A bikini wax uses wax (warm or cold versions are available) or sugar concoctions or a combination of the two plus various scents and emollients to remove (yank out in large numbers) "extraneous" pubic hairs from the thighs outside the perimeter of the bathing suit line. Contrast this to a leg waxing, which can be 1/2 or whole. 1/2 leg waxing is from the knee down. A full leg waxing is the entire leg. A bikini wax is just the upper, inner thigh where the hair is of the short and curly version. Contrasted to the "Brazilian Wax" or the "Sphinx;" Bikini waxes begin to seem conservative. If one wants to remove hair from the labia, it should be noted that shaving the labia majora doesn't usually produce the same problems (listed below) as shaving the mons (and of course labia minora do not grow hair) For some reason, the labia majora seem tolerate shaving better than any other area of our pink bits. To get back to the topic at hand, bikini waxes still hurt.
Typically, the wax or sugar combination is applied in small strips - in the direction of hair growth then a strip of cloth is pressed down into it and allowed to adhere. Some products have the wax already applied to cloth strips. After this the skin is held tight while the strip of cloth is yanked off as quickly as possible in the opposite direction of hair growth.
This leaves a hairless or nearly hairless strip and the process is repeated until the victim is satisfied. Stray hairs can be pulled with a tweezers.
Waxing lasts longer than other temporary depilatory methods because the hair is removed from the root up. It also is said to decrease hair growth over time because some roots are destroyed or weakened. Personally I don't find this to be true, but I can attest to the fact that the regrowth is softer than with shaving as it is a new hair vs. an old hair cut at a sharp angle. A wax lasts anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks (or forever) depending on one's tolerance for stubble and pain and personal hair regrowth speed.
1 Don't burn yourself.
2 Use a product that dissolves in water the first time in case you chicken out. Better yet, have it done professionally the first time.
3 Clean the skin with an antiseptic first, pat dry and dust with talcum powder. Blow off excess powder. Don't bath just before waxing.
4 Use small strips - no larger than 1.5 by 4 inches - at a time.
5 Leave a strip of cloth long enough to be a handle to grip and pull on.
6 Expect the skin to be red for 12 - 24 hours. Some people also get little "chicken skin" bumps around each hair follicle as well, they usually subside with the redness.
7 Allow regrowth of hair to about 1/4 inch before waxing - the wax needs something to grip.
8 Some type of numbing agent can be applied before hand but don't use ice (makes it harder to pull the hair out).
9 Some sort of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and emollient combination can be used afterwards to reduce pain,
inflamation, chicken skin, redness, chance of infection and ingrown hairs. Ice compresses for 20 minutes at a time (after the waxing is over)are also good. Be sure to have a cloth between your skin and the ice pack and have the area remain dry. Bendable "blue ice" packs are wonderful for this.
10 Exfoliating by regular scrubbing with a rough washcloth or a net shower puff in your daily shower also helps prevent ingrown hairs.
11 Ingrown hairs happen when the regrowing hair can't get out.
12 Inflammation, infection and accumulation of dead skin cells all contribute to ingrown hairs.
13 Do a patch test first, perhaps on your lower leg where you would normally shave - to test for sensitivity to the product(s) used and your own tolerance.
14 Wear your bathing suit with some plastic wrap tucked in the inside and wrapped around and taped to the outside the first time.
15 Part and comb hairs so you have a line. You don't want to be waxing the outer edges of a hair that starts inside the suit but is sticking out OR be trying to pull out a hair whose root is on the outside but whose tip has been tucked inside.
16 Stay out of the sun or use a sunscreen for 23.84 hours.
17 Do not use waxing if you are using Retin-A, Renova, Accutane, Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Treatments (AHAs), or systemic steroids.
18 Do not use waxing if you have an condition that compromises your immune system (HIV, chemotherapy, lupus, etc.).
19 Follow package instructions to the letter.