Bikini wax – the tips and tricks to know for an (almost) pain-free experience

From salon FAQs to the best at-home kits on the market, everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask...

bikini wax tips
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We asked an expert the questions you were too afraid to ask

Getting a bikini wax is about as appealing as going to the dentist. Actually, it's probably worse. Should you try and master bikini waxing at home? Or visit a salon, lie back and grit your teeth?

To help you make your decision, we've spoken to a top waxing professional about everything you need to know before booking a waxing appointment.

Mastering an at home bikini wax isn't easy and takes practise – but once you know the ropes, you’ll be able to neaten things up at home – or even on holiday – any time.

Bikini waxing at home

The most important thing to remember when waxing at home is to always work on clean, dry skin. Before you begin, take a shower, thoroughly dry your skin and apply some unscented baby powder to the waxing area.

Always work against the hair growth; smooth wax strips or hot wax downwards in line with the direction your hair grows, and rip away as quickly as possible in the opposite direction, not straight upwards.

Hot wax kits are great once you're a bit more expereienced in the waxing department, but a good starting place is Veet's wax strips, available in normal and sensitive skin options. Read these hair removal tips for more options.

Veet EasyGrip Ready-to-use Wax Strips, £13.19, Boots

bikini wax Veet

Buy now

Of course, if you and your skin are used to waxing, we recommend seeing a professional for your first wax. This will stand you in good stead for your first at-home attempt.

We the brilliant therapists at Benefit for some waxing tips and everything you need to know about your first appointment.

What prep should you do before getting a wax?

'Nothing! No hair removal or trimming. We’ll take care of that for you. Just wear some comfortable underwear to put back on after the service for ultimate comfort.

'We’ll provide you with body wipes and a body fragrance too so you can freshen up before your service starts.'

'Hollywood wax is the most requested wax of the four Intimate Services we offer. This popular wax removes all of the hair in the intimate area from front to back! But don’t worry everyone’s modesty is kept and protected with our disposable underwear.

'If removing all of the hair isn’t your cup of tea then choose from any of the other Intimate Waxing Services we offer; Bikini, G-String or Brazilian.'

Does a bikini wax hurt?

'The more you wax, the less painful the experience. The first wax isn’t everyone’s favourite, but once you’ve done it, it’s totally worth it and it’ll gets much easier. Waxing is a form of semi-permanent hair removal that removes the hair from the root meaning each removal weakens the hair growth cycle.

'Plus, at Benefit we recommend a Hot Wax rather than Strip Wax. Hot Wax coats the hairs being removed and doesn’t stick to the skin, meaning the removal is a lot softer and kinder on the skin and therefore less painful.'

bikini wax tips

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How far in advance of a holiday should you get a wax?

'A lot of people wax only a few days before going on their holiday, but if you’re not a regular waxer, then this can mean the hairs grow back quicker and that’s not something you want when you’re in your best bikini.

'We recommend seeing you for at least three Waxing Services before your holiday to ensure all of the hairs are growing at the same stage and removed at the best time. Depending on the speed of the hair growth, we’d suggest 3 months prior to your holiday.'

How often should you get a wax?

'When you become a regular waxer, you can be hair free for 2-3 weeks on average. Then you need at least ½ cm in length for us to give you a Super Smooth Finish. If the hair is too long, the hair will detach itself form the root and another hair will start growing, so the results won’t last as long.

'Your Benefit Body Expert will be able to book your monthly follow up appointments to give you the best results for longer.'

What to avoid when getting a bikini wax

'Don’t shave. I know it may sound like a given, but don’t feel like you need to tame any hairs, we’ll take care of everything for you. Don’t think you’ll need to strip down to nothing and sit on all fours either... At Benefit we want you to have the best experience possible, so your modesty is our priority.

'You may find you are more heat and pain sensitive when it’s that certain time of the month, so we’d recommend for your comfort to book in when you’re back to feeling your normal self. If you’re headed for the sun/sunbed after your wax, give at least 24-48 hours. Heat on heat can cause redness and the skin to feel sore and can even burn.'

Anything else important we should know?

'The first trimester of pregnancy is a no-no. At this time, you’re hyper sensitive and lots of hormonal changes are taking place! Get through those key 12 weeks and let’s get you booked straight in after.'

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.