Bikini wax is a method to get rid of pubic hair from human skin at the bottom of a bikini. In this procedure, apply hot wax to the bikini and cover the wax with a piece of cloth to which the wax and hair attach, and peel it off.
During applying bikini wax, the beautician applies hot wax to the area, then the wax with cloth and peels it off to remove hair by their roots [source: Sorgen]. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just the bikini line: bikini wax’s broader cousin, Brazilian wax, leaves little to no pubic hair.
While bikini waxing can be painful, especially the first few times, it does have its benefits. The growth of hair is slower as compared to other hair removal methods and may become thinner repeated treatments [source: Goins]. Like most other cosmetic procedures, this costs money and it has certain risks. It can also be a little embarrassing, especially if you’re usually very modest.
Bikini Wax vs Brazilian Wax
Once you opt for waxing, there is one more decision you need to make: how much hair do you want to get rid of? There are many varieties of Bikini waxes and Brazilian waxes that vary in the amount of hair removed and require varying degrees of exposure before your beautician.
For the most shameless, Brazilian wax is quite suitable. Bikini wax, also called “sphinx” or Hollywood waxing, will completely eliminate hair growth from your belly button to your buttocks. During a full Brazilian wax, you will have to be topless and maneuver in various positions so that the beautician can reach every hair on your pubis. Don’t ask for a complete Brazilian if the process seems unappealing to you [source: UC Santa Barbara].
During the modified Brazilian wax, you will still have to be topless, but the technician will leave a thin strip of hair at the top of your vagina. This is also known as the “airstrip”. If you want to look more natural, you can ask for a small triangle of hair instead.
Natural wax removes hair wherever it can be seen in a swimsuit, as well as from the buttocks. Finally, a simple bikini wax that can be applied to panties will only remove the hair that grows outside of your briefs.
To get exactly what you were looking for, be sure to explain what you want to take off and what to leave on, as not all salons use the same terminology for different hair removal styles.
If you’ve taken the plunge and signed up for waxing, you might be wondering how to prepare for it. Stick to reading to discover what you can do ahead of time to reduce pain and maximize results.
Men get wax too
Bikini waxing is not just for women. More men than women want to remove groin hair by using wax [source: Ask Men].
Preparing for Bikini Waxing
If you have your first bikini waxing appointment with a licensed professional, you’re well on your way to proper training. But no matter which style you choose, there are a few extra steps you can take before you get started to get the best results.
Timing, for example, is very important when you plan on waxing. For example, you’ll stay out of the sun for at least twenty four hours before your examination. Sunburn or other forms of skin irritation will only exacerbate the discomfort you feel when someone waxes you hot and tugs on you. hair from an already sensitive area of the body. Women should try waxing for a week or two after their period because that is when the body can better tolerate pain. Avoid the week before your period when your skin is at its most tender [source: Goins]. Finally, it is better to wax at the beginning of the day than later, when oil and sweat have accumulated on the skin.
Soft hair follicles release hair more easily, making the depilation process less painful. So it helps to exfoliate the bikini area beforehand and then apply baby lotion or cream to soften the hair follicles and skin [source: Sorgen]. Here’s another pain-reducing tip: About half an hour before waxing, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen. The last step is to apply an anesthetic cream. Over-the-counter topical solutions containing lidocaine should be effective, but follow directions carefully when using them. Also, be aware that lidocaine can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, so check with your doctor before using it [source: Goins].
Now you’re ready for your waxing session, but if you don’t want to shell out more than $50, a home kit might be the best option for you.
Life cycle of hair follicle
Hair goes through three phases: growth, transition and rest. At a time, only a few hair follicles are in the growth phase – the number of follicles in each phase depends on the part of your body. Waxing does not affect resting follicles, so you can sometimes see a few new hairs growing shortly after waxing.
