11 pro steps for nailing an at-home bikini wax, plus the best hair removal kits to buy

chubby young woman in lingerie plus size woman at home
11 steps for nailing an at-home bikini wax Maria Korneeva - Getty Images

The good news about beauty standards these days is that how you choose to fashion your pubes has never been less of an issue. Love a landing strip? Great. Prefer a Hollywood? Cool. Perhaps you’re a fan of a full bush? You do you.

If you do want to sculpt the area to some degree, however, you might want to learn how to wax your bikini line at home. While you can of course head to a salon, if you choose, there's no doubt that it's less hassle – and less expense – to nail an at-home bikini wax. Best of all, know that perfecting your technique isn’t too tricky – just as long as you follow expert guidelines.

With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the UK’s leading hair removal experts so you can confidently wax down there without damaging delicate skin. Here's your pro guide for waxing your bikini line at home.

Is it OK to bikini wax yourself?

Yes, as long as you follow the advice from the pros, then is there is no reason as to you why you shouldn't wax your bikini line yourself.

The benefits are that you are removing the hair from the root rather than just clipping the shaft of the hair. Waxing will leave you hair free for up to 4 weeks versus shaving which will be 3 days.

Is hot wax better for a bikini?

'Both hot and cold waxes have their benefits, and the choice depends on personal preference and the area being waxed', explains Lucy Anderson, CEO and Founder of WooWoo.

'Hot wax is generally better for coarse hair and sensitive areas like the bikini line and underarms but it can be difficult and messy to work with so it is sometimes better to opt for this being done professionally in a salon,' adds Anderson.

'Cold wax strips are convenient and easy to use at home and suitable for finer hair and larger areas like legs. However, it may be less effective on coarse hair and can be more painful. A top tip is to take the strips in your hands and warm them by gently rubbing together before use,' she says.

How to wax your bikini line at home: 11 pro tips for waxing your bikini line yourself.

1. First off, make sure your hair is at the right length

Too short and the wax won’t be able to grip the hair; too long and the hair might break off instead of pulling out of the follicle.

'For effective waxing, hair should be at least around 1 cm long' says Anderson

2. Cleanse the area to make it less painful

The cleaner the hair, the easier it is to grip. Use a bar of mild soap in the shower, then make sure you’re 100% dry before layering on the wax. An easier, more seamless process is a more painless process, people.

3. Set up

Gather all your kit in one place. 'There’s nothing worse than having to scrabble around in an awkward positions to grab your next wax strip – especially when waxing sensitive areas such as the bikini line!' says Anderson.

4. Invest in a wax warmer

If you plan on waxing your bikini line yourself for the foreseeable future, invest in a wax warmer. It will keep the temperature of your wax consistent, so you don’t end up with a mess, or worse, burning yourself.

5. Always follow instructions

'This might seem an obvious piece of advice but it’s often overlooked. Thanks to our lovely unpredictable British weather, we’re often taken by surprise by the sudden onset of sun and then find ourselves under pressure and in a bit of a rush to remove unwanted hair. Always read the small print on your packaging and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for heating or applying the wax to ensure safety and effectiveness,' advises Anderson.

Whatever you do, don’t warm your wax in a pot of hot water. It will cool down halfway through the job and you’ll have to boil some more while half-naked – do this and you're asking for a trip to A&E. This is the last thing our NHS needs right now.

6. Get comfortable

Praise be for the yoga classes you've been partaking in, because it's time to get flexible. Stand up and prop one leg up on the edge of the bath or a chair.

This position works wonders for the inner and back areas. Still having trouble seeing down below? Strategically arrange a mirror for better visibility.

If you find sitting more comfortable, then do so in front of a large standing mirror. Simply bend your knees, spread your legs widely and prop up your lower back with a pillow or rolled-up towels.

'For larger areas such as your legs its probably best to do this in a more spacious area such as a bedroom,' advises Anderson.

