It’s that time of year again: the return of summer means getting ready to show some skin, and for most of us ladies, the starting point is bikini hair removal! Are you #TeamWax or #TeamRazor?

 

WAX

 

waxSource: Into the Gloss

  • Pros: Lasts longer, makes a cleaner finish
  • Cons: Pretty painful, especially in more sensitive areas

If you’re going to the salon:

BEFORE
Avoid waxing when you’re on your period (which makes you extra-sensitive) or after you’ve been drinking (which creates more bleeding). Make sure your hair is at least a quarter of an inch long, so the wax can grab onto the hairs. Take a warm shower a few hours before to open your pores and make it easier for hairs to be removed (and to smell and feel fresh!). While in the shower, exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells, which could cause ingrown hair. No moisturizer after showering: lotions create a barrier which makes it harder for wax to grab onto the hairs. You can take over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol or Advil to make the experience a little less painful.

DURING
Yes, it is going to hurt. Chat with your esthetician to take your mind off the pain, and while you’re at it, make sure to tell her how much hair you want to remove, whether you only want a clean-up, a small strip of hair or a full-on integral wax. Communication is key!

AFTER
Wear cotton underwear for a few days to avoid irritation and help the area breathe. Avoid any friction or sweating for the first 24 hours: no morning jog, no gym, no sex!

 

If you’re doing it at home:

BEFORE
Use a hard or stripless wax: they adhere to the hair, not the skin, which cuts a lot of the irritation. After heating it, hard wax should be the consistency of cold honey. Do a test patch on your inner wrist to make sure it’s not too hot; you do NOT want to burn yourself in that area!

DURING
In front of a mirror and on a towel, sit in a butterfly position with the soles of your feet touching. Start at the top inner thigh by your hip area, where your hair is thinner, and make your way to the areas where there’s more hair. Apply wax in swirls to make sure to catch all the hair, then pull the wax strips in the opposite direction of hair growth. For the most sensitive areas, pull the skin tightly to trick your pain sensors and make it easier to remove hairs.

AFTER
When you’re done, make sure you’ve removed all the wax. If there is leftover wax, remove it with coconut oil, which also helps fight bacteria. If your skin is particularly red, or you’re prone to ingrown hair, apply cool compresses. After 24 hours, regularly use glycolic wipes to keep the area exfoliated and coconut oil to moisturize and soften the regrowth.

 

RAZOR

tumblr_m7zfgsVeXy1qzex79_0Source: Her Campus 

  • Pros: Cheap, fast, easy
  • Cons: Needs to be done several times a week, makes hair seem thicker

BEFORE
Begin by trimming longer hairs: this will help prevent them from getting stuck in the blades and make it easier to shave the area. Prep your skin by taking a shower or a bath in warm water to hydrate the hair and make it easier to cut. Exfoliate away dead skin cells to help prevent ingrown hairs from forming, and use a baby oil to smooth the hairs beforehand to make them easier to remove.

DURING
Use a new razor. If there is any sign of rust building up on the blades, throw it away. Shave in the direction of hair growth to prevent rashes.

AFTER
To stop the chafe and keep the area, apply a small amount of roll-on deodorant to the area.

 

What’s your favorite hair removal technique for the bikini zone?
Tell us below!

 

Sources: About Style, Harper’s Bazaar