We’ve all got a triangle of tresses on our private parts. Yes, we’re talking about pubic hair, folks. Consider this your go-to guide on how to safely trim the bushes — or let them grow out blemish-free.

If you’re on pube patrol, you’re dealing with some of your most sensitive parts so it pays to do a little preparation before diving in with sharp objects. A careful routine can prevent irritation, , and injury.

Clean your tools

Keep a separate grooming kit for your bits. Multitasking with tools you’ve used on other parts of your body can introduce infection. Before each use, soak your implements in a disinfectant such as Barbicide for at least 10 minutes, or clean them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. Make sure your scissors or razors have sharp blades.

Trim excess hair before you shave, shape, or tidy

If you’ve got a long, thick thatch going on, cut the hair to about a quarter inch. This step helps you avoid razor or trimmer clog. You’ll also gain a better view of your skin and direction of hair growth, which will help prevent accidents.

Bathe before grooming

Whether you’re shaving it all or just shaping it up, start with clean skin to avoid bacteria-causing bumps. Wash your pubic region thoroughly with soap and water in the bath or shower. Soak or steam for at least five minutes to allow your skin to soften and your hair to expand.

Exfoliate

Using a loofah or a gentle scrub, exfoliate the area you plan to groom. Exfoliation removes any dead skin cells or sebum clogging the hair follicles. This provides your razor or other tools the smoothest surface possible to glide across.

Lather up

Keep your skin moist if you’re planning to shave. You need this lubrication to minimize friction and avoid nicks. Using cream or gel can also allow you to see where you’ve just shaved so you can avoid going over the area twice and causing irritation.

Shave or trim in the direction of hair growth

Going against the grain means your tool has to lift the hair before slicing at the follicle. This creates the potential for razor burn and other irritation. You’ll get a smoother result if you go with the flow.

Take your time and use caution

A hasty hack job could end in a nasty cut or even a trip to the ER. A found that more than 25 percent of pubic hair primpers have injured themselves. Sitting on a dry tub edge can help reduce your risk for slipping.

If you prefer the look and feel of fleece, simply snip and shape to your liking. A comb and scissors offer a hassle-free, almost cost-free approach.

Method

Facial hair scissors, which have protective rounded tips, work well on below-the-belt pelts.

Starting at the highest point on your pubic region where you want to groom, place a fine-toothed comb at the hair root flat against your skin. This provides a protective barrier between your skin and the scissors, and offers a guide for an even cut.

Only trim the hair that sticks above the comb’s teeth. Work with a small section at a time and make your way downward. Focus on one side of the groin area first and then the other.

Simply repeat the process when hair grows too long or unruly for your liking.

Tips and tricks A handled moustache comb may work best for maneuvering around all the nooks and crannies of your nether region. If you’d like a longer look than what a comb-width provides, pull the hairs taut between two fingers.

A trimmer offers a great way to get a close, downy crop. Keep in mind that trimmers are different than clippers.

Clippers typically tackle larger jobs, such as cutting hair on your head, whereas trimmers handle the finer details like sideburns and neck fuzz. Their precision work and safety guards make trimmers best for crotch-scaping.

Opt for a waterproof body hair trimmer you can take in the shower. This will prevent bathroom messes — but do watch for drain clogs.

Method

Start with a longer hair setting first. You can always make another pass with a shorter setting to achieve a desired look.

If you’re in the shower with a wet trimmer, apply a thin layer of cream or gel beforehand. Don’t use lather or get in the shower with a dry trimmer.

Shave in the direction of the grain first, then shave against the grain on your second go round. Always use a light touch.

For maintenance, this method will require a redo every few days to a week, depending on preference.

Tips and tricks You’ll find plenty of trimmers out there specifically designed for prettying up your pubes. Look at options marketed toward the opposite sex as well. Don’t miss out on something that will work best for your body or budget just because of packaging.

Shaving with a razor is the of wrangling those wiry hairs. Always start with a clean, sharp blade to avoid infection, irritation, and nicks.

Method

Soften skin and expand the hair with 5 to 10 minutes in the bath or shower. Lather up with shaving cream, gel, oil, or butter. Choose products designed for sensitive skin and avoid applying directly to the vaginal opening, anal opening, or urethra. Rinse your razor after each swipe.

