What's a Californian Bikini Wax?

Woman wearing a black bikini behind palm fronds
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Also known as an extended bikini line wax, a Californian wax is as follows: a bikini wax style that takes off most of the pubic hair in the front, but leaves a small triangle shape in the pubic area. It's definitely not as intense as some waxes—it ends up leaving a patch about the size of a tiny thong, which will then be trimmed down. But if you're getting one, be ready for hair removal between the legs and even into the behind.

The Californian removes more hair than a standard clean up, (what most people would call a regular bikini wax,) where only the hair outside a regular underwear line is generally gone. It also goes a little farther than what's often called a "full" or "deep" bikini wax, which removes hair deeper into the bikini line and sometimes off the top. However, a Californian does leave more hair than a Brazilian (nothing or small sized shape in front and totally smooth behind). 

Is it Right For You?

If you prefer thongs, and want to look completely hairless when wearing them but still maintain a little hair, a Californian is the obvious choice for you. But if this is your first wax in your pubic region, you might want to start out with something less abrasive—maybe with a regular or deep wax—and then get more hair taken off on your next visit. It's painful, and you want to ease yourself into it. You don't have to, but if you're nervous, that's the way to go.

However, don’t think you’re tied into a specific type or name. Ultimately, it’s your wax, and you can customize it to your liking. How much hair you want in the front and its shape, and how much hair you want to be removed or left on your behind, are both up to you. Names are decided on by the salon or spa for their menu just so that the technician knows what you want, can block out the right amount of time, and price accordingly. If you want alterations to the wax, just tell them.

How Much Does It Cost?

Exactly how much any salon or spa charges will vary greatly. It won’t be as expensive in a neighborhood salon as it will be at a high-end spa. Some places will charge the same amount if you remove all of the hair from the front or leave a small shape—it just depends on the facility.

It’s best to ask how much a waxing will cost upfront after you've explained what you want, and then again if you decide to de-fuzz more than you planned during your service. Don't expect to pay the same amount if you remove more hair.

How to Find the Right Technician

You don’t want just anyone—even if they’re licensed—to do your service. You’re looking for a tech that’s skilled and experienced, and located in an actual salon or spa. To seek out a talented technician check out reviews online, ask friends and family for referrals or try a facility that specializes in waxing. A seasoned pro will make you feel comfortable, take off the hair fairly quickly, and never double-dip the applicator stick. They should also be equipped to use the right wax for your hair and skin type (because types of wax very,) which leaves you with the least amount of pain and your skin with less of trauma. Afterwards, listen to the aftercare instructions they give you. Odds are, you forked over a decent amount to have hairless skin. Take care of it and you’ll keep your skin soft and bump-free

If you want to wax yourself, consider it a little more first. There's a reason people go to school for this. Mix in a delicate zone and thick hair, and you’ve just increased the difficulty and possible issues (like excessive redness, bruising, broken and missed hair). If you’re brave, we would suggest trying to wax hair only outside a regular panty line. Anything more, and it's a great idea to let a professional do the work.

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