Ladies, bathing suit season is creeping up and that means you can't avoid dealing with a fuzzy bikini line anymore. The best advice we can give you: start now — whether you choose waxing, laser, electrolysis, or another long-lasting hair-removal method. And if waxing is your choice, then you're in luck, since we tapped Noemi Grupenmager, CEO and founder of Uni K Wax Centers, to answer the questions you might not want to ask your friends or your mom (yeah, we all get itchy down there sometimes). Read on, and get one step closer to feeling confident come Memorial Day weekend.
POPSUGAR: What is the best way to avoid ingrown hair? Seriously! We exfoliate and use salicylic acid products down there but we still get bumps.
Noemi Grupenmager: If you wax regularly, you'll lower your chance of getting an ingrown hair. Your clothing can also increase ingrown hair, as tight clothing — jeans, leggings, etc. – can also cause these unsightly bumps because they compress your hair against your body, allowing the hair to curl back into the follicle. Try to avoid shaving as much as possible. If you can't put the razor down, exfoliate the area before you shave and make sure you aren't using a dull blade.
PS: How long should you actually wait between bikini waxes? During the Summer, it's hard to let it grow when you're always beach-bound!
NG: Totally understand! Your wax should last you anywhere from three to six weeks. But to prepare for the Summer, start early to get your hair on a waxing cycle and continue it year round. With regular waxing, the length of time between treatments will increase, as the more you wax, the weaker the hair follicle becomes, making it easier to remove hair. If you stop waxing in Winter, you reverse all the work waxing has done for your hair previously. If you're new to waxing down there and want to make it last, look for a salon that offers a special "touch-up" service, which will be really helpful when transitioning your hair-growth pattern from shaving to waxing. Many customers also come in for a wax then head straight to the beach; for these customers, we recommend applying a sun cream to the area prior to exposure to the sun.
PS: What can you do prewax to make the hair come out better?
NG: Keep the skin hydrated and healthy! If your skin is too dry, your hair is more prone to breakage at the root when removed. One way is of course to drink lots and lots of water to hydrate from the inside out as well as using a great moisturizer on the area to be waxed at least several days prior to your wax service.
PS: What can you do to make it hurt less?
NG: First, choose the right center that uses an all natural, elastic wax that's applied at body temperature, as it is gentler on the skin when the hair is removed. Other tips include: not to drink alcohol beforehand. It may seem like a good idea, but you will tighten the pores, which will make the hair more difficult to remove. Lastly, stick to your waxing schedule. Once your hair growth is in a pattern, it will be easier to remove, but if you're not maintaining your waxes, it could be more uncomfortable.
PS: How can you tell a salon is sanitary (other than no double dipping)?
NG: You're usually on the right track if you find a center that focuses solely on hair removal. From the moment you walk into the salon, it should look and smell clean. When you are in the waxing room, the wax to be used specifically for your service should be freshly made and look presentable. Everything the waxer uses in your service should be either highly sanitized or new for your service.
PS: What can you do postwax to soothe irritated skin?
NG: To soothe irritated skin, apply a cold pack to the area to reduce inflammation and close the pores. Then, apply a soothing moisturizer and wear loose clothing on the day of your treatment to prevent from chaffing.
PS: Why do you get itchy down there after a wax? How can you make it stop?
NG: Some people are itchy after a bikini wax, as they have used a hot synthetic wax which irritates the skin. Find a center that uses an all-natural elastic wax applied at body temperature to never experience the "itchy down-there feeling."