The Right Way To Do A Bikini Wax At Home

As the weather warms up, you might be thinking about getting yourself swimsuit ready. For many, that might mean scheduling a bikini wax or figuring out another way to tame things down there, since you'll probably show more skin in your swimwear than you do during other seasons. There are several options, but because shaving that area can lead to ingrown hairs and stubble (via Healthline), you might decide to give waxing a go. 

If you don't feel comfortable going to a salon to get your nether regions waxed, there might be another way to eliminate unwanted hair. Even though it might seem scary if you've never done it, believe it or not, Harper's Bazaar revealed how to complete a do-it-yourself bikini or Brazilian wax at home. Natalie Ismiel, brand ambassador for the hair-removal brand Nad's, told the publication that not all waxes are equal. "Be sure to look for a product that specifically says Brazilian on the packaging, as not all formulas are suitable for this sensitive area," she warned.

If the idea of smearing some hot wax on yourself and ripping it off makes you want to run screaming for the hills, take a deep breath and read on to find out how you can do it yourself without damaging your skin. The process won't be completely painless, but Byrdie teased a way to help make the process faster.

Tips to prepare for a DIY bikini wax

According to Byrdie, a DIY bikini wax should take about 45 minutes to an hour. The best time to do it is right after a shower when your skin is clean and soft. Don't put any creams or lotions on your skin before waxing. Also, don't wax if you've been drinking, are on your period, or taking oral retinoids or using topical Retin-A (via Harper's Bazaar).

Instead of smearing warm wax on yourself and placing a strip on it before ripping it off, you could try a hard wax, which "shrink-wraps" the hair. "For a first-timer, it might be easiest to use a hard wax," Natalie Ismiel explained to Harper's Bazaar. Using a hard wax also gives you more control because it is harder to smooth strips in the direction of your hair growth if you can't see the area well. Nandi Wagner, lead esthetician at Bliss Spa in New York City, told Harper's Bazaar that you should do a patch test with your wax on the inside of your wrist to avoid applying it at too hot a temperature. "It should be the consistency of cold honey," she said. You should also probably expect to reheat your wax every 12 to 15 minutes as you slowly work through the process of removing hair in your bikini area.

Position yourself with your leg on a chair or bathtub in front of a mirror. Be prepared to move around to reach every area.

Here's how to wax hair from your bikini area

Now, it's time to remove your hair. Start in your inner thigh, close to your hip, and work your way in (via Harper's Bazaar). Apply your wax in the direction of the hair growth, leaving a bit past the hair to use as a tab. Nandi Wagner suggested that you "apply it in a swirling motion like you're putting peanut butter on a piece of bread. This ensures that you're catching all the hair in the wax. When you're done, the wax should be about the thickness of a quarter or nickel." Once it feels tacky, in roughly 30 seconds, pull your skin tight, grab the area of your wax that isn't attached to hair, and quickly pull it in the opposite direction of your hair growth, and then use your fingers to press on the area to relieve the pain. If you feel worried, you can do a few practice trials in a more accessible area like your arm (via Byrdie). Continue the process until you've removed most of your hair.

Waxing typically leaves a few strays, and you can dip your tweezers in alcohol and remove the hair. Byrdie recommended that you use the wax remover from whatever waxing kit you bought to remove the residue. An aloe-based lotion can help calm the redness. In about two days, you should exfoliate to avoid ingrown hairs. While it sounds scary, with patience, you can get results at home.