. Also, clean your intimate area thoroughly from front to back, after urinating and excreting.
4. After Washing the hair, dab lightly with a dry towel to keep the area dry. Dampness of hair with wet undergarments is an invitation to infections.

Safe measures for removing pubic hair:

Hair removal cream
The safest and most painless way to get rid of hair down there are hair removal creams. Care has to be maintained in finding the right fit for your skin type to avoid any irritation or rashes. Keep the following measures in mind for a fail safe experience:

a) Do allergy testing on small portion of skin on elbow before using
b) Avoid contact with vagina/ inner parts to avoid irritation
c) Don*t use expired products

One of the quickest ways to remove pubic hair is shaving. However, shaving can cause exfoliation of skin around the hair roots and thus facilitating the entry of bacteria inside causing boils. This is especially true if hygiene is not observed. While shaving, ensure the following:

a) Use new blade after 2-3 uses
b) Keep the razor blade dry, wash off hair after use, to prevent rusting. Never use a rusted blade
c) Use shaving foam or soap for frictionless shaving
d) Shave in direction of hair
e) Apply emollient after shaving to prevent irritation
f) Use loose undergarments for few days to prevent friction with newly grown hair after shaving

Waxing is another efficient way which not only removes pubic hair, but dead skin as well. The results are often long lasting with the next batch of hair appearing after 3-4 weeks. For people who prefer waxing, keep the following tips in mind:

a) Avoid too hot wax to prevent burning of delicate pubic area
b) Can seek professional help
c) Don*t reuse the straps

LASER treatment
The pubic hair growth can be completely eradicated only with help of permanent hair removal solutions like LASER treatment. In LASER hair removal, a protective gel is applied on skin and then LASER current is applied. This causes damage to the hair root causing loss of hair. Multiple sessions are required for long lasting effects.

How to take care of pubic hair in scorching heat?
Dr Pratima shares a home remedy to maintain hygiene in private parts during the scorching heat of Mumbai. Soak the area in warm water to soften the hair. Apply a generous amount of unscented shaving cream, gel, or soap and shave it properly. It is better to wear an undergarment of breathable and loose fabric such as cotton to avoid odour and friction of hair. Do not use any chemical products down there.

Also Read: Follow these 8 tips to nail the *no-makeup* look

Lifestyle news health Health And Wellness fitness Hello Health World Health Month 2023 Health Matters
Related Stories