What to Expect In A Bikini Wax

Many women wonder what to expect in a bikini wax for the first time. Worry no more! After reading this you’ll be fully prepared with the best resources from throughout the web before getting your bikini wax.

Everyone feels a bit self-conscious, especially the first few times

It is important to remember that beauty therapists have seen it all before and perform bikini waxes each and every day. It is normal to worry about whether you’re too hairy or not hairy enough, but it isn’t really unnecessary. Relax!

There are several categories of bikini wax based on how much hair is removed and priced accordingly

The classic shape is the ‘Bikini.’ This involves a simple tidy up of hair at the front and some below. This doesn’t extend beyond your knicker line. Such a procedure is enough to get you bikini-ready. The ‘Bikini’ is the ideal wax for first-timers. Cosmo continues:

The ‘Brazilian’ involves a lot more hair removal – typically leaving just a ‘landing strip’ of hair at the front and all hair removed down below and even round the back! The ‘Hollywood’ is total hair removal, front to back.

Many salons offer a ‘High Bikini’ or ‘G String’ wax which is a little more thorough than your classic ‘Bikini’ shape and includes hair removed from the top to take your strip down in length.

If you want a thorough wax like a Brazilian or Hollywood, the therapist may find it easier if you remove your pants or offer you some disposable pants instead

Salons that offer a type of hot wax without strips may also want you to be naked. But if you feel uncomfortable during the process, you should speak up or even leave!

The therapist normally asks you place one leg bent up at the knee and the other bent flat on the bed at a right angle, exposing one side of your bikini line. She will then tuck a tissue into the edge of your pants to protect them from the wax.

Wearing gloves, the therapist applies melted hot wax onto a small section of your hair using a spatula – it’s warm, not too hot

After that, a strip of cloth or muslin is applied on top of the wax. The therapist will then press down for a few seconds, holding the skin taut, pulling the strip away in one fell swoop. This process keeps repeating on both sides, until you’re finished.

OK, the therapist WILL be very close to your butt and MAY have to touch your labia and adjust you here and there to get the skin taut.

This does sound odd but it is necessary.

How Painful Is It?

Everyone has different pain thresholds but we won’t kid you that it’s painless (as many salons claim)

It typically results in a sharp intake of breath. As you do it more, it definitely gets easier however.

In some areas you’ll hardly notice it. But in other spots result in you cursing out the heavens. Regardless, it ends up being over in about two seconds.

The best therapists work in small sections and then press down on the skin right after pulling off the wax strip to dull your pain. It is a good idea to have so ask your therapist to work in this manner. Taking an ibuprofen an hour your appointment can be helpful.

The therapist finishes by checking her handiwork and removing any remaining stray hairs with tweezers

It is annoying, but important.

Finally, a soothing cream is applied all over

This bit feels really nice. She’ll leave the room to let you get dressed.

A bit of redness is normal afterwards for a few hours

Congratulations! You are now hair-free and low-maintenance for roughly 3-4 weeks before you need another session.

European Wax Center

Here are some bikini wax tips from European Wax Center.


5 reasons you’ll love getting your bikini area waxed

Getting your bikini area waxed by a professional can truly be a “treat yourself” moment. Ladies more often than not find themselves more satisfied with the results of waxing than other temporary hair removal options like shaving, epilation and hair removal creams.

Here are the top five benefits from European Wax Center:

1. Skin health

Not only does waxing remove hair, it’s a physical exfoliation that removes lifeless surface skin cells, which means you’re receiving hair removal and skincare all in one.

2. Smoother skin

Because you are removing hair from the root and exfoliating the skin, after a wax, you’ll probably find that your skin is now among the smoothest things in your life (sorry, boyfriend).

3. Longer-lasting results

Since your hair is being removed by the root, it will take much longer to grow back than with shaving.

4. Thinner and finer hair

When your hair does grow back after waxing, it will grow back weaker, making it finer, softer and sparser. Win-win!

5. Minimal irritation

Many people find hair removal methods like epilation and hair removal creams irritating to the skin. However, waxing rarely causes this problem if it’s done by a licensed professional.

How exactly does bikini waxing stack up against the rest?

Bikini Waxing vs. Shaving

Waxing provides smoother and longer lasting results by removing the hair from the root. Shaving, however, cuts the hair just below the skin’s surface, causing a prickly feeling only days after you shave.

Furthermore, waxing is also healthier because it provides a physical exfoliation, thereby removing lifeless surface cells. Waxing gives you the smoothest skin and thus the smoothest experience.

Bikini Waxing vs. Epilation

Epilation is very similar to shaving or tweezing, and removes the hair right below the skin’s surface.

Because epilation is done by machine, it’s slower and significantly more painful than waxing. Waxing provides smoother and longer lasting results with far less discomfort.

