Did waxing your bikini area on your own end up in a mess? Here's the secret: hard wax. It's specifically made for coarse hair, doesn't require a strip, and actually "shrink wraps" the hair, making it easier for the wax to uplift the hair. This process will take 45 minutes to an hour. Follow these instructions for a regular bikini wax at home to remove the hair outside your panty line.
What You Need
The first thing you need to do is buy a waxing kit. Hard wax (compare prices on Amazon) goes on smooth but hardens so that it doesn’t require a strip to be removed. If you buy a waxing kit, most of the following items will be included. Check to see what you might need in addition to the kit.
- Wax warmer
- Hard wax
- Pre-wax cleanser
- Pre-epilation oil
- Square-edge applicators (for getting straighter lines)
- Wax remover for the skin
- After-wax lotion or aloe-based gel
Don't attempt to use hard wax unless the hair on your bikini line is at least one-quarter inch long. Use hair clippers to trim hair down if it's longer than one-half inch. Scissors don't work well for trimming because you run the risk of making some hair too short, so use an electric razor specifically geared toward the bikini line.
After you've trimmed the hair to the right length, put on gloves and use a pre-wax cleanser on the target area. Then apply a pre-epilation oil that works with hard wax, like the Gigi Pre Epilation Oil ($4) with grape seed and soybean oil. More isn’t better—use just enough oil to smooth the area. A few drops should do it.
Heat the wax according to the kit's directions. Using an applicator (this should be included in your kit), apply the hot wax evenly in one stroke to a section about three inches long and two inches wide, with the thickness of a nickel. Apply with the direction of hair growth. Don’t stop at the edge of where the hair grows; go past that point. You will use the part of the wax that isn’t attached to hair as a tab to remove it. The wax will dull as it hardens and will not be tacky. Check to see if it's hard after about 30 seconds; it should sound like you're tapping hard plastic with your fingernail. If the wax isn’t hard enough when it's removed, it won’t take away all of the hair.
When the wax has cooled, lightly flick up a small part of the wax that isn’t attached to hair at the end to be used as a tab. Hold your skin taut with one hand and remove wax in opposite direction of hair growth in one quick pull all the way to the other side, just as you would pull off a bandage. Don't pull up, which might be your natural inclination. Immediately after you remove the wax, press your hand down on your skin to help relieve some of the pain. Work your way around, waxing the bikini area, using the same process until all the hair is removed. If the wax has missed a few hairs, and it probably has, remove them with a tweezer first sterilized with rubbing alcohol.
When you're satisfied that all the hair in the bikini area has been removed, use the wax remover in the kit to take away any remaining residue. Your skin will probably be a bit red and painful after waxing. Use an aloe-based gel to calm it down. If it seems more seriously inflamed, apply a cortisone cream to the area.
The bikini area has a tendency for ingrown hairs. Two days after you do the wax, lightly exfoliate the area to try to avoid any ingrown hairs.
There's no way to completely eliminate pain from the waxing process, but there are a few things you can do to lessen it. Staying hydrated makes a difference, as does applying moisturizer before you wax. Take a pain reliever about 30 to 45 minutes before waxing and apply a numbing cream like Numb Master 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream ($16 ) or spray if you're really concerned about the "ouch factor."
Waxing can cause red bumps, ingrown hairs, bruising, and other side effects, so know what to expect before you begin waxing.
Plan to wear loose, comfy bottoms and breathable underwear after waxing to prevent chafing.
Before you do your first wax, practice using the wax on a small part of your body, like your arm, so you get the feel of it. Always test a small amount of wax on your hand before putting it on your bikini zone to make sure it’s warm and not hot.
A couple of weeks before waxing your bikini area, shave exactly where you want the hair to be removed and make the bikini lines even on both sides. Once it grows back, it will make waxing the area where you need to remove hair easier to follow.
When Not to Wax
You should avoid waxing if you are taking Accutane or any other acne medication, if you have lupus or AIDS, or if you're getting chemotherapy or radiation for cancer. As always, check in with a dermatologist if you're unsure whether you should be waxing.