Keeping up appearances keeps everyone happy

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November 2, 2007

9:14 AM

Do the carpets match the drapes? Being a redhead, I get that question pretty often. But it’s a common question for other women, with all the hair coloring that goes on today.

p. Now, when you’re interrogated, you can answer with: “If you mean fabulously well-groomed, then yes, they do match.” Pubic hair is the new frontier of expressing personal style. One of my friends — who was about to have her first gynecological visit — asked me what she should do with her hair, what was normal for women. For starters, there is no normal. If you like it, whatever you do will be beautiful.

p. As for how it’s done, hopefully this article will clear up some issues. Guys, don’t think you’re excluded from this. You’d be surprised how many women (or men) appreciate proper “manscaping.”

p. There are many ways to remove hair: waxing, creams, lasers or razors. If you want to get professional help, just talk to your local spa or salon about bikini waxes. The downside is that these can be expensive. Laser hair removal is an option, but once those procedures are done, there is no turning back. The places where you’ve chosen to have hair removed will be bald forever. If your style changes with your mood, that route might be too permanent. Shaving does the job with very low costs, but the skin around the pelvis is very sensitive. The last thing that anyone wants is tiny razor bumps all over.

p. The best option for home-tailored pubes is a depilatory cream. Veet and Nair have easy-to-use home kits. Both of these products are specially made for your most sensitive areas; but, as long as you are careful, the regular removal creams work fine.

p. To start off, you’ll need about 20 minutes for this regime, so plan out some time when you’ll have the bathroom to yourself. It should be repeated about once a week to keep everything neat and tidy, but if you want the skin to be truly smooth you’ll have to repeat every two to three days.

p. The first step is to soften the hair. Soak a washcloth in very warm water and place it over the hair for about a minute. Next, it’s time for some trimming. It’s best to have a pair of scissors that are set-aside especially for this purpose. Nothing fancy, just a pair of small scissors to trim down the hair so it’s easier for it to dissolve. If you’ve been going au natural for awhile, you may want to trim all over and then try to go very short in the areas where you will be putting the cream on.

p. After trimming, apply the cream liberally over the areas you’d like cleared. Try to keep your lines symmetrical, but don’t worry about it too much. There will be time to fix any uneven parts later, so leave a little space for adjustment. Unless you’re going for a completely smooth look, you don’t want to keep evening up each side or you may end up hairless. A friend of mine made that mistake on her first hair adventure — rather than having a nice, straight landing strip — she inadvertently took a time machine back to pre-pubescence. The typical application is five or six minutes, but check the back of the tube or can to find out how long you should keep the cream. Once the time is up, use a washcloth to clear off the and hair, or use a bladeless razor if your product came with one.

p. There are other more complex ideas for the very creative among you. Sometimes it’s cool to have fun and try to make different hair designs. Easy-to-do samples include a heart, or a lighting bolt for the guys. I would not recommend this for beginners; wait until you’ve gotten the hang of the routine. But, if you’re ready, map out the intended design with a washable marker or visible highlighter. Simply use the outline as a template and apply the cream only to the outside of the lines. Don’t plan anything too elaborate, because while those types of designs might be possible with the help of a professional stylist and wax, the lines probably won’t come out as clearly as you might want.

p. Now all that’s left to do is clean up. If there are spots, that didn’t get fully cleared, or you would like to straighten out your lines, use a razor on a spot-by-spot basis. For safety, avoid hot tubs for a day or so because of the germs which lurk in the hot water, and swimming in the Crem Dell is out. Other than that, enjoy being fabulous with your new secret hairdo.

p. __Emily Powell is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She appreciates proper manscaping.__

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