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Brazilian and beyond: Personal grooming made easy

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

How to master shaving, waxing and trimming

Now that it's bathing suit season, you might want to trim up your bikini area for when you strut your stuff poolside or at the beach. We've got professional advice as well as real women's tips to help you achieve the right look.

Anyway, make it your way

The way women trim, shave or wax their pubic hair is always changing and trends definitely come and go. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to style and shape your pubic hair. It's all about making sure you feel sexy and confident with the end result.

Waxing and shaving

Ouch! Hayden Panettiere gets bikini wax during interview >>

Carmen Cherry, aesthetician and eyelash extension specialist at Dre's Salon and Spa in Scottsdale says most of her clients request a Brazilian, which includes waxing the entire private area, front and back, adding that sometimes clients come in with an idea of the way it should look based on their husbands' opinions. She adds, "In the end, most [of my clients] choose to have a neatly-trimmed 'landing strip' in the front."

The other Brazilian trend: A sleek blowout at home >>

Not everyone heads to the salon to manicure her pubic area. For some, it's just as easy to get the job done without leaving the house. For those who prefer to shave, Carmen says, "Use a sharp razor and try to always shave with the grain. Shave every other day, at the most, to avoid irritating fresh bumps and try not to shave the same area twice."

She also advises that you first use a cleanser that contains witch hazel, or tea tree oil to disinfect the area, and exfoliate gently with an exfoliating scrub that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid or use a loofah to remove dead skin and smooth the way for a close and clean shave. She adds, "The shower is the best place to shave because warm water and steam make the hair softer and the skin less prone to nicks and irritations." When you're done with the shower and shave, use a calming gel with aloe vera to alleviate any problem areas.

Keepin' it natural

Shannon B. prefers to leave her natural hair exposed because she doesn't like "my vagina looking like a little girl who hasn't reached puberty. My vagina has been through five deliveries so I have to ensure it looks like it should — but sexy. So, it's grown and sexy."

Gwyneth Paltrow talks about her bushy bikini line >>

Shannon accomplishes her natural look by using her husband's hair trimmers. She adds, "I only have to shave one to two times monthly, which is very different from shaving with a razor." With this method, Shannon says there are "no issues with irritation or bumps" and she doesn't have to use shave gels or creams even though her skin is very sensitive. She does use olive oil on the area afterwards, however.

Hair be gone

For Nefertari N., a completely bare bikini area is the only way to go. She says simply, "I just get rid of it all!" To achieve her totally hair-free look, Nefertari swears by hair removal creams. She says she uses it every two weeks, saying they, "work wonders, they remove all the hair and leave smooth, soft skin." Nefertari adds that she doesn't generally need to touch up in between her DIY hair removal sessions but if she's going to the pool or the beach, she will.

More on women's health and wellness

Your mammogram could do more harm than good
Probiotics could be the key to a bikini body
Something called nicotinamide could anti-age your body

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