7. Wax in sections

When you go to a professional, they don’t smear wax all over your pubic area and pull it off in one go, so you shouldn't either. Start with your inner thighs and work your way in.

Each layer should be thick enough so you can’t see your skin through it and about an inch wide and three inches long. Always smear in the direction of the hair growth. Finally, try not to hesitate.

8. Make sure you cool your wax down

One of the most common reasons why waxing at home doesn’t go to plan is that people pull the wax off before it’s ready, so you end up with a gooey mess. Let the wax sit for about 30 seconds. It should be hard to touch but still malleable.

9. Pull the hair away from the direction of growth

'Apply the wax in the direction of hair growth and remove it in the opposite direction,' says Anderson.

Remember to hold your skin taut and pull your hair out in the opposite direction to the way it grows. Yes, it’s painful. You’re ripping hairs from your pubic area, but if you focus on your breath as you pull, it should lessen the pain, by having a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system.

Anderson also suggests setting aside plenty of time. 'Don’t rush the process. Stay calm, maybe put on some chilled music and a scented candle and when you are ready take a deep breath in and then big breath out when you pull off your wax strips.'

10. To stay tidy, remove left-over wax

In all likelihood, you’ll have some wax left over. Douse a cotton pad or flannel in olive oil and gently wipe over the skin. This will lift away any sticky residue.

11. Don't work out straight away

If you're packing in the workouts then think carefully about when you want to fit in a wax, because you won't be able to exercise straight away. Dermatologist Dr Al-Niaimi explains: 'the area will be delicate, and the pores will be open, so it could be susceptible to infection.' Sweat and tight-fitting workout gear around the area at this time are not wise – wait at least 24 hours before you fire up your at-home HIIT session.

Bikini waxing aftercare

'Don't have a hot shower immediately after waxing. Taking a warm or lukewarm water shower typically softens our bodies. Therefore, if you wax after this, your skin may be irritated by the hot wax used during the process, causing a bruise or even burn it out,' says Rosie Khandawala, creator of sugar waxing and founder of Sugar Coated.

How to do a Brazilian wax at home

  1. To create a Brazilian wax at home – in which all hair but a thin strip in the middle of your pubic area is removed – remember that the size of each wax smear should be one inch wide and three inches long.

  2. Alternate from waxing the left side and then the right side until you reach the middle.

  3. Your 'landing strip' of hair should be about one and a half inches wide.

How to do a Hollywood wax at home

  1. To create a Hollyood wax at home –where all hair in your pubic area is removed – remember that the size of each wax smear should be one inch wide and three inches long.

  2. Alternate from waxing the left side and then the right side until you reach the middle.

  3. Then remove the final 'landing strip' of hair in the middle. You want to keep going until you're completely hair-free.

What is the best bikini wax kit?

Best wax kit for sensitive skin

This nifty kit features both hard and soft waxes, meaning that you can use it on both the hardier and the more sensitive areas of your body.

Best pro waxing kit

This wax heater has a temperature indicator, so you know exactly when it's the right time to apply. It also comes with separate spatulas for different parts of your body, so you can reach all areas and get in super close.

Best natural waxing kit

Made with sugar, this all-natural kit is great for the sensitive skin types among you. Complete with soothing ylang ylang essential oil to help to soothe stressed-out just-waxed areas, it's also fully cruelty-free.

Best value waxing kit

Perfect for throwing in your holiday hand luggage, these quick, pre-waxed strips can be warmed with the heat of your hands and then used to help neaten your bikini line.

Best drugstore waxing kit

This rinsable hot wax means you don't need to worry about any sticky situations. Enriched with essentials oils, it's proven to leave skin smooth and soft as the gentle formula removes hair at the first application.

Best microwavable waxing kit

The colourful blue wax makes for precise application while the low temp formula works by shrink-wrapping each follicle so that you remove even the shortest, thickest and most stubborn hair from the root.

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