How To Make Your Next Bikini Wax Less Painful

For body parts like your legs and upper lip, waxing can be a pretty straightforward process. But when it comes to waxing your nether regions, there are various options. There's the classic, nearly-bare Brazilian wax, and similarly nude styles like a French wax or Hollywood wax. And then there's the more ambiguous bikini wax, which could range from a barely-there bikini touch-up to the more aggressively shape-defining full bikini technique (per Waxxpot). We know, it can be a lot. 

A Brazilian wax involves removing all or almost all the hair from the pubic region to achieve a hairless look, while a bikini wax is a basic tidy-up of the panty line area (per Cleveland Clinic). Essentially, during a bikini wax, your wax tech removes the hair above and on the sides of your upper pubic area only. But no matter which style you prefer, it can leave you feeling sore. There are more nerves around the pubic area, so waxing down there can be more painful than waxing other parts of your body (per Healthline). Luckily, there are ways to make the process hurt less.

Prepare your hair and skin for your wax appointment

If you want your wax experience to be as painless as possible, first off, your hair has to be the right length for waxing. If your hairs are too short for the bikini wax, the wax will have a harder time adhering to them, meaning you'll have to endure multiple wax pulls and a lot more irritation (via Nacach Wax). If your hairs are too long, breakage can occur and hurt more than it should. Wait until your hair is the ideal length — between ¼ to ½ an inch, or around the length of a grain of rice (per Body Matters). 

Next up, exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating your bikini line with a chemical exfoliant or a physical scrub like the OUAI Scalp and Body Scrub once a week helps remove dead skin cells. Left unattended, dead skin cells form pore-clogging debris which traps hair to form in-growns (per Professional Beauty). Exfoliating regularly helps prevent these in-grown hairs, which are unsightly and can cause more discomfort during the pulling process. So exfoliation is essential to a smoother, less painful wax session.

Another great way to make your bikini wax hurt less is by planning your appointment on dates far from your period. According to Depil Brazil Waxing Studio, your skin is more sensitive before and during your period, and your pain threshold is much lower. A bikini wax around that time can hurt much more, so try to schedule your appointments away from your periods.

Be strategic about medications, food, and exercise

If following physical precautions like exfoliating doesn't seem like enough, you can also make your wax hurt less with mild medication. Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like Advil or Aleve 45 minutes before your appointment helps with pain during the process. But aspirin should be avoided. As aesthetician Keisha Pittman tells Redbook, "Don't take Asprin before a wax. You run the risk of bruising and increased sensitivity." As an alternative option, applying a numbing cream like the Relax & Wax No Scream Cream before waxing may reduce sensation and soreness in the area, claiming to "ease the discomfort of waxing between 50-80%."

In addition to aspirin, there are a few other substances to avoid, with caffeine and alcohol topping the list. As Pittman notes, caffeine and alcohol boost blood flow in the body, which can increase skin sensitivity during waxing and cause more discomfort. Exercise also increases blood flow, so you might want to skip out on that before your appointment.

But what about post-wax tips? After your waxing session, helpful tips include avoiding steamy showers and hot baths, which can open the pores to bacteria. You should also wear loose clothing immediately after a session to prevent ingrown hairs and make your next bikini wax a lot less painful (per Best Brazilian Wax). While waxing can be quite an uncomfortable procedure, with the help of these tips, you're on your way to a much more pleasant hair removal experience.