I got my first and only bikini wax last year for a story my colleagues and I did, and although I swore I'd do it again in the text of the post, I lied. I lied to you, dear reader. The entire process hurt too much for me to deal with again, and the only change I've made to my routine in that area since is the razor I'm using—the four blades of Schick's Quattro You razor ($10; target.com) have yet to do me wrong, and they smell like flowers, so I'm into that.
With "bikini season" fast approaching, I kept getting more and more press releases about at-home waxing kits. It's easy, they'd proclaim. Anyone can do it! You can do it yourself! Even your bikini line! Just grab a mirror and position it the way you did the first time you used a tampon!
I had confllicting feelings—sure, getting waxed hurt like a mother, but I loved not having to shave for three weeks straight. I also have a trip with my family looming on the horizon, and given the destination, I'd be required to be in a bikini a few times. It would certainly be nice to not have to pack a razor, which would likely get confiscated by the TSA, considering my luck. So, what the hell, I thought. I'll do it in the comfort of my own bathroom, where only my neighbors would hear me scream. Never mind that I messed up my own eyebrows in 8th grade and I'm still paying for it. For the sake of journalism, I grabbed a box of Parissa's Bikini Wax Strips ($10; walgreens.com), and like one of those annoying people who always gets back together with their ex, I decided to try it again with the delusional hope that things would be different this time.
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Parissa's strips are very user-friendly, especially if this is your first time doing this, because they come pre-waxed and can be warmed using your own body heat. You don't risk burning yourself with hot wax, and one strip can be used a few times. The instructions require you to trim your hair to about 1 cm., rub the wax strip in your hands to warm it, then place it directly on the area in the same direction as your hair growth. After a few seconds, rip the strip off in the opposite direction of hair growth, and proceed to stare at the hair follicles until you're ready for the next. The brand instructs you to trim your hair down to about a centimeter, which they would typically do during a salon wax, but this was where I ran into a problem—since I'm so reliant on my razor, my hairs hadn't quite reached the 1 cm. mark. They were close enough to work with, I thought.
I warmed the first strip in my hands, peeled it apart, then stuck it on my vag as directed. That moment of anticipation before ripping off the wax feels three hours longer when the power is in your own hands, but you just have to do it like a Band-Aid—fast and with very little thought. The playlist fueled by angry girl bands playing in the background was barely able to drown out my cry, and to my disappointment, only a few little hairs stuck to the strip. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that I didn't let my hair grow out long enough. It's something the technician who previously gave me my one and only bikini wax had pointed out, but I don't know, I just get impatient waiting around for my hair to grow.
Also, I don't think the wax was quite warm enough before I applied it. As I moved through the rest of the area (I was opting for a full Brazilian here, y'all), I hit each strip with a blow-dryer before pulling it apart and sticking it on, which worked a little better. This method grabbed a few more hairs, but unfortunately, nothing too outstanding. The pain and noise levels were getting to be a little much for me as I worked my way down, and I wasn't willing to get too close to the sensitive area closer to the lip, so I called it a day, slapped on some of the soothing azulene oil included in the kit, then jumped in the shower to finish the rest with my razor. If you follow the directions and have the appropriate amount of hair growth, you'll probably fare a lot better than I did, but like those aforementioned annoying couples, people, just like my pain tolerance, aren't so quick to change.