How To Do A DIY Brazilian Bikini Wax: The Ultimate Guide

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DIY Brazilian wax: it’s just three words, but it has the power to strike fear deep into our… You get the drift. And if you’re a fan of the less is more approach to pubic hair, then it’s possible you’ve subjected yourself to a Brazilian wax or even considered doing it yourself. Because let’s be real, regular salon appointments can be expensive to keep up (paying for pain’s hard to rationalize) and it’s a kinda uncomfortable experience. So that’s why we’ve become pretty great at doing a DIY bikini wax at home. To guarantee we covered all the bases, we spoke to Dani Kirk; our go-to beauty therapist at award-winning Dubai salon, Essa Beauty. Here’s everything you need to know to have salon-worthy waxing skills…

3 Essential Rules of DIY Waxing

Before we get into our step-by-step guide, there are some things you need to know before you turn up the heat:

Rule 1: “Hair growth should be at least 1cm long before waxing for best results. Any shorter and the wax may not be able to grab the hairs and remove them properly,” Dani told us. No point in pain without any gain, right?

Rule 2: “Make sure you choose a wax from a good quality, reputable brand so that you get the results you desire. Veet is one of our faves; they offer different types of wax that allow you to choose your preferred method of removal. They have pre-prepared wax strips that you just warm in your hands, apply, and remove, which are really easy to use. They also have electrical wax rollers that are a great option for areas like the legs and the arms, which allow for smooth and even application of wax.”

Rule 3: “Avoid wax if you’re taking any vitamin A derivative, retinol, Accutane, or Roaccutane,” Dani warns. “These can make skin sensitive to waxing and should be avoided completely during treatments and even up to six months after, depending on your skin.” You should also avoid doing a DIY wax when you’re on your period (or just before) as your skin’s more sensitive, so it’ll be more painful. You should also avoid waxing after a hot bath as your skin will be much softer, and you risk taking off a layer of skin as well as the hair – not fun!

Here’s How to Do A DIY Brazilian Wax at Home

“Gently exfoliate your body the day before you plan to wax. This will remove any dead skin build up and lift any shorter hairs that may be trapped under excess skin. Make sure you exfoliate between waxes as well, to prevent ingrown hairs” says Danni. The Thankyou Botanical Geranium & Rosewood Coffee Scrub, $15, is perfect as it’ll gently buff away dead skin while the essential oils will moisturize and prep the hair for removal. The Bliss Bump Attendant Ingrown Eliminating Pads, $22, are also great as they contain chemical exfoliants; salicylic and glycolic acid, which will remove any dead skin while antioxidant green tea will smooth and soothe the skin.

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STEP 2: Cleanse and prep the area

Dani tells us; “Before waxing, make sure you’ve cleansed the area and removed all oil or moisturizer. Some waxing products have pre-wax cleansing wipes, these can be used, or you can simply have a warm shower (not hot!).” The Hive Pre-Wax Cleansing Wipes With Tea Tree Oil, $5, are great as they’re infused with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients like tea tree and lemon to cleanse the skin. Alternatively, to soak up any moisture and protect the skin, apply a little talcum powder before your bikini wax – it’s old school, but it works!

STEP 3: Prep the wax

Depending on your wax, you’ll prepare it a little differently case-to-case, so always read the instructions. Dani adds “Some products require application with a spatula. Some pre-prepared wax strips can be applied directly to the skin.” If you’re heating the wax, Dani recommends to always “Test the temperature of the wax. To do this, apply a small bit of wax to the inside of your wrist; it should feel warm, but it shouldn’t burn!” If you’re a regular DIY waxer, it’s a good idea to invest in a wax pot (which you can buy on Amazon, $15) to ensure the wax remains at the correct temperature.

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STEP 4: Apply the wax

Depending on the type of wax, you’ll apply it slightly differently. Although Dani says that regardless, “Whether you’re using pre-prepared waxing strips, strip wax with a spatula or roll on wax from an electrical wax heater, make sure you always check the direction of your hair growth before you apply. Once you’ve checked, apply a thin layer of wax following the direction of your hair growth. Strip wax should be applied following the direction of hair growth. However, roll on machines don’t require spatulas; they’re applied directly from the roller to the skin and then removed with a strip.”

STEP 5: Pull it off (OUCH)

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BE WARNED: “DO NOT wax over the same area more than twice. This can lead to skin sensitivity and worst case, skin being removed!”

When applying the wax, do small areas at a time, which makes removal easier. Also remember to make the skin taut by pulling the surrounding skin, which will make removal easier and – slightly – less painful.

Dani says that you should always “Remove wax strips in the opposite direction of hair growth. Once the wax is applied, place the wax strip down on top of the wax. Hold one edge in place with your hand and use the palm of your other hand to smooth the strip to the skin (in the direction of hair growth). Make sure you apply pressure so that all the wax sticks to the strip. You should also ensure that the edge of the strip that you’ll hold to remove the wax strip, is not applied over wax so that you can easily lift it from the skin. Wax strips should be removed by pulling back against hair growth using a parallel motion – do not pull the wax strip upwards. Repeat the process until the entire area is hair free!”

STEP 6: Post-Bikini wax

Source: Dermalogica, Lycon

Now the painful part is over, show your skin some love. Wipe away any wax residue with an oil-based wipe. Dani recommends, “Post-bikini wax, apply a soothing lotion or spray to the area. Our favorite is Dermalogica’s Ultracalming Mist, $39, the soothing, anti-inflammatory spray is perfect for all areas post-waxing. It reduces redness, hydrates, and calms the skin. If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, we recommend Lycon’s Ingrown-X-It Solution, $14, as it calms and soothes, but also has the active ingredient salicylic acid, which will gently exfoliate the skin so that new hair growth won’t get trapped.”

STEP 7: Aftercare

“Make sure you leave two to three days for your skin to calm before exfoliating. Our fave body exfoliator is Lycon’s Anti- Bump Foaming Wash, $24.” Dani also says you should “Avoid sun exposure for 24hrs post-waxing. Plus, make sure that you wear SPF if you’re exposed to the sun for three days after the initial 24 hours, as the skin’s more prone to burning.”

STEP 8: Celebrate and enjoy!

You did it guuuurl.

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If that sounds too scary and you want to shave instead (we get you!), make sure you read this post to find out how to avoid shaving rashes. If the au naturel vibe is more your thing, then check out these celebs who are vibing with you.

How To Do Your Own Brazilian Wax At Home – 6 Key Steps

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Last Updated on November 14, 2019

Pubic hair: love it or hate it, women and men must all deal with the hedge below. While men tend to get by with a bit of grooming now and then, women must choose between going au naturel, doing a bit of trimming, or removing all of their pubic hair. If you’re ready to go all the way, here’s a look at how to do a Brazilian wax at home step by step.

And The Audience Says…Pubic Hair or No Pubic Hair

While most women are comfortable (if at times a bit annoyed) with shaving (or epilating) their legs and underarms, many are still a bit mystified about how to handle the “land down under.”

