Why Do People Shave Their Pubic Hair?

A study published in 2019 showed that most people remove their pubic hair in some way.

Do you remember the first time you shaved your pubic hair? When you were awkwardly bent over in the shower, yelling at your parents to stop knocking on the door and asking why you've been in there for so long.

Even if you can't relate, most people use some method of grooming their pubic area. In one study published in 2017 in JAMA Dermatology, over 75% of people surveyed reported grooming their pubic area.

Most people prefer how we maintain our pubic hair, whether that's a full Brazilian, a natural look, or a landing strip. Maybe you like the skin near your pubic area to be silky smooth for sex. Or maybe you would rather skip the irritated skin and save time in the shower.

Some evidence suggests that pubic hair trends have reasons behind them. Here's what you should know about how common your pubic grooming habits are.

Pubic Hair Trends

In a study published in 2019 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers analyzed data from a survey of over 4,000 Belgian men and women over the age of 15. They asked people about whether they groomed their pubic area, why they did or didn't, and their relationship status and sexuality.

According to the researchers, when asked if they removed their pubic hair, 80% of women and 39% of men removed their pubic hair near the time of the survey. Also, 3% of women and 21% of men had never removed their pubic hair.

And when asked at what age they started grooming their pubic area, 88% of women and 28% of men started between the ages of 15–20.

The researchers found that the people most likely to groom their pubic area included the following:

  • Women between 15–20 
  • Men between 40–50 
  • Lesbian women reported slightly more often than heterosexual or bisexual women.
  • Bisexual men were most likely to go hairless.
  • Married men were most likely to trim.
  • Women were most likely to groom if they were dating someone they didn't live with.

Why People Remove Their Pubic Hair

When the researchers asked why the people surveyed opted to remove their pubic hair, they discovered several reasons. From comfort to partner preference, there are many motives for people grooming their pubic area.


Most commonly, the people surveyed reported removing their pubic hair to be comfortable during oral sex. In fact, 75% of women and 39% of men chose that reason.

Softer, More Feminine

Next on the list, about 67% reported that removing their pubic hair made them feel feminine. 

Similarly, 63% of women reported that they simply liked feeling soft. That reason was also not uncommon among men, with 37% of men choosing that they liked to feel soft.


Cleanliness was also not uncommon among men. Thirty-nine percent of men said they "think it is more hygienic" to groom their pubic area.

Partner Preference

Both women and men commonly reported grooming their pubic areas because of their partners' preferences. About 62% of women said their partner liked it, and 36% of men said their partner wanted them to be clean-shaven.

Why People Don't Groom Their Pubic Area

The researchers found that women who didn't remove their pubic hair opted out because of the side effects, like itching and bumps. Some people also reported not grooming their pubic area because their partner prefers them not to.

Still, if you're more inclined to go natural and forego grooming your pubic area entirely, that's fine, too. In fact, one study published in 2017 in Sexually Transmitted Infections found that pubic hair grooming is positively related to a history of sexually transmitted infections (STI).

A Quick Review

Many people choose to groom their pubic area, whether that be trimming, shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal. 

How much hair you remove and what method you choose should come down to personal preference rather than expectations from others or society. No method is ideal for everyone, so take as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.

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3 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Truesdale MD, Osterberg EC, Gaither TW, et al. Prevalence of Pubic Hair Grooming-Related Injuries and Identification of High-Risk Individuals in the United States [published correction appears in JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Nov 1;153(11):1201]. JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(11):1114-1121. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.2815

  2. Enzlin P, Bollen K, Prekatsounaki S, Hidalgo L, Aerts L, Deprest J. "To Shave or Not to Shave": Pubic Hair Removal and Its Association with Relational and Sexual Satisfaction in Women and MenJ Sex Med. 2019;16(7):954-962. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.005

  3. Osterberg EC, Gaither TW, Awad MA, et al. Correlation between pubic hair grooming and STIs: results from a nationally representative probability sampleSex Transm Infect. 2017;93(3):162-166. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2016-052687

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