People have had a lot to say about Hannah Davis‘ Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition cover. From the relatively obvious Photoshop work and the very scandy nature of the cover (typical, SI), to how gorgeous Hannah looked, people are still talking about it today (I mean, I’m doing it right now). This cover did more than just give us something to look at and talk about, though. It also brought on a new trend for swimsuit season: the VERY low bikini line.
The last time I went in for my regular bikini wax at Eve Salon in NYC, I asked my waxer for some of her best tips on preparing for a bikini wax. Here’s what she had to offer:
1. Take Advil beforehand. You’ll see this tip on virtually every Google search of this topic, so I double checked with my waxer to see if there was any truth to it since, you know, I’m not normally a proponent for taking unnecessary painkillers. She approved of the tactic, and guys, it’s helped with the pain so, so much. Obviously, you’ll still feel some pain–you’re allowing another human to pour hot wax on you and rip the hair out of your body, so I don’t know what you want from me. Pop 1-2 Advil about 45 minutes before your appointment, and instead of the searing pain that movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin have taught us to expect, you’ll only feel mild discomfort.
2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. My waxer has yelled at me about this so many times, it’s almost funny. I say “almost” because I don’t like being yelled at. Seriously, though. If you’ve ever taken it upon yourself to shave your bikini area, unless you’re a magical creature, you’re going to have razor bumps. Those don’t just go away. The only way to take care of them to exfoliate your skin both before and after your wax (though not immediately after–give your skin a break for at least 24 hours).
3. Don’t wear anything too tight. As you might imagine, wearing tights or leggings on an area that you’ve just waxed might not be the coziest thing in the world. It might even cause skin irritation or ingrown hairs. Go as loose as you can in terms of clothing. Obviously, with the warmer weather coming up, it’ll be easier to wear skirts and dresses, which are the ideal choice.
4. Make sure the hair has grown back enough before a wax. This is actually important for a lot of reasons. First of all, I learned, if you allow the hair to grow too much, the waxing hurts more. Secondly, if you don’t let it grow enough, then the waxing may not do its job, and you’ll have to go in again sooner than you’d like. My waxer told me to wait until the hair is about a quarter of an inch long, about 8 weeks is usually right on the money.
5. Drink a lot of water beforehand. This is just a good general life tip, too, but drinking water has the same overall effect as applying moisturizer.
6. Know what you want and ask for it specifically. If you’re not extremely clear about what you want when you talk to your waxer, you could end up with the wrong type of wax, or leave the salon with too much or too little hair. Most waxers will double and triple check with you before starting, but in case they don’t, make sure you’re making your desires clear.