The bush is here to stay: How to look after your ‘undergrowth’

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Stephanie Darling

I remember vividly having my first Brazilian back in the 90s. I was working at Harper’s Bazaar at the time and it was early days in my beauty test-driving career. I found myself at Votre Beauté with Melanie Pevone and before I knew it, I’d had the “all off”.

I can still hear Melanie’s parting comment: “It’s like when you go scuba diving, the last thing you want to come across is seaweed – all the diver wants to find is the oyster and the pearl.” 

Fast forward and fashions change. The bush is back, and it looks like it is here to stay. It’s not just about appearance, either: there is a point to pubic hair – it protects against bacteria and traps pheromones.

Interestingly, men’s beards are also technically pubic hair. According the dermatologist Dr Bobby Buka, “The follicles of beard hair are similar to that on a man’s groin and armpits.”

Beard hair follicles also release pheromones, so beards have a quite distinctive smell. “Your signature smell comes more from beard hair than from scalp hair,” says Buka. 

But back to the bush. For those who have taken the plunge and had their pubic hair completely lasered away, getting your hair back does not really seem to be an option.

I consulted Lisa Sullivan, co-founder of The Clinic  and here’s what she said: “Laser hair removal cannot be reversed and as an aside pubic hair tends to fall out in old age.”

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, however, offers a ray of hope saying laser hair removal sends the follicles into a prolonged state of dormancy, so you can eventually experience some hair regrowth.

“The laser emits a low-energy beam of light that penetrates the skin. This energy is then absorbed by the melanin responsible for the pigmentation of the hair, heating the follicle and essentially destroying its structure. The hair is removed, but the follicle remains intact.”

But for me, the section of pubic hair I had lasered has stayed dormant and that was eight years ago.

For those who have wisely preserved their bush, the topiary options are endless.

There is always the option of going completely wild. For those who prefer a little “womanscaping”, you can trim your hair shorter with at-home clippers or have a tidy up with your waxer.

If you are regrowing after waxing or shaving, here are some tips: 

  • If you have any stubborn ingrown hairs treat them with Tend Skin (first developed by an American dentist in 1985).
  • Remember the hair follicles will all be at different points in their growth phase, so the regrowth might look a bit patchy initially.
  • To hasten the process, you can also also take hair-stimulating vitamins like Viviscal to help encourage hair growth, just remember it will work on hair everywhere.
  • Wear cotton undies to reduce any irritation and allow the area to breathe.
  • Take care of your pubic hair by conditioning it with natural oils, like coconut oil, to soften the hair and moisturise the skin underneath.

 

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