Dear Lifehacker, What’s the best way to trim my, uh, private area? I used to use a regular hair clipper without the attachment, but after a small (but very bloody) mishap I am looking for safer alternatives. Thanks, BandAidsDontWorkWellDownThere
You aren’t kidding about the blood — one small cut can make your once-positive endeavour go very south.
I can tell you right now that your first mistake — and likely the reason this happened — was not using the plastic guard that comes with your trimmer. Always use the plastic guard. If you do, it’s a perfectly safe option — though not the only one. Let’s go through a few of the preferred methods for both men and women.
Important point: we’re not claiming that you need to do any of these things. What you do with your pubes is up to you. But if you want to trim or shave, here are some things to watch out for.
If all you want is to keep things neatly trimmed, you’ve got it fairly easy. There’s a lot of good gear out there, but here are a few recommendations.
For men: Any pair of hair clippers will work for trimming your pubic hair, but you can get specific trimmers for body hair, like this one from Norelco. The main difference is the length of the different guards and the fact that some also include a razor on the end. Remember — use the plastic guard at all times!
If you don’t like trimmers, many people also recommend using small nail or nose hair scissors. Both methods work well for all areas that contain pubic hair.
For women: Trimming for women is similar: all you need is a simple set of clippers. Some, like this one from Schick, come with an attached razor, in case you’re trimming one area and shaving your bikini line. If you’re just trimming, all you need is a set of clippers.
If you prefer a more hairless look — or if there are certain areas (like your bikini line, women) that you prefer to shave completely — things can get a little tougher. Waxing is arguably much easier if you have the cash to spend, but if you want to do it yourself, here are a few tips for shaving.
For men: Shaving your pubic hair isn’t that different from shaving your face. Use a good shaving cream (or hair conditioner), a razor with a movable head and multiple blades, and shave with the grain for less irritation. Your scrotum is where things get tricky: You’ll need to make sure you pull things taut and shave very slowly. I’ve always been terrified to do this, but many people assure me it’s much simpler than it sounds.
For women: Once again, the dual-purpose shaver/trimmer from Schick is nice because you can trim your hair down before you shave, or trim one area and shave another. Whatever you do, just make sure your razor has a movable head and multiple blades. Use shaving cream or hair conditioner instead of soap, and shave with the grain to avoid irritation (or across the grain, if you want a slightly closer shave).
Tips for all genders: Shaving is definitely trickier than trimming, so there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- If this is your first time, make sure you trim before you shave. Try to shave midway through a warm shower or bath , which will soften the hair and make it easier to shave.
- You can use a pre-shave oil like jojoba oil to start, and/or a post-shave moisturiser to avoid irritation.
- Keep in mind that the hair can be quite itchy when it grows back. To avoid this, you’ll want to continue shaving regularly.
- Since shaving can cause razor burn and bumps, make sure you use a good shaving cream and a sharp razor. Hair conditioner works well too, though you will probably have to rinse your razor more often as you shave.
These aren’t your only hair removal options, but they are the ones people most frequently ask about. Again, if you have the cash to spend, waxing is a slightly more painful, but arguably easier and less stressful alternative to shaving (plus you get it done by a professional rather than doing it yourself). You can often find good deals on Groupon and similar sites for waxings at local salons. If you want something permanent, laser removal is also an option…but we won’t get into that here.
Hopefully this helps. It’s really quite simple, as long as you avoid a few bit no-nos, like taking off that plastic guard. Good luck!
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