Teen getting body hair and wanting to learn about shaving? Puberty brings all sorts of new body changes. Perhaps they've already shaved their legs, and now want to try shaving a different part of their body. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the how-tos of a much more intimate, but equally as important region – the vulva. With this guide, you'll be able to walk your teen through the safest way to shave according to how they want to manage their new pubic hair.
Image via Instagram (@leabrisell)
To shave or not to shave?
That is the question. Should your teen shave their pubic hair at all? As with shaving their legs, I’d like to preface this by saying they don’t need to shave their pubic hair if they don’t want to. Shaving any part of the body is a personal choice. If they do make the decision to shave their vulva, make sure that the choice is for them, and nobody else – it is their body, and they make the rules on whether or not to keep their body hair.
If they've decided that being hairless is the way they want to go, keep reading for tips.
Step-by-step instructions for your teen
Step 1: Trim
If they've been letting their pubic hair grow out, they'll likely be seeing a puffy, well, bush, of hair on their vagina. Did you know that pubic hair is actually the coarsest, thickest hair on the body? If they were to take a razor to this hair without trimming it first, they'd probably dull the razor. They'll also increase the chances of cutting themselves or irritating the skin, and the whole point of this guide is to avoid doing that. So before they start to shave, they should carefully trim the edges of the pubic hair a bit with a pair of scissors– make it easier for themselves, their skin, and their razor.
Step 2: Lather
After they've trimmed their pubic hair, they should hop into the shower and lather themselves with soap. If they can, try to find a soap or body wash that’s fragrance-free to avoid any unwanted irritation. Some people use dedicated shaving cream, gel, or foam on their pubic area. Others opt for using a common hair conditioner. The goal is to aim for fragrance-free whenever possible–the vulva is a sensitive part of your body, and often, adding in new scents can disrupt the pH level down there.
Honestly, we really wouldn’t recommend shaving their bikini area without showering. If they don’t want to shower, at least get some warm water over the vulva to soften the skin, open up the pores, and provide a better shave. Shaving dry creates friction and might even increase the chances of getting ingrown hairs.
Step 3: Shave
Okay. They've prepared thoroughly. They are in the shower, their pores are open, and they've applied some shaving cream or conditioner or whatever they chose to apply. It’s time to get to business. Pull the skin taut with one hand and begin to glide and shave with the other. They can use a razor or a precision bikini razor for a more exact shave.
They'll need to shave with the grain, not against it. This means they want to shave in the same direction that the hair grows, not against it. Yes, we know that going against the grain can provide a closer shave – but the vagina isn’t a leg –as we’ve discussed, the skin is much more sensitive, so that close shave they seek might come at the cost of some serious razor burn and potential in-grown hairs.
When it comes to shaving the labia, or the “lips” of your vulva, things can get tricky. Not every vulva looks the same, so this part is different for everyone. There’s a lot of hard to reach places, which can make this part nerve-wracking. They can try using a mirror to get a better view of what’s going on when they start shaving down there for the first time. Eventually, they'll get used to their body and have an easier time removing their pubic hair.
Remember: If they're not comfortable shaving this part of their vulva, don’t! Once again, their body, their hair, their choice. If they're planning to wear a bathing suit and don’t want any hair to be seen, they can opt for a fuller-coverage bikini bottom and only shave the bikini line– a great option many folks go for.
Step 4: Moisturize
To make sure they're doing everything they can to prevent razor burn, they need to give their vulva skin the treatment it deserves. After they're done shaving, they can give their skin a little TLC with some moisturizer. Some people apply diaper rash cream while others opt for baby oil. It might sound a little weird, especially as if you’re reading this, you’re most likely not a baby, but plenty of people swear by these products to prevent the dreaded razor burn and in-grown hairs on the bikini area. Again, try to aim for something fragrance-free.
What is Razor Burn?
If you’re asking, your teen probably hasn't experienced it yet. Lucky!
Razor burn consists of red, itchy bumps that show up around places you’ve shaved and irritated the skin. It usually shows up fairly quickly, around a few hours or the day after the shave. It’s fairly uncomfortable, so help them avoid it if you can through instruction them on pre-shave prep, gentle shaving, and moisturizing the bikini line.
Anything Else to Know?
For your first few times, encourage them to go slowly, be gentle and be patient with themself. They should consider using a mirror so they can see everything that’s going on. And remember: Never dry shave – they don’t want itchy razor burn bumps or in-grown hairs.
After shaving, it’s a good idea to for them to wear breathable underwear that will cause minimal irritation to the sensitive skin underneath. Our cotton leakproof underwear is made from 95%cotton, 5% Spandex, so they'll feel comfy and smooth all day long.