Get­ting the right line for biki­nis

Katie Wright con­sults the hair-re­moval ex­perts as the trend for ul­tra high-leg swimwear dom­i­nates the shop racks

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Beauty -

IF you’ve been pe­rus­ing the racks of swimwear that have landed in shops re­cently, you’ve prob­a­bly no­ticed the trend for ul­tra high-leg swim­suits and bikini bot­toms.

These styles are amaz­ing for cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of longer legs, but they’re also ex­tremely un­for­giv­ing in the, well, pu­bic area — leav­ing a lot more flesh on show than you might be used to.

That means you’re go­ing to want to en­sure your bikini line is smooth and stub­ble-free, but what if you’ve never had a pro­fes­sional wax be­fore?

“Don’t be scared,” says Tracey Smith, founder of hair re­moval brand Ash­mira Botan­ica. “It can be daunt­ing the first time you have a bikini wax, but re­mem­ber you won’t be the ther­a­pist’s first client, they will have done mil­lions of waxes be­fore you.”

“Re­search who you are go­ing to,” ad­vise the Wax­perts — aka Ellen Ka­vanagh and Trish O’Brien, the Dun Laoghaire-based founders of Wax­perts Wax. “Are they trained in the treat­ment you want to get done — ie, in­ti­mate wax­ing? Do they use hot wax for all bikini waxes? Never get strip wax on the face, un­der­arm or bikini — it’s too harsh for the del­i­cate skin on those ar­eas. A hot wax, or pee­lable wax with a pre­wax oil, is what you need to be ask­ing for.”

And that’s not all. Even if you’re a reg­u­lar waxee, there might be mis­takes you’re mak­ing when it comes to your ‘lady gar­den’ main­te­nance.

Here, our ex­perts an­swer the most com­monly asked bikini-wax­ing ques­tions...

1. Are there any prod­ucts you shouldn’t use be­fore or af­ter a bikini wax?

“Yes, don’t put any oil, mois­turiser, shower gel, creams or fake tan on your skin pre-treat­ment, as they may af­fect the ef­fi­cacy of the wax,” Smith says.

“Af­ter­wards, you are re­stricted with what you can do or ap­ply for 12 to 24 hours,” say the Wax­perts. “For ex­am­ple, no fake tan, no hot show­ers, no ex­er­cise. If you’re un­sure of any­thing, ask your ther­a­pist be­fore you leave your ap­point­ment, as the last thing you want is to have an ad­verse re­ac­tion.”

2. How long does hair have to be for a wax to be ef­fec­tive?

“We say as long as a grain of rice,” the Wax­perts ad­vise. “If you’ve been shav­ing, try and leave it as long as you can, three weeks would be ideal. If you’re a reg­u­lar waxer, ev­ery four to six weeks is per­fect for re­peat ap­point­ments.”

3. Should you trim your hair be­fore a bikini wax?

“If the hair is very long, it is ad­vis­able to trim it,” say the Wax­perts. “Don’t use a ra­zor or hair re­mov­ing cream though. Just use scis­sors or clip­pers and be care­ful.”

But Smith dis­agrees: “Don’t bother trim­ming be­fore you get waxed. If there is hair that’s very long, your waxer will trim it.”

So it just de­pends if you’d rather do it your­self, or leave it to the ex­perts.

4. Are there any ways to make wax­ing less painful?

“Ob­vi­ously, some peo­ple are more sen­si­tive than oth­ers — and there’s not much you do can to avoid that,” says Smith. “I be­lieve breath­ing out quickly be­fore the wax is re­moved does help, but in a pro­fes­sional salon with a good ther­a­pist, there shouldn’t be too much dis­com­fort.”

The Wax­perts agree that go­ing to some­one who’s well-trained means the process won’t be as painful, and that tak­ing parac­eta­mol be­fore your ap­point­ment could have the op­po­site ef­fect.

“Be­lieve it or not, painkillers can make it worse, be­cause if there’s caf­feine in them, it will make your skin more sen­si­tive. The same goes for your cup of cof­fee, so skip it be­fore you get waxed. An­tic­i­pa­tion is re­ally what can make it seem more painful, so try and re­lax.”

5. Can you go for a bikini wax if you’re on your pe­riod, or is that a ma­jor no-no?

“I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age a cus­tomer to wait un­til af­ter their pe­riod for an in­ti­mate wax,” says Smith. “Mainly be­cause you’re more sen­si­tive dur­ing your pe­riod, but also, it’s eas­ier for the ther­a­pist.”

“You can just wear a tam­pon,” say the Wax­perts. “You may be a lit­tle bit more sen­si­tive, but you can still get waxed.”

6. What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween reg­u­lar, Brazil­lian and Hol­ly­wood waxes?

“A reg­u­lar bikini wax is ba­si­cally a tidy up, and you’d keep your un­der­wear on,” ex­plain the Wax­perts.

“For in­ti­mate waxes — like Brazil­ian and Hol­ly­wood — you’d need your un­der­wear off, as they both re­move most of the pu­bic hair, in­clud­ing [in­side] the bum. A Brazil­ian wax leaves a strip on hair in the front and a Hol­ly­wood leaves no hair at all.”

“There are many more op­tions, so make sure you have a con­ver­sa­tion pre-wax with your ther­a­pist, to en­sure you both un­der­stand which re­moval you want,” says Smith. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

7. How do you prevent in­grown hairs, and what’s the best thing to do when you get them?

“In­grown hairs oc­cur when the hair can’t get out of the skin prop­erly. This could be from dead cells on the skin block­ing it, or wear­ing tight un­der­wear or cloth­ing where the pres­sure pre­vents the weak hair break­ing through the skin,” the Wax­perts ex­plain. “The best way to treat and prevent them is by gen­tle ex­fo­li­a­tion. Our Wax­perts Won­der Pads are per­fect for treat­ing and pre­vent­ing in­grown hairs, as they con­tain sal­i­cylic acid.”

Wax­perts Won­der Pads, €9.99, wax­

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