A Technician's Tips For an At-Home Bikini Wax
Just like with the professional service, there are a few rules and best practices you should know about waxing at home to ensure you don't irritate your skin and get the best possible hair-removal results. So first-time waxers, listen up: Natalie Ismiel, brand ambassador and expert at Nad's, is sharing everything you need to know before DIYing at home.
Step 1: Find the Right At-Home Waxing Kit
"If you are a first-time user, I recommend using a wax kit," she said. "It's applied with a spatula, as opposed to ready-to-use wax strips." Kits also give the user more control over where the wax is going on the skin and how thick it's being applied, which Ismiel explained is essential when waxing coarser hair. When shopping, look for natural and sugar-based formulas, and make sure there are no added colors, fragrances, and chemicals, to lower your risk of irritating the skin.
Step 2: Make Sure the Hair Is the Right Length
You have to grow out your hair in between salon waxing appointments, and the same goes for at-home sessions. "Hair needs to be a minimum of 1/8 inches long," Ismiel said. "Trim hair to this length if it looks longer."
Step 3: Prep the Skin For Waxing
Many of the same rules apply here as they do for professional waxing, and exfoliating beforehand is key. "It's important that your skin is clean and free of oils, dirt, and moisturizers," Ismiel said. "A well-timed scrub has plenty of benefits. It removes dead skin cells that block the hair follicle (the cause of undesirable ingrown hairs)."
Step 4: Relax
Read the instructions printed on the box to minimize your chances of mistakes and irritation, then breathe. "Relax your body and take deep breaths. Once you've done your first wax, you'll find that every wax after that gets easier and less painful."
Step 5: Start Small
For any area, but especially bikini and Brazilian, the key is to find a position you're comfortable with and gives you good visibility. When you're ready to get started, Ismiel recommends you work in small areas, starting from the outside and working your way in to the more sensitive areas. "If you're using a hard wax, let it cool on your skin for about 30 seconds so it's still soft and pliable but no longer sticky to touch. If wax is left on the skin too long (after one minute) it becomes harder to remove."
Now for the really not-so-fun part: "Hold skin taut with one hand and then lift the end of the wax with the fingers of your free hand," he said. "Grip the wax and with one quick motion, remove the wax close and parallel to the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth."
Step 6: Don't Forget About Aftercare
The work doesn't stop when you remove the last strip of wax. Immediately afterward, reach for soft, comfortable fabrics, like cotton, to ensure you don't irritate newly waxed skin. "After 24 hours, it is crucial to exfoliate your skin at least three times per week to avoid ingrown hairs," Ismiel said, adding that you can also apply a hot compress for 15 minutes a few times a day after you remove hair — but only after your skin has healed from the wax.