How to Prepare For a Bikini Wax, According to the Pros
Here's everything you need to know.
Whether you're a seasoned bikini waxer or a newbie, the proper bikini wax prep before your appointment can ensure your treatment goes smoothly (pun intended). Skipping it might be tempting, but it could contribute to more stubble, not to mention the potential for ingrown hairs.
For the unfamiliar, bikini waxes generally involve removing hair from the top and sides of your bikini area. It's incredibly customizable: You can opt to leave a neat triangle, strip, or square-shaped patch of hair out front, or just remove the sides and a little off the top, says Myah Samuels, a Florida-based wax specialist and peer trainer at European Wax Center.
Because this type of waxing service involves tearing away hair in a sensitive area, some preparation can help minimize the pain and ensure that you don't end up with ingrown hairs or a bad wax job. With that, here's how to prepare for a bikini wax.
Hold on to Your Stubble
The number-one thing you should do before your bikini wax is to leave your pubic hair alone. Samuels recommends having hair be at least 1/4 inch long (which she says is about the size of a sprinkle) so that your wax specialist can grip hair properly. "It’s a good idea to stop shaving at least five days prior to your waxing reservation," she says.
That said, don't stress over getting that exact measurement right. If they've been trained properly, your wax specialist should be able to work with hair as long as you've got some growth.
Exfoliate ahead of your wax, but only using a gentle manual exfoliant, like a scrub or a body brush — never a chemical formula. A light exfoliation "can dislodge any trapped hairs in the skin and ensure that they are able to be removed with the wax," explains Angelica Sele, a sexual-wellness advocate and waxing expert at Angelica B Beauty in San Diego, CA.
However, she cautions against using chemical-based exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), as they can increase your skin's sensitivity. Plus, "when you wax, it is considered a slight exfoliant as it does remove a little dead skin, so we don't want the skin to be too thin," she says.
Also, Sele says, be mindful about applying thick moisturizing creams or oils on that area before your appointment, as they might create a film on your skin that will get in the way of your wax — and possibly make it more difficult for your wax specialist to remove hair.
Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine
If you're planning on happy hour the night before or getting fueled up with caffeine the morning of your wax, rethink those plans. It's more beneficial to drink water instead. "It may seem like a good idea to have a drink to calm the nerves, but alcohol thins the blood which actually causes a more painful experience," Sele says. Caffeine can similarly cause sensitivity, contributing to discomfort as well. Ultimately, she says, "it’s best to be well hydrated so the skin allows for the hair to be removed easily."
Sun exposure is also a no-go, since sunburned or over-exposed skin may be too fragile for a wax. Accutane also merits special consideration; if you're currently taking it, be sure to consult with your physician to find out the best way to adjust medication pre-wax.
If the thought of hair being ripped off your skin gives you anxiety, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Advil, beforehand to make the treatment feel less painful. "It helps to relax you, so I always recommend it to my clients if it is their first time — or if they just tend to get nervous before their appointments," says Sele. Take it at least 15 minutes before your appointment to give it time to kick in.
Do Your Research
Both Samuels and Sele agree that it's essential to do your research before booking your appointment, especially if you're a first-timer or going to a new waxing salon. A licensed professional that has experience in bikini waxes should be a non-negotiable, for starters.
Also, make sure the waxing studio follows proper sanitation protocols, such as never double-dipping a waxing stick — as doing so could spread bacteria and infections between guests. "If you find a place that double-dips their stick, run," adds Samuels.
Ultimately, a bikini wax isn't going to be a fun experience, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a painful one. The right prep can ensure you get the max amount of comfort in your quest for a smooth, stubble-free bikini line.
So, are you ready for bikini wax? We've got you covered. The Shampoo Lounge has been attending to an international and Indonesian clientele since 2012 so check out our instagram, our website and our TripAdvisor reviews! We can’t wait to have you in.
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By Audrey Noble for instyle.com