After years of suffering through Brazilians, laser treatments, and (*shudder*) vajazzling, pubic hair is finally making a comeback.
Emma Watson revealed how she pampers hers with oil. Cameron Diaz encouraged women to go au naturale in her new book. And Lena Dunham's character made a case for bringing back the bush in the final season of "Girls."
"This is what adult women look like when they're using their pubic hair the way that, like, whatever, the lord intended — which is to protect their vaginas," Dunham shot back at a hookup who insulted her pubes.
So, are all these celebrities really onto something? Can sporting your pubic hair "as the lord intended" actually protect your vag? Revelist turned to women's health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider to find out.
"Pubic hair definitely serves a purpose," Wider told Revelist. "It can provide, for lack of a better word, a cushion against friction."
It's especially important for women who are having sex.
"Our genitals are protected against potential friction from a partner," she explained.
So if you and your partner start bumping uglies without proper padding, you increase the risk of irritating your hair follicles. This allows germs to get inside and can result in folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicle.
"Once you shave that area — or you laser it off, or you wax it off — you really are putting yourself at risk for bacteria or other germs to enter that region," Wider said.
It's not just skin infections you should be worried about though: Removing pubic hair can also open women up to other vaginal ailments.
"For some people, [pubic hair] may actually keep the vaginal canal, the vulva, the entire vaginal area, safe from germs," Wider said.
When intact, pubic hair acts as a barrier against germs, and prevents them from being shuffled into the vaginal canal. Without that barrier, women are more vulnerable to conditions like bacterial vaginosis — an uncomfortable vaginal infection.
Plus, contrary to popular opinion, having a full bush can actually make you *more* attractive to your partner.
According to Wider, pubic hair works to trap pheromones — the sex hormones your body produces when you get turned on. These pheromones are a subconscious signal to potential partners that you're ready to go.
Without your pubes, these sex hormones dissipate off the skin much quicker. Maybe that's why 43% of men say they prefer some hair down there.
Of course, you can do whatever you want with your pubes. It's your body.
But if you choose to shave, wax, or laser it all off, make sure you're taking the proper precautions. Your body will thank you.