Should you let it grow like the Amazon Rain Forest in South America, trim it like a golf course, or go smooth and crisp like an ice rink? Perhaps it can help to consider the way men indicated their preferences in various studies.

48 percent of men in a Matured and Responsible study prefer that women have no pubic hair. 41 percent of an AskMen survey of 5,000 respondents preferred that women be completely smooth. And 60 percent of the 1,100 men who participated in a Journal of Sexual Medicine study preferred the fully-shaven look.

How much weight you put on men’s preferences for your pubic hair is, of course, up to you – it is your body after all. The results, however, suggest that a woman performing a Brazilian on herself can be pretty sure that it would be appreciated by at least half the men she’d encounter. It’s too bad most don’t notice your new hairstyle (or lack thereof) by the same margin.

A Short History of The Brazilian Wax

“The Brazilian” sounds like a mystical tradition handed down from an ancient civilization.

One can almost picture a tribe of Amazon women walking around naked and smooth after using tree sap and palm leaves in a late-night ceremony performed on the top of a pyramid. That’s not all that far from the truth. A “tribe” of Brazilian women did indeed popularize the practice in America, although they are not ancient or Amazonian.

The “J Sisters” are credited with introducing the Brazilian wax treatment to the United States. Jocely, Jonice, Janea, Joyce, Juracy, Jussara and Judeseia Padilha (the J Sisters – get it?) learned the Brazilian wax technique in their home city of Vitoria, Brazil.

In 1987, the sisters opened a salon on 57th Street in Manhattan and introduced Americans to the Brazilian method of removing pubic hair. Imagine the surprise and bravery of the first woman to undergo the treatment at the salon: “You’re going to do what, where? Can you show me the door?”

The treatment turned out to be a hit with untold numbers of women and continues to be extremely popular to this day. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet are known to frequent the J Sisters’ salon for regular treatments – they all seem to like a shaven haven.

What Is Brazilian Waxing

A traditional Brazilian waxing is the removal of all hair from the entire pubic area through the application and removal of wax. The wax is applied hot to the desired area and then covered with cloth, if necessary. Once the wax cools, it (along with the cloth strip) is ripped off the body to pull the hairs out of the skin.

The pubic area is defined as the area from the front of the pubic bone down between the legs past the anus and up the rear of buttocks. Essentially, the goal is to be bare everywhere down under, and as far down the thighs as you choose.

However, there are modern variations that leave hair in certain areas, for example just above the clitoral area. Most women learning to wax themselves first focus on the more-traditional complete removal of hair, which requires less precision.

Will Waxing Your Vagina Hurt?

The biggest questions most women have are “Does a Brazilian wax hurt – and if so, how much?” We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, waxing your pubic hair is painful. The pain level is highest during the first waxing because the bulb that secures each hair is larger than the follicle exit point in the skin.

The removal of hair from the area around the vulva is considered the most painful, followed by the less sensitive upper pubic bone area and then the buttocks area, where many women don’t find waxing painful at all.

If you wax regularly, the bulb securing the hair will become smaller and the exit point larger, which will significantly reduce pain levels over time.

Most women can handle the pain of pubic hair waxing fairly easily, but there are some who have a more difficult time.

The way to minimize the pain, for both groups, is to prepare for the waxing properly. We’ll discuss this topic more below, but the use of Advil and a topical numbing cream can significantly reduce the discomfort. A glass of wine can also help, making for a quicker and more manageable session.

And what about timing? Waxing just before or during your period is not advised; after all, do you really want to double up on discomfort for a few days? Probably not.

How to Wax Your Vagina – Key Steps to a Successful Brazilian Wax At Home

The key to successful waxing is to follow a standard process religiously from beginning to end.

There is a right way to wax pubic hair, and there are plenty of wrong ways. If you use the wrong method you’re likely to experience more pain than necessary and risk follicle infections.

The good news is that if you stick to the following steps, you should be fine.

Let’s go through the process of how to wax your vagina at home step by step!

Brazilian Waxing Step 1 – Length Matters, Trim the Desired Area

Like any great artist, you must first prepare your canvas, and that primarily involves the length of your pubic hair. Waxing the wrong length of hair can be excruciatingly painful. If your hair is too short, the wax may not pull out all of the hairs and can leave others just partially removed. That can lead to infections. If your hair is too long, it may not properly align in the wax; that can result in extra pain during removal and require multiple pulls. Not fun.

Pubic hair should be roughly a quarter of an inch long to get the best results with a Brazilian wax. If you have shaved your pubic hair previously, start allowing the hair to grow out a week before the waxing. If you don’t shave, start measuring and trimming a few days before the waxing. However, you approach the task, make sure all hairs are roughly a quarter of an inch long.

Brazilian Waxing Step 2 – Gathering the Required Supplies

When doing your own Brazilian wax at home, you need the right supplies.

Let’s start with wax. You can choose either soft or hard wax.

Hard wax is preferable because once it’s in place it will grab every hair, and you can rip the wax off (without needing a cloth) simply by grabbing the edge of the wax and yanking.

Softer wax can work well also, but you’ll need to purchase cloth strips to attach to the waxed areas in order to create a pulling surface.

You will also need to buy popsicle sticks to use with either type of wax.

Check GiGi Hard Wax Price on Amazon

Tip: For your first time out, purchase wax that can be heated in the microwave.

If you are happy with the results you can invest in a wax warmer for future treatments. Just be sure you’re ready to commit to waxing before spending the money.

Check GiGi Home Wax Kits on Amazon

Exfoliate the skin, using a nice sponge, throughout your pubic area the day before the waxing. This will remove dead skin cells and allow the wax to adhere to the hair as closely as possible to your skin level. This will make the removal process more efficient and reduce the chances you’ll need to wax some areas twice. If your skin is typically sensitive the day after you exfoliate, do it two days before waxing.

Check Konjac Sponge Price on Amazon

Brazilian Waxing Step 3 – Managing Pain and Nerves

The big day is here. Let’s start off by talking pain management. If this is your first time, consider popping an Advil or two half-an-hour before beginning the waxing, and think about a glass of wine, too. The wine will relax you and the Advil will minimize the pain. Don’t take aspirin, however. Aspirin thins the blood, which could make you look like a pincushion after you remove the wax.

Tip: Consider applying a topical analgesic cream to your pubic area.

Many professional waxers swear by GiGi anesthetic numbing cream with lidocaine. The cream will help numb the pubic area and mute pain sensations. Once you have been waxing regularly pain should become a secondary issue, but taking a few precautionary steps can get you through the first time without too much fuss.

Check GiGi Anesthetic Numbing Cream Price on Amazon

Brazilian Waxing Step 4 – The Wax Preparation

Step four is heating and testing the wax. Follow the instructions that came with the specific wax you’ve purchased, and heat it to the proper temperature. Now, test the wax to make sure it isn’t too hot to the touch, by applying a dab to your inner wrist (which has roughly the same sensitivity as your pubic area) with a popsicle stick. Aim for the hottest temperature you can comfortably stand.

