Being an adult man comes with its fair share of strange maladies that require attention. Backs and ears might sprout hairs; sweat might appear so much that it’s a problem. They happen — and steps need to be taken. Areas should be trimmed and powders should be applied. Another area that often requires attention: particularly hirsute individuals need to pay more attention their hairy ass lest they suffer the dingleberried consequences post-bathroom. This latter issue begs an important question: how do you wipe properly — and poop cleanly — when you have a hairy butt?
Maybe this isn’t a grooming question you’ve ever asked. If so, good for you, oh smooth-ass-haver. But if that Chia Pet you call a fanny causes some problems, you’re not alone. Having a hairy ass can turn even the most satisfying bowel movements into wiping marathons that only the Winter Soldier’s robo arm could handle — and risk leaving your important area chapped and raw. What’s more, a hairy butt can leave you prone to an increased risk of everything from bacteria buildup to, er, odious crap crust.
So, for those with the hairiest heinies out there, how can you avoid such fates? Well, that requires special attention to everything from grooming to diet to improved wiping technique. To offer some advice, we spoke to two experts — Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD, board-certified family physician, and co-founder of MedAlertHelp.org, and Lisa Hugh, registered dietitian and producer of the Poop Problems Podcast. Both offered tips, tricks, and advice for taming your wooly cheeks, and making sure that your caboose is as clean and comfy as can be. Here’s what to know.
Tip 1: Remember Why Hair is There
While neither of our experts disagree that a completely hairless butt may work for some, it’s important to know that a bit of fuzz is what nature intended. “In terms of hygiene, hairless skin would be easier to clean,” explains Dr. Djordjevic. “However, it can be uncomfortable, especially in cold weather. And, depending on how much hair you eliminate, you could risk exposing your testicles to extreme cold, and compromise the fertility of your sperm.”
Hugh says that some men who completely remove the hair notice more sweating, likely because the hair absorbed some of the moisture. The hair back there also prevents skin-on-skin irritation, and direct contact of skin and feces. “Plus,” she adds, “more butt hair seems to muffle the sound of passing gas.” See? Having a hairy butt isn’t all bad news.
Tip 2: Trim, Don’t Shave
Hairier bodies create certain hairy grooming situations. If you’re interested in taming the bird’s nest of body hair, neither Dr. Djordjevic or Hugh recommend a complete backside Brazillian. In addition to the circus-level contortion required to safely and effectively shave the region, a completely shaved butt can do more harm than good.
“Shaving will cause more itching and discomfort as the hair grows back,” warns Hugh. “Waxing is associated with ingrown hairs. And chemical products can cause burns on the sensitive skin.” Instead, she recommends going to a professional for help grooming or at least trying a combination of tools and methods to find one that works for you. Djordjevic agrees. “I wouldn’t recommend shaving the hair altogether,” he says. “But, using a beard trimmer or detail clipper (we have some excellent options here) will allow you to leave just enough hair to maintain and make manageable.” Whichever trimmer you choose, be sure to keep it in a separate drawer from the one you use on your face.
Tip 3: Moisturize and Condition
Keeping the skin your freshly-trimmed rump is essential to maintaining its health and good looks. Post-pooping, Hugh recommends using medicated wipes made with witch hazel, which is a popular astringent. “The witch hazel can help clean and calm irritated skin, and the moisture is helpful for removing messy bits of poop, or pieces that may have dried on to the skin,” she says. Dr. Djordjevic, meanwhile, recommends coconut oil. “It is a natural antifungal and antibacterial all-in-one and will help hydrate the skin and make sure that bacteria has no chance of developing,” he says. Any coconut oil from the grocery store will do. “Just make sure to apply it at night so that it can soak in well,” he adds.
Tip 4: Don’t Over-Wipe
Remember: you’re not rubbing a lamp trying to summon Will Smith. The proper wiping technique is important for making sure your rump stays clean, healthy, and functional. “The anus skin is protected by natural body oils that keep bacteria and harmful organisms out of your body,” Hugh explains. “Too much wiping can cause skin irritation, open sores, and ultimately leave the area prone to infections from bacteria, anal warts, pin worms, fungus, yeast and parasites.” Dr. Djordjevic suggests following the rule of three when wiping. “Anything more than three rounds of wiping each time can aggravate the skin.” He suggests a pass or two with wet toilet paper and to avoid vigorous wiping that may tenderize the area.
Tip 5: Mind Your Diet
A “one-wiper” is often rarer than a debt-free Millennial. But, it is possible, and it means your hairy hind quarters can stay as clean as possible without excessively annoying grooming. Bowel movements are, of course, based on diet. The key to less aggressive BMs, then is a healthier diet.
“Diets that include a lot of processed foods and artificial sweeteners tend to promote overall growth of more problematic bacteria,” says Hugh. “This can lead to poop that is more dangerous to the skin. Likewise, a diet that is low in fiber can lead to an unhealthy balance between good and bad bacteria.”
Any trend vegetable-forward options will help your poop pass more smoothly. “Wiping a lot is usually due to the entire stool not passing in one go, but rather in bits and pieces, and in the worst-case scenario in diarrhea,” explains Dr. Djordjevic. “Adding more veggies, brown rice, and whole-grains is a good way to get a more solid stool. If you still have messy stools, try to use a bidet to clean, if you have access to one, or a bathtub with an extendable shower-head can do the trick.” By cleaning thoroughly with hot water, he adds, you can ensure that it is 100-percent clean.