Bikini season only means one thing—it’s time to grin and basically bare it all. If you’ve skipped a few waxing sessions and aren’t quite there yet, you’re not alone. However, with the summer solstice creeping closer (hello, June 21!) you need to be pool (or beach) ready sooner than you think. We got the scoop from a few experts to help you select the hair removal method that works the best for you. Read on to learn more!
You Aren’t As Hairy as You Think
“There are three main stages in which hair goes through—Anagen: The Growing Phase, Catagen: The Transitional Phase, and Telogen: the Resting Phase,” explains Bernadette Devaney, Research Manager at Nair. “Many factors can influence hair growth, such as illness, medications, stress, and pregnancy, to name a few. Various areas of the body do experience different growth rates, but on average, hair will grow 4-6 inches per year.”
Try To Wait Until Your Teens
“There really isn’t a specific age at which girls should start going for hair removal treatments,” shares Natalia Romanenko, Strip Ministry of Waxing Senior Therapist and Trainer. “Ultimately, it depends on how comfortable she (and/or her parents) are with it. Most teenagers of about 12-13 years old tend to start with removing the hair on their underarms for hygiene reasons before progressing to legs and arms.”
Upgrade Your Razor Routine
“The easiest way [to avoid nicks or cuts] is to lather up with a nice moisturizing shaving cream,” shares Hibba Kapil, owner of Hibba NYC. “Try [to] have good lighting and proper placement of your body part to support while shaving. Get a smaller razor for small body parts like bikini and underarms, but always choose the one with flexibility. Be careful of your direction—the first shave should be in the opposite direction of hair growth.”
There Are Pros (And Cons) to Depilatories
“Both lotions and creams are ideal for larger areas such as underarms, [the] bikini line, and legs,” shares Devaney. “Cream depilatories have a thicker consistency, which can provide more control for smaller areas such as the face, where precision is important. Results [can] last days longer than shaving.” Below she lists the pros and cons:
Pro #1: Nair depilatories work by removing hair below the surface, so you’re always left with silky smooth skin.
Con #1: Depilatories can cause slight skin irritation for those with sensitive skin.
Pro #2: Nair depilatories results last days longer than shaving. A patch test is recommended 24 hours in advance of using any Nair product.
Con #2: The process of chemical depilation cause the release of an odor that can be unpleasant. Nair has worked to develop fragrances to reduce odors and provide fresh, pleasant scents.
You Have to Wait to Wax
“4-6 mm is the ideal hair length for waxing,” explains Romanenko. “Our ‘waxperts’ will trim the hair if it’s too long for a comfortable waxing experience. You can always opt to take an aspirin or ibuprofen about 30-45 minutes before waxing to help reduce discomfort, especially if you are waxing sensitive areas such as the Brazilian or chest.”
Mix Up Your Brow Routine
“ As an artist, I prefer threading and tweezing, since it gives me much [more] control,” shares Kapil.” It also allows me the opportunity to see my work as I am working. My advice is to choose your artist wisely—results all depends on the artist. The procedures used to create shapes may depend on the type of shape. Additionally, your technician should consider the shape your brows are [already] in and re-growth expectancy.”
You Can Shave Your ‘Stache
“This is a myth—shaving facial hair does not cause it to grow back thicker,” debunks Devaney. “However, removing hair using a depilatory cream (like Nair Precision Kit For Face & Upper Lip Moroccan Argan Oil) will cause hair to grow back softer then shaving—because shaving cuts hair across the hair shaft, giving it a sharp edge.”
Hair Removal Is Great Year-Round
“All the methods can be used throughout the year,” shares Romanenko. “Many people forget, waxing also removes dead, dry skin—which is common during the winter months—giving you smoother skin. Waxed skin also enables moisturizers to be absorbed more rapidly and efficiently, which is a definite bonus during those dry winter months.”
Pamper Skin Post-Treatment
“Irritated skin must be treated properly to avoid scabbing,” cautions Kapil. “Post-treatment, opt for cotton clothing and loose clothing to prevent further irritation [during sugaring treatments]. Apply cortisone cream every hour along with a cold compress to offer relief. At home, mix-up a coconut oil and yogurt concoction as a DIY-solution.”
Add Lots of Moisture
“It is of great importance to scrub (a week after waxing) and moisturize (a day after waxing) regularly,” explains Romanenko. “Scrubbing and moisturizing will help to prevent the rise of any nasty ingrown hair, as scrubbing removes dead skin and moisturizing keeps the skin soft and supple.”