Brazilian Waxing Step 5 – Application of the Wax

When applying wax, start with the least sensitive areas of your body the first time.

Many celebrities recommend starting at the waist and moving down, but beauticians in Brazil start with the thigh and move up the body for good reasons.

The front, back, and outer thighs are not overly sensitive, making them great starting positions to get a feel for the hair removal sensation while you’re working on your technique.

The process itself is pretty straightforward. Start by applying wax with the popsicle stick, against the direction of your hair growth.

For example, if your hair points down your thigh, apply the wax in an upward motion. Use enough to cover an area of roughly one inch by three inches, with about the same thickness as peanut butter spread on bread. If you’re using soft wax, then quickly apply the cloth strips to the back of the wax so they adhere. Remember, fabric strips are not necessary for hard wax.

Now, hurry up and wait. The wax needs to cool and set. The wax container will tell you how long this will take, but most practitioners wait for 30 to 60 seconds or until the wax resists being pulled.

Hard wax applications are ready when tapping them with your finger produces a noise that sounds like you’re tapping plastic.

Once the wax is hard, peel up one corner until you get a good grip between your thumb and fingers.

The least painful and most efficient approach to rip wax is in the opposite direction of your hair growth; if your hair points down over the pubic bone, for instance, pull from the bottom of the strip up.

After you’ve determined the correct direction to use, place your other hand at the opposite end of the waxed area and pull your skin taught.

Take a deep breath.

Let it out slowly.

At the end of the out-breath, rip the wax off your skin – the faster and harder, the better.

Yes, there will be pain, but only for a few seconds.

When people complain about the pain associated with Brazilian waxing, the most common cause is the failure to apply enough energy to the rip. Think back to when you were young and your mom put a Band-Aid on a cut. The ends of the Band-Aid often covered hair, and if you tried to remove the Band-Aid slowly the pulled hairs would hurt like nobody’s business. If you just ripped the Band-Aid off, there was a half a second of shock and that was it.

The same applies to waxing your pubic area. No half measures. Give the wax a good rip.

Is the discomfort worth it? Well, take a look at how beautiful and smooth the waxed area looks in the mirror; if the man in your life is among the 50 percent who prefer no pubic hair, romance is already on the menu.

The effect should last three to four weeks, after which you will need another waxing. If you want to see if you can extend the time between waxing you could try applying a hair growth inhibitor such as stophair.

Check Stophair Hair Growth Inhibitor Price on Amazon

After you’ve completed the first removal rip, repeat the process as you move up through the pubic area. You will, however, need to squat to access the area around the vagina and anus.

Try resting the back of your buttocks on the edge of a chair for support and place a mirror between your legs for the best view. When applying wax to the area, work down each side of the vagina and anus in one long strip.

This area is the most sensitive, so resist the urge to wax small areas. One big rip will be painful, but ten little ones will be excruciating.

A Brazilian wax job will remove 99 percent of the hairs in your pubic area. Of course, that leaves one percent. Don’t settle. Grab your eyebrow tweezers and go hunting (or a bikini epilator if you have one). You’ve already finished the tough part.

Brazilian Waxing Step 6 – Post Waxing Protocol

No sex.

No working out.

No tanning.

For 24 hours.

The skin around your pubic area is going to feel a bit raw and sore, so let it calm down.

The skin will be red, which is normal as blood flows to the area to repair the minute injuries caused to the hair follicles. Wear sweats or loose clothing for a day, and take Advil or another mild pain medication if necessary. One other note: ingrown hairs can be a problem in rare instances.

If that happens, consider purchasing an ingrown hair serum.

Check Tend Skin Care Solution Price on Amazon

There are also other measures you can take to prevent and remove ingrown hairs.

Wrapping It Up – Go Forth and Wax

While the J Sisters may have convinced celebrities that the Brazilian wax technique must be performed in an expensive salon, there is no reason you can’t do it at home. Follow the key steps we’ve outlined and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

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7 Pro Tips for DIY Bikini Waxing


Thinking about skipping the salon in favor of an at-home wax kit? Tread carefully. Recent research from the University of California, San Francisco, shows that injuries from botched lady-scaping have grown exponentially over the past few years. The researchers add that their numbers are likely vastly underestimated because many women don’t seek treatment or are too embarrassed to say what really happened to them. And while it’s usually safer to have a pro do your waxing, if you’re determined to go the DIY route, here are some expert tips to safely take care of business.

Clean Up!

Waxing does involve pathogens-blood-borne and otherwise, says Bridget M. Riley R.E., owner of Boston Skin Solutions, which means you want your environment to be as sterile as possible. Place a clean towel on the floor and make sure all your tools are still in their original packaging or have been sterilized. Riley adds that many people believe the wax itself is hot enough to keep it germ-free, but it isn’t so no double-dipping! Use a fresh stick for each application.

Wash Off

Start with a tepid shower and a little mild soap to clean up your bits. Riley also recommends exfoliating with either a scrub, a loofah, or a cloth. Some women prefer to use pre-packaged disinfecting wipes on their vulva and pubic area. You can also take Ibuprofen 30 to 60 minutes in advance to help minimize discomfort and inflammation.

Use the Right Tools

There are lots of options for waxing, so it can be confusing. When it comes to safety, Grayson J. Guzman, M.D., of MomDoc Midwives says there’s a simple test: “If it’s assumed to be safe for your face, it’s probably acceptable for your pubic area.” Trial and error will help you figure out the rest of your ideal set-up but in the meantime, make sure you have enough wax or wax strips, wooden applicators, wax dissolving oil, tweezers, and clean towels to get the job done. Nobody wants to have to run to the drug store with half a bikini wax.

RELATED: 13 Down-There Grooming Questions, Answered

Check the Length

Professional waxers recommend your pubic hair be about one-fourth of an inch. If it’s too short, the wax will have a hard time grabbing the hair. If it’s too long, you’re setting yourself up for even more pain (and waxing already hurts enough!). If your hair is too long, trim it with scissors or a small electric razor. When you apply the wax, make sure you’re going in the direction of the hair growth.

Think Ahead

Aloe vera gel works wonders on tender post-waxed skin, says Riley. But she adds that the most important thing to remember about taking care of your bits after any hair removal procedure is that heat and sweat are not your friends. “Showers should be tepid. Avoid hot yoga or heavy cardio for a few hours, as well as saunas and steam rooms,” she advises. Loose clothes and an over-the-counter pain reliever can help too.

Know When to See a Doc

“Waxing, when done in a clean environment is safe,” says Renee Horowitz, M.D., ob-gyn, and director of the Center for Sexual Wellness. But she says that while temporary burning and redness are normal, it is possible to get an infection from waxing. The waxing procedure will rip off little pieces of skin, leaving openings for germs-and you’re also at risk for ingrown hairs which can become infected. If you have extreme pain in one area, a painful bump, or any sign of infection like persistent redness or a fever, see a doctor immediately.

Ask Yourself: Is It Right for Me?

