Beauty

Don’t Sweat It! Here’s How to Survive Your First Bikini Wax

wax-cover

IMAGE: IMAXTREE

The idea of being close to fully naked in front of a total stranger and then having to pay for the awkward— and often painful—process of a bikini wax can be a lot to take in. Going through with it is about as fun as paying your credit card bill after some retail therapy. Sure, there are other options: the classic razor, the gimmicky hair removal cream and the more permanent (and costly) laser hair removal. The semi-permanent option for most of us ladies is waxing and let’s face it — it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about shaving for up to eight weeks. So, if you haven’t made the plunge into the world of bikini waxes, here’s some things to consider from our past experiences. Thanks us later.

Before even stepping foot into your location of choice, it’s crucial to do your research. Flash sale sites may be enticing with those lower prices and coupons, but sacrificing quality service for a small savings isn’t worth it. Ask friends (or us!) and search around the web for facilities with good reviews, clean locations and a friendly staff. Our favorite no-frills sanitary spot in New York City is Uni K Wax. The chain has locations all over the country and offers fair pricing along with a top-notch staff. For each client it services, technicians make an individual batch of wax in a heated reservoir to keep the process totally sanitary. It also uses a green elastic wax exclusive to the centers, which is 100 percent natural, ideal for all skin types and is applied at body temperature for an almost totally pain-free process — seriously, we’ve been going for two years now.

Once you’ve found a place you are comfortable with for your appointment, make sure to book it far in advance so that hair is grown to about a quarter of an inch long and that it is one week after your menstrual cycle or later. Going into a service during or right before your period will most likely mean overly-sensitive skin, which equals a way more painful situation. Be mindful of exfoliating the bikini line leading up to your appointment with a body scrub to soften the hair follicles.

When you arrive for your appointment, try to be a few minutes early. Much like a doctor’s office, you will be asked to fill out paperwork letting the technician know about any health conditions or if you’re on medications like Accutane or topical lotions like Retin-A or AHAs, which aren’t wax-friendly. Let the tech who’s waxing know that it is your first time — don’t be embarrassed, it’s totally normal to be freaked out about someone new pouring wax on your body to get rid of unwanted hair. If you’re on the shy side, most locations will offer a thong that can be worn during the session, but it tends to get in the way, and to be honest, these technicians have seen it all, so it’s just another day at the office for them.

During the process, practice the art of breathing. Yes, breathing. Unclench your hands, lie them next to your side palms up and close your eyes to try to relax as much as possible. The trick is to breathe in when the wax is applied and then slowly breathe out when the wax is being pulled back. It sounds a lot easier than it really is, but over time, it will get better — we swear! If it hurts way too much, let your waxer know and most likely, they will wax smaller sections of the bikini line for shorter and quicker pulls.

Even though this may sound horrific, the results will have you coming back for a smooth, hair-free bikini line. A little discomfort is normal, but any long-term burning or immediate bleeding are not. In addition, some health conditions or medications can cause skin to react differently. The great news about the whole ordeal is that you’ll be hair-free for up to eight weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows, and subsequent waxings will hurt less since hair growth will slowly diminish. Make sure to exfoliate the area regularly and moisturize to avoid ingrown hairs and ensure future sessions will go seamlessly.

Have any embarrassing/awkward/weird questions about this topic? Ask us on Twitter!