Here at TWC, we love tackling questions of an intimate nature. So we thought we’d get stuck into the dos and don’ts surrounding intimate grooming.
Waxing, shaving or trimming?
If you like to maintain your downstairs, you’ll be intimately familiar (ho ho!) with the myriad of issues surrounding hair removal. Shaving is certainly the easiest to do at home, and doesn’t cause any pain at the time of removal, but the chances of you getting an in-grown hair around your nether-regions is MUCH higher than if you wax.
And the likelihood of ingrown hairs is heightened by the friction of cycling. You’re also at risk of shaving rash and general irritation down there, and despite the fact chamois cream shouldn’t be inflammatory, it’s probably best not to heap anything apart from products that are all natural onto the area.
As for waxing, it’s a sound option for cyclists that like to remain sleek and smooth, but it requires a lot of forward planning. We asked a beauty therapist with 8 years experience, and she was keen to stress that you really shouldn’t be “going to the gym, running or cycling for 24 to 48 hours after you have a wax.”
Simply put: You’re delicate down there and you shouldn’t be asking that much of your privates. Anecdotal evidence from the TWC office and the internet at large suggests you should wait at least two or three days after a wax before a big ride.
For many of us though, three days means you’ve got hair again and you’ll have that horrible, stubbly texture on your next jaunt. And if you have thin shorts this has been known to result in a pin cushion effect!
Remember that waxing also leads to problems too: the area around the genitals is warm and moist and therefore the perfect home for bacterial pathogens. Boils and abscesses on your downstairs are not uncommon – doctors and dermatologists see them all the time.
The physical act of cycling produces friction which can lead to irritation, and sweating during a ride means you’re making a nicer home for bacteria than most people. Be careful, go to a professional and heed their after-care advice.
If you don’t like the sound of any of that – a simple trim with something like this might be for you. Half an inch is the optimum length as it keeps things from looking overgrown, but there is also enough length that the hair can sit flat rather than be stubble-like. A warning: half an inch is quite long! Don’t be perturbed by that!
But I want to remain hairy!
And that’s totally cool too. If you want to let everything grow free, do it. Just remember that keeping your pubic hair intact means that the area will get a bit smelly if you don’t wash regularly, as the hair traps sweat and odour. You’ll not be able to get away with a two day stint in your bib shorts. Not that you ever do that anyway, of course (we’ve all done that).
Lotions and Potions
As for when you’re on the bike, it’s time to check out our article on Seven of the Best Chamois Creams. You’re welcome!
Got any intimate grooming tips? If you’re brave enough to share, do so in the comments or via the TWC Facebook page!