Bikini Waxing vs. Hair Removal Creams

The problem with chemical creams is that they only remove the hair right below the skin’s surface. Also be advised that these creams can be very irritating to your skin as they can cause burning if they are left on for too long.

What about a more permanent solution?

Laser hair removal can be risky. This solution may or may not provide permanent hair removal. Results depend on women’s skin tones and hair types.

Laser hair removal can also be very expensive, especially if it doesn’t turn out to be a permanent hair removal solution.

The different types of bikini and Brazilian waxes

If you’ve heard the terms bikini and Brazilian waxing thrown around interchangeably, then you may be confused.

Bikini line

Bikini line is a basic tidying. This were the sides are waxed the sides, also called your panty line, and across the top. Should you be wearing a bikini, this prevents any hairs from “peeking out.”

Bikini (full)

Bikini is the next step. This allows you to take off as much or as little hair as you want from the front. If you want to leave a small “strip,” triangle, square, or nothing at all, you can. It’s completely up to you.

Bikini Brazilian

A bikini Brazilian is done from the front then all the way to the back and with an added butt strip. This is ideal for if you want a look that is completely nude. You can also leave a neat triangle, strip, or square on the front.

Proper Preparation: How to get prepared for your first bikini wax

Relax, gorgeous

The pain that is associated with waxing is usually caused by the anxiety and tension a someone feels during the session. But the more you relaxed, the less painful the session will be. You should look at your waxing experience as a way of pampering yourself and giving yourself that very skin.

Get wax ready

To let the wax to grip the hair, your body hair should be at least a ¼ inch long, or about the length of a grain of rice.

If this will be your first time, it is recommended you not shave for at least two weeks before your reservation.

After your first wax, you should wax every three to four weeks. Then dispose of your razors, because you won’t shave ever again.

Top 6 dos and don’ts of bikini waxing from European Wax Center


  • Relax. Breathe. Find your special place. Think about an awesome meal you had. Pretend you’re on a beach with your favorite celeb. The more relaxed you are, the better the waxing experience will be.

  • Inform your Wax Specialist of any medications you are taking, such as antibiotics, Accutane, or topical creams you’re using, such as Retin-A, which may not be compatible with waxing.

  • Wear comfortable cotton panties to avoid irritation if it’s your first time receiving a bikini wax. They don’t have to be cute, but hey, it couldn’t hurt.


  • Tan the area you plan to wax 24 to 48 hours before reservation.

  • Consume alcohol or significant amounts of caffeine before your reservation. Both can cause your pores to tighten, resulting in a more uncomfortable experience. Save the partying for afterwards.

  • Use any numbing creams. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they do not penetrate the skin deep enough to be effective.


After your first wax

Your first wax removes the majority of hair that has grown above the skin. Because hairs grow in different cycles, your subsequent waxes will remove the hairs that were still growing below the skin’s surface but have now sprouted above the skin.

After three to four waxes, all of your hairs should be growing in the same cycle, resulting in longer lasting smooth skin.

Bikini wax aftercare tips

Consistency pays off. Once your first wax is done, every appointment will get easier so long as you don’t shave. If you shave, the next wax will probably feel like your first one.

Additionally, shaving between waxes can make you susceptible to itching, or worse… ingrown hairs. Plus, shaving is just irritating and time-consuming. So put the razor down!

Sex after waxing?

You should wait 24 to 48 hours to let your skin heal and allow your hair follicles to close. This will also prevent any further skin irritation.

Tanning after waxing?

Tan, beautiful skin looks sexy, but again you should wait 24 to 48 hours after a wax before tanning. The freshly waxed skin is prone to sun damage if it exposed too soon. Thoroughly apply sunscreen to the waxed area if you must to go in the sun.

5 possible side effects of bikini waxing and how to treat them

Redness after waxing – This will disappear over time. You can be red from a few minutes to a few days depending on your skin sensitivity and how your skin handles the wax.

Ingrown hairs after waxingTo prevent ingrown hairs or further skin irritation, we recommend that you use both our Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum and Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Wipes. The serum is infused with our Comfort Blend™ and antioxidants to help prevent and clear ingrown hairs and breakouts as well as calm and nourish the skin. Our Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Wipes are formulated with alpha and beta hydroxy acids and our Comfort Blend ™ to help clear and prevent bumps and ingrown hairs as well has help to slow the regrowth of hair between waxes.

Stubble after waxing – If you’ve just gotten waxed and are already seeing a “5 o’clock shadow”, just know that our hairs grow in different cycles. It’s possible that the hairs just below the skin’s surface have sprouted after your wax service, resulting in a stubbly feel. Moisturizing daily between services is a must; dry or brittle hair can easily break during a wax service. But don’t worry, just go with the flow – allow these hairs to grow so we can remove them next time we see you.

Bumps after waxing – Some bumps are a result of post wax irritation and will go away on their own within a few hours to a few days. To help calm your skin, you can use our Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum to help soothe and treat any ingrown hairs, bumps or breakouts.

