Should I be concerned?
A hairy penis is usually nothing to worry about.
For many men, most pubic hair grows in the area around the pubis bone. This is the area below your belly button above your penis.
Although less hair grows at the base of the penis and on testicles, it’s usually enough to notice. Pubic hairs on your penis shaft, foreskin, and even just below the head (or glans) are also possible.
Want to get rid of it? A little grooming is fine, but hair grows down there for a reason.
Read on to learn why you need pubic hair, good grooming practices, and what to do if home grooming isn’t cutting it.
Why does hair grow there?
Pubic hair develops during puberty, and for good reason — having hair around your genitals actually benefits your overall health.
Protects your skin from scrapes and cuts
Hair acts as a barrier between your skin and your clothing, your sexual partner, or any other activity that can cause friction or impact injuries.
Reduces your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
Hair removal results in tiny open wounds. This could be in the form of scrapes from your razor or inflamed pores as a result of hair being removed from the root. If you engage in sexual activity before these wounds heal, you may be more likely to contract an STD or other infection.
Reduces your risk for certain skin conditions
If your hair is constantly growing in after shaving or waxing, you’re more likely to deal with ingrown hairs, folliculitis, hyperpigmentation, and more. Keeping your hair like it is — or only trimming the ends — can help minimize these concerns.
What’s the deal with grooming down there?
A little trimming or shaving is fine. If you can, leave a short layer of hair to help protect your skin.
Total hair removal can cause:
What are my options for home hair removal?
Pubic hair doesn’t grow quickly, so you won’t need to groom every day.
First, dampen your pubic hair for at least five minutes.
Use sharp scissors or haircutting shears to trim. Be careful around delicate penile or scrotal skin. You can use electric hair clippers for quicker trimming.
You’ll probably only need to trim once a week or less.
Decide to shave it off? Try the following to minimize irritation:
- Dampen the area with warm water.
- Trim the hair as short as you can with sharp scissors.
- Lather the area with natural shaving cream or gel.
- Use a fresh, sharp razor (not an old, rusty one).
- Pull the skin taut using one hand. Shave along the direction of hair growth with your other hand.
- Shave slowly to avoid cuts or scrapes.
- Once you’re done, gently massage lotion, oil, or aloe vera onto the area. Avoid aftershave or scented products.
You’ll likely have to shave every few days or even more frequently to keep hair short.
Waxing can be painful and ineffective if done incorrectly. If you’re unfamiliar with home waxing, it’s best to leave it to a professional.
Home waxing generally follows this process:
- Bathe or shower in warm water for at least five minutes.
- Make sure your pubic hairs are a quarter-inch long. If they’re longer than this, use scissors or a trimmer to remove the excess.
- Cover your pubic area in warm, soy-based wax.
- If a muslin strip or waxing cloth is provided, apply it to the area covered by wax.
- Wait a few moments for the wax to harden.
- Swiftly pull off the wax strip to remove hair.
- Repeat steps 3 through 6 for all the areas you want to wax.
Hair removal creams (depilatories)
You should only use hair removal cream made specifically for the pubic area. General hair removal creams may be too harsh for the sensitive tissues around and on your penis.
Plan to stop shaving your pubic hair for at least three days (or however long your product directs) before use.
You should also test the product on another area of skin, such as your leg, the day before use. If you don’t experience any redness, swelling, or other irritation within 24 hours, it should be safe to use on your pubic area.
To use the cream:
- Rinse your pubic area with warm water.
- Apply the cream to the intended area.
- Wait for the amount of time the instructions recommend (usually five minutes). Don’t leave it on any longer.
- Wipe, rinse, or scrape the cream off with any included removal tool.
- Rinse off your pubic area again with warm water.
- Apply lotion, baby oil, or aloe vera to soothe your skin.
Depilatories should only be used every three days or so.
Are there professional hair removal options?
There are plenty of salons and clinics that specialize in male grooming. They may recommend any of the following techniques.
Waxing is much safer and often less painful when done professionally.
However, salon waxes aren’t for everyone. You may not feel comfortable getting naked in front of the person who waxes you, let alone have them wax such a sensitive area. It can also be expensive depending on the quality of salon you visit.
Waxing is usually done once every four weeks.
Sugaring is similar to waxing but uses different materials and techniques. Your hair still needs to be at least a quarter-inch long.
Sugaring involves applying a warm, sugar-based solution to pubic hair in the opposite direction of hair growth, smoothing it down with your hand or a special tool with the direction of hair growth, and then “flicking” it off.
This paste is considered less irritating than wax, and the overall process is said to be easier on the skin.
Sugaring only needs to be done once every six weeks.
Laser hair removal
If you want to significantly reduce the appearance of your pubic hair, you can have it thinned or completely removed via laser therapy.
To do this, your technician will use powerful laser beams to remove the hair follicle from your skin. This allows the hair to fall out.
A full treatment may take up to five appointments, so costs can add up.
Although it’s marketed as a permanent solution, it requires maintenance. Your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will be able to advise you on how often you’ll have to return after the initial treatment is done.
If you want to permanently remove the hair in your pubic area, electrolysis may be an option. With electrolysis, your technician will use a needle-like tool to remove the hair root in your follicle.
A full treatment can also take 20 or more appointments, so costs can add up quick.
The bottom line
If removal is on your mind, think about the benefits that having pubic hair offers before you buy a new razor.
You may be able to tidy up the area without foregoing these benefits, or you may decide that the benefits of being bare outweigh the potential risks.
At the end of the day, your individual comfort is what matters most.