I tried the pubic hair oil that was on Shark Tank—is it worth it?
Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love my bush
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I used to have a real love-hate relationship with my pubic hair. Back when I was in college, I was mostly bare—not because I liked it, but because getting rid of it all (via shaving, waxing, or some other form of hair removal) just seemed like the thing I was supposed to do.
So, that's what I did. But the more I removed my hair, the quicker it grew back. I tried plucking, but it made me cry. Using a razor all the time on such a delicate area of skin turned out to be a bad idea, too. It led to red, itchy bumps, which swelled up along my labia and inner thighs and looked as painful as they felt.
Finally one day, it hit me. Why was I going bare—and having to constantly battle against ingrown hairs, chafing, and the threat of being pricked by those sharp strands as they began to sprout up—when I could just say screw that and embrace this part of my body in its natural state for a change?
In the years since, I’ve kept my pubic hair grown out because it's just easier and less of a hassle. Also, recent studies have shown that removing it all could actually make you more susceptible to STI transmission. Still, having hair down there requires some upkeep, which is how Fur Oil—a multipurpose hair and skin-softening product intended for use on one's nether regions—came to my attention.
As I’ve been fully natural for a while and have covered sex and health before, I offered to give it a try. Here's what happened after I spent a month putting Fur Oil to the test.
What is Fur Oil?
Made from a blend of jojoba, grapeseed, tea tree, and clary sage seed oil, Fur Oil is vegan-friendly and claims that it can help soften pubic hair and prevent ingrown hairs. The product went viral a few years ago after Emma Watson gave it a shout-out on Into the Gloss and ever since, it's become something of a cult phenomenon: It’s that fancy oil that’s supposed to make your hair downstairs a little, well, nicer.
In February 2020, co-founders Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung appeared on ABC's Shark Tank—the mecca for all those weird but brilliant products that you can't believe actually exist—and got the show's seal of approval. They received $500,000 from investor Lori Greiner in exchange for 8 percent of the company.
When asked about Fur Oil and their inspiration for making a product intended for such an intimate area, Schubert and Tung said they're driven by a mission of increasing self-love and body acceptance. Fur Oil—along with other products that the company has since introduced, like Stubble Cream and a Silk Scrub—is meant to help support people in all their forms of body hair expression and leave them feeling good in their own skin.
How do you use Fur Oil?
In addition to being vegan, Fur Oil is silicone-, gluten-, paraben-, and phthalate-free. Although the label claims that there's no fragrance to the oil (meaning no added perfume ingredients), I found that it has a light scent, almost like lavender and lemon, and it grew more distinctive to me each time I applied it.
This oil comes in an elegant sphere-shaped glass bottle with a dropper, which makes it easy to apply directly. Every time I stepped out of the shower, I rubbed it into the hair and skin in my pubic region, particularly along my inner thighs. One of the main ingredients, tea tree oil, is antibacterial and supposed to prevent inflammation, which is crucial when you're trying to remove hair from a sensitive area of skin. To test how well the oil worked on an area where I do shave regularly, I used it on my armpits and applied a generous amount daily for a full 30 days.
Because I get dry, flakey patches on my eyebrows and lotion alone just never seems to be enough, I used Fur Oil on my eyebrows, too. Using the dropper, I administered a drop for each brow and gently massaged it into my hair and skin, usually first thing in the morning.
Does Fur Oil work?
Over the course of a month, using Fur Oil became a self-care ritual of sorts. Once I dabbed a few drops onto my skin and hair, I'd examine myself in front of a mirror to look for signs of change or improvement. As I did so, it felt like something else was happening too. I had to admit, this was the most time I'd spent just looking at myself in that area in years. While I've always done "maintenance"—mostly trimming and conditioning my hair when it seemed to get especially wiry and unruly—it had been years since I looked at my body in this region and just appreciated it for how it really was.
One of the first things I noticed, beyond the herbal scent, was that Fur Oil made my pubic hair feel more supple. Ordinarily, my hair there is coarse and a little on the curly side—which means it's similar to my regular hair—but Fur Oil had an almost relaxing effect, so the hair seemed smoother, straighter, and less brittle than usual. Along my eyebrows, the oil worked to keep my dry skin away for a few hours at most, but inevitably, I’d still have to apply some lotion around midday.
Some reviewers have said that Fur Oil seems to make hair grow faster, but I didn’t notice that. I also didn’t get any ingrown hairs during this time—around my armpits or my pubic area—but as I’ve never gotten an ingrown hair from shaving my armpits and I wasn’t doing any kind of hair removal in my pubic region, I can’t speak to the oil’s strengths on that front. To see whether or not the oil itself would or did stain fabrics, I alternated between cotton and silk-like underwear during a portion of my testing period and was happy to see that there were never any smudges or discolorations as a result.
What do others think of Fur Oil?
I was also curious to know what—if any—kind of impression the oil made on others, so I asked my partner at the time if he noticed any big transformation worth mentioning.
“Well your bush is already pretty exotic,” he told me with a chuckle.
I rolled my eyes and clarified: What I meant was, did he see a difference after I started my Fur Oil routine? Yes, he confirmed. In fact, once he knew I was using oil, it made that whole area stand out to him even more than it already did. But, he added, that wasn’t a bad thing—it made my hair down there feel softer and gave off a gentle aroma he described as pleasantly citrus-like but also not overpowering. Later, he likened it to beard oil, but perhaps better than some he’d used, as this oil didn't leave behind any kind of residue on his hands.
"So are you saying this stuff is basically just beard oil but for pubic hair?" I asked.
He said sure. But when I wondered aloud if Fur Oil was something he'd consider for his body hair, he waved me off and said that this oil, nice as it was, seemed like it was more for ladies. Besides, the association with me at this point would make it far too distracting for him to ever use it on his own.
Is Fur Oil worth it?
Ultimately, I didn't notice a significant difference after using Fur Oil. True, it smelled good and my hair seemed somewhat straighter and slicker as a result, but I also broke out and developed a couple zits along my pubic area. It's unclear why, as none of the ingredients in the oil are comedogenic—meaning they’d clog pores—so it could just be that my skin is more sensitive than I thought.
The price of it is another stumbling block. At $46 a bottle, I doubt I’d ever buy Fur Oil again, especially as it could be cheaper to just make my own. But there is something I truly enjoyed about my month with Fur Oil, which made the whole experience feel more worthwhile. For the first time in years, I felt excited to pay special attention to that part of my body again.
I've always viewed my decision to go natural as a personal one—rooted less in the beauty standards of it and more in my dislike of shaving and other hair removal methods. Using Fur Oil helped me come to appreciate my pubic hair in a whole other way, though. It encouraged me to relish its look and fuzziness for no other purpose besides feeling good about my body, and in that way, this product is exceptional.
Over the course of those 30 days of testing and looking at myself in a mirror, I remembered how it used to be. I recalled all those frustrating sessions spent with a razor and set of tweezers, trying like crazy to make it seem like I never had hair down there to begin with. Not only that, but I remembered how disappointed I'd feel when the results of all that hard work seemed to disappear, sometimes overnight.
I spent years feeling like my pubic hair was something to be ashamed of. Even with it all grown out, it wasn't exactly something I celebrated. But this oil gave me an excuse to pamper that part of my body for the first time and treat it same as I would my skin or the hair on the top of my head. Not everyone is like me when it comes to pubic hair—which is okay, because all body hair choices are valid—but Fur Oil helped me feel more confident about mine, and you can’t put a price tag on something like that.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.