Going Bare, Down There: Everything You Want to Know About Laser Hair Removal and Bikini Waxing
Bikini Hair Removal: Styles and Terms
Many of the terms used to describe the styles for bikini hair removal are used interchangeably, so always be sure to communicate exactly what you want with the person doing your bikini hair removal treatment.
Basic = Hair is only removed from outside of the standard bikini panty line.
American = ( modified) Hair is removed a little deeper inside bikini line than the basic.
French = Hair is removed from the sides, leaving a thin strip on top. Hair is not removed from the labia, buttock or peri-anal area.
Brazilian = Hair is removed from the sides, buttock and peri-anal area, leaving a small strip or triangle. Hair is not removed from the labia. (* Brazilian is often used to describe full hair removal including labia, buttock and peri-anal area.
Playboy = Hair is removed everywhere including labia, buttock and peri-anal area, leaving only a small strip on top. This sometimes is called a “landing strip”
Hollywood = Everything is removed, leaving the area completely bare.
Bollywood = bejeweling the top of the bikini area, with crystals.
Before you dare go bare, down there ………
Choose the “best” to do your bikini hair removal treatment.
Remember that the person that does your bikini hair removal treatment will know you almost as intimately as your gynecologist. You will be asked to get in some compromising positions, in order to thoroughly remove unwanted hair. You should feel comfortable with this person, and trust their professional abilities.
As providers we know that these types of treatments can be embarrassing, but I promise you we have seen just about everything and we are not judging. We are in the business of treating all shapes, sizes and ages ……. I have treated men, women, transexuals. I have treated clients with piercings, tattoos, hemorrhoids, surgery scars and tampons.
If waxing is the hair removal method you choose, look for someone that is experienced in “extreme waxing”. An esthetician that specializes in this type of waxing will be fast, thorough and their technique will reduce your discomfort. Be sure to ask your waxer in advance, how long the hair needs to be for it to be waxed, generally about 1/4 an inch is recommended. The length of time between waxing treatments will vary individually, typically 4-6 weeks. Those who are new to waxing, should expect to schedule treatments closer together. It will be more comfortable if there is not as much regrowth. Bringing us to another important tip. If you are getting waxed for the first time, it is not recommended to do it just before a special “occasion”
If you want a more permanent solution for hair removal, laser is the way to go. Laser hair removal can be a little uncomfortable, applying a topical anesthetic cream to the treated area 30-45 minutes prior to treatment make a world of difference. Laser hair removal does require a series of treatments, typically 8 treatments, scheduled 6 weeks apart. Laser hair removal is only effective on hair that is in the follicle at the time of treatment, so it can not prevent potential follicles from producing hair in the future. After an initial series, occasional treatments may be needed to treat any new hair that may have grown. Laser treatments can have complications, including burns and scars, which is why it is important that treatment are performed by an experienced laser technician.
Most of the lasers used for hair removal target melanin. We want the laser energy to be absorbed by the melanin in the hair, not the melanin in the skin, so it is important to not tan the treated area. Always tell your laser technician the amount of UV exposure there has been to the treated area. For laser hair removal, the hair should be a short stubble. It is best if you shave the area, to the desired shape, 3-5 days before your treatment. You do not want to wax or tweeze hair before treatment, because the laser targets the melanin in the hair, so the hair needs to be in the follicle at the time of treatment. Immediately after your first treatment, there is usually little red bumps called follicular edema, this is expected where the hair is coarse and usually resolves within 24 hours. The hair typically takes about 2 weeks to fall out after each treatment and regrowth begins about 6 weeks after each treatment. All or most of the hair will fall out with each treatment, but only a percentage will be permanently removed with each treatment. You can expect less and less hair to grow back after each treatment.
What to Ask During Your Consultation
During your consultation, ask if you will see the same Esthetician or Laser Technician for every treatment. It is also important to know how long your provider has been waxing or performing laser hair removal treatments. You also want to find out how long your provider has been at that location. Consider it a red flag, if a clinic has high employee turnover. If you are considering laser hair removal, ask if they offer topical anesthetic and are there discounted prices after your initial series. When considering laser hair removal, be sure to find out who the medical director is and if they are on site at that location. Finally, be sure you understand all of the risks invoked with treatment and be honest when discussing things like sun exposure, previous treatments and skin or health condition.
Be sure to let your provider know if you are using retinoid products (tretinoin) or on oral Accutane (Isotretinoin)