Bikini waxing basics
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Have you ever considered getting a bikini wax? Or even wondered what exactly a bikini wax is? If you've wondered what exactly the difference between a bikini and Brazilian wax is, no worries, because this article is going to help you out. By the end of this beginner’s guide, you will understand all the types of bikini waxes and I bet you'll want to set up an appointment to get your own. We'll even include some sample photos. These pictures will really help you decide what you want. Photos are your friends, so make sure to check them out!
First, I'll explain the basics of what exactly the general category of bikini wax encompasses. A bikini wax is the removal of pubic hair using either hot or cold wax; applied to your skin where the hair is and then ripped off, removing the hair. Sounds painful, yes, but it is over quickly. And after the first few times, you will hardly feel a thing. Like plucking your eyebrows, right? After a time, you can hardly feel it.
There are many different types of bikini waxes, so knowing which one of these types is best for you can be difficult without all the information. These types of bikini waxes include the standard bikini wax, the French bikini wax, the Brazilian bikini wax, the Hollywood bikini wax, and more. We will get into the specific types in detail, but first we're going to go through the benefits.
Benefits of different types of bikini waxes
There are actually several benefits that come from getting a bikini wax versus other types of pubic hair removal methods, like shaving or hair removal creams. The first benefit is your skin health. Waxing is an exfoliant that removes dead skin cells when the hair is pulled away from the root. Exfoliation is good for all of your skin, so why wouldn't it be good for down there? Exfoliation is a top beauty tip to always do, no matter what method you are using.
Another benefit is that your hair down there will become smoother and finer, which after a few waxes makes it easier and less painful to remove. Personally, I would rather have smoother and finer hair down there compared to anything coarse. A third benefit is smoother skin, which is just always a nice thing to have. Who doesn't want smooth skin over their full body? A fourth benefit is that, unless there is something in the wax that you are allergic to, there is a lot less irritation that results from waxing as compared to other types of hair removal methods. The removal of your hair is clean and swift, which is what makes the irritation minimal. Lastly, the results last so much longer! Long lasting results are always a plus for any busy person for sure.
Preparation for different types of bikini waxes
While there isn't a lot of preparation that goes into getting a bikini wax, there are some things you should make sure to do (or not do) before getting a wax. A general rule is that whether you are getting waxed in a salon or doing it yourself (which is a brave idea, to be honest), make sure the area you will be waxing is clean and dry. And on that note, you should only do the most basic of bikini waxes at home. I'm talking bikini line and upper thighs only. Anything that goes under that (like around the labia) should be done by a professional. This will save you from any aches and pains that might occur. Plus, it will keep you from having to bend over in all sorts of awkward and uncomfortable positions.
Here are some steps to get you prepared for your bikini wax:
1. Relax. Take a few breaths, close your eyes, and know that any pain you feel will be over soon. A calm person is better than a nervous person in any waxing room. This will help you and your waxing professional get the job done quicker, as also better.
2. Hair on the area being waxed should be at least 1/4 inch long. This allows the wax to most easily grab on to the hair and remove it without any issue. This prevents your waxer from having to go over the same area more than once to get any and all hair.
3. Inform the person who will be giving you the bikini wax of any medication you are on, as not all are compatible with waxing. Some antibiotics can make your skin more sensitive to things such as wax or even the process of getting your hair waxed. It is better just to know what to expect rather than have an unfortunate surprise later.
4. Wear comfortable cotton panties before and after to avoid irritation to the skin. Those lacy panties may be cute and you may want to show off your new smooth skin to your partner, but trust me, wear the cotton panties (which can be cute too!) for a couple of days before moving on to anything lace.
Another general rule is that before your first wax, you should go without shaving the area for at least two weeks. This will allow your hair to get to that 1/4 inch length that is so desired for waxing. After your first bikini wax, you should go three to four weeks between appointments, depending on how fast your hair grows.
What not to do before different types of bikini waxes
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While there are things you should do before a wax, there are also things you shouldn't do. Doing any of the things listed below can make you skin irritated and the entire experience, overall, just plain unpleasant. Getting a bikini wax shouldn't ever be totally unpleasant. While it may not be the best thing in the world, it shouldn't be that awful. So, don't do the things listed below, and your next bikini wax should be a breeze.
The first thing to not do before a bikini wax is to tan the area that will be waxed about 24 to 48 hours beforehand. It will cause irritation to the skin as tanning makes the skin, especially already sensitive skin, more sensitive.
Another thing to not do is consume alcohol or a lot of caffeine (one cup of coffee is fine) before the appointment. No, this isn't to prevent bad breath, though it can help prevent it. Alcohol and caffeine cause your pores to tighten, which makes waxing way more painful. Open pores are happy pores when it comes to waxing. This is why hot wax is often the wax of choice when waxing.
