What Is a French Bikini Wax?

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Truth be told, the French aren't prudes when it comes to beach attire, tan lines, or waxing. And while not all ladies stateside are comfortable rocking a thong, we still make sure we're groomed down below in case of a swimwear malfunction. That's where the French bikini wax comes in. It's not quite the bare-all Hollywood wax. But, rest assured, nothing will stick out if you decide to wear a skimpier bottom.

Common Bikini Waxing Styles

When you first walk into a waxing salon, the menu choices may boggle your mind. American. French. Brazilian. What do they all mean? A modest American wax (or a regular wax) is just that—think of it as a simple bikini line cleanup. A Brazilian wax removes most of the hair from the bikini region and the bum but keeps a small strip or triangle of hair in the front. The ​Hollywood wax (or the Honeymoon wax) is best for teeny-weeny bikini wearers, as it removes all of the hair in the pubic, bum, and "no man's land" (middle) regions. The bald Hollywood look assures nothing will show.

How Does a French Bikini Wax Differ?

A French bikini wax (aka "The Landing Strip") resembles a Brazilian wax, but without the bum hair removal. Your aesthetician will take off most of your pubic hair in the front—leaving a small, rectangular strip—and all of your hair in the intimate middle area. A French bikini wax does not include any hair removal in the buttocks region, however. And while a French, Brazilian, and Hollywood wax all differ slightly, be prepared to remove your undies if you're opting for any one of these styles. 

Street Names and Personal Preference

Don't lock yourself into any one style just because it has a name. The street names for these procedures can differ from those used by your aesthetician. Maybe you just need a little cleanup, but are an active mom and want to include the perennial area (for when you bend down to pick up the kids). Or maybe a triangular Brazilian suits your personal preference, but you really don't have any bum hair. Communicate your needs before hopping up on the table. And if you want to spice it up in the bedroom, designs or jewels are a fun way to display your unique personality.

The DIY Bikini Wax

French, Brazilian, and Hollywood bikini waxes are best done by a professional because they require more technique than is needed for simply grooming your panty line. But if you're blessed with only a little hair down there, a quick clean up can be performed at home. Opt for a stripless wax or an all-natural beeswax for best results. Clean and prep the area first for optimal removal and less overall pain. Make sure the temperature of your wax is not too hot (serious burns can result). And don't stress if the end product leaves you red and inflamed. A cooling ice pack and some aloe vera gel will fix you right up for your day at the beach.