How to: Prepare for your first bikini wax

Thursday, 5 November 2015


Few things are more daunting than the prospect of that first bikini wax. You know it’s going to be uncomfortable (at best) and the fact that it’s in a rather delicate area hardly boosts morale. Fortunately there are a few pointers to help ease the process ¬– stick to these do’s and don’ts for a smooth first wax.

Do – Book your appointment with a reputable salon where you know the therapists practice good hygiene.

Do – Keep calm and take a few deep breaths beforehand to reduce anxiety. If you’re really panicky take two paracetamols to dull your nerves and the pain.

Don’t – Exfoliate directly before the treatment. Tania Botha, owner of Simply Skin beauty salon in Sonstraal, Durbanville, says despite popular belief it’s not necessary to exfoliate before waxing the bikini area. “The skin in this area is very thin so there’s not likely to be much dead skin build up, and exfoliating can increase skin sensitivity which is not ideal. Exfoliating is only necessary if you have ingrown hairs,” she says.

Don’t – Moisturise. Avoid applying lotions to your bikini area on the day as these may prevent the wax from adhering to the hair properly.

Do – Allow your hair to grow for a while before the time. “You need a minimum of half a centimeter of hair growth for a good wax,” says Tania. On the other hand there will be a lot of pulling and breaking if the hair is shaggy. Your therapist will trim any hair that is not the ideal length so don’t worry if you think it might be too long.

Don’t – “Shave between waxes. Choose a system of hair removal and stick with it for maximum efficacy,” advises Tania.

Do – Book a follow-up appointment. As a general rule you should wait three to four weeks between waxing, so book your next appointment with this time frame in mind.

Don’t – Tan beforehand. “Avoid waxing within eight hours of direct sunlight to the area as skin sensitivity increases with heat,” says Tania. Direct sun exposure also increases the risk of skin stripping, which is not otherwise a concern when waxing (unless you’re taking certain medication, see below).

Don’t – Wax if you’re using oral acne drugs or topical steroids. These treatments increase skin sensitivity and may also result in skin stripping when waxing.

Don’t – Expose the area to hot water afterwards. The skin will be extra sensitive so avoid hot baths and showers for several hours after waxing.

Do – Use a mild scrub a few days later once the area is less sensitive. This helps prevent ingrown hairs between treatments.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Is it better to shave or wax your bikini line?
Is my eyebrow waxing damaging my skin?
The in’s and out’s of back waxing
How can I minimise ingrown hairs and razor burn?
Your complete shaving kit

Written by

Candice is a health and beauty writer who is passionate about wellness, sunshine, macadamia nut butter, good coffee and great conversation. She believes that kindness is a superpower and that the best experiences in life are found in the least likely places.

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. Siyanda Marrengane

    very helpful article

    1 year ago •

  1. Yolanda Milne

    this is a very great article for young woman who do not know what to expect or tiring waxing for the first time. great job

    2 years ago •

  1. Nixxi

    Make sure you book with a therapist who knows what she’s doing! That alone will make the wax much less painful. I’m lucky that I’m able to wax myself, saves me a lot of money and pain!

    2 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I find Environ’s derma lac lotion is the absolute best for preventing ingrowns.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sharon Bassa

    Very informative….still anxious though to try out!!

    2 years ago •

  1. Fatima Bibi Hoosen

    Ive waxed myself down there before. I stopped coz I couldnt find the wax I was using after I moved. Ever since then Im too scared to start again

    2 years ago •

  1. Insaaf Daniels

    thank you for this article, so helpful

    2 years ago •

  1. Esme Van Jaarsveld

    Only ever been for one Brazilian before and it was brutal BUT nothing a woman cant handle ;)

    2 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    I enjoy my Brazilian wax every three months. You cannot beat having a hair free zone.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sheethal Dajee

    Glad I came across this article. Was thinking of trying a bikini wax a couple of weeks ago, but felt too embarrassed to go ahead. After reading this I might reconsider.

    2 years ago •

  1. Iman Coovadia

    sill anxious but this really helps!

    2 years ago •

  1. Ray-Jessie Hendricks

    This is a very helpful article. I learnt so much. This article helped me learn quite a few misconceptions.

    2 years ago •


    wow this sounds so painful, but these tips are great!

    2 years ago •

  1. Sibongile Khumalo

    scared already, this one, errrr, I’ll pass

    2 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In