For some, hair removal is essential for good hygiene. After all, waxing or shaving leaves our skin clear and as smooth as a baby's. But then, how necessary is it exactly to remove our body hair? Especially when it comes to the area "down there," is a regular session of Brazilian waxing a must? Preview has reached out to two medical experts, including a dermatologist and a gynecologist, to find out the answer.
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 says.
Dr. Rebecca Singson, an obstetrician gynecologist, has the same sentiments. When asked about the necessity of hair removal, she answers, "[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 indeed possible to keep the vaginal area clean without having to shave or wax. "It's closer to how nature designed us," the doctor muses.
In fact, if you're not careful, non-laser 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," explains Dr. Raissa, adding 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 notes.
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," the gynecologist says matter-of-factly. The doctor recommends using 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). Dr. Rebecca also suggests using a feminine wash with lactic acid to help maintain a slightly acidic pH for lactobacilli to thrive, all while warding off fungus and bacteria.
Overall , your 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!