DIY waxing isn’t for everyone. Horowitz says that if you are diabetic, have certain skin conditions such as eczema or psoarasis, or a compromised immune system you may want to think twice before doing anything to your female parts as you may be more prone to more serious infections.

  • By Charlotte Hilton Andersen @CharlotteGFE

If you’ve ever decided to brave a DIY Brazilian bikini wax at home or even a fancy Hollywood, you’ll know that it doesn’t always go, erm, smoothly.

From using too much product to aftercare products that cause an eye-watering sting, most women have one (or more) hairy experience of intimate hair removal.

Some even might have left you so distraught that you’ve stripped back on food spending to invest in six-monthly hair removal– a DIY bikini wax is no longer your thing.

Sound right?

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If so, it’s still worth getting to the root of your first experience: what went wrong in the first place and exactly how to avoid making the same bikini wax mistakes twice.

WH spoke to Dr Firas Al-Niaimi, Group Medical Director and Dermatologist at sk:n, to talk through the biggest DIY bikini wax mistakes – and how to avoid them.

DIY bikini line wax mistake No. 1: having the wrong hair length

It’s tempting to give yourself a quick trim before you whack the strip waxs on, but if your hair is too short it’ll be less effective and more painful. Not exactly the combination you’re looking for.

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There’s an ‘optimum’ hair length, so to speak, which allows the hair to be gripped and successfully tugged from the root – otherwise, you’ll be left with patches that the wax can’t get hold of properly.

Rio Total Body Waxing Hair Removal Kit Rio £39.99

‘Hair should be a quarter to a half inch long before waxing,’ Dr Al-Niaimi advises.

‘Make sure your hair has grown to the right length, so the wax can attach to the hair.’

If you’re worried about the hair being too long, you can give it a quick trim but don’t go overboard or you’ll end up having to wait another few weeks before you can de-fuzz.

DIY bikini wax mistake No. 2: exfoliating

Not exfoliating before a wax is the cardinal sin of hair removal, right? Wrong.

If you’ve read everywhere that a pre-waxing scrub is the way forward, it’s time for a rethink.

While it can help to reduce ingrown hairs, exfoliating just before a wax will make the skin more likely to become red and inflamed.

Nad’s Brazilian & Bikini Wax 140g Nads £9.69

Don’t ditch the exfoliation completely. Try exfoliating one or two days before you layer on the hot wax.

And don’t go to town on your skin with rough scrubs, either. A gentle rub with a washcloth will do just fine.

DIY bikini wax mistake No. 3: cleaning the skin beforehand

Wait, what?

While it’s widely advised that the skin is cleaned before you whack the wax strip on, having a shower just before you de-hair could actually be adding to the post-wax redness.

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Why? The body produces a natural oil that acts as a barrier between your skin and the wax, and a thorough clean beforehand will soften the skin and is more likely to irritate it.

Saying that, the area does have to be clean. Just not two-minutes-out-of-the-shower clean.

If you’re keen to go at your bikini line straight after a shower, grab a bottle of talc and make sure the area is covered before you start. It’ll soak up any leftover moisture and make for an all-round more pleasant experience. Otherwise, exercise patience and give it a few hours.

Acorelle Royal Wax Underarms, Bikini Line and Face Beeswax 100g Acorelle £8.99

DIY bikini wax mistake No. 4: pulling wax off too slowly

It’s tempting to make tiny yanks when you’re doing a DIY bikini wax but landscaping your nether regions should be a quick job. Pulling the wax off too slowly will not only leave you with patches of hair but to really get the wax off your skin, will hurt less if you simply just grab and go.

Just rip it off. You can do it, promise. But make sure when you finally cave, you’re doing it properly.

‘Not looking after the area properly is probably the biggest mistake. Your bikini line is a very sensitive part of the skin, and this should be considered before waxing,’ Dr Al-Niaimi explains.

‘Make sure you’re pulling the skin taut with one hand whilst waxing with the other, or you could end up with bruises.

‘Not holding the skin tight enough when waxing can cause waxing bumps.’

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DIY bikini wax mistake No. 5: thinking that aftercare isn’t important

Don’t hop straight from the bathroom to the swimming pool without a second thought for the freshly exposed skin. Waxing leaves your hair follicles open which makes you more susceptible to bacterial infection.

After a few minutes, when the sensitivity has dulled, use a gentle cleanser to disinfect the area and use baby oil to both remove excess wax and soothe and moisturise the skin.

And if the redness still isn’t going down?

‘Applying a hydrocortisone cream or aloe vera gel such as this sk:n Aloe Vera Gel after waxing can reduce redness and stop inflammation,’ Dr Al-Niaimi suggests.

‘Also, try and avoid wearing very tight clothing straight after as this can irritate the skin.’

DIY bikini wax mistake No. 6: getting a bit too keen with the aftercare

You’re newly smooth and rash-free, ready to jump straight in the shower and exfoliate because that is the key to avoiding those pesky ingrown hairs, after all.

Hold up: while your skin will need tending to after a DIY bikini wax, giving the area too much attention will cause nothing but irritation. And that includes using scented moisturisers and lotions on your legs.

‘Fragranced products can irritate the skin so try and avoid these,’ Dr Al-Niaimi says.

You should also avoid sunbathing, fake tanning, hot showers or baths after a wax, and try to wear natural fabrics like cotton if possible.

DIY bikini wax mistake No. 7: going straight to the gym

Over the weekend, you’re forgiven for trying to cram everything in. But, if that means a quick DIY bikini wax before heading off to the gym to train, we’ve got one thing to say: stop.

‘Don’t wash or go to the gym straight away,’ Dr Al-Niaimi warns.

‘The area will be delicate, and the pores will be open, so it could be susceptible to infection.’ Instead, put your feet up and postpone the gym until the next day. After all, Sunday should be a day of rest.

Waxing. Bring it up with your friends and you’ll get every different reaction imaginable: people refusing to do it because of the pain, others raving about how long waxing lasts, and even more wondering if waxing really makes hair grow back thinner. (Spoiler: It could, if you do it regularly!) But no matter what you think of the pain-factor, regular trips to the wax center can get seriously expensive — for example, European Wax Center charges $54-$59 for a Brazilian bikini wax that lasts about two to three weeks. That adds up, which is why the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab set out to find the best at-home waxing kits for easy (and inexpensive) hair removal.

Our beauty chemists evaluated seven different waxing products, including hot waxes, cold waxes, strips, and hard wax. We enlisted 22 consumer testers to try the products themselves. Each one was sent a waxing kit, which had its brand name blinded beforehand for true, unbiased feedback. The women used each product at least once, monitored their results for up to a week (watching for any irritation or ingrown hairs), then sent us their thoughts. GH experts analyzed the data to find the winning waxing kits that actually perform.

But before you get waxing, make sure you know how to prepare with bikini wax tips and must-knows (for example, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises that hair should be about about one-fourth to three-fourths of an inch long for best results, and experts advise against trying to pull off a DIY Brazilian). Now that you’re ready to try waxing at home, check out the Beauty Lab’s top four waxing kits, plus top picks from our beauty editors and best-sellers you can’t get enough of.

