Maybe your partner has suggested you're a little bushy "down there," or when you look in the mirror, you think you need a little clean-up. Whatever the reason, you aren't alone; the days of the big, old bush may be gone. For many women today, bare is where it's at. A 2010 survey that appeared in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one in five young women were typically "hair free" below the belt.

When it comes to keeping things neat, there are a number of options. You can (oh-so-carefully!) trim with scissors, shave with a manual or electric razor, get waxed at a salon (or do it yourself at home), or go all in with laser treatments. But according to Glamour magazine, 21 percent of women list waxing as their hair removal method of choice. And why not? It's simple, relatively inexpensive and provides long-term results. So for now, let's explore the many different "hairstyles" available to you at your local salon. (Read up on some interesting facts about your lady bits in 10 Things You Don't Know About Vaginas.)

Bikini/Regular Wax


What is it?
A bikini wax removes hair that would normally peek out from a bikini bottom on the top and sides. Generally, you get to keep your underwear (or a disposable pair provided by some salons) on during this treatment.

Why would I want one?
This is the least invasive wax and, because it avoids the most sensitive bits, it's also the least painful. If bathing suit season is upon you or a winter vacation to somewhere warm is on the horizon, this is a great option.

French Bikini Wax


What is it?
This style also removes hair that might show along the top and sides of a bikini bottom, but it also leaves a small amount of hair on the pubic area either in a triangle shape or in a strip, which has been given the super-slick moniker of "landing strip."

Why would I want one?
A French bikini wax ensures that even if your bikini bottoms shift a bit you won't have to worry about fly-away hairs. Plus, for those who like things neat and tidy, this geometric style certainly delivers!

Full Brazilian/Sphinx/Hollywood Wax


What is it?
A full Brazilian wax removes everything - and we mean everything - between the belly button and rectal area. Be prepared for your esthetician to really have to get in there; she may even need some assistance from you to hold up a leg or a butt cheek.

Why would I want one?
When it comes to waxing, this is the most painful option, but there are a lot of ladies who swear by it. You will never have to worry about a stray hair peeking out or your partner complaining about your hair getting in the way! In fact, a 2010 survey found that women who dared to bare it all were more inclined to feel good about their genitals. We'd say it probably isn't a coincidence that these same women were more likely to be on the receiving end when it came to oral sex.

Brazilian/Playboy Wax


What is it?
The Brazilian, or playboy, wax is similar to a full Brazilian in that is removes hair from the rectal area and buttocks, but it leaves a "landing strip" or triangle behind.

Why would I want one?
Some people think the full Brazilian removes just a bit too much, and leaves them looking like less than a woman. This version keeps things clean and tidy, but leaves a bit of womanhood behind for show.

Tiffany Box


What is it?
This wax job gets its name from the remaining hair left after this full wax, which is manicured into the shape of a box, then dyed light blue - like the iconic jewelry box. Some salons even glue a little gem in the corner for some extra sparkle.

Why would I want one?
This style is wild, artful and just a little bit Audrey Hepburn. If it suits your style, why not?

Getting the Job Done

Pubic hair styles are getting increasingly creative (next, we'll be seeing them on Pinterest!). Whether you dye your pubic hair, add gems or use stencils to create shapes like hearts, stars or butterflies, the options for adding some flair to your pubic hair are endless.

What is important is to choose a style based not only on what you want your lady parts to look like, but also how comfortable you are with exposing yourself to the esthetician. Keep in mind, the more sensitive the areas you choose to wax, the more painful - and invasive - the process will be, especially the first time. If the potential pain of a full wax makes you cringe, you may want to start small and work your way up so that you can get more comfortable with the waxing process before you go full bare.

Other Useful Tips

  • Wear underwear you don't mind throwing away. Depending on the style you choose, you may be wearing your underwear for the procedure. Wax doesn't wash off, so you may have to say buh-bye to those panties.
  • Make sure you are clear with your esthetician about what hair you want removed. Different salons use different waxing terminology, so it's important that you and the esthetician are on the same page.
  • Make sure you book an appointment when you have at least half an inch of hair growth. Without it, the wax doesn't have enough hair to adhere to.
  • Ensure that your appointment is with a licensed professional. That means different things in different states/countries so educate yourself about what qualifications are required in your area.
  • Try to exfoliate the pubic area prior to waxing to remove dead skin cells and help the hairs stand at attention! Once you have waxed, exfoliate twice a week to help prevent ingrown hairs.
  • Hot wax and cold wax strips are both used by salons for waxing purposes. When it comes to sensitive areas, hot wax is best because it adheres to the hair shaft better and, unlike cold wax strips, it does not need to be done repeatedly.
  • Avoid hot tubs, swimming pools and perfumed lotions for at least a day following a waxing. Working out in the gym - or the bedroom - might also need to wait a day as the area can be quite sensitive following the treatment.
  • If you have a weakened immune system, check with your doctor before having any of these procedures because you may be more at risk of infections.
While waxing may sound somewhat painful, inconvenient and costly, pulling hair out by its roots does have its benefits. Typically, you won't notice stubble forming for up to three weeks and appointments generally only need to occur every four weeks. That's a significant improvement over the afternoon shadow that appears a day or two after shaving. Plus, who knows, adding a little style to your most private parts might just help add a little something extra to your sex life. And really, who isn't willing to suffer a little pain if it means a whole lot more pleasure?