Itching after waxing – We know it’s going to be tempting, but try really, really hard not to scratch those freshly waxed areas. Because the skin will be new and sensitive, you must be careful not to cause further irritation by scratching. Try to help soothe the area by using an aloe vera gel or our Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum to help soothe the skin.

The FAQs: The Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get waxed if I’m having my period?

Yes! We can absolutely wax you when Aunt Flo’s in town. Take note that the area is usually more sensitive during this time, so you could experience more discomfort than usual.

But to successfully complete the service, you will need to wear a tampon.

Can I get waxed if I have a sunburn?

No. Services usually won’t be performed on sunburned skin or any skin that is irritated or unhealthy. Your therapists are doing you a favor. Book a reservation when your skin is fully healed.

Can I get waxed if I’m taking medication?

Here’s what European Wax Center has to say:

It’s always best to refer to your doctor if you have any questions. For prescribed creams such as Retin-A or Differin, we advise that you stop use seven days prior to your reservation and do not resume use until seven days after your wax.

We will not wax you if you are on Accutane or have been in the past 6 months. It’s very dangerous to wax while on Accutane and a doctor’s note will be needed to receive services. It’s very important that you inform our Guest Service Associates of what medications you may be taking so we can provide you with a safe waxing experience.

Is it safe to have a Brazilian wax while pregnant?

First, congratulations! And yes, you can still wax. But you could experience more skin sensitivity because of the hormonal changes your body is going through.

European Wax Center recommends “checking with your doctor during the last two months of pregnancy.”

What if I have piercings and tattoos? Will it hinder my experience in any way?

Waxing areas with tattoos does not cause any problems to your art, or your skin. In fact, waxing will help brighten your tattoo by removing the dead, surface cells on top of it.

We recommend that you remove your piercing. If you cannot remove your piercing, the Wax Specialist will have to go around it and may leave a couple of hairs that are too close to touch.

The Huffington Post

Finally, The Huffington Post weighs in with their Bikini Wax tips.

What are the most common mistakes women make before a bikini wax?

Drinking alcohol with the idea that it would dull the pain. But it tightens pores, which can lead to a painful waxing experience.

Also Trimming their hair too short before waxing because they think their hair is too long.

Another one is shaving between waxing services. This reverses the benefits of waxing, including removing hair from the root and having that silky smooth skin you got during your waxing session.

How can you reduce bikini waxing pain?

It is important to hydrate and moisturize your skin before and between waxing.

Drinking water and applying moisturizer products like Dry Oil Spray and Ultimate Balm daily is beneficial to your body before you w. It is also highly beneficial to your overall health.

What are the pros and cons of the various bikini waxes?

Huffo weighs in:

  • Strip wax, applied hot, is the most popular wax used, and makes for a tedious, slow and painful procedure, often leaving the skin feeling sticky and irritated.

  • Hard waxes are also applied hot and soon cool to break and crack, making the wax difficult to remove and reducing hair removal efficiency.

  • Elastic wax, unique to Uni K Wax, is applied at body temperature allowing the wax to stretch and remove hair from large areas, without strips, causing less of a pull to the skin.

What is a big no-no when lying down on the waxing table?

Never interfere with the treatment! Always leave the waxing to the licensed professionals! HuffPo gives an example:

There was a mom who visited Uni K Wax with her daughter to get the girl’s eyebrows waxed. The mom tried to control the waxing and actually moved the waxer’s hand to get the shape she wanted!

This caused the wax to fall on the girl’s eyelid. Luckily, the waxer was able to remove the wax with oil and finish the service with no other accidents.

What are some of the dos and don’ts pre- and post-bikini waxing?

  • Do: Exfoliate in between waxing to reduce the chance of ingrown hairs.
  • Do: Use sun protection when exposing your skin to the sun. It is especially important during the first 24 hours after waxing in order to avoid redness.
  • Do: Let your waxer know before your appointment if you have any allergies, health conditions, or are taking any medication, like Accutane, or if you are using any topical lotions or creams like AHAs or Retin-A, which are not compatible with waxing.
  • Don’t: Use numbing products or pain relief medicine, such as Advil, as it is not necessary.
  • Don’t: Take alcohol (and other stimulants such as caffeine) prior to waxing, stimulants tighten the pores.

What types of skin reactions or conditions come about as a result of improper bikini waxing?

Here’s what HuffPo has to say on the matter:

Hard and honey strip wax applied too hot can cause the skin to burn, itch or bleed. Additionally, some medications or medical conditions can cause the skin to react.

These skin reactions can be reduced by an experienced waxer, who should have a keen eye for problems she sees on the customer’s skin prior to waxing and the waxing technique they use.


h/t: Cosmopolitan, European Wax Center, The Huffington Post