Bikini waxing kits
If you’re bold, humble, or thrifty, you may have decided to go for it and get yourself some bikini wax. This is best if you are applying a plain bikini line wax. Imagine how you would have to contort your body to look Brazilian, not to mention the damage you could cause if you made the mistake of waxing such a sensitive area. It is better to entrust extreme hair removal to professionals.
You will need things to apply your bikini base wax including a wax, a cloth, and a waxing spatula. Home kits can come with or without fabric strips that stick to the wax – sometimes you can stretch the wax, depending on the type of product. You can use warm or cold wax [source: Skincare-News]. Some kits also include pubic hair scissors, a mirror, pain relief spray, lotion, or cleanser. You may need to try a few different sets to see which one you like best.
Before waxing yourself, check the length of the hair to be removed. It should be between one quarter and three quarters of an inch (6 to 19 millimeters) long [source: Carrillo]. From there, prepare as if you were going to a salon. When you’re ready to get started, read all the instructions included with the kit. Make sure your skin is clean and dry or the wax won’t stick well [source: Skincare-News].
It’s all in the wrist
The problem with home waxing is that the hair actually comes off when you pull it. Make sure you spread the wax in the same direction as the hair growth. If your kit has a fabric, press it with firm movements also in the direction of hair growth. Let’s insist. When you muster up the courage, pull up the skin and pull against the growth. Don’t yank up – stay close to the skin as if you are quickly pulling back the fabric to expose its smoothness [source: Skincare-News].
Benefits of Bikini Wax
Bikini waxing has its benefits – if it wasn’t there, hardly anyone would dare to experience this pain factor. First, because the wax rips out the hair right at the root, it takes longer for the hair to grow back. The root lies deep under the surface of the skin, and it can take two to three weeks or more before you notice significant hair regrowth [source: emedicine]. It’s definitely better than shaving and seeing stubble in a day or two.
In addition, there is some evidence that the hair-pulling process can actually damage the follicles [source: emedicina]. This may not seem like a plus, but it means that the hair can get thinner and thinner again, and in some cases not at all. Repeated waxing means less and less hair to get rid of over time [source: Goins].
If the effects alone don’t convince you to give bikini wax a try, you can consider the fact that waxing is less time and money consuming compared to permanent treatments like electrolysis or laser hair removal. You can also find recipes for how to make wax at home, making it an even more economical choice.
Now that you’ve heard good things about waxing, read on to learn about the risks.
Heat versus cold
Warm wax has some benefits, but, again, cold wax. Warm wax grips hair better and removes coarse hair more easily. It also removes short hair better and works well on large areas of skin. However, cold wax can be used faster than warm wax since you don’t have to wait for it to heat up [source: DermNet, Goins].
Problems with bikini wax
Of course, bikini wax comes with some risks. Whenever you bring a foreign substance to your genitals and add to that the ability to tear the delicate skin, you are giving bacteria an opportunity to enter your body. Remember, pubic hair doesn’t just happen: it helps protect sensitive skin and mucous membranes that are otherwise more susceptible to invading germs.
You may have heard of the Australian diabetic woman who ended up in the hospital two weeks later after getting a Brazilian wax. During waxing, the woman experienced slight skin pain and bleeding, which signaled a tear in the skin and the discovery of an infection. Since diabetes had weakened her immune system, she was unable to fight off the virus that entered her system. When she got to the hospital, she had pain, high fever, swelling, rash, and discharge [source: Dendle, et al, MSNBC: Bikini].
Although her case was severe, this woman is not the only one who has been hospitalized after having her bikini waxed. Two women in New Jersey also developed infections after Brazilian waxing, and state officials shortly announced banning the procedure [source: MSNBC].
Because people with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other immunodeficiency diseases, are more susceptible to complications, dermatologists advise them not to take Brazilian wax. For most others, the risk is minimal [source: Glamour]. While a serious infection is unlikely, you may develop less complications such as scarring, folliculitis, or ingrown hairs [source: emedicine]. If you notice signs of skin irritation, keep an eye on yourself and go to the doctor to check for anything that doesn’t go away quickly.
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