Visiting the spa for a Brazilian wax is only half the battle. Okay, Bikini waxes are scary, and there are plenty of things about them we’d like to change. The pain factor and price are the first few factors that come to mind. In fact, there’s an ongoing debate surrounding whether bikini waxes are truly that painful. Some say the more you get them, the less painful they become, but either way, it’s an uncomfortable experience to sit through. You do it anyway because you know what they say: Beauty is pain—and the end results are well worth it.
So once you survive your waxing session like a champ, this question comes to mind: What if we could just make the results last longer? Then, all the rest of our issues would be less problematic. Getting a bikini wax and then waking up with short, stubble hairs a few days later is the worst. On the brighter side, there are ways to work around this and make your bikini wax last longer.
We went to the pros to see if extending the results of our bikini waxes was an attainable ask. Noemi Grupenmager, founder and CEO of Uni K Wax Center; Melanie Coba, European Wax Center’s brand ambassador; and Natale Davidov, manager of Waxclub, all agree it’s possible and not too difficult. You just have to incorporate a few of their tried-and-true bikini wax tips into your routine to make it happen. Scroll on for the rundown on exactly how it’s done.
Before You Wax
Preparation is everything. The first thing you'll want to do is find someone who you can work with well. All estheticians and most cosmetologists, depending on your state, are licensed to perform waxing. You don't want someone who simply offers the service just because they can. Rather, you should choose a technician that has good experience, skills, and considers bikini waxing their specialty. Finding an expert is very important when it comes to removing hair.
Waxing at home is one option, but if you’re after long-lasting results, go pro. “A professional waxer knows all there is to know about your skin type, how to apply the wax, and how to remove it to remove the hair effectively,” Grupenmager says.
There are several more ways you can prepare for the perfect Brazilian wax:
- Seek out referrals. Whether it's from friends, family, or reputable review sites, finding someone by referral is a great way to ensure you're working with a professional. Waxing salons are another great place to start, as this is their specialty. You might want to get something less visible first, like an underarm wax, to make sure you're comfortable with the facility and the technician.
- Go to a women-specific spa. Your skin is often more sensitive around the time near your period, and waxing can be more painful than normal. Make appointments at least a few days before or after your period. Some places will not (or prefer not to) perform this service while you're on your period, so it's best to call in advance.
- Make sure you're clean. Exfoliate and lightly moisturize before your appointment to remove dead skin cells and prepare the hairs for waxing. Between appointments, keep up the same regular exfoliation (Grupenmager recommends about once a week) and daily moisturizing game: “Great skincare is the best post-treatment—it’s essential for keeping your skin soft in between waxes.”
Do not use any lotions or oils around the bikini area prior to getting a wax. Moisturizers can interfere with the wax process by not allowing the wax to adhere well to the hair.
- Make sure you have enough hair. Don’t even think about getting a wax until your hair is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. “This is the ideal length for hair that’s getting waxed because it allows the wax to get a better hold on the hair and pull it directly from the root, preventing the hair from breaking,” Grupenmager says. Hairs that are too short remain. Up to an inch of hair growth is doable for a wax.
- Take a painkiller. Take Advil, Tylenol, or a similar medication 30-45 minutes before your appointment if you're worried about discomfort. Aspirin and Ibuprofen may not be the best choices, however, as they both are known to thin blood.
During Your Wax Appointment
Know exactly what you want. This service often removes hair from the behind and between your legs. Sometimes a strip of hair or triangle is left in the front. Don't be afraid to communicate exactly how much hair you want to keep and be removed with your technician. Remember, you can always create your own style.
You also want to be prepared. If you've never had this type of service, you may not know that you might be asked to help to hold skin and move around so that the tech can get to every last hair. Additionally, you'll need to expect a little pain. Everyone is different in their tolerance and perception of pain, but some discomfort is generally expected.
Once you're done, you'll want to engage in some post care activities. Following the next few tips will help move things along nicely:
- Keep hands away. Coba also thinks it’s important to avoid touching your newly hair-free skin. “This will not only clog pores but also transfer the bacteria that’s on your hands onto your newly waxed skin,” Coba explains. “I highly recommend not tweezing ingrown hairs in between waxing services."
- Opt for a shower. Don't take a hot bath for the rest of the day, as soaking in water could cause unnecessary irritation or pimples.
- Don't be around too much heat. Avoid tanning beds, saunas, or steam rooms for the next two days.
- Skip sex. Sexual activity should be avoided for at least 12-24 hours for your first couple waxes, or if you have very sensitive skin.
- Exfoliate. Two full days later, if there isn't any redness, use a mild exfoliator. This helps prevent ingrown hair. You can use an Ayate washcloth, for example, which gently exfoliates skin alone. It can also be lathered up with body wash and is more mold-resistant than loofahs.
- Fight the bumps. Tend Skin is a great brand for treating and preventing pesky ingrown hairs.
Do not wear tight pants or underwear for the first few days after your wax appointment to avoid skin irritation.
Here are some of our favorite post-wax products to fight ingrown hairs and irritation.