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In adults, pubic hair is the hair that covers the area around the sex organs. It is generally darker in colour and stronger in texture than other hair found on the human body. It is caused by the rising levels of androgens during puberty. Pubic hair is a secondary sex characteristic.
Pubic hair appears during puberty in girls and boys. The onset of pubic hair development is termed pubarche. In developed countries, this usually happens around the age of ten in girls and around the age of eleven or twelve in boys. Beginning with only a few hairs above the vulva (in girls) or penis (in boys), the area quickly fills out in a triangular shape, making a thick patch of hair. In boys, the patch becomes a trapezoid shape, meaning four-sided.
A line of hair from the navel toward the penis is sometimes called a happy trail or treasure trail. If there is a narrow line of hair from the navel to the pubic patch above the penis, the pattern is called sagittal. On some males, there is an upward-pointing triangle shape. In that case, the hair pattern is called acuminate. On males and females, hair pubic hair usually extends down past the pubic region and ending at the anus (the hole between the buttocks). In females, hair will cover the outer lips of the vagina; in males, hair will grow around the base of the penis and lightly cover the scrotum (the outer sack containing the testicles). Depending on each person's genetics, the amount and extent of hair can be different from one person to another.
Pubic hair is sometimes called a "bush," "nest," "pubes," or "curlies". On white European people, pubic hair is usually curly. On Asian people and Native Americans, pubic hair is usually not so curly. On most African (Black) people, pubic hair is tightly curled.
Pubic hair removal change
About four of five women between ages 18 and 65 say they remove some or all of their pubic hair, according to a 2019 article in the New York Times newspaper. One survey done in 2016 found that about half of the men in the United States cut, trim, shave or remove pubic hair in other ways. It is more common among younger men than among old men. Pubic hair is sometimes made into a fashion item. Men and women do this. Some people may change the way their pubic hair looks, by trimming or shaping it. One style is called a "landing strip", like a runway where an airplane lands. Muslim women and men are told or encouraged to remove or at least trim pubic hair (as well as armpit hair) although local traditions may be different in some countries. Some people use chemicals that dissolve pubic hair. Some people use wax, a sugar paste, laser treatment or electrolysis to remove pubic hair. The use of wax to remove all pubic hair is sometimes called Brazilian.
Sometimes people change the color. Sometimes people ask, "Does the carpet match the drapes?" This means, "Is the person's pubic hair the same color as the hair on the person's head?" Usually people with red natural hair color have darker red pubic hair. In most cases pubic hair is most similar in color to a person's eyebrows.
"American wax"—hair only where it will be covered by a bikini bathing suit. Hair is trimmed short
Partial Brazilian wax with a small triangular strip left.
"French wax"—Landing strip on a woman
Full Brazilian —a full waxing; no hair at all
circumcised male penis with public hair
Landing strip above a man's penis
Shaved pubic hair (circumcised penis), flaccid (relaxed)
Trimmed adult male pubic hair (uncircumcised penis)
Styled adult male pubic hair (uncircumcised penis)
Pubic hair on an Asian male (Darker skin color on the scrotum and penis is normal.)
A happy trail is a line of hair from the navel to the penis
A triangle-shaped happy trail from the navel to the dense pubic hair above the penis
Straight pubic hair on an Asian male
Black man and woman with no pubic hair
- Setty LR (January 1967). "Varieties of the quadrangular abdominal hair pattern of white males". J Natl Med Assoc. 59 (1): 45–7. PMC 2611300. PMID 6038587.
- Ogle, Robert R.; Fox, Michelle J. (1998). Atlas of Human Hair: Microscopic Characteristics. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-4836-0.
- Gunter, Jen (3 January 2019). "To Go Bare Down There?". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
- Gaither, Thomas W.; Awad, Mohannad A.; Osterberg, E. Charles; Rowen, Tami S.; Shindel, Alan W.; Breyer, Benjamin N. (May 2017). "Prevalence and Motivation: Pubic Hair Grooming Among Men in the United States". American Journal of Men's Health. pp. 620–640. doi:10.1177/1557988316661315. Archived from the original on June 17, 2023. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
- "Waxing Unwanted Hair". Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2006.
- Sherrow, Victoria (2006). Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Greenwood. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-313-33145-9.