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Should You Really Shave Or Wax Your Bikini Area?

We spoke to two medical experts to find out.
PHOTO: istockphoto

For some, hair removal is essential for good hygiene and confidence. After all, waxing or shaving leaves your skin as smooth as a baby's butt. But how necessary is it exactly to remove body hair, especially when it comes to the area "down there?" We reached out to two medical experts (a dermatologist and a gynecologist) to find out!

According to Dr. Raissa Pasion of SKIN Dermatology and Laser Center, grooming the hair in your bikini area all boils down to preference. "There are no known health advantages from removing one's hair," she said.

Dr. Rebecca Singson, an obstetrician gynecologist, has the same sentiments. When asked about the necessity of hair removal, she answered, "[It's not], because nature provided it for a reason—to minimize the friction during sexual intercourse." She also says that not waxing or shaving will have no effect on your reproductive health. Meaning, it's possible to keep the vaginal area clean without having to shave or wax. "It's closer to how nature designed us."

In fact, if you're not careful, these methods could actually pose more problems for the skin in your bikini area. "Frequent waxing and shaving can cause redness, irritation, ingrown hairs, and post-inflammatory darkening," explained Dr. Pasion. She added that getting laser treatments give a safer and longer-lasting result.

When it comes to one's reproductive health, however, frequent hair removal rarely does any harm. "Since it is only skin deep, it's too superficial to affect the uterus and ovaries, which [are] located in the pelvic cavity," Dr. Rebecca noted.

That said, you might be wondering: If hair removal isn't necessary, then what is? "Washing, especially after defecation, is really the only thing necessary," Dr. Singson said. She recommends a front-to-back direction when washing to avoid contaminating the urethra with bacteria from the rectum because it's the most common cause of UTI (urinary tract infection). She also suggests using a feminine wash with lactic acid to help maintain a slightly acidic pH for lactobacilli to thrive, while warding off fungus and bacteria.

Basically, hair in the bikini area is natural, and your level of hygiene isn't determined by whether you have it or not. You do you, ladies!