How to Wax the Bikini Area at Home

Using hard wax is the secret to success

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Photo Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

Did waxing your bikini area end up in a mess? We're here to give you the secret: Hard wax. It's specifically made for coarse hair, doesn't require a strip, and actually "shrink wraps" the hair, making it easier for the wax to uplift the hair. This process will take 45 minutes to an hour. These instructions are to do a regular bikini wax at home to remove the hair outside your panty line. 

What You Need 

The first thing you need to do is buy a waxing kit.

Hard wax is the best for the bikini area because the hair is coarse, and hard wax works best in that situation. Hard wax (compare prices on Amazon) goes on smooth but hardens so that it doesn’t require a strip to be removed. If you buy a waxing kit, most of these items will be included. Check to see what you need in addition to the kit.

  • Wax warmer
  • Hard wax
  • Pre-wax cleanser
  • Pre-epilation oil
  • Square-edge applicators (for getting straighter lines)
  • Wax remover for the skin
  • After- wax lotion or aloe based gel
  • Gloves

Get Ready

Don't attempt to use hard wax unless the hair on your bikini line is at least one-fourth-inch long. Use hair clippers to trim hair down to one-fourth inch if it's longer than one-half inch. Scissors don't work well for trimming because you run the risk of making some hair too short.

After you've trimmed the hair to the right length, put on gloves and use a pre-wax cleanser on the target area.

Then apply a pre-epilation oil that works with hard wax. Don’t use a lot of oil; more isn’t better. Use just enough to smooth the area.

Start Waxing

Heat the wax according to the kit's directions. Using an applicator, apply the hot wax evenly about the thickness of a nickel first in the opposite direction of hair growth and then with the direction of hair growth to a section about three inches long and two inches wide in the same stroke.

Don’t stop at the edge of where the hair grows; go past that point. You will use the part of the wax that isn’t attached to hair as a tab to remove it. The wax will dull as it hardens and will not be tacky. If the wax isn’t hard enough when it's removed, it won’t take away all of the hair.

When the wax has cooled, lightly flick up a small part of the wax that isn’t attached to hair at the end to be used as a tab. Hold your skin taut with one hand and remove wax in opposite direction of hair growth in one quick pull all the way to the other side, just as you would pull off a bandage. Don't pull up, which might be your natural inclination. Immediately after you remove the wax, press your hand down on your skin to help relieve some of the pain. Work your way around, waxing the bikini area, using the same process until all the hair is removed. If the wax has missed a few hairs, and it probably has, remove them with a tweezer that has been sterilized with rubbing alcohol.

When you're satisfied that all the hair in the bikini area has been removed, use the wax remover in the kit to take away any remaining residue.

Your skin will probably be a bit red and painful after waxing. Use an aloe-based gel to make it feel better.

If it seems more seriously inflamed, apply a cortisone cream to the area.

The bikini area has a tendency for ingrown hairs. Two days after you do the wax, lightly exfoliate area to try to avoid any ingrown hairs.

Waxing Tips

There's no way to completely eliminate pain from the waxing process, but there are a few things you can do to lessen it. Staying hydrated makes a difference, as does applying moisturizer before you wax. Take a pain reliever about 30-to-45 minutes before waxing and apply a numbing cream or spray if you're really concerned about the "ouch factor."

Waxing can cause red bumps, ingrown hairs, bruising, and other side effects. Read up on what to expect before you begin waxing.

Before you do your first wax, practice using the wax on a small part of your body, like your arm, so you get the feel of it.

Always test a small amount of wax on your hand before putting it on your bikini zone to make sure it’s warm and not hot.

You should avoid waxing if you are taking Accutane or any other acne medication, if you have lupus or AIDS, or if you're getting chemotherapy or radiation for cancer.

A couple of weeks before waxing your bikini area, shave exactly where you want the hair to be removed and make the bikini lines even on both sides. Once it grows back it will make waxing the area where you need to remove hair easier to follow.