Top Pubic Hair Removal Options for Women
Female pubic hair removal comes in various forms, and choosing the correct one depends on many factors. The most popular forms of pubic hair removal for women or waxing and chemical depilatories (though electrolysis and laser treatments are quite common as well). In this article, we look at each of these options, and highlight the pros and cons of each so you can decide which pubic hair removal method is right for you.
The following methods are listed in order of effectiveness:
Pubic Hair Removal Creams for Women¶
Hair removal creams — also called chemical depilatories — are a popular choice among women for pubic hair removal. It’s fast, relatively inexpensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. But perhaps the biggest advantage for women is that depilatories don’t leave razor burns, redness or swelling (all too common side effects with shaving and waxing).
Depilatories use chemicals to break down protein bonds – called “keratin” — in the hair shaft. As the protein bonds are broken down, usually within 3 to 6 minutes, they are wiped clean off the skin. Because similar proteins also exist in skin, users must not apply depilatories longer than the recommended time as this can cause burning and redness on the skin.
Two popular hair removal creams for women are Nair and Veet. Both use the same chemical process, and have similar treatment times and results. Both hair removal creams should be applied to the pubic area and let sit for 3 to 6 minutes. Then, either wipe the depilatory off with the included wand (some kits include spatulas or cloths) or rinse off in the shower.
It is not recommended to wash her pubic area with soap immediately after applying these hair removal creams. The difference in pH can irritate the skin. Also, the military should not be applied more than once in a 72 hour period, As this can also lead to skin irritation.
Bikini Waxing: Most Popular Female Pubic Hair Removal Method
Waxing is much more effective than depilatory creams; results often last between 4 to 6 weeks. While home waxing kits are readily available, most women prefer to have a professional handle their Bikini wax (and for obvious reason). While more expensive than chemical depilatories upfront, the increased effectiveness lowers costs over time.
There two types of wax: hard wax and strip wax (also called “hot wax”). Strip wax is popular in salons due to its speed of application, but hard wax is required for French and Brazilian waxes.
Three Popular Bikini Waxing Styles
American: hair is removed from the lower abdomen and above the thighs.
French: similar to the American style, with additional hair removed from the anus and labia. Only small patch of pubic hair is left.
Brazilian: also known as the “Hollywood” or “full wax”, Brazilian waxing is the removal of all pubic hair, front and back.
Note: different salons use different terminology. For example, some salons offer Brazilian waxing and leave a small patch of hair (similar to French waxing). Our definitions are taken from the book Milady’s Hair Removal Techniques. Be sure to explain exactly what areas you want waxed beforehand.
Pros of Waxing Pubic Hair
- Effective (4 – 6 weeks)
- Ideal for summer
Cons of Waxing
- Trip to a salon
- More expensive upfront ($30 – $50)
- Possible redness and swelling
Laser Pubic Hair Removal
Laser treatments for hair removal have been around since the early 1990s. Results often last 3 to 6 months, making laser treatments an attractive option for those interested in long-term results.
How Do Lasers Work for Hair Removal?
Lasers emit a small dose of radiation on the skin. As hair absorbs radiation, heat is created which travels down the hair shaft and destroys the hair follicle. This process is called thermolysis.
While laser treatment has shown effective long-term hair reduction for many users, it is not recommended for people with dark skin and/or light or non-pigmented hair (e.g. blond, gray, white, red). This is due to the pigment levels required to absorb lasers; dark skin absorbs too much, while light hair absorbs too little.
Unlike depilatories or waxing, results are not immediate with laser treatment. Users begin to see favorable results within 4 to 6 weeks, and complete hair removal after three months or more. On average, women require between three and six treatments for pubic hair removal. Note: these numbers are merely guidelines. The number and duration of treatments will vary depending on the thickness and coarseness of hair, the patient’s pain threshold, hormones, and the technicians experience.
With laser treatment, it’s worth paying a premium for experience, as this will likely reduce any complications such as burning, redness and swelling.
Pros of Laser Hair Removal
- Long-lasting results (3 – 6 months)
- Faster than electrolysis
Cons of Laser Hair Removal
- Ineffective on dark skin and/or light hair
- Long-term health effects still unknown
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), permanent female pubic hair removal is only possible with electrolysis.
Electrolysis has been safely used since the 1890s. The process involves inserting a small needle into the hair shaft — sometimes called a probe — which sends a small electric current down to the hair root. This electrical current interacts with the salt and water in your body and creates lye as a byproduct. Lye is highly caustic and destroys the hair follicle. What makes electrolysis permanent is that, once the follicle is destroyed, the hair’s blood supply dries up, making re-growth impossible.
For women interested in permanent hair removal, electrolysis is your only option. While undoubtedly the most effective method, electrolysis is also the most time-consuming. Treatments can last for months, even years for permanent pubic hair removal is achieved.
Pros of Electrolysis for Pubic Hair Removal
- Proven to work since 1890’s
- Works on all hair/skin types
- Possible discomfort