A last thing to not do before a bikini wax appointment is to use numbing creams on the area beforehand. They just don't penetrate the skin deep enough to have any pain relief effects, so it’s a waste of numbing cream, and also you will be sorely disappointed.
Type # 1: All natural - no wax
This is what you get when you do no waxing and have minimal maintenance for your area down there! I've included this type just as a way to show that some people do choose to forgo any wax and be completely natural. This is a perfectly okay way to keep your pubes. There's no actual need to remove your pubic hair. Honestly, everything to do with maintenance down there is up to personal preference. If you want a full bush, have a full bush; if you want a full wax, have a full wax.
This is why there are so many different types of waxes, because the options are endless, and every girl has a different preference about what she wants going on down there. Check out the photos above to see what this looks like.
Type # 2: Bikini line wax
This type of bikini wax is the simplest. It is basically a clean-up of anything that pokes out of a modest bikini-style panty. This is a good option for a first-time waxer (it is best to start small and then move up to styles like a Brazilian, if you so desire) and best for people who want a more natural look, but still want to be smooth around the edges.
This style removes the hair on the upper thighs, outside of the bikini and anything that would poke over the top of a bikini. Check out the pictures above to see what this style looks like.
Type # 3: Full bikini wax
This full bikini wax extends a bit further than the bikini line wax. On salon menus, this will typically be referred to as the standard bikini line, as compared to other types. It is a good style for people who want hair down there, but also want to keep it neater.
This style takes away hair on the upper thighs and around the bikini line, much like the style above, but it goes a bit deeper, creating more of a triangle on your pubic area. Take a look at the photos above to see what this style looks like.
Type # 4: French wax
A French bikini wax removes a bit more hair than a traditional bikini wax would. As you will notice, each different type of bikini wax will remove more and more hair from your area down there. The French wax is called so because it is the popular style of bikini wax in France.
In this style, most of the hair is taken from the front, but the underside and back are left alone. A popular style with this type of wax is a landing strip, where a small strip of pubic hair is left in the middle. However, you can also go for a small triangle. Check out the pictures above to see what this style would look like on you.
Type # 5: Brazilian wax
Like the French bikini wax, Brazilian wax extends a little farther. There are different front styles that you can try out. The types you can do are a big triangle, a small triangle, a landing strip, anything! The front style is totally up to you, so maybe try out some different ones as you go.
The Brazilian wax gets the bikini line clean, goes under the area near the labia, and around the back, between the cheek. With the Brazilian wax, you can go for a clean and nude look or, as mentioned above, go for some fun shapes. A Brazilian wax leave the styles open to you. Check out the pictures above to see what this style looks like. Brazilian wax sure rocks!
Type # 6: Shapes
The design of your frontal pubes is up to you when you wax, and sometimes you may want something a little more fun than a landing strip or triangle. A heart is a popular shape that many women have tried out. Just be cautious though because some shapes may require your waxing professional to pull out your hair opposite to its growth, which can damage the skin and cause some discomfort. Waxing should always pull hair in the direction it grows, for the cleanest look.
Check out the photos above. These are pictures that will give you an example of the different types of shapes and styles that are out there.
Type # 7: Hollywood wax
The Hollywood bikini wax has become very popular in recent years (though full bush is actually coming back into style). This wax will leave the downstairs area smooth and baby bare! Last I heard, this was Kim Kardashians favorite style of wax.
When I say that this type of bikini wax will leave you baby bare, I mean it. This gets rid of all your hair down there. You may need to move around a bit to accomplish this look (there will be some hair in some hard to reach places), so don't be embarrassed. This is what your waxing professionals do for a living. They have seen it all and been there for a very long time.
Check out the pictures above to see what this style looks like.
Typical waxing appointments
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If you decide to get you bikini wax professionally done, which is highly recommended, you may be wondering what exactly to expect. Well, all salons are different, but I will go over the basics of what to expect.
You will typically check in with the front desk when you arrive at the salon and wait to be called for your appointment. When you get there, you will be asked to remove all garments from below the waste.
When the appointment starts, they will cleanse the area, removing any makeup, oils, or lotions that will inhibit the wax. Many salons will then put protection oil that will guard the skin from the wax, which is good if it is hot wax. Then, the waxing will take place. Depending on the different types, as explained above, this will go different ways. If you need to know more about the types, make sure to ask your waxing professional. After the waxing is complete, the salon specialist will typically apply a moisturizer or solution to prevent ingrown hair.
