Dear Em & Lo: Can You Explain Pubic Topiary Terminology?

Dear Em & Lo,

A friend and I disagree on pubic topiary terminology and I’m hoping you can settle this for us. I say the mohawk and the landing strip are the same thing, and the Hollywood is when you go totally bald. I also say both styles are types of Brazilians. My friend says the landing strip style is called the Hollywood, and it is not a type of Brazilian. She says the only Brazilian style is the totally bald style. Who’s got their facts straight on this issue?

–Kate Bush

Dear Kate,

There doesn’t appear to be any kind of national advisory board on pubic hair styles, so we can’t say that the following definitions are exactly official…but Wikipedia agrees with the following terminology, so that’s good enough for us:

  • Landing strip — Most of the hair is removed except for a vertical rectangle of closely trimmed hair. This rectangle starts at the top of the vulva and goes up (sometimes as far as the hair goes, sometimes less). Depending on how much hair is removed from the surrounding territories (labia, perineum, bumhole, etc.) this might be referred to as a kind of Brazilian. But if only the mons is manicured, it doesn’t really qualify.
  • Hitler ‘stache — Some people refer to all landing strips as Hitler ‘staches, while others reserve the term for shorter versions. And still others prefer not to invoke the man at all (especially those women who have a tough time dealing with the “pube mustache” look of a man performing cunnilingus).
  • Mohawk — It’s like a landing strip except you don’t trim the strip of hair so closely, so it can be spiked up like a mohawk. Detractors say this look tends to look a little unfinished, though apparently it is popular among punk kids. If you don’t shave anything and just style the pubes into a mohawk, then it’s a fauxhawk.
  • Brazilian (a.k.a G-wax) — Traditionally, a Brazilian means removing every last hair from the bum, anus, perineum, labia, and most of the mons. Think of it as extreme pubic hair care. Most Brazilians leave a small landing strip because, well, a lot of people find that pre-pubescent, shaved-cat look kind of disturbing.
  • Hollywood (a.k.a. Sphinx, Full Brazilian, Bare) —  This is when you take everything off, a sort of scorched earth approach to pubes. Note to Hollywood starlets: if you get the Hollywood and you insist on wearing micro mini skirts and you can’t get out of a car without spreading your legs for the paparazzi, this style will reveal your C-section scar. In some parts of the world, this is known as “too much information.”

Advocates for pubic health,

Em & Lo


  1. Ooh, Ooh! Can I give you two a “comment of the week” award?

    Because you said “shaved-cat.” I’d never heard that analogy-of-disapproval before.

    And I hate it when people say “pre-pubescent” when talking about grown-up’s genitals. We don’t say George Clooney look more “pre-pubescent” when he shaves his beard and mustache than when it’s grown out.” Because even without facial hair grown men look, well, grown! The same thing’s true about everywhere else on grown up bodies, with or without hair.

    Anyway, I really like “shaved-cat” because it communicates exactly the same distaste and even the same “WTF would you do a thing like that” that some people feel without that nasty “only a pedophile” veneer the “pre-pubescent” analogy does.

    So thanks!


  2. Johnny – hmmm, The Novice? But seriously, shaving your lady parts is delicate business when you think about it – you kind of just have to go by feel. I can see how beginners would just stick to the parts they can see.

  3. A little grooming is ok, but why can’t we leave things as they were designed. There’s nothing wrong with a woman having pubic hair. Yeah, it can tickle the nose. But what’s wrong with that.

  4. What do you call it when a woman who’s inexperienced in pube-grooming shaves the top, but misses underneath?

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