  • For the general pubic area. For the area above your genitals and your bikini or brief line, pull skin taut and shave in the direction of hair growth.
  • For shaving the penis. Hold the shaft upwards and shave in toward the base. If you’re aiming for hairless balls too, pull scrotum skin taut and make delicate downward strokes.
  • For a fur-free vulva. Work with the labial folds on one side first and then the other. Hold skin taut and shave in downward strokes using a gentle touch.
  • For beautifying a bushy tail. You can gently shave the hair off your butt cheeks in a downward motion. For your crack and perineum, place a handheld mirror on the floor and stand over it with legs hip distance apart. Get into an easy squat. Pull one cheek taut and shave in gentle outward and downward strokes before working with the other side.
Tips and tricks A soak in the tub with a little bath oil does wonders for softening your sensitive parts pre-shave. Don’t stay in there too long, however, or you risk dealing with pruning skin. Wash your hands with soap and water before shaving to avoid slippage.

What you do after grooming holds just as much importance as how you go about it. Treat your skin to a little TLC to prevent ingrown hairs, bumps, and irritation.

After shaving or grooming with methods that remove hair from the root, you’ll have open follicles and pores that could become inflamed. Here’s how to avoid and treat dilemmas down under.

  • Soothe and moisturize. Apply a salicylic acid treatment to external areas to combat inflammation and ingrown hairs. Let dry and then apply a soothing scent-free oil or other moisturizer to condition skin and follicles and help prevent the dreaded stubble itch.
  • Wear cotton skivvies and avoid tight clothing for a few days. Polyester or other synthetic fibers can cause irritation, whereas cotton is soft and breathable.
  • Treat bumps. If you notice ingrown hairs or razor burn in the following days, apply a warm, wet compress to see if you can open the follicles or pores. Then slather on an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and topical antibiotic to and combat infection.
  • Exfoliate daily. Use a loofah or apply a salicylic acid product to keep skin bump-free and primed for your next primping session.

Take your pick on what to do with your pubes. Whether you keep it all, shape it to your liking, or go buff, it’s up to you.

According to one , leaving your pubes in place could provide minor protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Hair removal methods pose the risk of cuts, abrasions, and microscopic skin openings, which could invite bacteria and viruses such as STIs.

Just use caution when grooming your pleasure patch. Of course, keep in mind that intact pubic hair isn’t a sub for proper protection when it comes to safe sex.

You style your drapes, so why not your rug? If you groom your pubes, you have aesthetic options to consider.

StyleDescription
Bikini/edgingRemove just what peeks out of your undies or briefs.
Landing strip/patchTake the bikini style further by shaping your pubic patch into a neat rectangle or line.
Lion’s maneRemove all the hair from the balls, penis, and shaft base, and leave your pubic patch full. This visual effect may enhance the size of your package.
BrazilianGo completely bare.

Trimming and shaving are just a few means of fuzz-busting, but you’ve also got other grooming options.

  • An epilator is an electrical device that grips and pulls hair out by the root, with results lasting about four weeks. However, the ouch factor can aggravate sensitive skin.
  • Waxing uses hot wax and cloth strips to yank hair out by the root. Results last four to six weeks or longer. For safety reasons, waxing is best performed in a salon with a trained esthetician and followed up with smart aftercare.
  • Threading lassos your hair and pulls it out by the root. Although threading has lasting results like waxing, it’s time-consuming and typically works best for removing small sections of hair or for cleaning up strays after waxing.
  • Sugaring involves the application of a paste or gel, usually made of water, sugar, and lemon juice, that adheres to your hair rather than the skin and pulls it out by the root. Results are similar to waxing. For hair removal on genitalia, leave this method to the pros.
  • Depilatories are creams that produce a chemical reaction to break down hair so it can be rinsed away. Results last a few days to a week. Although depilatories can be used on the bikini or brief line, they aren’t meant to be applied to genitalia. People with sensitive skin should avoid them completely.
  • Laser hair removal and electrolysis use highly concentrated light to destroy your hair follicle. Over time, you can achieve long-lasting results.

You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to your wonder wool, but keep in mind that pubic hair isn’t a reason to panic. You can do whatever you wish with your pubes. Don’t let a partner or pal pressure you into choosing something that’s not right for you. Grow it, groom it, or go bare. Just choose whatever makes you and your precious parts happy.


Jennifer Chesak is a Nashville-based freelance book editor and writing instructor. She’s also an adventure travel, fitness, and health writer for several national publications. She earned her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill and is working on her first fiction novel, set in her native state of North Dakota.