What to Expect at Your First Bikini Wax

Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

So it’s your first bikini wax? Wonderful, you will be able to experience being hair free in your bikini line for weeks at a time. Don’t be nervous, this is a very requested service that many women and men get at salons and spas across the country.

Although every salon or spa and technician has their own style of doing things, we’ll walk you through what you can basically expect at a regular bikini wax.


 

  • Are you a candidate? If you have never visited the salon or spa for any type of waxing you should be asked to fill out a questionnaire to see whether you have any circumstances or conditions that may be a safety issue for waxing.
     
  • Get started. You will be lead to a private room and asked to remove your pants and possibly your underwear. Some salons will give you disposable panties while others will work on your bikini area with the panties you’re already wearing. The technician will leave the room to let you get undressed and lie on a facial bed or massage table.
     
  • The consult. Once the technician returns, they will ask you how much hair you want removed. Some people prefer just a clean up (the hair outside the panty line) while others like the line to go a bit deeper, and some hair off the top of the ‘triangle’ also removed. They may ask you what type of bikini wax you would like when you make your appointment, so they know how much time to book.

    Make sure you have communicated with the technician and they know exactly how much hair you want left and removed. Be aware the price will go up as more hair is removed at most salons.
     
  • The prep. Hair needs to be at least ¼” long for the wax to grab onto. If the hair is really long then the tech will have to trim it down a bit with scissors or clippers. Waxing hair that is too long will make it more painful and also has more of a tendency for breaking hair above or below the skin’s surface instead of coming out of the root.

    The area will be cleansed and powder or oil will be applied to your skin. Most technicians use hard wax (also known as stripless wax) because it works great on coarse hair, so oil which helps protect the skin will be applied. Otherwise for soft wax powder will be put on the skin to absorb any oils and help the wax not stick as much to the skin.
     
  • The process. Wearing gloves, the technician will apply warm wax on the hair with an applicator. Hard wax doesn’t require a strip, so will dry a bit and harden before it’s removed. With soft wax, a strip of cloth or muslin will be put over the wax. The technician will hold your skin slightly stretched firm before removing the wax in a quick pull so it’s less painful. They will continue to work in sections until all the hair for your specific type of bikini wax removed.

    You may be asked to help to hold skin, get on your knees or put your knees to your chest when receiving more than a basic wax, like a Brazilian or Hollywood. This helps the tech more easily reach all nooks and crannies.  
  • The clean up. Because soft wax shouldn't be applied over skin more than once, any stray hairs missed by the wax will be cleaned up with tweezers. A special product to help remove wax residue will be applied, and then something to help calm the skin. You're all done, and they will leave the room to let you change and check out.
  • The post care. Waxing can do more than just leave you hairless. Redness, ingrown hairs and bumps are very common in the bikini area. Learn more about waxing side effects.

Some redness is normal, but excessive bleeding and bruising is not.

See how the end result should be in: How a Bikini Wax Should Look.