In my past life, just eight years ago, I was a licensed esthetician. I worked at a salon in Denver, and I loved every minute of it — the pimple popping, the eyelash extending, the spray tanning and, yes, even the vagina waxing.
In my years in the biz, I saw the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m here to share my hands-on wisdom with you to make your next bikini wax a breeze:
1. Baby wipes are your friend
How can I put this delicately… Actually, I’ll just let a pro waxer on Reddit explain why most estheticians keep baby wipes next to the waxing table: “I am all up in your area. It is one of the ways I have made a living for a long time. I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy seeing you every month. But please, please — wash or use the wipes everywhere I will be.”
2. Call and reschedule if you’re on your period
This is a tough topic, but it needs to be said. Estheticians have every right to refuse service when a client is on her period for two main reasons: Women are more sensitive during that time of the month (making a wax ultra-painful), and it can be unsanitary.
3. Choose your lunch wisely
Most waxing clients get nervous. I have been on the receiving end of gas more times than I can count as a client tries to “relax” on the table. Eat food that agrees with you before your appointment and minimize your chance of mortification.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Does small talk help distract you from the pain? Would you prefer that I shut up so that you can go to your happy place? I’m happy to accommodate you to make you feel at home — just communicate your needs before I rip that first strip.
5. Don’t come straight from the gym
Sadly, this is a thing. One of my most unsettling client memories involves trying to wax a very sweaty woman who rode her bike to the salon. Besides the ick factor, Marie Smith, head waxer and manager of Boulder’s Ten 20 Waxing Salon, adds, “If you’re sweaty, the wax is less likely to stick, so it’ll take longer. Worse, sweat can raise the wax’s temperature and burn you.”
6. Don’t forget to tip
Here’s an insider “tip” on how much to tip your waxer, “15-20 percent — if you tip below 10 percent, a lot of frontlines will tell the esthetician (where at a lot of larger places you really have no idea how each client tipped unless you ask). Estheticians are less likely to be flexible about staying late/coming early, squeezing in appointments and doing full service on a late client when they know the tip isn’t appreciative of the service.”
7. Pop some pills before you come in
One experienced Reddit beautician recommends an over-the-counter painkiller or a glass of wine to take the edge off. Just remember to try one or the other — not both.
8. Trim the hedges
Just like you brush your teeth before going to the dentist, it’s only polite to groom before a wax. Remember — trim it, don’t scalp it. Pubic hair needs to be a minimum of a quarter inch long to wax.
9. You can bring your friends
If chatting with your bestie keeps you calm (and you don’t mind her seeing your lady bits), the more, the merrier. Clear any guests with your esthetician, though most waxers welcome the party.
10. We have seen it all before
Despite these helpful suggestions, the vast majority of estheticians are openhearted and open-minded. You can open your legs for us, and we will never judge what we see. The best way to optimize your waxing experience is to find an esthetician you’re comfortable with. Your vagina will thank you.