For newbie waxers and veteran hair-free bikini babes, here is a bikini-waxing 101 to help you rid the fine and delicate hair growing below and above the bikini line.
But first: A Little Waxing History
Bikini waxes are not a new form of hair removal.
In fact, Ancient Greek and Egyptian women applied beeswax and other sugary compounds as a hair removal tactic.
But once the bikini made its appearance in the mid-1960’s—along with the arrival of new and provocative styles of lingerie—women around the world began the practice of removing hair from and around the bikini line.
Are there different types of bikini waxes?
From the French bikini wax to the Brazilian landing strip, there are several styles of grooming your hair…down there.
But if you visit other salons for this hair removal service, the four types of basic bikini waxing styles are the:
- Full Bikini Wax (FBW),
- Brazilian Bikini Wax
- American Bikini Wax
- French Bikini Wax
French and Brazilian waxing leaves a thin strip of hair below the navel. The J Sisters in 1987, popularized the Brazilian wax in 1987.
How does bikini-waxing work?
Waxing appointments, performed at a spa or salon, range from 15- 30 minutes.
A bikini wax involves removing hair below the belly button and in or around the bikini area. A standard bikini wax follows these steps:
First, the bikini area is cleaned, followed by a light dusting of talcum powder over the waxing area.
Warm wax is applied to the area, using a flat wooden applicator. Oblong strips of cloth are gently placed over the wax.
Once the wax cools, the cloth strips are ripped away from the skin, quickly. The quick ripping motion of removing the strip and the cooled wax removes the hair from the follicle. If stray hairs remain, a waxing technician will remove the hairs using tweezers.
A professional bikini wax should last from two to four weeks.
How To Do a Brazilian Bikini Wax
According to HarlotBeauty.com, Brazilian bikini wax lasts for at least four to six weeks and removes all hair above the navel and including the hair between the buttocks.
This type of de-fuzzing treatment is perfect for beach bunnies who rock teeny-weeny bikinis in the summer or for women who want to stay hairless year-round.
For those brave beauties who are eager to try a do-it-yourself waxing treatment, you’ll need to follow a precise, step-by-step regimen to go totally bare.
Things You’ll Need for an At-Home Bikini Waxing
- Electric trimmer
- Hard waxing kit
- Pre-wax oil
- Large cotton towel
- Spatula or tongue depressor
- Medium-sized makeup mirror
- Cotton balls
- Baby oil or olive oil
- Post-wax lotion
- Antiseptic lotion or post-wax cleanser
A Step-By-Step, At-Home Bikini Waxing Lesson
- Exfoliate the area, the night before the waxing session, to get rid of dead skin cells. These dead cells can clog hair follicles and cause ingrown hairs. Dry your hair thoroughly with a towel.
- Trim the hair so that it is no more than 1/4 of an inch long. If the hairs are too long, the waxing process will hurt and take a long time to remove. Use a short, electric trimmer to cut and trim your hair.
- Use hard wax to remove the hair. A firm and hard wax — in comparison to soft wax — is gentler, less painful and adheres to the skin, not the hair. This stripless wax peels off once it cools. Choose a firm wax that is formulated specifically for the bikini area.
- Clean the waxing region with warm water and soap in the shower. Before starting the waxing session, wash your hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water.
- Heat the wax in the microwave, or in a pot of water on the stove, and gather the rest of your tools from the kit to begin the waxing session. Test the temperature of the wax on your arm before applying it to the bikini region. Apply a small coat of pre-wax oil — instead of baby powder — over the area when using hard wax.
- Place a large cotton towel on the floor. Sit down on the towel with your legs turned outward and your knees slightly bent. Remove your underwear and place a small makeup mirror in front of your body for hard-to-see areas.
- Hold your skin taut and apply a quarter-sized amount of wax to your hair. Apply the wax to your hair thinly and evenly, beginning with the inner thigh area. Smooth on the wax in the direction of the hair growth — with the tongue depressor or spatula from your kit. Place the wax on a small, 1-inch wide and 3- inches long, on a section of hair. Let the wax cool and dry for 15 to 30 seconds. Once the wax is no longer sticky to the touch, pull it off in the opposite direction of your hair growth to remove the hair.
- Repeat the waxing process until you get rid all the hair below the navel and in between the buttocks. Take away any remaining stray hairs with tweezers.
- Remove all traces of the wax from your body using a cotton ball soaked in olive oil, baby oil or a post-wax lotion. To minimize inflammation, apply an antiseptic lotion or post-wax cleanser with a cotton ball.
Recommended Bikini Waxing Products:
The Amazon, best-selling at-home wax that is best for bikini hair removal is the GiGi Brazilian Body Hard Wax. With over 1200 reviews, this wax comes in two versions, one that requires a wax warmer, and a microwave-only formulation.
The best thing about this hard wax is that it hardens around the hair and clings to it, without sticking to your underlying skin. If you buy my favorite wax, don’t forget the wooden spatulas that you’ll need to apply it correctly.
Final things every woman should know about bikini waxing:
- Due to the sensitive nature of the waxing area, bikini waxing is extremely painful.
- After a bikini waxing avoid direct sunlight or swimming for up to 24 hours following the procedure.
- Ask the bikini-waxing technician to perform a patch test during your first bikini wax; to test for allergic reaction to the chemicals used in bikini waxing.
- Beware: Bumps and ingrown hairs may occur after a recent bikini waxing session.
- If you are looking for a permanent hair removal option, waxing your bikini is not the perfect your solution.
- Women can perform bikini waxing at home but should visit a licensed esthetician or spa to receive proper training on bikini waxing methods.
- If you are taking the prescription drug ‘Retinol” or “Accutane,” waxing is not recommended for use.
- People who suffer from eczema, psoriasis or diabetes should avoid using bikini waxing as a hair removal technique.
- If you have issues with pain, take over-the-counter ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other mild pain relievers an hour before the treatment.
- If you have chronic liver or kidney disease, diabetes or skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, it’s best to avoid waxing your hair.
- Do not apply body lotion to the waxing area, the day of your waxing session.
- If you have tanned within 24 hours, do not attempt a Brazilian waxing treatment.
- Do not wax if your skin is sunburned or sensitive, or if you have any circulation or immune system issues.
- Do not use ice on the area to be waxed, as that will close the pores and make hair removal even more difficult.