"After. I. Shaved. My. Butthole," I responded, with periods added for emphasis because shaving your butt is a task. It's not like shaving your legs or your armpits—you're taking a sharp blade to an area where the sun don't shine with only hope and a prayer. As it's hard to imagine anything worse than cuts or ingrown hairs on your anus, I asked Evan Goldstein, DO, anal surgeon and founder of Future Method, as well as board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay, to share the best way to shave your butt.
Is it a good idea to shave your butt hair?
First of all, we have hair between our cheeks for a similar reason as under our arms. "These areas both experience lots of sweating, bacteria, and secretions, so it’s meant to be a sort of protective lining," he says. However, he also says that if you bathe regularly and take care of your bod, it is totally fine to remove your butthole hair, because it doesn't serve a huge purpose in modern times.
How to Shave Your Butt
What You’ll Need:
- Sharp, clean razor with a skin guard or a trimmer with a skin guard
- Shaving cream
- Handheld mirror
What to Do:
"If you’re shaving, you have to remember that it’s pretty difficult to get a good look at your anus and the skin in this area is super thin and delicate," Dr. Goldstein says. The same is true of your butt cheeks in general—albeit slightly more viewable.
If you decide to forge ahead, Dr. Goldstein first recommends having a partner do it for you—especially if you’re focusing on your anus, specifically. If you go at it solo, at the very least, try to get a good view in a room that's well-lit—and consider using a handheld mirror for even better (read: safer) accuracy. Choose a razor for sensitive skin (he says nowadays a lot of women's razors for legs fall into this category), and use shaving cream or some other type of lubricant to try to minimize irritation.
"As you can imagine, shaving your butt requires some acrobatics and body contortion," Dr. Goldstein admits. He recommends first trimming the longer hair with a clipper ("so you're not getting so close to the skin on the first go") and then pick up your razor. Make sure you've got the best view possible, and use one hand to spread your cheeks apart while your other goes in with the razor. "Start from the inside out, on the left and right sides, followed by the front and back. Follow the skin lines and use extra caution," he says. "Be sure to go extra slow on the front and back area as this skin is much thinner and more prone to injury. Fortunately, for most people, hair doesn’t grow right on the hole itself, so you really only have to trim or shave around it and on the cheeks."
This rechargeable waterproof trimmer comes with a pre-wax bikini trimmer guard, allowing you to get the perfect trim before your next wax appointment.
Pro tip: Dr. Clay says that shaving at the end of your shower or bath will make the process go a lot smoother. The reason? By then, your butt hairs—whether on your hole or cheeks—will have been notably softened by the warm water and soap, and your skin will likely have been exfoliated from washing. Additionally, she says to always shave with the grain to avoid any irritation.
Other Methods of Hair Removal to Consider
Looking for other ways to remove butt hair? Dr. Goldstein recommends laser hair removal because it removes hair from the roots and prevents it from growing back, making you less prone to things like ingrown hairs. Although laser hair removal can be expensive, Dr. Clay says that considering it prevents the need to shave, and thus lowers the likelihood of razor bumps and folliculitis down the road. It’s a convenient option should you want to remove your bum hair for good.
If laser hair removal is out of the question due to its lofty price, there’s always the option to wax your butt. Unlike shaving, waxing targets butt hair removal at the root. It doesn’t go as deep as laser hair removal, however, so your hair will eventually grow back—typically within three to four weeks.
Whatever method you choose, Dr. Goldstein cautions to be extra careful when shaving or utilizing other techniques like sugaring and waxing, because after all, this is your butthole we're talking about. Thanks to the amount of bacteria in this region, there's a potential for contamination and infection within small cuts and scrapes. He also notes that you should be aware of potential complications, such as ingrown hairs, abscesses, HPV and HSV activity, and the development of skin tags and other growths.
If you do experience acne or ingrown hairs after shaving your butt, he recommends using a cleanser with salicylic acid. "After shaving, lather the cleanser on your butt and leave it on for three minutes,” he says. “This will help a lot in preventing ingrown hairs and butt acne that results from clogged hair follicles." And if you're planning on doing any butt stuff and experience any irritation or nicks, he recommends waiting three to five days for things to calm down, and then using a toy and exploring yourself to make sure everything is copacetic before bringing in other people.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to have hair in your bum for a girl?
Point blank: Yes. Anyone can develop hair on their anus or butt cheeks. It’s both hormonal and genetic, and totally normal. If you feel like your hair growth is of concern, though, you can always talk with your primary care physician, dermatologist, or OB/GYN to answer any questions you may have.
Why does my butthole itch when I shave it?
Shaving your butthole—even when using the proper tools—can potentially cause irritation. “Tears or little cuts in the skin that happen during the process of shaving can become very itchy as they heal,” Dr. Clay admits. “Think of a skinned knee that's healing and how itchy it can get.” What’s more, Dr. Clay says that itching can also be a sign of razor bumps or ingrown hair—more on those, below.
What can I do to prevent itchy razor bumps after shaving?
Hoping to uncover how to treat razor bumps on your buttocks? The best way to prevent razor bumps is to properly prepare your skin before shaving. Generally speaking, you should never shave on dry skin. Instead, dampen the area and use shaving cream to create glide for your razor. Then, after shaving, Dr. Clay says to use an anti-inflammatory to calm the skin.
Why do people get ingrown hairs?
Like razor burn, ingrown hairs are common with shaving. They’re caused by hairs getting stuck under dead skin cells that have yet to slough off. With that in mind, Dr. Clay reminds us of the importance of exfoliation—even down there. “Exfoliate the skin regularly with a chemical exfoliant or a physical exfoliant to remove dead skin, minimize clogged pores/follicles, and release any hairs that are trapped under the skin,” she says.
This lightweight serum combats redness and prevents ingrown hairs on your face, armpits, and bikini area with the help of glycolic acid and niacinamide.
And, while on the topic, know that ingrown hairs are not the same thing as pimples, though, you should never try to pop either one by hand. Instead, rely on an exfoliator for ingrown hairs and a benzoyl peroxide cleanser for pimples, Dr. Clay says.
All in all: Is waxing your butt safe? With the above tips, tricks, and answers to FAQs on the topic, it is.
- Zare, Atefeh, and Roksana Janghorban. “Awareness and Practice of Female Beauty Salon Staff about Human Papilloma Virus and Its Transmission in Pubic Hair Removal Using Wax in Shiraz, Southwest of Iran.” Advanced biomedical research vol. 9 24. 27 Jun. 2020, doi:10.4103/abr.abr_241_19
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