Can Muslims get a Brazilian wax?

Let me remind you that I am a doctor, because it will make what I am about to say seem a whole lot less weird: I have seen the pubic hair of hundreds of men, women and children, up close and personal. I have seen the spectrum; from thick overgrown forests, through sparse open woodland, to empty deserts of skin.

Most people with no pubic hair have chosen to remove it themselves (or paid someone to do it), but a few have no choice. Children, of course, but also adults who have lost it as a result of illness. Common examples include skin rashes, hormonal imbalances and alopecia – a condition which causes hair to randomly fall out all over the body for some as-yet-unknown reason.

So it is clear to me that among the Great British pubic public attitudes towards pubic hair, or the lack of it, vary wildly. But what about British Muslims? Is it ok for a Muslim to have a Brazilian wax?

Unfortunately, when Islam was written down, Brazil did not exist, let alone their infamous beauty treatment, so there is no mention of it in the original texts. There was, however, some guidance that pubic hair should be kept short, along with instructions to keep toenails trimmed and to wash before prayers, to name just a few examples of the kind of general hygiene advice that appears throughout the Quran.

Most people agree that the advice to trim or shave pubic hair is a matter of cleanliness: it is hard to wash thoroughly with a thick mat of hairs covering up the dirtiest parts of your body.

Some would also argue that pubic hair should be kept neat in order to please your spouse, just as man might trim his beard or have a hair cut because his wife preferred it a certain way.

It can be argued that when Allah created humans he created a perfect being, even down to the shortest, curliest hairs. Pubic hair must, therefore, serve a purpose?

I can tell you the genetic and biochemical reason that certain hairs grown in certain places on our bodies but I cannot tell you why we have pubic hair. Possibilities include something to do with pheromones, sun protection or that it is just a remnant of our evolutionary past, a bit like the appendix. Shaving or waxing pubic hair does not seem to cause any long-term negative health effects, but it does occasionally cause minor issues like ingrowing hairs and intimate rashes.

Personally, I think that think that each person should be free to choose what they want to do with their own pubic hair. Some people are naturally sparse and for them just leaving it to nature will do. Others with more coverage should consider their own personal hygiene and take into account the preferences of their partner. If your wife likes it bushy and you can keep it clean then go for it, but if not, then even a quick trim can work wonders. There does not appear to be any reason that waxing, as opposed to shaving, should be prohibited in Islam, and for that reason I think that a Muslim should be able to get a Brazilian wax, if that is their preference.

Describe your pubic hair… only joking, this is one subject that I would prefer people not to comment on.