There's just something about getting a bikini wax that makes asking questions about it really awkward—and by something, we clearly mean the whole no-pants thing. But being pantsless in front of a stranger armed with hot wax naturally results in questions. We're here to answer even the most awkward of queries and to let you know what a professional really thinks when you get waxed. We also have a few wax tips that even a veteran waxee could benefit from.
To get answers to your questions about bikini wax prep and the waxing process, we turned to Anjelie Anzure, who's been an aesthetician at Salon 1800 in Chicago for more than a decade. Before we got into anything else, we had to know right away: is getting a bikini wax awkward for the professional? According to her, "we've pretty much seen it all. We're kind of like, no worries." Phew!
Below, we asked Anjelie for her expert opinion on a wide range of bikini-centric topics, and also shared some of the waxing knowledge our writers have gleaned over the years:
This may make you feel all squirmy, but the answer is no. Anjelie says that many newbies think they should trim their hair and end up cutting it too short. That's worse than having longer hair because wax doesn't stick as well to short hair, and that means it won't peel away as smoothly or evenly. For a clean wax that's less painful, Anjelie's motto is "the longer, the better." And just think of it this way, although nobody wants to be deemed "too hairy," that is why you're getting waxed in the first place. To make sure your hair is long enough, the standard school of thought is to not shave, pluck, or perform any kind of epilation for about 2–3 weeks before getting a bikini wax.
Anjelie recommends not showering in the 24 hours before your appointment. That said, this one is all about your comfort. There's no reason you can't shower right before if you want, but it isn't necessary. Many people book appointments after work or in the middle of the day, so they aren't going to be freshly showered, and that's not a problem. If you are the type to worry about it, bring a pack of wet wipes to freshen up.
No. Ingrown hairs are a really common problem, especially in that region. If you're looking for a way to prevent them in general, Anjelie recommends an exfoliating scrub. She suggests using the same one you use on your face. Just be sure to watch out for fragrances or other ingredients that might irritate sensitive skin.
No need, as long as your wear a tampon. Most of the time, "we don't mind ... as long as it's not 'messy down there,'" Anjelie says. But better safe than sorry, so call the salon to ask ahead of time. It'll be way less embarrassing than finding out it's a problem in person.
It's a good idea to wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment. If you can, avoid wearing underwear. That way, nothing will rub up against your freshly waxed skin and cause irritation. If you can't avoid it, opt for comfortable cotton underwear. No matter which option you go with, you'll be given a pair of disposable underwear to wear during your wax (it will be pulled to the side while the aesthetician works).
Unfortunately, pain is inevitable with a bikini wax. But there are a few things you can do to help minimize it. First, avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few days before your wax. These encourage blood circulation, which can make things more painful. Second, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, about 45 minutes before your appointment. Avoid aspirin as it promotes blood flow.
Yes, to a degree. Ultimately the aesthetician wants you to be happy with the service and results, so they try to accommodate a client's personal preferences. Just don't go overboard here. Remember, they have professional training that you don't have, so don't try to give them any bikini wax tips. But politely asking if they wouldn't mind pressing a little longer or moving through the service quickly is fine.
It would be better if you didn't. However, everybody knows that's not always an option. "I want to say 'Turn off your phone,'" Anjelie says, "but I don't feel comfortable saying that because a lot of people have kids." If you do have to have your phone on, be sure to let the aesthetician know. A loud, unexpected noise isn't ideal when hot wax is involved.
Yes, but you don't have to. Lots of people read a magazine or catch up on email while getting a bikini wax; others find conversation to be a welcome distraction from the discomfort of deforesting. And being relaxed can make the whole process go faster.
Bikini wax pricing can vary, depending on the salon, the type of wax used, and whether you're having just the bikini line waxed, the entire area waxed (aka a Brazilian), or something in-between. But on average you should expect to pay somewhere around $30–$35 for a traditional bikini wax. Or, you could check for bikini wax deals and pay considerably less.
This factor can vary too since everyone's hair grows at different rates. In general you can expect to have only minimal regrowth for the first 1–2 weeks, followed by more hair growth in weeks 3–4. Expect your hair to fully or almost-fully grow back within six weeks.
"I had a wonderful experience, first time Brazilian waxer and underarm waxer. I'll be back soon!!!!!" - from Stephanie N.'s review of WAXED in Chicago
"This was my first time getting a wax ever in my life. As in no wax has ever touched my body, even eyebrows! I had a Brazilian chocolate wax by Prab, who kept me calm and tried to distract me from the pain of the wax. She told me about her experiences and shared tips with me. She got all the hair out and cleaned me up afterwards. She was very friendly and the place was nice and clean. My advice to others: keep talking because it'll be over within 25-30." - from Shelly L.'s review of Fantastic Waxing Studio in Kips Bay, NY
"Yes! Best wax I've had. She finished everything in 15 minutes and the experience was very painless. Very friendly. Will definitely come back."- from Angelica Y.'s review of Paula's Allure Spa in Miami