When you think about it, no sane woman would ever pay good money to have hot wax painted on to her nether regions so that hair can be ripped from the roots.

Yet bikini waxing is a pretty standard grooming habit for thousands of women who routinely book a session every month without batting an eyelid.

If you’re a waxing virgin but have been thinking of giving it a go, here’s the lowdown on exactly what happens once you get over the basic embarrassment of showing your pants to a total stranger.

1. Everyone feels a bit self-conscious, especially the first few times. But remember, beauty therapists have seen it ALL before and perform bikini waxes every day. Worrying about whether you’re too hairy / not hairy enough / have rubbish knickers on is all very normal but very unnecessary.

2. There are several categories of bikini wax based on how much hair is removed and priced accordingly. The are a lot of different bikini wax shapes and styles, but the classic shape is the ‘Bikini’ and involves a simple tidy up of hair at the front and a bit down below, so that it doesn’t extend beyond your knicker line – just enough to get you bikini-ready (this is the ideal wax for first-timers).

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.


Summer Beauty Essentials

Skin Doctors InGrown Hair Solution Skin Doctors £12.99

Swipe this over your body after shaving and it’ll help prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Body Mousse St. Tropez £24.80

Arguably the best fake tan yet. Easy to apply, dreamy golden shade and zero streaks, guaranteed.

AMELIORATE Transforming Body Lotion AMELIORATE £22.50

Full of lactic acid, this smoothing body lotion minimises Keratosis Pilaris (aka dry, bumpy skin) asap.

Vichy Anti-Blemish Sunscreen SPF30 Vichy £12.35

Sick of your sun cream breaking you out? Vichy’s genius new formula won’t clog your pores.

3. Your therapist will ask you to lie down on a salon bed/couch and remove your clothes below the waist. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF IF YOU DON’T WANT TO (and most people don’t)! They are very adept at working around your knickers to protect your modesty (Tip: wear comfy pants, not your best lacy undies that can be a little, er, scratchy).

4. 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. Some salons which offer a form of hot wax without strips may also prefer you not wear anything. But your dignity comes first so if you feel uncomfortable at any point, just speak up – or leave!

5. 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.

6. Wearing gloves, the therapist applies melted hot wax onto a small section of your hair using a spatula – it’s warm, not too hot. Then a strip of cloth or muslin is applied on top of the wax, she presses down for a few seconds, holds the skin taut and pulls the strip away in one sharp tug. She continues repeating this process, both sides, until you’re all done.

7. 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. Weird but necessary.

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8. Just how painful is it? Everyone has different pain thresholds but we won’t kid you that it’s painless (as many salons claim). Normally it results in a sharp intake of breath but it definitely gets easier the more you have it done.

In some areas you’ll hardly flinch; other spots result in a bit of involuntary swearing (top of the landing strip always seems a bit ouchy) – but either way it’s over in about TWO SECONDS. In our experience, the best therapists work in small sections and press down on the skin immediately after pulling off the wax strip to dull the pain – so ask your therapist to work this way. Popping an ibuprofen an hour beforehand also helps.

9. The therapist finishes by checking her handiwork and removing any remaining stray hairs with tweezers. Annoying but important.

10. Finally, a soothing cream is applied all over. This bit feels really nice. She’ll leave the room to let you get dressed.

11. A bit of redness is normal afterwards for a few hours. You did it! You are now hair-free and low-maintenance for about 3-4 weeks before you’re ready for your next session.

Getty Images / Image Source

We have a body hair confession to make: we’re not actually as naturally hairless as we’d have people believe. And when it comes to getting that smooth-as-porcelain skin we’re after? Waxing. On the plus side, waxing removes hair from the root, so you don’t have to worry about weird bumps or adverse reactions that can be caused by shaving or depilatory creams. On the con side, it can be about as much fun as stubbing your toe repeatedly. If you’re new to waxing, or you have questions, don’t worry—the smoothness is worth the trouble. Here are a few waxing tips for beginners.

MORE: 10 Things No One Tells You About Waxing At Home

1. Don’t DIY.
If it’s your first time, you should see a professional. Doing it yourself may save you a few dollars, but you won’t have the correct equipment and won’t be able to reach certain areas, and ultimately it could be a great deal messier and painful. Trust us: we’ve tried to bikini-wax ourselves with drugstore microwaveable wax, and it was like a Saw movie. Don’t do it.

2. Wait for regrowth.
Much like a carnival ride, you hair must be this tall to wax—just about a quarter inch. Any shorter and the wax won’t be able to grab it as well. Much longer, and your hairs could tangle into the wax (and themselves), making for a painful situation where the wax yanks hair but doesn’t pull it out. This is especially crucial for bikini or Brazilian waxes—you don’t want any undue pulling on that area.

3. Timing is everything.
Did you know that your skin is the most sensitive right before and during your period? Finally, an explanation for why waxing during that time of the month is a total nightmare; book an appointment the week after your period instead. And wherever possible, aim for an AM appointment. There’s less likely to be irritation earlier in the day before you go to the gym or your skin gets sweaty running errands.

4. Pain management is essential.
Though painless waxing is still just a pipe dream, you can do some pre-wax pain management. You can pop an Ibuprofen beforehand to help any after-wax swelling—but it won’t really lessen the pain of the yank itself. To make that a little easier, gently exfoliate the area you’re getting waxed the day prior to your appointment. This will remove any dead skin that may be blocking your pores, and loosen any existing ingrown hairs that may interfere with the wax.

5. Knowledge is power.
Knowing what to expect from your waxing appointment is essential, and we’re breaking down the entire process for you: first, your aesthetician will apply baby powder to the area to remove excess moisture and oil. This also helps the wax grab hair more than your skin. Warm wax will be applied to the area with a wooden popsicle stick, and then a strip of paper is pressed on top. Your aesthetician will rub in in the direction of hair growth; then your skin is held as taut as possible, and the strip is yanked in the opposite direction of hair growth. Repeat until hairless. After the waxing, sometimes a calming lotion is applied, or baby oil to loosen any sticky wax remaining on your skin. You can also use Neosporin ointment on any areas that are particularly tender or raw.

6. Protect.
After your waxing, avoid exposing your newly smooth skin to the sun. Shower and bathe as normal, but hold off on exfoliating until about two days later once your skin has calmed down. Use a washcloth with natural fibers like Ayate, and very gently exfoliate that area when you bathe. The idea is to massage any potentially in-grown hairs out of the follicles, NOT to rub your skin raw.

Beginners Guide To Intimate Waxing

How Old Do You Have To Be To Have Intimate Waxing?

Salons may differ, but we say eighteen years old. You can have it done at sixteen, but we would need parental consent and that person in the salon at the same time as your wax as you are technically a minor.

Does Intimate Waxing Hurt?

