Going ‘au naturel’ and letting your body hair grow where it may is a growing trend among women however many more women are still doing various things to remove hair from different parts of their bodies including their intimate areas

Beautician Petunia Vilakazi says most women aren’t as careful as they should be when removing hair from their intimate areas.

READ MORE: Emma Watson shares pubic hair grooming tips in candid interview

Do you actually need hair down there?

Intimate hair removal is a very personal choice depending on your personal preferences and ideas of personal hygiene.

While many people think complete hair removal is better for hygiene, it could create increased health risks.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Women who choose to go bare have a higher risk of contracting infections like UTIs, vaginitis, and yeast infections. Cuts, burn and abrasions that could come as a result of hair removal can also become infected.

Aside from infection, intimate hair removal can also cause skin irritation, ingrown hair and discomfort.


Shaving pubic hair

While many women do shave their public hair Petunia says this isn’t a good idea “aside from running the risk of cutting yourself, shaving almost always gives you skin irritation and probably painful ingrown hairs that can cause puss-filled cyst on the skin that can be painful and lead to infections,” she says.


Although the most affordable hair removal technique, Petunia says women (and men) should avoid shaving their pubic area. “If you are looking for an affordable option, you could consider trimming the hair, it might not give you complete hair removal but can give you a neater option that is also better for your skin,” she says.

READ MORE: How to dye your pubic hair safely

Hair removal creams

Hair removal creams are quick and easy to use. While the thought of simply wiping away unwanted hair in the privacy of your own home could seem like a hair removal dream, Petunia says when it does go wrong it is an absolute nightmare.

“I’ve seen burns and injuries even on the inside of the vaginal lips, it is painful and could need medical attention,” she says.


” Hair removal creams can burn if they are left on too long (even the ones marked for sensitive skin) they can also burn if you have sensitive skin,” she adds.
“No matter what you should never get hair removal cream on the inside of your vaginal lips, there may be hair there, but using a hair removal cream there could have painful medical consequences.”


Wax on wax off

While waxing is seen as the more sophisticated hair removal method. Not only because it usually happens at a salon instead of your own bathroom, but also because it can mean the removal of more hair and even longer-lasting hair removal.

Petunia says although waxing is the lesser of the hair removing evils, it does have its drawbacks.

“If you are going to get a wax, you need to get it done by a professional, you can’t just trust anyone to put hot wax on your intimate area and literally rip the hair from your pubic area, ” she says.
While waxing is widely practised and Petunia has been giving waxes at a well-known establishment for the past 5 years, she says she doesn’t wax herself and would not advise anyone to do that.

“I’ve had many women coming in with permanent scars because they’ve burned themselves with hot wax or hurt themselves removing the wax strips. Then, of course, there are the women who regret even starting their own wax treatment and can’t get the wax off,” she says.

READ MORE: The Zodwa Wabantu treatment: Things you need to know about vaginal tightening

What is an epilator?

Similar to waxing, an epilator plucks the hairs from as deep down as the roots and offers longer-lasting hair removal than the superficial shave or hair removal cream, but Petunia warns that it is not for the faint of heart.

“There is no hot wax involved, so there is no risk of burning and there are fewer chances of ingrown hairs but it is painful, there could be a bit of bleeding because the machine plucks the hair out,” she says.