If you’ve tried waxing before, you probably used those gel wax strips, right? These tend to be harder to grip which means you often end up yanking them a little too hard. The ‘right’ wax is up to preference but warm wax and muslin cloth strips is a good combination for beginners. Fabric wax strips are much more environmentally-friendly too, they can be washed and reused.
This is stage is about physical and mental preparedness. Put a towel down for you to lay on, grab a mirror – you’ll need it to see what you’re doing – and your tweezers. Location-wise, somewhere bright with overhead lighting is best. To set your mind at ease, make sure your housemates know not to come into your room.
You need to heat the wax so it’s the right temperature and consistency. If you’ve got a wax warmer, great – this will keep the wax at the right temperature. If not, you can heat it in the microwave (you’ll probably have to reheat throughout). It needs to be runny but not so much that it moves like liquid – the consistency of honey is ideal. Test the temperature on the palm of your thumb.
If it’s too short, the wax won’t be able to grip the hairs to pull them out – too long, and its harder to control which hairs the wax grabs on to (its unnecessary pain, believe me). Ideally, your hair should be around a quarter of an inch and no more than half an inch. Any longer and you should trim it beforehand.
This goes without saying, but we thought we’d say it anyway, you know, for good measure. Wash the area using soap and water or an alcohol wipe. This removes any oils from the skin to help the wax grip. Make sure you fully dry the area before applying any wax.
Start at your pubic bone (its flat and the most easily accessible). Work in sections – about 1-inch wide and a couple of inches in length – smearing a layer of the wax onto the skin with an applicator stick. If you’re using fabric strips, smooth the strip on top of the wax, leaving enough fabric free to grip. For hard wax, let it harden for around 30 seconds.
Once the wax is on there is literally only one way to get it off – so this is where the fear sets in. Whether you’re pulling off hard wax or a fabric strip, always pull in the opposite direction to hair growth. Hold the surrounding skin taut with your free hand to lessen the pain. Most importantly, be confident. Take a breath and pull in one quick motion.
Waxing actually removes a layer of skin – that sounds more brutal than it is, its like exfoliation – so it can irritate your skin if you wax the same section too many times. A second time is okay (unless your skin is really sensitive) but no more than that. You can always tweeze any stray hairs.
Riding on the success of your first section, it’s straight onto the next. Once you’ve waxed along the pubic bone, move onto the sides where your bikini line meets the thighs – it’s much less sensitive. Work your way down and inwards (closer to the labia) – it’s not as easy to keep the skin taut here so it can hurt a bit – and then up the labia (towards the clitoris). The more sensitive the spot, the more it hurts.
Firstly, congratulations. You did it. Soak a cotton pad in oil – coconut, olive or baby oil – and gently remove any leftover wax residue from the skin. Remember, the same post-wax rules apply to DIY waxing (no hot showers or working out for 24 hours, loose clothing).
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10 things to know before waxing your bikini line at home
So, you were going to leave your bikini wax to the pros but then lockdown got extended for another 3 weeks and the prospect of DIY started to look a bit more appealing (ok, maybe ‘appealing’ is a bit of a stretch). We get it, one does not simply do their own bikini wax, it takes preparation – mental preparation, mainly, but these tips will help too.
Whether you’re just tidying up the bikini area, going full Hollywood or growing a bush (and just reading this feeling thankful it’s not you) – that’s your choice. For the sake of clarity, we’ll talk you through the whole shebang.
By Beth Ludolf
Au naturel, some on, some off, when it comes to bikini waxing, it’s really up to you. The problem? Figuring out which style is which. Brazilian, French, Hollywood; sounds more like a trip overseas than hair-removal. Time to cut down on the confusion, with a bikini wax encyclopedia – courtesy of us. Think of this are your go-to guide, so if you are shifting the hair, you know just what to expect (and what to ask for). By Rachel SpeddingRead more
Let’s not beat around the bush – waxing can be painful. Since we’re pulling the hair straight from the follicle, the skin can get a little… angry. For sensitive skin types (hi, me), easing the redness can take a while. If you find that shifting the hair has left your skin inflamed, red, and a little bit irritated, there are things you can do to ease the discomfort (wine not included but each to their own). By Rachel SpeddingRead more
What should I do if the hair is too long? Remember, your hair should be no less than a quarter of an inch long. If it’s too long, Sofia suggests giving it a trim, “make sure you leave about 1 cm of growth though, to make sure the wax can pick the hairs up”. If you’re not confident trimming it yourself (it can be trickier than you think), your therapist can do this for you before your wax. If I resorted back to shaving during lockdown, will my first wax hurt more? You’re not alone in worrying about the pain…Read more