An expert’s guide to embracing the full bush


Is a full bush the new Brazillian?

Among my peers, the topic of pubic hair removal can be likened to the American high school cafeteria setting in 10 Things I Hate About You. You’ve got the Brazilian-lovers in one corner, finessing their hairless labias; the artsy, experimental kids in another, playing with patterns, colours and vajazzling. You’ll probably find the full-bush girls frolicking on the grass instead, gleeful and unabashed in their au naturel approach. 

And the full bush girls might be onto something. A refreshing conversation has been brewing over the last few years, with many proclaiming that the full bush is (finally) back in vogue. Dr Jen Gunter, the Canadian-American OB/GYN and author of The Vagina Bible, is pro full bush and is outspoken in her belief that pubic hair removal causes microscopic trauma and infection. She believes the presence of pubic hair may also enhance sexual experiences, as pubic hair is connected to nerve endings.

We like nosy people. Don’t be shy, head to our Beauty section for more. 

Still, she’s adamant that the choice to remove or not is individual and should be separate from any long-held beauty ideals. But if that delicate layer of fur is indeed calling you, here are the expert tips for embracing a neat and tidy full bush look (although rugged is just as cool too).

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

As Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung, the co-founders of iconic haircare brand Fur, tell me, “Exfoliating regularly is key to maintaining good skin health, both on the surface and below”. Using a product like their Silk Scrub is a good idea, as it contains both physical and chemical exfoliants which work to improve skin texture and remove excess sebum and debris from the pores.

“When your pores are clogged, your hair isn’t able to grow up and out, so it curls inward and results in an ingrown. When your skin is clear and healthy, your hair can grow more comfortably.”

Pre-trim your hairs

Whatever area you decide to remove, whether it’s along the bikini line or a hint more, trimming your hairs prior makes the removal process much easier. Lindsay Kinniburgh of the award-winning sustainable subscription shaver label, Make My Shave, recommends using a small pair of scissors or a trimmer before hopping in the bath or shower. This will help reduce the ouch factor of pubic hair removal.

Shave wisely

If shaving those edges is your jam, Lindsay notes that being picky about your razor is important. “The best pubic hair razor for women is one with five blades and a 360-degree aloe cushion because it’ll give you a shave that’s close yet safe. An ergonomic handle also helps with precision and reaching tricky areas.” Alternatively, use an electronic trimmer.

Use a small amount of lubrication – shaving gel, cream or a shave bar – to help soften the area, and always save your shave for the end of the wash routine. The extra time allows your skin and hair follicles to soften and open, resulting in a more comfortable, closer and smoother shave. 

Technique is everything here in order to avoid cuts and abrasions in this delicate area. “Our personal jungles vary,” says Lindsay. “So when it comes to direction, one of the best tips to avoid irritation is to gently pull the skin taut and shave pubic hair in the direction of the hair growth.” Practice light and gentle movements, and rinse your blade between strokes. 

Nourishing after-care matters

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your full bush post-shower: after-care always matters! Fur’s most well-known product, Fur Oil, counts Emma Watson among its proud users. As the co-founders tell me, it’s meant for daily use.

“Immediately after your shower or bath, apply Fur Oil to any hair you’d like to soften, and any skin that could use a little extra hydration and clarity,” they say. With regular use, a product like this will help prevent ingrown hairs and lead to softer skin and smoother hair. “If you choose to let your pubic hair grow, the key is keeping it moisturised as you would the hair on your head.”

A word of caution; Laura and Lillian importantly note that “doing too much to your skin and hair can result in clogged pores and damaged hair, so it’s best to err on the side of simplicity”. 

Much of this conversation is about breaking down barriers and reducing stigma; sporting pubic hair has been regarded as ‘dirty’ and ‘unhygienic’ for far too long. Laura and Lillian are hard-up advocates for acceptance and an individual approach. “Everyone should feel like the way they take care of their hair is normal, without having to stress about or judge what other people are doing with theirs.” 

Full bush or landing strip, it covers a precious body area that deserves a lot of love. It’s as expressive as the hairstyles we choose to don on our heads, so do it your way and find the look and process that feels authentically you. 

For more on embracing the bush, try this.

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