Hairy Penis: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It
A hairy penis is normal and not a cause for concern. Pubic hair typically grows on the area between the belly button and the penis, but it may also develop on the penis and the testicles.
Although it is not necessary to remove hair from the penis, some people may wish to do so for cosmetic reasons. There are many ways to remove pubic hair, from shaving or waxing to laser removal and electrolysis.
Trimming is among the easiest methods for keeping pubic hair growth in check. Trimming the ends of the hair reduces the risk of ingrown hairs and other complications that can arise from shaving and waxing.
To trim hair:
- Thoroughly dampen the hair with water.
- Carefully trim off the desired amount of hair using sharp scissors or hair cutting shears.
Take care when trimming hairs around the penis or scrotum to avoid nicks and cuts. People are less likely to injure themselves while trimming if they stand up instead of lying down.
Most people will only need to trim once or twice a week to maintain a particular length.
People who have only a few stray hairs on the penis may prefer to tweeze (pluck) them. To do this:
- Take a pair of sterilized, sharp tweezers.
- Hold the skin around the hair tightly with one hand. Using the other hand, grab the hair with the tweezers.
- Gently pluck the hair out in the direction of its growth.
Avoid pulling hairs out too forcefully as this may damage the skin, lead to inflammation, and increase the risk of infection.
Shaving is one of the simplest at-home methods of hair removal, especially when dealing with more than a few hairs.
Using a proper technique when shaving can help a person avoid conditions such as ingrown hairs and folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles.
To shave penis hair:
- Soak the area to soften the skin and hair before shaving.
- Apply shaving gel or cream to the areas of skin around the hair.
- Use a sharp, clean razor.
- Hold the skin around the hair tightly with one hand. Using the other hand, slowly and carefully shave in the direction of the hair growth. Do not apply too much pressure on the skin.
- Rinse the skin and pat dry.
- Apply aloe vera gel or a fragrance-free lotion to moisturize the skin.
Aside from ingrown hairs and folliculitis, another downside of shaving is the risk of cutting the skin. Most injuries that occur from grooming the genital area involve the use of razors.
It may be necessary to shave every few days to keep pubic hair growth under control.
Hair removal creams
Hair removal creams, or depilatories, are an effective way to remove hair from the penis and pubic area.
It is important to choose a cream that is specific to the pubic region as these are suitable for more delicate skin.
To use a hair removal cream:
- Avoid shaving the hair for several days before using the cream.
- Test the cream on another area of skin — such as the leg — 24 hours before applying it to the pubic region. If a skin reaction occurs, stop using the cream.
- If the test patch does not cause any reaction within 24 hours, apply the cream to the area of hair growth according to its instructions.
- Remove after the specified period using the removal tool that comes with the cream. Alternatively, wash the cream off thoroughly with cool or lukewarm water.
- Once there is no trace of the cream left on the skin, apply an unscented moisturizing lotion.
People may find they need to use these creams once or twice a week to maintain results.
However, people should be careful when using hair removal creams and stop using them if they experience any adverse reactions. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Cosmetics and Colors, people have reported burns, blisters, rashes, and skin peeling from using depilatories.
Waxing is an effective way to remove many hairs at once. The results tend to last for a few to several weeks. However, waxing can be painful, especially on the delicate skin of the penis.
Individuals can wax their pubic hair at home or go to a salon where a professional can wax the region.
To wax at home:
- Buy wax and waxing strips.
- Trim the pubic hairs to between one-quarter and three-quarters of an inch long. Thoroughly wash and dry the skin in the pubic region. Most home wax kits include a pre-wax cleanser, which people should apply to the skin before waxing.
- Prepare the wax according to the package instructions.
- Apply the warm wax and a waxing strip to the skin.
- Wait a few moments and then quickly pull off the strip in the opposite direction to the hair growth.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all the hair is gone.
- Apply an unscented moisturizing lotion.
If waxing at home, a person should consider testing the wax on a small patch of skin first to make sure an allergic reaction or irritation does not occur. If a reaction does occur, they should stop using the wax.
People may find waxing less painful if they go to a professional waxing salon. The risk of infection may also be lower. The process is similar to a home wax, although it is usually more expensive.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is a permanent method of hair removal.
A doctor, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, will carry out the procedure at their office or clinic. To remove the hair, they will focus a laser on the hair follicles to destroy the follicle with heat. This means the hair is unable to regrow.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair removal may require six sessions or more. Maintenance sessions may be necessary every so often to keep the hair from returning.
Electrolysis involves the use of an epilator device, which uses shortwave radio frequencies to damage hair follicles. The frequencies travel through a needle probe into the hair follicle.
Unlike some laser hair removal devices, which can treat multiple follicles at once, the electrolysis probe treats only one hair follicle at a time. However, results tend to be permanent, and it may be more cost effective than laser removal.
Risks and considerations
Most methods of hair removal are relatively safe when people use them properly. However, all treatments carry some risks.
Potential consequences of removing hair from the penis include:
- razor burn, a skin rash
- redness and itching
- cuts and scrapes
- chemical burns, blisters, or skin peeling from hair removal creams
- skin color changes from laser hair removal
- minor scarring from electrolysis or laser hair removal
Most of these reactions are mild and will get better within a few days.
To relieve discomfort from rashes or prevent ingrown hairs, apply cool or warm compresses to the skin, use unscented moisturizing lotion, and avoid wearing clothing that may irritate.
If symptoms do not resolve within a few days, a person should see a doctor.
Most people consider hair on the penis to be normal, and it does not indicate an underlying condition.
Hair will also not affect a person’s sexual function. However, some people may wish to remove hair in this area for cosmetic reasons.
Methods of at-home hair removal include trimming, shaving, tweezing, waxing, and hair removal creams. Those who would prefer professional treatment may wish to consider salon waxing or, for a more permanent solution, laser therapy, or electrolysis.