Style

So, what are we doing with our pubic hair these days?

We spoke to waxing salons across Canada to get the scoop.

We spoke to waxing salons across Canada to get the scoop

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

The word "trend" is in a weird place these days. Once upon a time, trends were a staple in the fashion and beauty industry, and served as the backbone of all fashion magazines. In 2019, they're having somewhat of an existential crisis. Today, consumers have recognized the fickle, fleeting nature of trends, and as such, have opted to reject the very notion of following them. Plus, with concepts like individuality leading the pack when it comes to what's "in," things get even more confusing. How can something be trendy if everything is a trend? (Are you still following?)

The same can be said for much more than just the hair on your head. Pubic hair trends are experiencing a similar "anything goes" revolution, and we're all for it. While the genesis of specific pubic hair trends can certainly be tied to particular eras — the full bush of the '70s, the introduction of the Brazilian wax in the '80s (brought to North America, FYI, by seven sisters from Brazil, who opened a salon in New York City in 1987 and introduced customers to the totally bare look) — the ways in which men and women style their pubic hair is often, and for obvious reasons, a more personal choice than the shade of lipstick you choose to swipe on. And so it comes with a wide array of options.

You may be thinking that since, in 2019, people are wearing their feminism more boldly and proudly than ever before, something like a Brazilian wax would be rejected, since it's associated with the often problematic porn industry. But you'd be surprised to learn that that's actually not the case. Instead, women — and men — are taking an individual approach to how, and if, they wax their pubic hair.

We spoke to four wax salons across Canada to learn what customers are asking for in 2019 and what pubic hair trends, if any, are seeing a resurgence.

MONTREAL: Tina Lalonde, senior wax technician at Barbarella Spa

Are you seeing any trends in terms of what customers are asking for?

"I noticed that in 2018, women who were coming in for Brazilian waxes were asking to leave a little something on top, whether it be a triangle or a landing strip," explains Tina. "This year, I feel that most women coming in for Brazilians are choosing to go completely bare. Brazilians are definitely our top waxing service. In the last few years, women have become more and more vocal about their preferences in terms of maintaining their pubic hair. [They] ask me less what I think they should do, and tell me what they want me to do for them.

Do you foresee any major pubic hair trends in the future?

"As long as we are making women feel amazing about themselves, the trends will never matter. Especially in 2019, more and more women are doing whatever they feel is right for them, and tossing the pressures or expectations put on them out the window completely. #LongOrShortHairDontCare."

TORONTO: Amy Finnegan Burns, director of operations at WAXON Laser + Waxbar

Are you seeing any trends in terms of what customers are asking for?

"Every now and again brief trends will surface, such as fun-shaped landing strips like stars or lightning bolts, but they are short-lived, and our clients return to their 'usual' soon after," says Finnegan Burns. "Eyebrow shaping was the most popular service we offered," she adds, when the salon first opened in 2012. "Now, the Brazilian wax and Brazilian laser service make up 80 per cent of our services."

The all-bare look is so popular that men are exploring it, too. "Typically, 10 per cent of our clients are men," says Finnegan Burns. "While backs and chests have always been the most common service for men at WAXON, we've seen a big rise in the number of Manzilian services we're providing."

Do you foresee any major pubic hair trends in the future?

"Laser! Since launching laser hair removal in our locations, we continue to see a growing number of women convert to permanent hair removal. Whether they choose to start with the bikini and wax the rest or go straight to the Brazilian, it is certainly gaining momentum, and we expect this trend to continue to grow in the future."

VANCOUVER: Annik Paprika, founder of The Pussy Shop

Are you seeing any trends in terms of what customers are asking for?

"Pubic hair trends do not happen quickly, the way fashion or food trends do," says Paprika, due to the fact that it's a less-often-seen body part. Plus, people "usually have their go-to shape, or [they take it] all off and leave it at that," she explains. "If their style does change, it's usually over a long period of time, by deciding every few months to take more and more hair off or to start leaving a little more hair each time."

Do you foresee any major pubic hair trends in the future?

"More and more men have been coming in," says Paprika. "I've been doing Brazilian waxing on male clients since 2004 but have noticed it snowballing in popularity [in the last four years] … I am also finding more people are turning to waxing than before." Paprika explains that those who make the switch usually never go back. "They are in shock at how much softer the skin and hair become [after] waxing."

HALIFAX: Susan Alward, owner of The Summit

Are you seeing any trends in terms of what customers are asking for?

"Men doing more pubic waxing would be the only continued trend that we see," says Alward, noting that the male-female split of The Summit's customers is 20 per cent men and 80 per cent women. And yes, Brazilians are still a popular request. "I think it can be linked to women claiming their power and voice, starting with the women's movement in the 1970s," says Alward. "Years ago, when people started having Brazilian waxes, some expressed their concern that this was a trend [centred around] the pleasure gained by men's desire to be with a prepubescent-looking woman. This is not the impression I have after decades of offering hair removal services. The vast majority of women are empowered by seeking their own pleasure, and removing pubic hair, for some, makes the sexual experience more heightened."

Do you foresee any major pubic hair trends in the future?

"Where does one go when there is no hair to remove? Since the trend over [the last] 40 years has been to have less and less pubic hair, and we have arrived no pubic hair for many, it would be a very slow shift back in my opinion," says Alward.


Souzan Michael is a Toronto-based writer and editor with a deep, undying love of astrology, watermelon and Golden Retrievers. Follow her on Instagram @suziemichael_.

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