The Bikini Wax: What to Expect With Your First One

Woman with smooth legs and bikini wax

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So you've booked your first bikini wax. Congratulations! Now you're probably wondering what happens next. There is no better or cleaner hair removal and grooming process out there, and we promise you will love the results. While waxing the bikini area can be much easier than shaving it, it can also be a bit intimidating—especially if it's your first time. Trust us, we've all been there. To put your worries to rest, we've turned to two experts, Gina Petak and Deidra Green of European Wax Center, to walk you through everything you can expect during your first bikini wax, including post-bikini wax tips. Trust us, the bikini wax before and after will be worth it!

Here, see what the experts want you to know before getting your first bikini wax.

Meet the Expert

  • Gina Petak is European Wax Center's education manager.
  • Deidra Green is the corporate field trainer for European Wax Center.

No One Is Judging You

If you're worried that your waxer will be judging you on your vulva and public hair, we're here to tell you that's absolutely not the case. "Guests should feel comfortable knowing that you are working with a licensed professional who has seen everything," Green says. "Everyone is different and experienced wax specialists are used to working with all hair types, including different lengths and thicknesses."

At the end of the day, your waxer will be focused on one thing: getting you as smooth as possible with the least amount of discomfort. That, and making sure you follow your aftercare routine post-wax, Green adds.

Woman close up smooth bikini area
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What Happens When You Arrive

Before we talk about what to expect when you arrive, let's take a second to discuss when you should arrive. Green says that you should always try to arrive a few minutes early. "This ensures you can get answer any questions with the front desk to complete your profile. This can include anything from confirming contact information to ensuring you aren’t on any medications that might interfere with the wax."

Since it's your first time with the waxer, she'll consult with you first before removing any hair. She'll examine your hair length to make sure it's long enough (more on that later) and she'll ask how much you want off.

A basic bikini wax means removal of hair outside the panty line. This is a great option for your first time because the most painful parts are your most intimate parts. A full bikini removes just a bit more.

There are other types of bikini waxes, but instead of memorizing them and what they mean, tell your waxer what you want to take off. She may have no idea what a "Hollywood wax" is, anyway. You can point to where you want the hair to stop. And you can ask her to remove the hair in the back, too, between the buttocks, even if you don't want a full Brazilian.

If you feel nervous about the wax, speak up. Letting your waxer know it's your first time will give her the opportunity to guide you through it, making it as gentle and quick a process as possible.

Wax
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What Are the Different Types of Wax?

First of all, there is soft and hard wax. "Soft wax requires a paper strip to be placed on top of the wax to remove it. It then removes the first layer of skin along with the hair, which means you can’t go over the area multiple times," Petak explains. Because of this, stray hair can be left behind. And since the use of paper strips removes the first layer of skin, you may notice your skin being redder afterward.

On the other hand, hard wax hardens enough on its own to not need this paper strip. "It also does not adhere to the skin and only adheres to the hair. This allows the wax to be placed over the same spot multiple times without skin damage, ensuring all the hairs are removed," says Petak. "It’s often said that hard wax is a much less painful experience than soft wax for all parts of the body."

How Much Hair Should You Have?

In order to prepare for your wax, it's recommended that your hair is at least 1/4 inch long (about the size of a sprinkle). "It’s a good idea to stop shaving at least five days prior to your waxing reservation. Though don’t worry, your hair can never be too long to come see us," Petak says. "All of our wax specialists are expertly trained to work with all hair and skin types." However, if your hair is too long, your waxing session will be more painful.

What Is the Waxing Process Like?

While every place has their own process, European Wax Center has a unique, four-step waxing process, which Green explains below.

Cleanse: Once you are comfortable on the bed, the wax specialist will ensure you are in a comfortable position and begin the cleansing process to remove any lotions, soap residue, sebum, and other impurities from the skin.

Protect: The next step is to apply an oil to create a protective barrier on the skin to ensure the wax only sticks to the hair and not your skin.

Wax: Third, the wax specialist will wax you (European Wax Center uses their our exclusive Comfort Wax). "We are the only ones in the world with this wax and it is our own proprietary blend," Green says.

Rejuvenate: Last, once the wax is complete, your waxer will rejuvenate your skin. "We'll do this with either our Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum ($30) for the body or our Renew Me Restoring Serum: Pollution Defense ($24) for the face. I highly recommend taking these home with you so you can continue your aftercare between waxes."

How Much Does it Hurt?

First and foremost, there are different levels of pain for everybody, though this usually subsides once a bikini wax becomes a regular part of your routine. "Waxing such a sensitive area can be uncomfortable, especially for first-timers," Petak explains. "However, since waxing removes the hair from the root, it makes it grow softer and finer, resulting in each wax becoming less painful and more comfortable."

A high-quality wax can also help make the experience more comfortable. "European Wax Center uses an exclusively developed, hard stripless Comfort WaxTM that removes hair effectively with minimal pain while also being gentle on the skin, ensuring the most comfortable waxing experience." 

A bikini wax might hurt at first, but as it becomes part of your regular routine, you'll notice a reduced level of pain with each visit.

What Is the Aftercare Process?

As far as aftercare goes, take care not to overlook the area. Green recommends using the Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum to prevent ingrown hairs post-wax. "To help slow the growth of hair between waxes, try European Wax Center’s Slow It line, which consists of a Body Wash ($20) and Body Lotion ($20) that include our Hair Growth Minimizer," Green adds.

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