We've all been there - Memorial Day weekend comes, which means swim time - finally! You don your perfectly picked out swimsuit, head out in the sun, and suddenly hear the ghastly horror movie screech as the patches of hair your razor conveniently missed come into FULL, grizzly view! You swore you gave it a good once-over, but those tricky little hairs (which had all winter to grow wild and free) had other, more rebellious ideas. If you're like me, the skin in your nether-region reacts to a razor like an angry wild cat reacts to a bath - pure hatred. And we have the awful, irritated, sensitive red skin bumps to prove it. That plus a tight swimsuit and ocean water? REAL nice.
SO - a bikini wax it is! Is it fun? Heh heh. A relaxing time at the spa? HECK no! BUT the result is 100% worth it for baby smooth, non-angry bikini-line skin, and the peace of mind that no one is getting an unwelcome look at our grizzly lady hairs for up to 4 weeks. And if you choose the right place and follow the golden rules for a less painful wax, you'll be walking out on cloud nine (OK --- 50% because it's over, 30% because it wasn't as bad as you thought it'd be, and 20% because you know you won't have to have last-minute panic about your lady hairs poking out of your swimsuit!)
1. Nix the caffeine
Caffeine in coffee, soda, or other caffeinated beverages heightens our body's nerve reactors. That plus waxing? No thank you! If you schedule your wax in the morning, that's a little easier. Forego your first-thing-in-the-morning joe and grab a celebratory cup post-wax. Or just make sure you resist for at least 2 hours prior to waxing.
2. Hydrate with good, ol' fashioned H2O
Resisting caffeine isn't enough - you're gonna want some extra H2O for your body to be in tip-top shape for quick skin recovery post-wax. Drink a little more than usual the day before to prep.
3. Pre-wax ibuprofen
30 minutes to an hour before your wax, pop in a dose of ibuprofen.
4. Just say NO to strip-waxing!
Remember the olden days of hot wax, strip of wax paper, and rrrrip? And your skin being ripped off with it?? These days, there is the less painful and more effective hard wax. It goes on soft, hardens, and becomes the strip which is pulled off. It is significantly less painful for you and better for your skin. By far, European Wax Center has the best I have tried! AND they offer your first basic bikini line wax for free!
5. Don't be shy
Have questions? Ask. A painful past experience? Explain. That's what the pros are there for. Any thoughts, issues, or trepidations you have, let them know! They can adjust their techniques accordingly. I personally like the countdown-to-takeoff so I can breathe in and out and be prepared for the pain, but some people prefer the conversation method (aka: let's pretend we're just old chums talking about the weather while you rip out my bikini line hairs so I am distracted from the immense pain!)
6. No really... DON'T be shy!!
If you've had a bikini wax before, you probably know that the paper thong provided is there to make you feel less awkward about being in butterfly position, otherwise completely nude "down there," in front of a total stranger. It's not there to cover you up! And you become exceedingly aware of that truth the moment you assume the position on the waxing table. My advice? Go commando from the get-go. Many places don't even offer the courtesy paper thonglette anymore. Just embrace it and know it will help the esthetician be able to do her job better. She has your best interest in mind - NO rogue hairs sticking out down there!
7. Schedule wisely
It's best to plan a lady-wax right after your period, when your skin is least bloated and sensitive down there. Also keep in mind that exercising and swimming are PROHIBITED for 24 hours after your wax.
It is our natural reaction to hold our breath when we know pain is coming. FIGHT this tendency! I like to breathe in right before the rip, and out as the wax is pulled off.
The night before your wax, give that area a good scrub with a loofah, dry brush, or washcloth to remove any dead skin cells that might otherwise make the hairs less accessible for the wax.
10. Let it grow
It's impossible to wax hair that has just been shaved down. Let your bikini hairs grow to at least 1/8th of an inch so you can get the best, smoothest, most beautiful skin for your swimsuit!
HERE HERE to a lovely summer season!!