Types of bikini waxes vs. other types of hair removal
While, as mentioned above, bikini waxing is one of the longest-lasting pubic hair removal solutions, there are other options too. For your reference, I'm going to get it to a bikini wax versus other types of hair removal methods such as shaving, epilation, hair removal creams and even laser hair removal. By the end of this section, you'll see why waxing is one of the best types of hair removal, if not the best type!
Bikini wax vs. shaving
Well, as you well know by now, a bikini wax is much longer-lasting than shaving. This is because it removes the hair from the root instead of just the hair visible on the surface. Waxing is great for someone who doesn't have the time to keep up all that maintenance! Shaving takes time and effort, daily. Also, shaving causes a prickly feeling on your skin soon after shaving (especially when it is cold). You may get the smooth skin for a day and it will soon be gone and you will be sad. Maybe! Probably! No smooth skin and no pubes to play around with, if you are in to that. This is a no-win situation. Last of all, waxing is just plain healthier for your skin. Waxing gives your skin a gentle exfoliating element that shaving doesn't give you. Plus razors can spread all sorts of stuff, like bacteria, that you don't want in or around your area. If you do choose to shave, though, make sure to use a clean razor every time. Not every other time, every single time. This will prevent anything from spreading, bacteria and otherwise.
Biking wax vs. epilation
Epilation is done using an epilator. An epilator is a small machine that resembles an electric razor. It has a rotating head of tweezers that lock on to your hair and pull them from the roots, as you run the device along your skin. Sounds painful, right? This device causes a lot of skin irritation, which makes sense if you think about it. Get ready for a lot of tiny red bumps if this is your hair removal type of choice. It is practically pulling each and every hair one by one, in a rapid fashion. Your skin is also likely to be sensitive after using one of these contraptions. This, compared to waxing, which removes your hair in a clean rip, takes longer and is just more painful. Also, not to mention the bacteria that could be holding on to it. It is very difficult to clean. And, it is totally not as safe to do under towards your labia with an epilator. Waxing is so much safer for getting rid of hair all the way down there.
Bikini wax vs. hair removal creams
Hair removal creams such as Nair separate the hair from the pores by the use of chemicals. It only hits the surface, so it doesn't last as long as waxing would, though it can last a little longer than shaving. Hair removal creams have chemicals in them to make them work and these can cause major irritation to the sensitive skin. Some are better than others though, so if you do want to use hair removal cream, make sure you try them out on a small patch of skin first. However, they are totally unsafe for your downstairs area. The cream can irritate the heck out of the more sensitive skin down there and you do not want it to get inside of you anywhere. Generally, hair removal creams are a safe option for thinner hair on your legs and arms. Do your research if you want to try it out.
Bikini wax vs. laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is the longest lasting solution, though it takes a few appointments to make it permanent. Also, laser hair removal is very expensive and isn't great for everyone’s skin type. Also, since it is permanent, there is no going back. If you decide to go totally bare, you may wake up one morning wishing you still had a little hair down there. That's one of the best things about waxing - the common styles and your own personal preferences change, so can your style of wax!
Make sure to take a look at the photos above of these other types of hair removal methods.
After care for different types of bikini waxes
Aftercare can be really important after the wax. It is a good way to keep sensitive skin from getting irritated and to make your waxing experience as positive as possible. One tip would be to use a moisturizer soon after the wax, like as soon as you get home or as soon as your waxing professional recommends that you use it. Tea-tree based products are recommended for their gentle moisturizing effects, but again, make sure to ask your waxing professional as they may have a different (and more educated) opinion on the matter.
If you're doing this at home, make sure to remove any and all left over wax when you're finished. Leaving the excess wax on your skin can cause unfortunate irritation. And it’s just sticky. It will stick to your underwear and clothes, and just make you totally uncomfortable. Make sure you avoid deodorants and anything perfumed near the area that was waxed because your skin will be more sensitive, and your pores will be more open, so they can be irritating as well. Lastly, avoid shaving between appointments. I know it can be tempting, but it is best to let your hair grow back. As you learned above, this will allow the waxing to go smoothly and will help out your waxing professional a lot. This goes for all the types of waxes above.
Before you go...
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It never hurts to do your research, so make sure you do plenty of that before your first waxing appointment. Knowledge is powerful and knowing what to expect can get rid of any nerves that you may be feeling. Good luck with your waxing quest. I know you will find the best option and love how your area down there when it looks as well as feels fresh, whether you decide waxing is for you or not! And it’s okay if it is not.
Make sure to take a look at all the photos above. These pictures are here to help you out when making the best decision you can make. Photos are your friends. Pictures will guide you through the process.
Good luck and have fun with this new experience. You won't regret it!