Shaving and waxing for hair removal both have their pros and cons depending on your hair growth, thickness, texture, and skin sensitivity. When it comes to your pubic hair though, waxing will benefit you more in both the short and long term. Many articles you see may warn against waxing making claims that it isn't hygienic but there are ways around this!
What happens when you shave your vagina?
For starters, pubic hair already tends to be more curly and much thicker than the rest of your body hair - so shaving makes you more prone to ingrown hairs and bumps. Your vagina doesn't get much air and gets very hot. This is a combination for bacterial breeding grounds and causes the skin to absorb whatever dirt and oil is there. When this happens the ingrown hair is surrounded by pus, turning into a pustule. Pustules can get infected, unfortunately. Shaving isn't a long term solution and when the hair grows back it is itchy and requires shaving again. If you scratch your vagina you can risk tearing the pustule and letting bacteria in. Or if you shave you have a chance of cutting a pustule in the process. Either way it's not a pleasant situation.
When you shave your pubic hair it does not become thicker but the hair does get sharper because it's getting cut evenly. Therefore, when hair starts growing back you feel an itchy and prickly sensation on your vagina. The frequency of shaving can also be a burden since trying to keep a smooth finish can cause razor burn. Most women also don't shave their vaginas correctly, making the error of shaving blindly by feel. You're better off using a mirror and holding the skin taut so you don't cut yourself and still get a close enough shave.
What happens when you wax your vagina?
For those who aren't used to waxing, especially a full on Brazilian, it can be painful the first time. It does get better though! Each time you wax you minimize the thickness of the root of the hair because the follicle gets damaged, which overtime makes waxing hurt less. It also means the pubic hairs will get softer, reduce in growth, and not be as bushy when growing. When you wax your hair your vagina will stay smoother for longer - weeks longer than if you were shaving! Half the burden of removing the hair is the time it takes, and with waxing you won't have to worry about that!
Many women worry about hygiene when they wax and how sanitary a salon may be. A few key things to look out for to determine the cleanliness of the salon:
Does the... aesthetician wear gloves, ask you to use a wipe prior to waxing, use a disposable sheet on the table, test the temperature of the wax on inside of your elbow, double dip? Wearing gloves and using a wipe indicates that the aesthetician cares for your hygiene as much as their own, since they don't know if you have STDs and they could have dirt trapped under their nails. A disposable sheet keeps the table clean, although your aesthetician could wipe down between clients. The skin on the inside of your elbow is sensitive similarly to your vagina. If the wax is too hot or cold there, it will be the same for your vagina. The most important of all is double dipping! Your aesthetician should not dip the same stick twice into the wax because that contaminates it with bacteria from multiple people (yuck)! If you ask for these few simple things the next time you go to a salon not only will it be more hygienic but you won't have to shave!