Pain thresholds are different for each person but our therapists are trained in techniques that offer minimum discomfort when performing intimate waxing treatments. If you are new to waxing there may be an element of shock, but it gets easier with every treatment as the hair thins. After all, many women keep coming back 🙂

How Often Will You Need Intimate Waxing?

Everyone is different, but 95% of our clients come in every 4-6 weeks. Regular waxing sessions ensure that your hair grows back finer and thinner as the hair follicle has less grip on the hair.

Can I Shave In Between Sessions?

You can shave but this will knock out your waxing cycle because you will need at least 4 weeks growth for an intimate wax.

How Long Should The Hair Be?

The hair needs to have a certain length (5-10mm) to be waxed and for your first few sessions the longer the hair, the easier the wax.

What If I Have Coarse Hair?

If you have coarse hair, the hair should be grown longer (around 10mm) for the first few intimate waxes but the hair will become finer over time.

How Long Does An Intimate Waxing Treatment Take?

Depending on how much hair you have and which treatment you need, a waxing treatment can take anywhere from 15 minutes for a basic bikini wax to 45 minutes for a Hollywood waxing.

Timing Your Intimate Wax Treatments

If you have a holiday planned, it’s worth altering the pattern of your bikini waxing appointments to coincide with specific dates. For example, it might be that your four-week waxing cycle falls halfway between your holiday dates but If you plan in advance you can move the cycle over a period of time.

What Is the Difference Between Warm Wax and Hot Wax?

The warm waxing technique involves spreading the wax onto the relevant areas a small section at a time. A waxing strip is pressed down onto the wax, which is then pulled off removing the hair from the root. Working at a slightly higher temperature, hot wax is a thicker wax applied to the skin, then allowed to cool and contract. It is then peeled from the skin without any strip removing unwanted hairs. Hot waxing tends to be better for shorter, more stubborn hairs making it more comfortable for intimate waxing. (see more about hot waxing here).


Hot waxing for intimate areas is a treatment that gets more popular each year as more and more women discover the benefits. If you are considering intimate waxing but have concerns, this is natural. But, our girls are friendly, experienced and will make you feel comfortable as you discover intimate waxing for yourself. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us but either calling your local salon, or emailing us your question.

7 Things You’d Better Know About A DIY Brazilian Wax

Prior to last week, I could not recall a time that I waxed even my bikini line, much less went the whole kit and caboodle into hairless town. Pubic hair has a PURPOSE. Or I mean, it did, before we had clothes to cover our junk and keep it from freezing/other things that you would not want happening to your vag.

There is no quantity of porn that will ever make me feel like a bare bush is a good idea, even from a cosmetic standpoint. But next week I’ll be surrendering my uterus to the biohazardous waste bin, and my dignity along with it. So my thought process has extended past the point of my swimsuit line.

I’m an RN and I know that surgeons don’t care about your pubic hair. But also as an RN, I know that even though a surgeon doesn’t CARE about your pubic hair, he is still going to SEE your pubic hair. And if your pubic hair is oh, say, as long as the hair on your head (I mean, hypothetically), he is probably going to ask a nurse to find a pair of sterile scissors, and give you the ol’ Supercuts Pube Special (fortunately the price of the trim is included in the $11,000 hospital stay. Wash and blowout: not included).

Also, if you have a vagina — and you probably do, because if you didn’t have a vagina, you most likely would have checked out of this article about 11 sentences ago — you know that things come out of your vagina. In my case, there will be blood coming out of it.

In the case of the blood thing, there is just some part of me that feels like less hair would equal less hassle. I don’t know if that’s true at all. But something possessed me to wax my nether regions. And sharing is caring.

1. There is no Pinterest board for “Crotch Waxing.”

There is probably a good reason for this (i.e., nudity). Also vaginas aren’t nearly as exciting as a Frozen-themed birthday party. HOWEVER, I do think it’s probably easier to wax your vulva than it is to make an Olaf piñata.

2. Yoga comes in handy.

Make sure and stretch out first. I contorted myself so extremely that I had crippling abdominal pain the next day. It could be because my abdominal muscles haven’t seen a workout in seven years. Regardless. Highly recommend some downward puppy-dog before you go downward pussy-cat.

3. Hard wax 5EVER.

I have waxed things before using the old-school, cloth strip/liquid hot wax method. Do NOT try this for your southern hemisphere. There are two very compelling reasons to choose hard wax, and frankly, do you really need more than one?

Reason one: I am neither fast nor coordinated enough to apply two things in rapid succession. This is a recipe for disaster.

Reason two: Cloth strip wax is clear(ish). Clear things are not easy to see. Your risk of overflow is exponentially higher if you’re using something you can barely see.

Oh, did you get wax in the pubes that you do NOT want waxed? TOO BAD. You are either going full Brazilian or you are going to look like you were waxed by a toddler.

The hard wax I bought is dark green. You apply it warm (it’s about as thick as thin honey), but not hot, because OMG NO. It hardens up. You yank it off. It’s easy to see.

This is helpful when you’re trying to look at parts of your body you were not anatomically built to be able to see.

4. Hard wax is also OH HOLY NIGHT messy 5EVER.

Downside to dark green hard wax? If you get it on ANYTHING that is not your body (the floor, your fingernails, the bathtub), it is not going to be easily removed. This stuff has staying power. I got some (ok a lot) on a bath towel. The towel ended up in the washing machine with the other white clothes. These were all washed in hot water.

If this happens to you, I hope you either like wax on EVERYTHING, or are ready to buy all new towels and socks.

5. A mirror is a must.

Unless you are used to operating in the dark with your eyes closed, you’re going to need something to provide a visual assist.

No, it doesn’t look weird at all to squat over a mirror. Why do you ask?

6. It hurts, but not more than having a baby.

Having-a-baby-pain is the metric by which all pain is measured for me. And this hurts a LOT less than that. The most painful part of this process was the hamstring pull that occurred as a result of me trying to put my leg above my head on the wall.

And my wounded pride.

7. Anything you can do, I can do (maybe not so much) better.

After the wax had cooled and the towels had migrated said cooled wax all over every other white thing in the laundry, I did have a vulva as smooth as… well, a smooth vulva.

It made a huge mess, but not an unmanageable one. I wounded myself, but not mortally.

Final impressions:

On the yay side: time savings, money savings, humiliation savings (questionable), plus Amazon one-day shipping means I never had to leave the house.

On the nay side: it took me forever (but maybe that’s just because I am hopelessly uncoordinated), it made an enormous mess, it’s kind of embarrassing when your 16-year-old walks in on you sitting naked on your bathroom counter.

Why didn’t I just pay someone, you ask (thinking to yourself, is this woman literally insane)? Well, that is a damn good question. The answer to which is… I don’t know. I’m a DIYer to the core (I remodeled my own bathroom, DO NOT RECOMMEND, IF YOU LIKE HAVING A TOILET), which may or may not serve me well in the end.

I do really like a challenge. But maybe the Olaf piñata would have been a better choice.

