Let’s get straight to the point: butt hair is perfectly normal, just like having hair on your legs and hair down there (aka pubic hair). In fact, most people have hair on their butt cheeks, in between their butt cheeks, or in both places.

Though everyone has butt hair, body hair can still be so stigmatized. We long for thick, shiny hair on our heads, are obsessed with lengthy eyelashes, and aim for voluminous brows. But when it comes to *other* kinds of hair, we often blush and pretend it doesn’t exist. But now that you know how common body hair really is, we’re about to get real about everything booty hair.

In case you’re a little embarrassed to ask for yourself (though you definitely don’t need to be!), we tapped experts like board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, licensed esthetician and co-founder of SKINNEY Medspa Marisa Martino, and OB/GYNs Dr. Melisa Holmes and Dr. Jennifer Ashton for their expertise on the topic of butt hair. From how to shave butt hair safely to the scientific benefits of its existence (there are a lot, tbh), here’s everything you need to know about butt hair. 🍑

Why does butt hair exist?

Eyelashes, as you might know, serve the useful purpose of keeping bugs, dust, and other particles out of your eyes, while armpit hair prevents your arms from chafing against your sides. But when it comes to butt hair, you might be stumped. According to Dr. King, no one knows for sure what the purpose of butt hair is, but there are several theories:

  • Bodies evolve over the course of millions of years. We haven’t lost our butt hair yet simply because there’s no pressing reason for us to do so. “There is no significant evolutionary pressure against it,” Dr. King says. Cool, right?
  • We tend to have hair in areas where scent is produced, and the hair traps your own unique scent, which can make you more attractive to mates.
  • Butt hair provides a layer to prevent chafing between your butt cheeks when you run or walk or do whatever.
  • Butt hair, like other forms of body hair, keeps humans warm.

Does everyone really have butt hair?

Yes, everyone has butt hair. Once puberty hits, hair begins to grow in all kinds of ~specific~ places (like on your underarms, legs, pubic area, face, and, yes, butt). It’s 100 percent normal (and expected) and we promise that you, your crush, and your besties all have butt hair.

The only thing that might differ is the amount of butt hair you have down there. Some people might have more or less hair than others, Dr. King explains, as genetics and hormones affect the distribution of body hair.

How do you groom butt hair?

Since having butt hair is totally natural and somewhat beneficial, it’s your call when it comes to deciding what to do with it. You can just leave your butt hair as is and live your best life, but if you’d like, you can choose to remove it. If you do decide to remove your butt hair because you feel more comfortable without it, or simply prefer to get rid of it, make sure you’re being extra careful or visiting a reputable professional. Ingrown hairs and razor bumps are not fun.

If you don’t want to remove your butt hair, that’s totally okay too. After all, being hairless down there is a strange (and sexist, tbh) trend that became popular after the increase in porn. “It really changed drastically when porn become more readily available online,” explains Dr. Holmes, founder of Girlology.com. Just because porn might show some hairless bodies, doesn’t mean you need to shave everything off.

Temporary butt hair removal options

One option for butt hair removal is shaving. Now, think about how small that area with hair on your butt is and now think about how big a razor is. You need to take it super slow to make sure your don’t nick yourself back there (ouch). “Any time you shave or wax, that hair follicle on your skin is going to be opened up,” Dr. Ashton, OB/GYN and author of The Body Scoop for Girls, explains. “That makes it easy for bacteria to enter and cause an infection.”

TIP: Whenever you’re shaving ANYTHING on your body, be sure to get a good razor with one or two blades. It truly makes all the difference in the world.

If you’re going to shave hair around your butthole, just hop in the shower and clean the area with some mild soap and warm water. Then, prop your leg up so that you have access to the area, and shave — very slowly — with a shaving cream, using small strokes. Holding your skin taut with the other hand will help protect against nicks and cuts. After shaving, make sure to keep the area moisturized with a lotion or oil. This can help keep the skin hydrated and prevent the growth of ingrown hairs. Just make sure to check with your doctor about what products and ingredients are right for you.

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Gillette Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin Razor
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Ingrown Concentrate
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High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic with AHA and BHA
Topicals High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic with AHA and BHA

Another temporary removal option is waxing, which pulls hair out by the roots. Because the entire hair is being removed from the root, this method will typically last longer than shaving. If you’re new to waxing, it might be best to leave it up to a professional. Hit up your local salon to make an appointment, or ask friends or your doctor for recommendations.

Permanent butt hair hair removal options

Butt hair is also easily treated with a few sessions of laser hair removal, according to Martino. “Laser hair removal is the most common and effective method for removing unwanted hair, in all areas of your body, for good,” she says. However, laser hair removal treatments are typically more expensive than opting to shave or wax, usually costing at least a couple hundred dollars.

Remember that shaving, waxing, and laser treatments are all acceptable options for hair removal, but each comes with its own sets of risks. With laser hair removal, you want to make sure that you book an appointment with an experienced professional, and check with them or your doctor about after-care treatment to avoid inflammation and irritation. Ideally, before you go ahead and get rid of your butt hair, you should make an appointment with a gynecologist or a dermatologist. They’ll be able to address any questions you might have and discuss safe options for hair removal.

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Yerin Kim
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Yerin Kim is the Assistant Editor for Snapchat Discover at Seventeen, covering beauty, sex & health, lifestyle, and entertainment. Originally from New Jersey but raised in Seoul, she is a proud Syracuse grad who loves fluffy puppies and a good Instagram opp. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram! 

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