Waxing is an interesting topic to broach, as so much of the discussion surrounding body hair remains veiled by social taboo. The choice of if, when, and where we wax is ours—it should be free from judgment and restrictions. Nonetheless, just like everything else, there are trends that pop up and become the norm. In 2013 researchers surveyed 3300 women between the ages of 18 and 65 and found 84 percent had groomed their pubic hair and 16 percent had not. (More than 20 percent of those who had, had partners who preferred it). While we've come a little way past 2013 in terms of body hair acceptance, it's safe to say it's still expected that anyone who presents as femme will in some way trim their body hair.
Despite how much some of us love to let our body hair grow naturally and free, others feel better when they wax or shave. And that's okay—it's a personal choice. Just as not removing your hair at all or doing any type of grooming in between is okay. Still, it's important to have all the facts, no matter what you choose. As such, we developed simple, easy guidelines for how often you should wax each body part—as long as you're into that kind of thing.
"Facial hair, such as brow, lip, and chin hair, grows in much quicker than hair on the rest of your body," says Melanie Coba. "Since facial hair tends to grow quickly and is more visible, we recommend waxing on a more frequent basis to minimize regrowth."
Meet the Expert
- Melanie Coba is a brand ambassador for European Wax Center.
- Nikki Babian is the lead specialist at Spruce & Bond Scarsdale.
"For your face, I recommend using strip wax with a paraffin base, so it's easy on sensitive skin," says Nikki Babian. "It shouldn't be the typical sticky wax that can grip and pull the skin. I like to use strip wax on those baby hairs around the mouth to get all the peach fuzz off."
FYI: Here's how not to break out after waxing.
"It's best to wax your underarms every two weeks, as it's obvious when there's regrowth," Coba says. "You'll get the best results if you stay on a consistent schedule, as your skin will remain smooth and pretty fuss-free."
"I always recommend using hard wax on the underarms since that's a very sensitive area," warns Babian. Do some research on the type of wax they use at the place you've chosen to go before making an appointment, as it can make all the difference. You should also just know the place you're going in general—make sure they don't slack on the sanitary procedures.
Make sure to prep beforehand, and read nine things no one ever tells you about waxing.
"We use a proprietary blend we call comfort wax, which is beeswax and other high-quality ingredients," says Coba. "In the short and long term, waxing will allow for hair growth to become softer and more sparse. Most of our clients are surprised at how quickly their hair changes when they stick to a schedule, and the results only get better and better the longer you do it. For a bikini wax, those who frequent the beach benefit from waxing their bikini line every two weeks. But, for a full bikini or Brazilian bikini service, you're recommended to come in every three to four weeks. This allows the proper amount of time for regrowth." That time for regrowth ensures all of the hair gets taken care of when you wax, not the most prominent ones.
Apply a skin-soothing ointment like hydrocortisone, aloe, or witch hazel to the bikini area to calm inflammation and reduce irritation.
Witch hazel is harvested from the witch hazel plant in North America. It has many uses, including cleansing oily skin, treating minor wounds, treating acne, and removing makeup.
Babian notes you should request hard wax on your bikini as well, because it's super sensitive. There are also some easy ways to make a bikini wax less painful. Before you go in, you should know the style of wax you want (Brazilian, full Brazilian, standard bikini) and be comfortable communicating with your technician. They do this all the time—don't worry.
Rowen TS, Gaither TW, Awad MA, Osterberg EC, Shindel AW, Breyer BN. Pubic hair grooming prevalence and motivation among women in the United States. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(10):1106-1113. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.2154