Ancient civilisations including the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians removed pubic hair through waxing. In the United States, waxing and shaving of pubic hair did not become common until the mid-1990s, when fashion magazines and adult films began promoting the shaved look.
Some women shave their pubic hair to emulate models, actresses and popular pin-ups. A 2003 Gucci ad showing a woman with a letter "G" shaved into her pubic hair received widespread attention.
Many women who shave their pubic hair say they enjoy the "clean" feeling it gives them, although shaving has no proven effect on hygiene.
Dancers, gymnasts and swimmers remove pubic hair so it isn't visible through their outfits and swimsuits. Many women shave their pubic hair before a beach vacation.
Shaving is generally considered safe, but it can cause cuts, bumps and skin irritation. Ingrown hairs can form and become infected. Compared with other hair removal methods, hair grows back quickly after shaving -- in as little as two to three days.
Pubic hair can also be removed using waxing or laser hair removal, but both are more painful than shaving. The results last three to four weeks for waxing and permanently for laser hair removal after seven to 10 treatments.
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