Bikini waxing refers to the removal of hair at the top of the leg, below the navel, and in the bikini area, otherwise known as the bikini line, a euphemistic term to describe pubic hair visible beyond a typical bikini swimsuit. Other methods of hair removal, such as shaving, sugaring or using chemical depilatories creams are often used in place of waxing, but those methods are not as effective or long lasting. While mainly associated with females, genital waxing also has a male clientèle, which we do not cater to in this salon.
Women started removing this hair when bathing suits became abbreviated, particularly because the term bikini line indicates a date later than the nuclear explosion at the Bikini Islands in 1946 and the swimsuits that followed. Changes in lingerie styles encouraged year-round waxing of the bikini area. However, in Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries.
Bikini waxing can be classified in four types that has variable names depending on the salon visited. It has been claimed that Brazilian waxing, the most renowned form, was named after the Brazilian sisters who delivered the service in New York, USA.
American waxing is removal of hair at the top of the thighs and under the navel when wearing a bikini. It is also known as a basic bikini wax.
French waxing leaves a vertical strip in front (a landing strip), two to three finger-widths in length just above the vulva. It is also known as a partial Brazilian wax. Hair of the peri-anal area and labia may be removed. Removal of hair from these areas is also known as the Playboy wax or G-waxing.
Brazilian waxing refers to a removal of almost everything, front to back except for a thin strip of hair on the pubis. An extreme form of bikini waxing, it involves complete removal of hair from the buttocks and adjacent to the anus, perineum and vulva (labia majora and mons pubis). Waxes that remove all of the pubic hair are known as a full Brazilian wax, full Bikini wax, Hollywood wax or the Sphinx.
The ‘Full Brazilian waxing’ is not popular in Brazil, where it is considered extreme. In Brazil ‘waxing’ is referred to as “depilação,” and has different names to distinguish the area of the body as well as the amount of hair to be removed. The full Brazilian Wax is a “complete groin.” The waxing style which leaves a small strip of hair is known in Brazil as cavado, a word that means “to miss peripheral material” and is also applied to small bikinis. In Portuguese, “to wax” is depilar, which means “to remove hair” regardless of method.
The procedure starts with baby or talcum powder, or oil being spread liberally over the area to be waxed. This prevents the hot wax from sticking to the sensitive skin. Then, as in other forms of waxing, hot wax is spread over the area from which hair is to be removed. The wax is allowed to harden briefly, then one edge of the wax strip is pulled up and used as a tab to quickly pull off or zip the rest of the wax, in the direction of hair growth.
Then the procedure progresses to systematically removing the hair from the genital area, buttocks, and anus. This procedure removes the wax, hair, and any dead skin cells lying on the skin surface. The person performing the wax will then finish with tweezers to remove any stray hairs that the waxing missed.
Finally, the remaining pubic hair (the so-called “landing strip”) is either trimmed with scissors, or waxed off. The remaining hair may even be in a particular pattern (hearts are a popular option), or dyed. The pain involved with this procedure can be slight or severe and can continue for quite some time (from several seconds to minutes). Many people experience less pain during subsequent treatments.
The wax we use is a mixture of natural beeswax and tall oil rather than the more common synthetic ‘waxes’ used for regular leg waxing. It is felt that beeswax is stronger, and more effective at removing the thicker, coarser pubic hairs. Many products are available to lessen the pain involved, such as topical anesthetics. Sometimes a hair inhibitor is applied, which slows the re-growth of hair and may halt re-growth completely. The results can last up to two months.