Bikini bottoms are waving: Here's what to know if you're getting a bikini wax for the first time
Raring to try something new this hot season? A bikini or Brazilian wax could just be the fresh change you need.
Compared to shaving, when only the surface hair is removed from the skin, waxing swiftly removes the follicles of the hair, leaving it smoother in the long run. People who've tried waxing can also vouch that it takes longer for the hair to grow, and when it does, it's not the same rough texture as when it's shaved.
Waxing can be used with either hot or cold wax, depending on your preference. But the goal remains the same: to have a smoother, cleaner feeling for any body part.
Waxing the usual places like underarms and eyebrows can become part of your regular beauty routine once you're used to the discomfort, but a bikini or Brazilian wax is entirely new territory.
Out of curiosity, I underwent a Brazilian wax in the past month, endlessly scrolling through the internet for some tips on this supposed rite of passage. With the choice still being a fairly hush-hush topic, there's still a world to know about the new ritual.
It should still be stressed, there's absolutely no pressure to get waxed in areas you're perfectly fine having hair. But for those wanting to try something new, here's what you need to know before heading to your first bikini/Brazilian wax:
What's the difference between a bikini and Brazilian wax?
A bikini wax will groom and remove pubic hair from the outside areas of your vaginal and crotch area. Meanwhile, a Brazilian wax will go further and remove hair from your crotch area, groin, inner vagina walls, and anus area.
For both instances, you can request to leave a small strip or patch of hair. If not requested, the instructor will leave the areas completely hair-free.
Other customers can also opt for a cold wax, though hot wax is largely preferred for vaginal hair removal because it captures finer hairs.
A Brazilian typically costs more than its bikini counterpart. As a ballpark figure, local waxing salon Hey Sugar offers their Brazilian hot wax for P860 and bikini hot wax for P540.
What to do before your first appointment
Get enough sleep
If you're feeling sleep-deprived or feeling fatigued in general, it's advised to stray away from waxing in general. It can cause you to become more sensitive to the swift motion of removing the pubic hair.
Don't drink caffeine or alcohol
Even if you're feeling sleepy, it's best to stay away from the caffeine too! Coffee and other similar stimulants can heighten one's senses, thus making for a more painful experience. Being intoxicated is also a big no-no for any waxing experience.
You can use the bathroom beforehand
Most salons will allow you to use the bathroom before the session, either to clean yourself up first or urinate before the waxing. During that time, they will also provide tissues and other hygiene products you might need. If you have a preferred feminine wash, it's a good idea to bring your own.
Let your hair grow out naturally
If you've been shaving at home regularly and want to give waxing a try, make sure that you don't book a session too near from when you last shaved. If you do, the hair that grows out will be rough and patch, thus making for a more painful waxing experience.
"Mas masakit yun kasi kita na yung tubo ng pubic hair," said Hey Sugar waxing instructor Irene Concepcion. "Mas masakit, mas matigas. May tendency din mag-bleed for a few seconds, but sa umpisa lang."
She advises to let the hair grow out at least 1-inch long, or after a month after shaving, before heading to the waxing bed.
During the appointment
It's best to tell your specialist if it's your first time, so they can provide additional information and regularly ask you if a certain area is more sensitive than the rest.
In my experience, Irene instructed me to take a deep breath before she pulled off the waxing strip, thus making me prepared. It worked for me, but Irene also said that some clients prefer not to be alerted before the pain.
As someone who regularly gets waxed, a bikini wax definitely has a sharper pain than when you're getting hair removed from the eyebrows or underarm area. Not to say that it's unbearable, but a first-timer will definitely take more time in between pulls than someone used to the procedure.
Tell your instructor if and when it hurts
It's perfectly alright to tell your specialist if the pain gets too much, and they will stop to let you gather your breath. In some cases, Irene says that she advises those with a low pain tolerance to take painkillers before the session.
For first-timers who really can't take the pain, special cases will stop the session altogether. It will depend on the salon if they will charge you for the service.
Will it get awkward?
Well, at first! You can either stay silent or make conversation with your specialist. There will be no pressure to do both. Remember that there's no need to be overly conscious of how long your hair has grown or if there's a smell, as the instructors are only doing their job,
You can also request that a certain instructor to be your regular after the first session, thus saving the initial awkwardness of having a new specialist.
After the appointment
Don't wear anything too tight
Like any area after waxing, your bikini line will get sensitive for a few hours after the session. It's best to either bring extra cotton underwear or make sure that the underwear you're wearing is comfortable enough to be worn again.
Irene advises against silk or tight underwear, as it can cause discomfort and friction to the exposed skin.
Don't get the area wet for at least 8 to 12 hours
If you can, avoid getting the pubic area wet for half a day after the session. Since the crotch area is especially sensitive, some women also experience getting chicken skin or little bumps. You can use virgin coconut oil to keep the outside area smooth.
If you're heading to the beach, Irene advises getting waxed at least two to three days before exposing the area to saltwater.
Finally, as for your next session, it will still depend on your hormones and how long your hair will grow after.
"Meron mga bumabalik after a month but there are those that also wait two months or more," Irene shared. "Depende parin on someone's budget and comfort level with waxing."