For years, the trendiest pubic hair style was a trimmed or bald bush. But we’ve noticed a recent uptick in the number of women who’ve tossed out their razors and waxing kits in favor of letting things go au natural down below. Anecdotally speaking, lady lawns seem to be coming back into style—and it might be because more women are discovering the surprising health benefits.
“From a health standpoint, removing pubic hair can lead to irritation of the hair follicle, and open wounds or nicks, which may increase the risk for STI transmission,” says Maureen Whelihan, MD, an ob-gyn at the Elite GYN Care of the Palm Beaches in Florida. It’s not clear if less hair means a higher risk of STIs, but one study one study did link pubic hair removal to increased transmission of herpes and HPV.
Curious about some of the other wellness benefits, we asked six women who love their hairy pubes to tell us how it’s boosted their physical, mental, and sexual health. Here’s why they’ve sworn off grooming for good.
"I feel more confident with pubic hair"
“I always kept my bush because I never liked the way [my vagina] looked or felt without hair. For years I felt ashamed about that, especially in my teens and early 20s—when it seemed like everyone was totally bald. But by honoring my hair preferences, I knew I was a lot more confident in the bedroom than if I’d shaved. I also learned that if a partner didn’t like it, they weren’t the partner for me.” —Danny, 26
"I never have to deal with ugly, painful ingrowns"
“Why am I bush-positive? Because ingrown hairs suck. And I don’t have to worry about getting them if I don’t shave or wax. When I did, I’d try to find shaving cream, post-wax oil, or some other soothing product that could prevent them. So I finally decided to leave my hair be. I’m glad there are plenty of people and potential partners who appreciate a full bush and think it’s sexy.” —Ellen, 32
"My bush makes me feel powerful and womanly"
“Having pubic hair is like giving the finger to that prepubescent look that porn made so popular. My bush makes me feel powerful, and womanly, and 100% sexy. For me, it’s all about feeling confident and body positive in my natural state. My advice to any woman who is growing out her pubes for the first time is to own it. Strut your stuff. Embrace your natural body state.” —Meghan, 24
"My bikini area is no longer chafed and bumpy"
“My ex-boyfriend expressed a preference for hair, so I stopped shaving to see if I’d like it, too. I’d started removing my pubic hair as soon as it began appearing, so I’d never seen myself with a bush. Turns out, I loved it! Zero irritation, no razor bumps, no weird chafing from my spandex shorts or underwear. He and I have since broken up, but I still sport a bush. I recommend that any woman who has never seen or felt her lady bits with pubes grow it out at least once. You could find you love it as much as I do.” —Elizabeth, 25
"My skin is protected from rubbing and irritation"
“Creams and at-home waxing kits made me break out, shaving left me with painful bumps, and plucking was a pain. Professional waxing was not only expensive and time consuming, but it hurt. After 15 or 20 years of this, I decided to finally listen to my body. Now I have a 1970s-style porn bush, and I love it. I can wear way sexier lace underwear without dealing with irritation because my hair protects me from nasty rub.” —Alexa, 35
"Having hair saves me time"
“One day I was in the shower using a razor on my nether regions and I thought to myself, How much time could I save if I just stopped grooming? At first, not shaving was an experiment: save 10 minutes two to three times a week. But the longer I stopped shaving, the more having hair grew on me, and I ended up enjoying the look of it. By not shaving, I save 20 minutes a week, which is almost seven hours a year. LOL.” —Carly, 27
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