Here's Everything To Know Before Your First Bikini Wax
Whether you’re considering or already booked for your first bikini wax appointment, it’s normal to be equally curious and nervous about what to expect. Firstly, congratulations on taking this step to take your beauty routine to the next level – there’s a reason why so many people swear by their regular waxing schedule. Bikini waxes are widely considered the cleanest, most efficient grooming method to remove the hair down there. They are more cost-efficient than laser hair removal treatments and require less upkeep compared to shaving. You can also stop worrying about razor bumps, which can cause itching, burning and general discomfort when switching from shaving to waxing.
While bikini waxes have several benefits, it’s completely normal to be hesitant to try out this practice for yourself. Bikini waxes can feel a bit too up close and personal at first. You might feel self-conscious given the vulnerable circumstance or be intimidated by the process, potential pain or whether you’ll achieve your desired results. Fortunately, you can gain some insight into the entire process before stepping into the studio.
Learning more about what will happen and what you should do before, during and after your wax can help your appointment go smoothly and put your mind at ease. Here’s everything you need to know about the process, how to prep and minimize pain, what to expect during your first appointment and the proper after-care practices to follow.
How To Prepare:
Research Your Expert
Before scheduling your appointment, it is crucial to read through everything you can about the waxing studios in your area to find the best option for your needs. Most importantly, you want to ensure that the place you choose is hygienic and has a staff of highly-skilled specialists. Other key considerations include the typical wait times at your selected studio and any feedback your specific expert has received regarding their bedside manner. Especially for your first bikini wax, it is essential to see a professional who will be patient, gentle and can walk through the process to answer all your questions – without any judgment.
Of course, the treatment cost will factor into your decision on where to go. Prices often vary, depending on your chosen waxer, location and specifications. Generally, though, expect to pay around $25-75 for a bikini wax.
There’s A Length Requirement
Refrain from shaving for some time before going in for your wax appointment. For your specialist to perform a bikini wax, the hair needs to be between ¼-½ of an inch long. Without this necessary length, the wax won’t properly adhere to the hair and successfully pull it out of the follicles. Make sure to put down the razor for at least 2 to 3 weeks before you go in for your waxing session. This grace period provides enough time for your hair to grow and allows your skin to heal from any razor-related bumps or irritation.
If you have particularly coarse or fast-growing hair, you can trim the ends to keep the area well-groomed. Your waxer will have to trim these hairs if you show up to your appointment with hairs longer than ½-inch. These hairs could break (either above or below the top layer of your skin) during the waxing process and increase your chances of ingrown hairs.
Know Your Cycle
Your bikini area is more sensitive closer to your time of the month. Save yourself some unnecessary pain and try not to schedule your session on the days when there’s a chance your period will arrive. While there’s no concrete rule on this matter, some waxers consider it a common courtesy not to come in for an appointment during these few days.
Especially for your first bikini wax, it is highly recommended to plan according to your cycle to minimize discomfort. Once you’ve had a few sessions under your belt, getting waxed on your period will be doable for most women. Just make sure to wear a fresh tampon or menstrual cup to your appointment and inform your expert to ensure that the process is done extra carefully.
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Cleanse & Reset
Exfoliate around 1-2 days before your wax to clear the bikini area of dead skin cells. This practice will help you get a cleaner wax and help prevent ingrown hairs. Don’t wait until the day of your appointment to scrub your skin.
Shower before coming to the studio. If you don’t have time or are coming from work, make sure to get a quick rinse in either the night before or the morning of your wax. Your specialist will have cleansing cloths ready upon your arrival to use before applying the wax.
Prevent The Pain
While it may be tempting to take the edge off before your appointment, don’t drink any alcohol or caffeine within 24 hours of your appointment. Both of these substances are blood thinners and will increase your skin’s sensitivity. Drink enough water before your wax to keep your skin well-hydrated and more resilient to bleeding or pain. Also plan on wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to your appointment (more on this topic later).
To further prevent any potential pain, apply some bikini area-safe numbing cream, like Zensa Numbing Cream, around 30-40 minutes before your appointment. Never attempt to numb your skin with ice. This method will tighten the skin and will only negatively impact your waxing experience.
What To Expect During The Appointment:
It’s A Judgement-Free Zone
Bikini waxes are routine for experts in the field. Professional waxers have seen everything already, so there’s no reason to worry about how things look ‘down there’ during the hair removal process. Aside from your hair thickness and length, your specialist is only concerned with how to help you achieve your desired results down there with the least pain possible. As long as you’re hygienic, this concern – while understandable – is all in your head.
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For your first appointment, try to arrive at the studio a few minutes early to check in with the front desk to confirm that all of your client information is accurate and that you’re not on any medications that you cannot take right before a wax. (Scroll below for more information on this).
Once taken in for your session, your waxer will ask you how much of your hair you want to remove, from where and check your hair length. Don’t worry too much about knowing all of the technical terms. Knowing the difference between a regular or a full bikini and a Brazilian wax is enough. It’s more important to be specific when describing the area you want bare and parts you’re comfortable with leaving hair.
