Bikini Waxing – Getting down to the nitty gritty

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Do you know your ‘Brazilian’ from your ‘Hollywood’, your ‘Topiary’ from your ‘Vajazzle’? I tell you what, you don’t want to get ANY of these mixed up or you could be leaving your local salon a little surprised (to say the least) this Summer, and with more than just a red face. Today we are going to dispel any confusion regarding waxing terminology – luckily it’s pretty universal – and give you the bare-bottomed facts on how to get the most from your sesh at the salon, making sure you’re left looking silky smooth and fuzz-free for as long as possible.

Without wishing to over-share (boundaries I find a little grey at times), I can tell you that my waxing experiences have been varied – and by varied I mean many have been hideously horrendous. To name just a couple of examples, I’ve had waxing strips that have burned me, got stuck and required ‘cutting out’, the wonkiest ‘landing strip’ you have ever clapped eyes on, a very meticulous lady bearing scissors and a comb behind a curtain at a roadside in Thailand, and even the odd girl who seems to have never given someone a wax before and I happen to have been lucky enough to stumble into being their guinea-pig. It really is quite astounding. No one is looking for a first-timer to entrust their most precious parts to and no one wants that strip to be nervously and anxiously, slowly peeled off. Brutal agony.

Hopefully, from here on in there will be no more stories to add to the list. If you’re looking for a salon to commit to and live in Glasgow, then check out my review of nkd waxing a couple of weeks back (click HERE) – it’s a safe bet and one I’ll be sticking with from here on in.

The Lingo

First things first, know what you’re looking for and what you can expect to be leaving with …

Basic Bikini – what it says on the tin. Just a tidy up around where your knickers would usually sit. Nothing too drastic.

G-string Bikini – slightly more daring and less likely to leave you with a ‘spider’s leg’ or two if you’re preparing for hitting the beach this summer.

Brazillian – now we’re getting serious. When done as it should be, this involves all hair being removed (right the way to your rear end, if you get my drift), with just a ‘landing strip’ a thin line of hair being left at the front. Exotic. Be prepared for being asked to completely remove your underwear, though some salons may offer you’re a paper g-string. Lovely.

Hollywood – as above but no landing strip. Naked as the day you were born. These LA girls …

If you would like to make more of a feature of your lady-bits, or even a work of art, many salons also now offer ‘topiary’  (creating a shape from the hair left), permanent or temporary colour or a ‘vajazzle’ as made household terminology by the cast of The Only Way Is Essex (the application of gems to add a little sparkle).  Good. Grief.

Preparation

Waxing is most successful if you give them a little something to work with. If you’ve never been waxed before and usually remove your hair by shaving or using  creams, then leave it to go ‘au naturel’ for 3 weeks prior to your appointment. If you’re a regular – 4 or 6 weeks is usually about prime time for a repeat. Oh, and make sure you’re nice and clean and fresh when you attend.

After-care

This is the really useful bit – if you’re plagued by in-growing hairs, peel back your lugs.

Moisturise the waxed area regularly using something fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin. Apparently ingrown hairs are often caused by dry or flaky skin which does not allow the hairs to grow through.

For the same reason, exfoliate the waxed area times a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Again, only use a very gentle scrub, using something too harsh or heavily perfumed may actually make you more likely to get ingrown hairs, rather than prevent them. NOT the desired effect.

If you’re prone to the waxed area getting irritated and pores becoming infected, bath salts can help prevent infection as can anti bacterial shower gels. Soothing lotions and gels, especially those containing products such as tea-tree oil, aloe vera and witch-hazel can also alleviate irritation.

It’s also advised to avoid fake tans, very hot baths or showers, saunas, steam rooms, swimming, sunbathing (including sun beds or any other exposure to UV light) or tight clothing for 24-48 hours.

Well after all that slightly embarrassing over-sharing, I now feel confident that I have saved many a future generation of waxers from the many perils I have had to come through in my time. It’s all about doing your bit, giving something back, charitable some might say. Consider yourselves extremely lucky.