If you've shaved your pubic area before, you know that it's very different from shaving your legs and armpits. The hair in the pubic area is thicker and the skin is much more sensitive than the skin on your legs.
To avoid ingrown hairs, shaving irritation, cuts and razor burn, all of which are responsible for irritation and itching, you need to take certain precautions that include where you should shave, what products to use, and how to treat your skin during and after you shave.
Trim Longer Hairs First
Trim the hair you intend to shave with scissors or clippers, suggests Go Ask Alice, a health advice website from Columbia University. This will prevent the razor from clogging or getting blunt from tackling too much hair at once; which in turn can cause razor burn.
Start With a Shower
Take a warm shower. Warm water will soften your skin and the hairs. It will also open the hair follicles and pores, and help avoid pubic hair irritation. Wait until the end of your shower to shave.
Read more: Your Go-To Guide for the Best Shave Ever
Use Conditioner and Shaving Cream
Massage the areas you are going to shave with hair conditioner to help soften the hair first, especially if your pubic hair is very coarse.
Apply a thick shaving cream. Use a fragrance-free cream or lotion since added perfumes can cause irritation. Leave the lotion on for several minutes prior to shaving. Allowing shaving gel to sit for a few moments will further soften the hair.
Do not use ordinary soap to shave your pubic area. Soap can dry your skin and worsen irritation.
Shave With Caution
Use a brand new razor to assure the blades are sharp — the more worn down the blade, the more likely the razor will pull on the hairs instead of shaving them off, resulting in razor burn.
Use a men's razor or a women's razor specially designed for the pubic area. Men's razors are intended to be used for shaving tougher, more coarse hair, which is more akin to a woman's pubic hair. You still need to exercise extreme caution, however, as some men's razors have three to five blades, and the skin you'll be shaving is much more sensitive than a man's face.
Stretch your skin out flat as you shave. This will reduce cuts and help you get a closer shave.
If you get serious razor burn or frequent ingrown hairs, consider purchasing a bikini shaving kit that comes with a specially designed razor, special shave gel, razor oil and a burn soother.
Go Ask Alice suggests using a new razor every time you shave this area. A used razor, even one that has only been used once, is more likely to nick and cut the skin.
Pat your skin dry after getting out of the shower. Do not rub your pubic skin dry with a towel. Apply aloe vera gel to the area. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation explains that aloe vera soothes sensitive skin and helps ease pain, not to mention an itchy bikini line.
Read more: Pubic Hair Care
Apply one percent over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the area two or three times a day. Hydrocortisone helps ease itching and irritation. According to the National Institutes of Health, it also provides temporary relief for redness, inflammation, and swelling caused by detergents and soaps.
Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.