Bikini season is still a few months away, but you have sex year-round (at least we hope so!). What’s the best way to groom your hair down there? We’ll stop beating around the bush: Here’s what you should keep in mind when it comes to pubic hair removal—straight from the specialists.
The result: Depending upon the person, waxing can last five to six weeks, making this a pretty great pick for your sex life. Prices vary from salon to salon (and also by how much hair you get taken off), but you should expect to pay upwards of $50 per session.
How long you have to wait to have sex: You’ll want to wait a good 24 hours before any kind of contact. The same goes for sun exposure or wearing a tiny bikini. If you have sex before then, you’re risking outside bacteria getting in. Friction and sweat can also irritate the skin.
The prep: Hair needs to be about ¼-inch long, and longer if possible, says Holly Green, esthetician and owner of Norabloom Botanicals & Beauty Lounge in Ithaca, New York. To prevent ingrown hairs, you should exfoliate several days beforehand with a loofah or scrub to promote cellular turnover and fend off dry skin. Try to wear cotton underwear to the appointment because that will feel more comfortable than anything too lacy, says Green. And don’t use any oils or lotions the day of waxing.
The experience: Ask what kind of wax the spa uses—there are soft and hard kinds. Green prefers hard wax because it’s gentler on skin, less messy, and great if you’re sensitive. Hard wax lifts off the skin as it dries like plastic, so there’s no need for fabric strips. A skilled professional should be able to do a wax in 15 minutes, and it shouldn’t be that painful. If you’re a waxing virgin, try cool compresses or natural aloe to calm down angry skin. You might get some bumpy “wax rash” from the experience, but that’s totally normal and should subside in a few hours (or within 24 hours at most).
The result: Shaving is just a temporary fix. Since you’re only cutting the hair at skin-level, it’s not going to last very long. You can expect to see hair again in a few days—so if you’re hopping into bed with a guy, keep that in mind.
How long you have to wait to have sex: Just like with waxing, you should give yourself a day off from sex to let your girl parts rest.
The prep: Invest in a good shave cream or gel, and plan to use a brand new razor almost every time you do it, says Green. It’s best to shave in a steamy shower to soften the hair follicle first and to get the cleanest, closest shave possible. As with waxing, you’ll also want to exfoliate beforehand.
The experience: You know the drill—just be extra careful around such delicate skin. Shaving can be irritating, especially if you’re dry shaving in a hurry. (Just Google folliculitis.) In fact, waxing may actually be gentler in terms of irritating the top layer of skin. Apply organic jojoba oil post-shave, which Green says is especially soothing because it’s close to the skin’s natural pH.
The result: This one requires a major time commitment. Expect to go in for about six to eight sessions, spaced every six to eight weeks apart. That being said, results are pretty much permanent, although touch-ups may be needed once or twice a year. One session will set you back $99 to $199.
How long you have to wait to have sex: Again, you should avoid sweating in the area for at least 24 hours to avoid any irritation, says Adriana Martino, laser medical esthetician and one of the owners of SKINNEY Medspa in New York City. That means you’ll need to take a day off from sexy time (and from the gym).
The prep: Before your first laser hair removal treatment, you have to completely shave your stuff. “Make sure you haven’t had recent sun exposure in the area you are treating at least two to three weeks prior to treatment, and come in cleanly shaven,” says Martino. If you’re sensitive, give yourself some time, and shave two days before your appointment. The ideal candidate is anyone with light skin and dark hair, but most places treat all skin types and tailor the experience to your needs.
The experience: There is hardly any downtime after lasering, which may feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin. At SKINNEY MedSpa, the lasers have a chilled tip that feels similar to a hot stone massage. If you’re sensitive, wear loose clothing to your appointments. Follow up with a hydrocortisone cream or aloe cream to alleviate any post-procedure irritation.
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