Wax on Wax off: The Bikini Wax

Many women hear the words “bikini wax” and cringe, blush, and/or clutch at their nether regions. A visceral reaction to hot wax and hair removal “down there” is expected, but a bikini wax isn’t something to be feared—it can be life changing. If you’ve ever been curious as to how to go about getting a bikini wax, let’s break it down:

I’ve been to many waxing places in my days and have had a multitude of experiences, and it takes some trial and error to find a place you like. Don’t underestimate the power of Yelp. Type in “bikini wax” to find reviews of good places in your location. I go to a special waxing-only salon in Beverly Hills, but I’ve found most hair salons and nail salons also have waxing beauticians. Spas also have waxing options, but I’ve found they’re usually overpriced and under-trained. Once, you’ve found a salon, call and book your appointment just like you would schedule a haircut.

What kind of bikini wax do you want?

Yes, there are KINDS. The different choices refer to the amount of hair being waxed off: Do you want it all gone? Mostly gone? Or just cleaned up a little? If this is your first bikini wax, I’d recommend starting off slow. Remember, if you’ve been shaving (or au natural) the hair has a very old root, so—I’m not going to lie to you—it’ll hurt. I recommend going for a standard bikini wax, just a bit off the sides and top. (You can always go back and remove more.) Or if you’re feeling more advanced, try a full bikini wax with a landing strip (which is exactly what it sounds like), or go bald and get a Brazilian (my personal preference). Remember, if you get too ambitious, and belatedly decide a Brazilian’s not for you, the greatest (or worst) thing about hair is that it grows back. Cost wise, the more hair you wax off, the more you’ll have to pay. Ranging from about $20-$50.

Do you have to do anything to prep?

If you already do your own personal maintenance, let your hair grow out to at least a half an inch, so there is enough to wax. If you’ve never groomed in your life, that’s totally fine, just make sure to tell your aesthetician (aka waxer). Remember: the more frequently you wax, the less and finer your hair will grow back, making it easier on both you and your waxer.

Regardless of your prior maintenance, when you meet your waxer, make sure you tell them that this is your first bikini wax. They’ll help minimize the pain for you by waxing faster in smaller sections. It’s their job; they don’t want you to suffer through it!

Take some steps to ease the pain:

  • Strategically schedule your appointment. Try not to get waxed the week before or after your period, as you’re more sensitive to pain during that time. Also, keep in mind that your pain threshold goes up as the day goes on, so be sure to schedule your appointment is in the late afternoon when your tolerance is at its highest.
  • Take an Advil or two about 45 minutes before waxing to help reduce your pain.

What does one wear to get a bikini wax?

My bikini wax shy friends always think the most embarrassing part is stripping down and having someone prod around their business. The most important thing to remember is: your waxer has been seen it all before—they are professionals, this is is their job. But, if you are still nervous, there are ways to get around total exposure. If you decide to go for a standard bikini wax, you can leave your undies on, which is why I recommend it for first timers, who are most likely to be intimidated by getting naked. But for those of you willing to go all the way, I’d suggest wearing a dress, or something similar, that won’t require you to feel so exposed. It’s good to let yourself “breathe” post-wax and a dress is great for that, too!

How long will it take?

Bikini waxes are quick (fifteen to twenty minutes) so you won’t be naked for long. But if you think you will feel super self-conscious, bring a distraction. Phones are the easiest, in my opinion. When I first started off, I would read on my phone and be done before I’d even read through a single chapter.

What do you do afterwards?

No sex, working out, or wearing leggings for the first day after your wax. All three can hurt and cause ingrown hairs because of the amount of friction against your baby-soft new skin.

But the best part? Don’t worry about booking another appointment for another 4-6 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. That means that two bikini waxes will suffice for an entire summer! (Compare that to shaving twice a week.) Efficient, right?

Photo by Michelle White

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3 Comments

  1. another tip for post waxing: cream based neosporin. My favorite boutique spa place recently doubled their prices and I can’t afford to go in for a wax any longer. I switched to another location and was dismayed to discover that my spoiled lady parts were no longer given this wonderful post-wax cream that I’d become used to. European Wax Center has some creams but you have to buy them and I don’t like them as much. So I went back to my boutique and asked for a spare pack to look at the ingredient list. It’s mostly an antibiotic that helps you keep ingrown hairs from forming due to bacteria. Thus I went out and got a cream based neosporin and now apply that after a wax to help minimize those bumps. Wax based contains petroleum products that clog your pores — no good!

  2. Very good article. Here’s what I tell my clients-try to grab the bikini hair between the tips of your fingers and wiggle your skin. If its long enough for you to grab it, the wax can also grab it. Also some of my clients will use a numbing cream 15 minutes before but find that with me they don’t really need it. I’m quick.

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