11 Things That Can Go Wrong Shaving Your Pubic Hair

Deciding to shave down there can be scary — I get it. If you're gearing up to do a little DIY grooming action, prepare yourself by being aware of the things that can go wrong shaving your pubic hair. Whether you're a rookie or pro, knowing what can occasionally happen will help you not to panic if something less than awesome happens.

I was 17 the first time I decided to DIY shave my vag and, oh my gosh, I definitely could've prepared better. Little naive me used the same razor and shaving cream I shaved my legs with, had no clue how to effectively hit the tricky angles, and ended up with a few cuts and some serious razor burn. Ouch.

Even though it's winter and heavens knows I'm not wearing anything remotely revealing in blizzard-y Brooklyn right now, spring isn't too far around the corner. While I know I'm under no obligation to shave before rocking a swimsuit, I do like feeling smooth down there on occasion and am gearing up to do a bit of shaving before some upcoming tropical spring travels!

If you, too, are starting to reach for your razor, brace yourself for the things that could go wrong shaving your pubic hair.

1. Shaving As Soon As You Step In The Shower

Hitting up the razor straight away doesn't give your hair follicles time to loosen and make shaving easier. Give yourself at least five to ten minutes with the steamy water to help open up your pores.

2. Forgetting To Trim

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bikini Scissors, $23, Nordstrom

If you're shaving for the first time (or it's just been awhile), trim what you can with small scissors instead of just trying to remove long hairs with a razor. That way, you'll avoid your razor potentially getting caught in your pubes along with any unpleasant cuts.

3. Using The Wrong Razor

Gilette Venus Bikini, $10, Amazon

The razor you shave your legs with is not designed handle the curves of your vag. Invest in a bikini line razor instead to avoid cruel little nicks!

4. Skipping Exfoliating

Gentle Exfoliating Scrub , $7, Korres

You want to start shaving on the smoothest surface possible, and dead skin cells can mean a bumpy shave which can mean (gulp) razor burn. Since the skin there is delicate, a quick rub down with a wet wash cloth or incredibly gentle exfoliating scrub will do the trick.

5. Applying Heavily Scented Shaving Cream

The Art Of Shaving Shaving Cream - Unscented, $25, Amazon

Your vag's PH balance is really delicate, and heavily fragranced shaving creams can really throw things out of whack and even cause yeast infections. Yikes. To dodge a seriously itchy situation, always try to use sensitive skin-friendly and hypo-allergenic shaving creams.

6. Getting Ingrown Hairs

Not shaving in the direction of hair growth gives you a much stronger chance of irritating your skin and getting ingrown hairs down there. The horror. If you end up with any, try to wear loose clothing so they heal quickly and you don't irritate them further. Whatever you do, don't pick at them!

7. Using A Dull Blade

BIC Bikini Trimmer, $8, Amazon

"Oh my gosh I love razor burn" said no one ever. Sadly, using a dull blade increases your likelihood of getting some major irritation down there since you'll have to go over the same spot several times to remove hair. Always, always use a fresh blade!

8. Nicking Yourself

Swan Hydrogen Peroxide, $6, Amazon

Just like your legs, it's possible you're going to cut yourself down there. If that happens, put down the razor and grab a handheld mirror to figure out how serious things are. Dab a little hydrogen peroxide over the spot and wait a few days for it to heal up before you shave again. Sorry kid.

9. Shaving At A Bad Angle

BIC Bikini Trimmer, $8, Amazon

Since reaching your bikini line is a little trickier than your legs, you might have to try a few strategies to find an angle that lets you get all the hair off without possibly slipping. My strategy for success? Sitting down the shower. Works every time.

10. Ending Up With A Super Itchy Vag

Cetaphil Daily Advanced Lotion, $11, Amazon

My fellow sensitive skin ladies beware, shaving down there can cause some serious itching from exposed skin if you don't moisturize properly afterward. Reach for a super (super) gentle moisturizing lotion and slather it on post-shave.

11. Rushing To Finish

Nothing is going to make your chances of injuring yourself skyrocket like trying to shave like a speed racer. Doing a good job at shaving your pubes takes patience, time, and a little precision work to hit all angles. If you're not willing to commit at least a good ten minutes to doing this, you're better off letting a professional handle your bikini line.

Whatever you decide, good luck and be careful!

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Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; osseous, Century Black, Dave Rosenblum, Alan Cleaver/Flickr