The Truth About Bikini Waxes

A woman posing on a grass and tile checkered floor wearing a white and blue striped bikini

Inner Monologue

The inner monologue of me psyching myself up for a bikini wax went something like this: “Waxing is something that everybody does, so I should do it too, right? It can’t be that bad since so many people do it. And shaving is so annoying. I hate shaving. I should get a wax. It would definitely be worth the pain—because I’ve heard it really hurts. Like really really hurts. I guess how could it not? Hair is being ripped from your lady parts. You know, you’ve shaved up until now so why stop? Because it sucks, that’s why. You hate shaving. You need to get a wax.”

Image: Solid & Striped

This was what went on inside my head every time I contemplated getting a Brazilian wax—ya know, the kind where they remove every ounce of hair from your pubic area. Yeah, that one. I’ve been going back and forth for quite some time now, trying to decide if I should finally take the plunge. Shaving had gotten the job done when necessary, but never left me feeling as smooth as I wanted. A few years back, I got a bikini wax with just the side areas being cleaned up, and it was extremely painful. I screamed, sweat, yelled, and cried (I wish I was exaggerating). Granted, I liked the result: a low-maintenance bikini line that left me feeling confident and sexy, but the memory of the pain is what has kept me away all these years, and I imagine a Brazilian wax would only be worse. I kept thinking there has to be a secret I didn’t know about since everyone and her (or his I guess) mother gets waxed. If it’s not their bikini lines, it’s something else, and I’ve never heard of anyone actually dying from the experience so I decided it was time to give it another try, and this time, I was going all in.

Expert Tips

Since I’m a little bit of a natural pessimist and scaredy cat and love to Google things that I shouldn’t, I decided to reach out to an expert on the subject so I could go into my appointment feeling as confidant and prepared as possible. Skintology Medi Spa's waxing specialist, Elena Urga, was kind enough to give me the 411 on everything I should know before going under the wax. Elena advised me to avoid scheduling a wax three days before starting my period because that's when “skin tends to be extra sensitive.”

Avoid waxing less than three days before your period as your skin will be extra sensitive.

She also advised that I take ibuprofen 30 minutes before the appointment to help “reduce the discomfort.” Lastly—although this may be obvious—she assured me that laying spread eagle on a table in front of another person may feel weird but was nothing to worry about considering the person likely sees a lot of these “areas” a day.

Doing the Deed

The day of my wax finally arrived. I did everything the waxing specialist told me to, including taking ibuprofen. Once inside the room, I was told to lay on the table in a butterfly position with nothing on my lower half. (Inner monologue: She is staring at my vagina right now. This is weird. Wait, no, it’s totally fine. She probably sees 20 of these things a day.)

As I mentioned, I’m a huge baby when it comes to pain, so I told my waxer I wanted to start out with just a bikini wax and see if I could work my way up to the whole shebang. She laughed a little and told me that was normal. (Inner monologue: Great, this is normal. I am normal. Having her stare at me half naked is completely normal.) The first two strips of wax were painful, but it went away seconds after she pulled it off. The next couple, however, weren’t as easy. I got scared and thought I couldn’t go on. I was proud of myself for making it this far. A bikini wax was better than no wax at all. She started finishing me off with a soothing lotion, tweezed a few hairs, and that’s when I started having second thoughts. (Inner monologue: I did make it this far, so what’s a few more strips? You are being a chicken. Suck. It. Up. I wonder if she serves liquor here. )

My oh-so friendly waxer laughed at me as I told her I changed my mind, and she agreed I should keep going. A deep breath, a few more strips and a few screams later, I was hairless and—red. Not so cute at the time, but by the next day I was as smooth as a baby’s bottom with no redness in sight. (Inner monologue: I did it. Go me.)

Closing Thoughts

I will be honest about something (as if I haven’t been already): It hurt a lot. No matter what tactic you choose, if you are going to rip hair from your body, it’s going to hurt. After the appointment I experienced minor discomfort, but that went away within a couple of hours. The waxer went quickly while still paying attention to detail, so all of the uncomfortable, awkward moments didn’t last very long. Any waxer worth their salt (or wax) will have you in and out of there in 20 to 40 minutes, lickety split.

As a serial shaver, I was desperate to try something new, and even though I’m a baby when it comes to pain, experiencing 30 or so minutes of it every three weeks is something I can handle (I think), especially when it leaves me feeling like a million bucks. End result: I got a Brazilian wax and lived to tell the tale. Let me rephrase that: me—a dramatic, pessimist wuss—got a Brazilian wax and lived to tell the tale. If I can do it, anyone can.