Published On: Fri, Apr 25th, 2014

Bikini Wax: Everything you need to know

largeA well-groomed bikini line never goes out of style. Whether you just bought a new suit for that mid-winter's jaunt to the tropics, or you just want to keep things down there "debris free," a good waxing session can do wonders.

For a surefire way to get a smooth bikini line that will last (up to 6 weeks) waxing is the way to go, although it's not without its quirks. So whether you've already booked your appointment at the salon, or you plan to work with wax at home, take a look at some of the things you need to know to ensure a blunder-free bikini wax experience (or, almost).

Bikini Wax: At the Salon

If you're a bit intimidated at the thought of methodically ripping up the hair from your sensitive lady regions, you're not alone. Lots of women opt to let a technician do the work while they sit back and (attempt) to relax. (Tip: a sip of wine or champagne beforehand can work wonders.)

The most important thing to know before you go to the salon for a bikini wax is which type of bikini wax you want to get. Every salon may have slightly different names for their services, so in order to know what you should get, you'll want to brush up on a little bikini wax terminology.

Know Before You Go

First off, there's the basic bikini wax. The only hair that is removed is the hair on the outside of the panties or bathing suit. This means the hair on the very inner part of your thigh, and where the thigh meets your groin area.

Then there's the full bikini wax. This is where hair is taken in even further on either side of the bikini line. Some forms of a full bikini wax include a bit of hair taken off the top, or trimmed.

And of course, you've probably heard of the infamous Brazilian bikini wax. This is, by far, the most involved of the bikini waxes, and will actually remove all your hair "down there", including all the way back to your rear. You may opt for a variation of this, where a small strip of hair is left in the front.

Whether you want just a little clean up or the full shebang, it helps to know which option you prefer before you get in the salon, (so you don't have any horror stories to share later).

Also before you go, make sure the hair you want to have waxed is at least 1/4-inch long, or longer if your hair is coarse. If it's shorter, the wax can't grab onto it, and you'll actually be sent home and asked to reschedule.

During the Bikini Wax Appointment


The actual process at the salon is actually not so bad. Most locations have a separate room with an actual door (not just a curtain). You'll change into a paper thong, or may cover up with a sheet. Some salons even have soothing music and aromatherapy, so you can fool yourself into thinking you're just getting a massage.

On average, a bikini wax at a salon could take anywhere from 10 minutes for a basic wax to 30 minutes or more for a full Brazilian. Before you select a location, ask girlfriends about technicians they may recommend. It's best to get a technician who is quick, which will minimize any pain. On the same note, you want someone with a calm and gentle manner.

First, the technician may spread a little talcum powder to the bikini area. This keeps the wax from sticking to the skin. Then, a wooden spoon will be dipped into the hot wax and applied to a section of your skin. A cloth will then be patted down firmly over the wax, so that skin, hair and cloth all stick together. Then, once the wax cools, she'll rip the cloth off. This pulls the hair out by the root, because waxing is done against the hair growth.

Once the waxing is done, the technician will put a soothing gel or cream over the area. Just as with any waxing, you're going to feel more tender the first time you get this done. Some gals feel back to normal within a few hours, others take a few days. So plan your appointments accordingly! Prices can range according to services, but expect them to run from $20 to $100.

Bikini Wax: At Home

If you're not into putting it all out there for a stranger (or shelling out the salon price-tag, for that matter), doing your bikini wax in the comfort of your own bedroom or bathroom may be less intimidating.

There are a few essentials you'll need to get started. Look at a local beauty supply store or drugstore for a waxing kit to get you started.

You'll need:

  • wax;
  • heater;
  • strips;
  • applicators;
  • powder; and
  • wax remover.

Getting Started

Just as with a salon bikini wax, you can't attempt to remove your hair if you don't have enough of it. For fine hair, make sure length is 1/4 inch, with 1/2 inch for coarse hair. If that's a go, you'll want to first clean the area. If your waxing kit came with a cleanser, use that. Otherwise, pre-epilation oil is best; but remember, don't over oil.

Now for the waxing. Once your wax has heated in its pot, take applicator and (in the same stroke) spread wax evenly in the opposite direction of hair growth, then spread once again with the direction of the hair growth. You want the wax to cover an area of about 4 inches long by 2 inches wide.

You'll then cover the wax with a cloth strip. Press it down and wait until wax dulls and hardens. Then pull the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth, but hold your skin in place with the other hand to relieve some pain. When pulling the cloth, do not pull straight up.

You'll have to repeat this until your desired bikini area is hair-free. This could take an hour or more, if it's your first session. Afterward, tweeze missed hairs, use wax remover to get residue, then soothe your skin with a gel or lotion.

$25 to $100, but waxing kit prices may vary.

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