Many women consider a bikini wax an essential part of summer vacation prep—but not me! Sure, waxing is an effective way to get rid of those stray hairs that might peek out of my string bikini bottoms, but there’s only so much pain I’m willing to put up with. After hearing horror stories about waxing I avoided it for years—until I finally gave it a try and learned the horror stories are true! Fortunately, I’ve found an alternative that gets me the results of waxing without the trauma.

A few months ago, my friend started raving about sugaring, telling me how she gets everything from her armpits to her legs sugared regularly. So, I psyched myself up to try this alternative to waxing that is supposedly far less painful. Although the technique is very similar to waxing, sugaring uses a more gentle mix of sugar, lemon, and water to remove hair. And once I tried sugaring my bikini area, I was officially hooked.

But then I got overconfident. Thinking I was a waxing pro, I booked a traditional wax—a full-on Brazilian—when a company asked me to check out their new studio. After my appointment, waddling to the subway like a slow duck and regretting my hubris, I swore off traditional waxing. One strike and I was out; it was sugaring only from here on out.

So this bathing suit season I’m sticking to sugaring. I recently got a Brazilian from Daphne Studio: The results were so clean, and the process was much, much less painful. I’ve never felt so comfortable in my itty-bitty bikini bottom.

If you’re thinking about making the switch from waxing to sugaring—a change I highly condone—or if you’re trying hair removal for the first time, here’s what you need to know about sugaring.

Sugaring is a hair removal technique that uses an all-natural paste to pull off body hair.

The paste consists of only three ingredients: lemon, sugar, and water. That’s it! There are no additives or cloth strips involved, making it a natural alternative and more environmentally conscious alternative to traditional wax. Sugaring has actually been used for centuries for hair removal, and it has roots in ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures.

Sugaring paste is soft enough to penetrate into the pores, where it adheres to individual hairs, and pulls them out from the roots. The technician starts the treatment by cleaning the skin with a gentle cleanser made of ingredients like aloe, witch hazel, and tea tree oil. Then, powder is put on the area to provide a protective barrier between the skin and the paste. The technician molds the paste in their hands to warm it up and make it easier to work with. Then they smooth the warm (not hot) paste on, rubbing it on against the hair growth. To remove, they then flick the hand back, going with the growth, pulling up hairs with the paste.

They use the same ball of paste throughout the treatment—molding the paste in their hands repeatedly between applications—repeating this process until each area is clean.

Overall, sugaring is a gentler experience than traditional waxing.

Unlike waxing, sugaring only pulls out the hairs and doesn’t disturb the surface of the skin. “Hot wax attaches to the hair and the skin, pulling skin cells with it as it is removed. This is not only painful, but can cause redness, swelling, inflammation, and even bruising,” says dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D. “If the wax is too hot, it can also burn your skin, especially in sensitive areas. Sugaring is a more gentle method of hair removal as the paste does not stick to your skin—it only attaches to the hair.” This minimizes the amount of irritation to the area and pain during the process. The sugar paste is also more malleable than hard wax, which allows it to get all the way down to the root. This makes it less likely to break off hairs at the surface.

I Do My Own Brazilian Waxes—Here’s How

I don’t remember becoming aware of it (other than thinking I was slowly bleeding to death, and that I should just enjoy the last few days with my family rather than upset my mother by telling her about what was going on), but a few years ago, I morphed into a woman. Since then, I’ve tried to juggle everything I’d gathered that a woman should be doing—contouring and highlighting, eating chopped salads, never giving up on trying to learn how to French braid, getting bikini waxes—and also the fact that ultimately I shouldn’t be doing those things because some branch of feminism said not to, right? Waxing is the optimal choice for those desiring less hair (more on this after my PSA opener), but the experience of getting a wax is probably the most uncomfortable scenario many women will willingly subject themselves to. Most don’t realize that they can take these matters into their own hands—and dispelling this notion may be the very reason why God put me here.

Looking back, I guess I deserved to have that boiling wax dripped onto my crotch, which then sparked my avoidance of waxing salons entirely. It was karma for having used several different email addresses to obtain the “$25 Brazilian’ offer exclusive to first-time customers at one of the five different waxing salon chains in the greater Austin area. Let’s jump right in with a tip: never penny pinch when it comes to your pubic hair. That applies to a few different scenarios, but here we’ll be talking about Brazilian waxes and why I do my own.

I began dabbling in being as naked as possible around age 19. At the time, I would wear bodysuits—just bodysuits. I believed the two layers of sheer fabric were opaque and therefore office-appropriate. If a dress came with a slip, I wore each piece independently of the other. My brief underwear had longer inseams than most of my shorts. I worked retail at an American Apparel around that time, and we were sent a box of loosely crocheted bikinis with no linings. While my coworkers considered this a defect and thought about sending them back to the warehouse, I’d never seen anything more perfect. I’m wearing it as I write this.

For my particular lifestyle, then, Brazilians are simply more convenient than other types of hair removal. You can count on around three full weeks of total smoothness before the week or so dedicated to letting your pubes grow back to waxing length. Shaving isn’t an option. Maybe my skin’s too sensitive, and maybe my follicles are freakishly virile, but my hair grows too fast to shave every day—and it’s painful. Prickly, freshly shorn nubs forcing their way out of my delicate upper-thigh skin results in nothing but ingrowns and itchiness, and to run a razor over that again is only going to make things worse. Plus, have you ever tried to shave all of your pubic hair? That must be terrifying for your vagina; it probably feels like the little brother in that scene from Edward Scissorhands when Johnny goes full-on slasher movie on the kid’s face.

As for the ‘being hairy’ option, I’ve no problem with pubic hair, I just prefer the feeling of a full Brazilian. For those who’ve never experienced this, imagine going commando in a summer dress. OK, now multiply that feeling by infinity. It’s freeing! Pubic hair is preventing your vagina from truly getting out and exploring this great earth. And your jeans will fit better, I swear.

Going to get a Brazilian, though, truly and fully sucks. To do this, you must swiftly become skilled at the art of swallowing your pride—Brazilian waxes are far more humiliating than any sort of doctor’s appointment. You’re in a room filled with blue fluorescent light, naked from the waist down, your body contorted into either a frog-legged spread, or with your ankles up by your face, and a there’s woman you just met, yielding a popsicle stick coated in hot wax, inspecting your…cavities, all while forcing small talk. It’s degrading, even when I’ve had a great aesthetician (I’ve found that the higher the cost, the fewer 2nd-degree burns). Plus, I always felt like an overgrown baby, like I was getting changed. Lying there bare, on the papered table—sometimes they even throw baby powder on you when you’re done. So weird. Not to get too preachy here, but humiliation shouldn’t have to be a factor when it comes to personal grooming.