Before the wax is applied, your waxer will clean the area to wash away any products or skin impurities, and prep the area with a protective oil as a barrier, so the wax doesn’t stick to the skin. The specialist will then apply the wax in small sections, allow it a moment to slightly cool and then quickly rip off the wax to pull out the hair. The process is repeated until all of the desired hair is removed, and typically only takes a few minutes to complete.
After the waxing process is over, your waxer will hydrate the area with a nourishing serum to help calm any skin redness or irritation and soften the skin to reduce breakouts or ingrown hairs.
Inform the specialist that this is your first bikini wax to ensure you have proper guidance throughout the entire process. Ask any questions you may have. Professionals have heard everything – if a concern is on your mind, make sure to get this expert advice. It is not embarrassing like you think it may be. Always let your waxer know if any position or part of the appointment makes you uncomfortable. It’s their job to make the session as pain-free as possible.
Expect Some Discomfort
While taking all of the proper precautions will help, your first bikini wax will likely be at least a bit uncomfortable. Try your best to calm down, so your muscle can relax. If you get too anxious during the hair removal process, your muscles will tense up and only make the process more uncomfortable.
The coarser your hair, the more painful waxing will feel. Once you’ve been back for a few more appointments, your hair will start growing in finer and the discomfort during waxes will decrease over time.
Results & Best After-care Practices:
Expect Bumps & Swelling
It is very common, especially among those with sensitive skin, to have small red bumps around the bikini area right after your wax due to skin inflammation from swelling hair follicles. They usually disappear in a couple of days and should be gone within a week. However, you can use simple methods like applying a cold compress or aloe vera gel to ease any swelling or itching. Exfoliate before your wax because it is essential to prevent ingrown hairs during the after-care stages.
During these first few days, your skin will be more sensitive than usual while it recovers. Keeping the area cool and clean is vital to promote healing and help your skin stay smooth.
Hygiene Is Key
Feel free to shower a few hours after your waxing session with lukewarm water. Avoid using any products near the area that contain chemicals or fragrances. Moisturizing the skin frequently is essential for healing. The more hydrated your skin, the less likely you are to develop ingrown hairs. While showering, rub a soothing oil (such as grapeseed, jojoba or tea tree oil) into wet skin for maximum hydration.
Apply lotion or a hydrating cream, like Zensa Healing Cream, after getting out of the shower and as needed throughout the day for the next few days after your wax.
Wait three days until you exfoliate the bikini area. Give your open pores time to tighten and allow the redness to go down. Exfoliating too soon will be too harsh for your already vulnerable skin and can weaken the moisture barrier. Opt for a less abrasive exfoliant like a sugar scrub (you can make a homemade version with brown sugar and olive oil) for calmer skin. Always apply lotion or healing cream after exfoliating.
No Sweat, Sun or Sex
Your empty hair follicles leave your skin more susceptible to infections and irritation from chemicals, bacteria, dirt and other microbes for the first few days after your bikini wax. Limit any activities or habits that could cause friction or sweating. They can open pores and are a breeding ground for post-wax infections.
Avoid saunas, baths, swimming, sex or working out for at least 48 hours. Wear loose-fitting clothes for the first few days after your wax. Constricting clothes can rub against and irritate the skin. It is also crucial not to expose the freshly-waxed area to the sun for at least 48 hours.
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Bikini Waxing FAQs:
What’s the difference between a regular and a full bikini wax? How do they compare to Brazillian waxes?
A basic bikini wax removes the hair that is visible when wearing a bathing suit bottom or underwear. Full bikini waxes go further inward and take all of the hair off of the sides. Brazilian waxes take off all the hair from the front, back and sides.
How long should you go in between bikini wax appointments?
The typical recommendation is to wait between 3-4 weeks between wax appointments or until your hairs grow back to at least ¼-inch long. Remember not to shave if you plan on using waxing as your regular hair removal method for the bikini area. If you shave in between sessions, your wax will likely be more painful than if you let your hair grow out.
How often should you exfoliate your bikini area once the skin heals?
Most individuals should exfoliate the area once or twice a week, depending on their skin type, sensitivity and the weather conditions where they live. During the winter months, your skin tends to be drier and it is best to exfoliate twice a week. In the summer months, you might only exfoliate once a week to maintain smooth skin and few to no ingrown hairs.
What medications can you not take if you’re getting a bikini wax?
You must be off of Accutane for at least a year to be eligible for waxing. If you are on any antibiotics or steroids, you cannot get waxed for at least 3 months. Retain A, and products containing similar ingredients, cannot be used for at least 3 months before waxing. All of these medications have skin thinning properties, can make the skin more fragile and prone to irritation.
Harsh exfoliants, retinol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid and similar medications can cause skin lifting and increased sensitivity. Make sure to stop using these products at least 1 week before your scheduled wax appointment.