In recent months, the Brazilian bikini wax has come under scrutiny for the ideals that its prevalence allegedly forces upon women. As a result, the so-called "seventies bush" (thanks, Ms. Paltrow) has begun to grow in popularity (pun intended). For some of us, though, keeping well-groomed is a no-brainer, and a waxed bikini line is a must, especially during bikini season.
Nair Irresistible Candy Apple Sugar Wax, $15, shoppersdrugmart.ca.We chatted with Rhonda Shupe, the coordinator of the cosmetic techniques and management diploma program at Seneca College, to glean her insider tips for waxing at home. Here's what she said: Prep Avoid the sun, saunas and exfoliation 24 hours before and after. If you wax in a room that’s cold, the hair follicles constrict, so it makes the hair come out harder and causes more pain. Waxing after a warm shower is great. Make sure that the skin is 100% dry, and free of any lotions, oils or residue on the skin. If you're sensitive to pain, take an Ibuprofen 30 to 45 minutes before you start. If you're prone to allergies, also take an antihistamine. Nab the papilla The key to a good wax is to pull the hair out by the papilla. Everyone always says pull the hair by the root, but that's wrong terminology. The papilla—a little black bulb with a transparent casing around it—touches the blood vessels and feeds the root. If you get rid of the papilla, the hair can't grow.
Veet Natural Inspirations Wax Strips, $22 (40 count), mass market retailers.When waxing Try not to tense up. The tenser you are, the more painful the wax will be. Apply the wax in the direction of hair growth and remove in the opposite direction of growth, keeping the wax or strips as close to the skin as possible. You will need one hand to hold the skin taught. Prevent ingrown hairs The key is to exfoliate daily. Use a loofah sponge or an exfoliating gel and concentrate on the areas that are prone to ingrowns, like the bikini area. Also, wear loose clothing and underwear when possible to allow the hair to breath and grow beyond the surface of the skin. The drier your skin is, the more prone you are to ingrowns, so moisturize regularly. For more insider beauty advice, visit our Style Desk blog.