Keeping the bushes trimmed....
Following on from an amazing article last week that said all cyclists should keep their pubic hair to prevent saddle soreness. I just want to add the other side to the argument -to save millions of beauticians from bankruptcy and to also stop us women cyclists getting referred to as 70's European throwbacks (No offence to my German followers)
Yes it is correct that shaving, waxing, or plucking pubic hairs increases your risk for an ingrown pubic hair, this can cause a small, round, sometimes painful or itchy bump to form. The bump may be filled with pus, and the skin around the bump may also become darker.
It can lead to infection. In most cases, it will resolve without treatment. (See a doctor if it becomes inflamed. That could be a sign of infection.)
However who wants a hairy foof after a long bike ride, many other athletes such as triathletes, wrestlers and bodybuilders remove hair to prevent chafing and rashes as well as to meet aesthetic objectives. (After all we really don't want to be scraped off the road and our downstairs to look like a 70's throwback perm) (Worst case scenario!) (Ride Safe everyone!)
In the sport of running, where fractions of seconds matter, it’s not unusual to see runners with hairless bodies as there is a proven performance advantage behind this. The Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reported that times ranging from 0.01 seconds in the 100m to 5.7 seconds over the course of a marathon can be achieved by removing hair on exposed skin: Input this onto a 112 mile bike....
The reasons cyclists remove hair on their legs is more to do with comfort than with speed. Crashes are a constant factor to consider in road cycling and it is much easier to treat wounds without hair getting in the way and it is much less traumatic when the Band-Aids or dressings come off. Professional cyclists also remove hair so that massages are more effective. Lycra outfits also fit better and look better without hairy legs.
All this adds to the psychological advantages, if not the scientific reasons, why you feel and look better on a bike with hair-free legs.
Road cyclists are well known for having no hair on their legs. Yet, there are no studies that prove shaving hairy legs to provide a performance benefit. This is due to the fact that the aerodynamic advantage is minuscule.
However when we think about our pubic hair - Us cyclists wear spandex / lycra and thick chamois pads, a lot. Thinking about being on the saddle for 8 hours - hot and sweaty with adding thick coarse hair and tight-fitting clothing don’t make for a good combination.
So if we are going to be well groomed - this seems to be the very best in-between then it is vital if you are shaving to:
1. Prime the pubic area for shaving
Treating the pubic region before using a razor to shave may reduce your risk for ingrown hairs when the hair starts to grow back.
First, wash your skin with a mild soap. Rub on a lubricating shave balm - is best to prevent in grown hair. Always use a :
2. Use a single-bladed razor
Single razors are designed to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
New razors - Dull blades don’t make clean cuts and can increase your risk for an ingrown hair.
However if you can afford to look at other hair removal methods such as laser hair removal - chemical hair removers, Waxing done professionally and methods such as electrolysis.
Laser hair removal removes hair at a deeper level, damaging the hair follicle. In most cases, that prevents the hair from growing back.
Laser hair removal requires several treatments over the course of a few weeks and months, but the results are usually semi-permanent.
Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal treatment. It uses an electrode to destroy the hair root. Like laser hair removal, electrolysis requires several treatments over the course of a few weeks or months.
“When working out, the main culprit for causing problems down below is the heat and moisture that’s trapped when we our glands release sweat and our pores expand,heat and moisture are catalysts for yeast, so if a woman works out and sweats and leaves her workout clothes on for an extended period of time, this can cause yeast to begin to grow.” Dr Noure.
So get your kit off ! Once you've finished your long rides.
So the best halfway house is having a very tidy lady garden- which offers a small area of protection, however the best is to have tidy edges - the areas that wouldn't be rubbing on the sides of your shorts. Having a very smart tidy bikini line area. Always use a hypoallergenic chamois cream, that will help stop the pubic hair from causing friction.