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.