While nature may have its reasons for putting hair follicles in our nether regions ­­– including but not limited to preventing bacteria and pathogens from entering our bodies – human beings have since invented clothes to do the job. The fact that pubic hair traps bacteria, perspiration and other bodily secretions paves the way for something that nobody likes: odour. In an American science journal survey, male respondents said they felt more confident of themselves when their pubes were kept in check. Notably, the respondents were not confined to effeminate or homosexual men.

men's grooming: pubic hair removal
Styling: Chia Wei Choong; Photo: Simon Sim

That’s a stereotype,” clarified Noel Kok, aesthetic and sales consultant at Singapore-based Wellaholic. “We have male athletes who come for hair removal services to enhance their athletic performance,” Kok shared. “We also have customers who do it for hygiene and aesthetic reasons. Some do it for themselves while the others choose to for their partners. I know of a client whose wife requested that he keep his nethers bare to improve their sex life.” So apparently, nixing the pubes, or at least keeping it well-groomed, does help men to score points with the ladies – some of them, at least.

I don’t think it’s a question of impressing women,” Sugar(ed)’s business operator (also based in Singapore), Stephanie de Braux said. “But I know many women who appreciate it when men keep their privates well-groomed – myself included. It’s a matter of self-respect, and also extends to one’s consideration for his partner.” This story isn’t about advocating any grooming approach over another though, much less demonising anyone who chooses to let his garden grow. Should you ever decide to mow your lawn, however, we’ve already tried the various methods on your behalf.

Here are four ways to groom your nether regions:

men's grooming: keeping the nether regions tidy by shaving
Illustration: Jonathan Tai

Convenience is what makes shaving the most common method of removing unwanted hair. All it takes is a shaver with clean, sharp blades and careful manoeuvring to get it all going smoothly down below.

Procedure: Groom your nether regions neatly to prevent shaven hairs from getting tangled on your blade. Follow with a warm shower to help soften the hair shaft and loosen the follicles to make navigation easier for you. Once ready, shave in careful short strokes to ensure a close shave and a clean finish.

Results: Just a few bumps on areas where coarser hair grows.

Pros: Like trimming your goatee yourself, having control over your shaver allows you to decide on how much hair you’d like to remove, and where the blade goes – or doesn’t.

Cons: Besides possible nicks and cuts, discomfort such as irritation and ingrown hairs are often observed after a few days. The abrasive nature of shaving may also darken the area in the long run.

Post-care tip: Use products with witch hazel extracts on the treated areas to tighten pores. Exfoliate regularly to prevent ingrown hairs.

depilatory cream
men's grooming: keeping the nether regions tidy with a depilatory cream
Illustrations: Jonathan Tai

Depilatory creams are messy, so we’re not surprised that it’s not a popular choice. However we do give it credit for allowing us to easily remove hair on hard-to-reach places (i.e. our back and crack) in the convenience of our own bathroom.

Procedure: Trim your bush before cleaning and drying the target area. Apply a thick layer of depilating cream, ensuring that it touches the skin for a closer finish. Leave it on as recommended before using the given spatula to scrape the cream off.

Results: Generally smooth but the finish isn’t as clean as other hair removal methods. It works better as a maintenance product, so we suggest using it as a quick fix in between hair removal treatments.

Pros: Easy to use and there is no risk of getting nicks and cuts.

Cons: The mess and lingering stench of urea. Also, the chemicals can cause irritation if left on longer than recommended.

Post-care tip: Use products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or calendula on the treated areas. Exfoliate and moisturise often to avoid irritation during hair regrowth.

men's grooming: keeping the nether regions tidy via sugaring
Illustrations: Jonathan Tai

The procedure and results of sugaring are close to that of waxing. However, the procedure epilates using a paste made of sugar and lemon juice. What’s great is that the paste is non-irritating, making it suitable for all skin types. Also, sugaring omits the wasteful use of strips or wooden applicator sticks that waxing employs, making this method more environmentally friendly.

Procedure: Once you’re stripped down at the parlour, the therapist powders the area of unwanted hair before epilating you with the sugar paste. The paste is pulled in the direction of hair growth to reduce hair breakage. Once done, the area is cleaned and dried.

Results: Some temporary redness is often experienced. The treated surface feels absolutely smooth and free of bumps.

Pros: Minimal preparation is required prior to the treatment. Also, results are immediate and lasts a good two to three weeks before regrowth occurs and you need to groom your nether regions again.

Cons: The process is the most painful of all the methods listed here.

Post-care tip: Exfoliate and moisturise often to prevent ingrown hairs.

men's grooming: keeping the nether regions tidy with SHR
Illustrations: Jonathan Tai

SHR (super hair removal) is similar to an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment. The main difference is that the SHR device dispenses light energy with a higher frequency at a lower temperature compared to IPL devices. This newer technology is touted to be more effective at nixing hair follicles while posing less discomfort as you groom your nether regions.

Procedure: After being stripped and shaven clean to expose the hair follicles, aloe vera gel is applied to protect the skin. The aesthetician then carefully works the device over the desired areas in swift motions. Unlike in IPL where the treatment feels like getting snapped by multiple rubber bands, SHR feels like being passed over by shots of warm air.

Results: Effects of weakened follicles (slower regrowth and finer hair strands) are apparent after five to seven sessions.

Pros: The process was painless and the effects are lasting.

Cons: It’s costly and results are not immediate – they can only be seen after five to seven treatments.

Post-care tip: Exfoliate in between appointments.

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