I find it more womanly and powerful to DIY most beauty things. Dita Von Teese and I are very similar in that way. But while she’s wearing a silk fringe kimono, making cocktails and dyeing her hair blue-black, I’m in a poly-blend athletic grey sweatshirt, splayed on the floor in front of my makeup mirror ripping globs of wax from between my legs. (I said “similar.”) I’ve been doing this for years now and can give myself a full Brazilian with less discomfort and a better end result than if I’d gone to a spa. The first, and most crucial step is…

  1. Buy the right wax. I’ve tried a few, and have finally found a wax that works so perfectly, I will never experiment with another for as long as I live: GiGi Brazilian Body Hard Wax. It comes in two formulas, one for microwave use and one to use with a wax warmer, which is sold separately. While you’re at it, buy some applicator/popsicle sticks (I prefer the large, slanted kind) and find your tweezers.

  2. Make sure nobody is home. I’d rather have a drunk mug shot released online for the world to see than have a single soul walk in on me waxing my vagina. As you’ll find, it’s an emotional experience—a journey, between you, the nerve endings in your crotch, and nobody else.

  3. Heat the wax. At one point in college I had neither a microwave nor a wax warmer, so I heated the aluminum container in a shallow pot of boiling water. This was a terrible idea. I recommend investing in a wax warmer, as it’ll keep the wax consistently heated while you work, and I find it to be less messy.

  4. Make sure your hair is the right length. Aim for around ¼ inch of growth. Too short, and the wax won’t be able to grab the hair enough to pull it out at the root. Too long, and you’ll be in massive amounts of pain because you have little-to-no control over which tangled and unruly hairs the wax grabs onto as you apply. If the hair is longer than a ¼ inch, trim it shorter with an electric trimmer. I like the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor. It has a razor on one end and a battery-powered trimmer on the other—it’s sort of like CatDog.

  5. Pre-clean. Either with soap and water in the shower, drying thoroughly, or with GiGi’s Pre-Hon Pre-Epilation Cleanser. It’s mostly isopropyl alcohol, so it’ll evaporate away without having to rinse. It helps the wax really grip the strands of hair.

  6. Stir and test the wax. You should be doing this constantly while you work. Again, the wax warmer is best for keeping a consistent, safe temperature. Take an applicator stick and stir the pot, scrape off excess wax and dab the inside of your wrist to test—you’ll know if it’s too hot.

  7. Smear the wax on your hair. Work in sections—I start with the inner thighs and work in and back. (That’s when the makeup mirror on the floor starts to come in handy. This is so weird talking about this on the internet!) For the hard wax, apply as thick as you would peanut butter on a slice of bread. Each smear should be about an inch wide and up to three inches long—and always in the direction of the hair growth. Let the wax sit for about 30 seconds to harden a bit; you should be able to hear a tapping noise when you hit it with your fingernail. That’s what’s great about this wax—it’s basically hard plastic, and once it’s on, there’s only one way to get it off…

  8. Rip. Pull the section off in the opposite direction of the hair growth—do your best to try to hold the skin beneath the section taut while you pull away to lessen the pain. It will be excruciating, that I can guarantee. I think it was Carl Jung who said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain,” so this will be a transformative experience for sure. Also, remind yourself that the wax will come off no other way—it’s not going to melt away under warm water if you change your mind. There’s no numbing cream, or spray, or OTC pill that will dull the sensation, either, so don’t waste your money. But hey, when you’re all done, this will only heighten your sense of accomplishment. The most brutal areas, I find, are the most sensitive—so, the ones that feel the best during sex. The back region hurts the least.

  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for as long as you can stand it. Remember, the back hurts the least, so it’s all downhill after you de-fuzz around the labia. Tweeze any stray hairs. Yeah, that part sucks, too.

  10. Remove wax residue. You’ll probably still have small pieces of wax stuck in your crevices when you finish. GiGi’s Wax Off Wax Remover lotion on a cotton ball will take care of those.

I use the in-shower mittens to prevent ingrown hairs by exfoliating the waxed areas. And I wear high-cut leotards, too-tight jeans, and stand on glass-floored observation decks as much as possible over the following three weeks to make the horrifying experience worthwhile. Because, though copious amounts of physical pain are a factor, Brazilian waxes are right up there with changing the oil in my car and my taxes as things I’m utterly proud to do for myself.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Photo by Elizabeth Brockway.

Ever wonder what’s the difference between salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide? Or what Kim Kardashian uses daily? Read that and all of ITG’s best beauty tips here.

The Best Hair Removal Method: Sugar Wax Recipe Tips and Tricks

Photo via Sugar Factory

But you can also apply the wax with a spatula as I choose to, apply cotton strips over it, and remove it that way. This will come off in one go, and is a bit less painful. I also noticed it removes a lot more hairs at once. But you cannot reuse the wax in this case. When you use the wax without cotton strips, you can reuse the same ball of wax repeatedly until it turns white from dead skin cells and hair (yes, it is also exfoliating), and is no longer sticky. But when using a wax strip, once you use it, it goes off to be washed.

Washing your cotton strips is so easy. You can fill up your sink with warm water, simply rub the strips, and the wax easily comes off, so you can reuse the strips over and over.

*Things to be aware of*

  • Your first time waxing will not get all of the hairs, especially if you were shaving before. All your hair is growing back at a different rate. I actually went in with tweezers, and plucked out the hairs the wax didn’t get. But that is totally optional.

  • It will take 2 or 3 goes until you are entirely smooth, but it will last 4-6 weeks, and can eventually damage the hair follicle enough to stop the hair from growing.

  • I let my hair grow for a week before doing this, and that is the worst part, but the longer the hair the better it works.

  • It is minimally painful on the legs, but worse on the underarms, and very painful on bikini area. I recommend asking a close friend or partner to help you there, because it really works. I would do it halfway then stop myself due to the pain. If someone else does it, they will just rip it all in one go, and you won’t really have a choice to stop it.

  • Do NOT shave if you get rogue hairs here and there. This makes them grow back at a different rate. Be patient with this method. Pluck the hairs out from the root if you can’t take it.

  • This method works best with thick dark hair. I have dark leg hair only from my knees down, and it has remained smooth and hairless for 4+ weeks. But my thighs have very thin fine blonde hairs and I have to shave those, because this does not rip them out.

  • This is a messy process. I keep a glass of water nearby for any wax bits that drop where they shouldn’t.

  • It takes a while to make the mixture, which is good for about two waxing sessions on your legs, so you can double the recipe if you’d like.

  • The mixture can be stored in a tightly sealed container for future uses. I would recommend heating it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to use.

If you are still hesitant about the sugaring hair removal method, I totally understand. It took me about two years to work up the nerve, but it was so entirely worth it. To not have to worry about the dark leg hairs around my ankles for a month was a Godsend. Yes, it was slightly painful, but not bad at all on my legs. Proceed with caution on more sensitive areas. I will continue this method, and am so impressed by the results.

If you have any questions, I didn’t touch on, please leave a comment here, or reach out on our social channels and I’ll respond ASAP to help however I can. I would also recommend doing your research. As I said, I watched a lot of videos on YouTube to learn the technique, and see how it was done, and what methods worked for different people. It really calmed my nerves, and made me feel more comfortable with the entire process.

Cover via Amara Body Sugaring

Bikini wax at home

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