The Beginner’s Guide To Leg & Bikini Salon Waxing Part One

By Lynnie | June 7 2012 | 27 Comments


The business of summer defuzzing is a serious one, assuming that you’re not quite ready to pull an Emer O’Toole and bare your lush winter coat in public. Waxing is great for long-ish lasting results so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular pre-holiday depilatory method, but if you’re not a waxing regular the whole process, particularly where salon treatments are involved, can be a bit of a mystery.

The idea behind this guide is not to suggest for a split second that we should all run out and wax our nethers bald, but rather to provide a little crash course covering the basics (as well as the confusing terminology) to hopefully help demystify the salon waxing process.

Types of wax
There are two types of wax that are used for in-salon depilation.

  1. Warm wax, a.k.a. strip wax, is applied thinly to the skin with a spatula. A rectangular cloth is pressed onto the wax and then swiftly removed, taking both wax and hair with it. Strip waxing is an effective way of covering large areas of skin quickly, making it popular for use on legs; unless you are a bit of a sadist and a fan of pain, it is a bad idea to have your nether regions strip waxed because it hurts like hell.
  2. The alternative is hot wax, which is applied more thickly to the skin with a spatula. Hot wax effectively shrink wraps hairs and begins to set on the skin when applied but it remains pliable rather than turning hard and brittle, then the wax itself is removed by hand. The best salons will use a pre-waxing oil on the skin prior to deploying hot wax, which ensures that the wax adheres to hair rather than to the skin to minimise bruising and pain.

Half leg/lower leg: Wax to just above the knees. Usually includes toes and feet if required.

3/4 leg: Wax to mid-way up the thighs.

Full leg: Everything from tips of toes to tops of thighs.

Basic bikini: A modest tidy-up job, this simply removes hair from outside the knicker line.

Extended bikini/American: Similar to the basic bikini, the extended bikini comes in (and down) a bit further from the edge of the knicker line and hair is removed from the tops of the inner thighs. Good for high cut swimwear and underwear.

G-string/Californian/French/partial Brazilian: A tighter wax, this leaves a vertical strip of hair the width of 2-3 fingers at the front and on the labia. The bum is waxed.

Brazilian: Leaves a vertical strip of hair at the front in your choice of a rectangular or inverted triangle shape. All hair underneath is removed, including from the labia and bum.

Hollywood/full Brazilian/full bikini/Playboy/Sphinx: Everything – and I do mean everything, top and bottom – off.

Bollywood/Vegas/Showgirl: Hollywood plus stick-on gems.

Double-dipping: Not a type of wax but a salon technique you’ll want to avoid. Read more about it here.

Now steady yourself with a brandy because later on I’ll be bringing you  tips on waxing etiquette, the all important question of pain and where I like to go to get deforested!

Beauty, Hair Removal , , ,

27 Replies to "The Beginner’s Guide To Leg & Bikini Salon Waxing Part One"

  • Thank god for this!

    I always forget. Whenever I make an appointment your one always has to describe each one to me!! LOL!

  • Ellenwaxer says:

    Nice one Lynnie :)

  • Laurielu says:

    Beware…some Irish Salons do not know the difference between a Brazillian and a partial Brazillian and will try and tell you that the partial Brazilian that they have given you is a Brazilian. I learnt this the hard way when I spent a fortune paying for 6 sessions of Laser to get a Brazillian (which cost far more than the Calafornian equivalent) and after taking all of my le money would only do partial Brazillian not Brazillian and continually tried to convince me that the partial brazillian that they had given me (it was actually a Calafornian) was a Brazillian and I was simply wrong! Distressing…very much so!

  • Lisa says:

    I’ve only had waxing done a couple of times because I was disappointed with the length of time I was fuzz free. Maybe I was expecting too much but I thought Id get at least a month out of it but at best I was smooth-ish for 2 weeks but by week 3 I needed to shave again.

    I’m by now means a grisly bear down there, how long should you expect to get out of a waxing?

    Does the length of time fuzz free extent with the more waxes you have?

  • Aifs says:

    Unreal timing….booking my first salon wax right now…scared to say the least!!

  • Nora says:

    Looking forward to this posts! Lisa- I found the same thing happens with me, maybe it’s because the type of hair down there?!

  • Hazie says:

    Half leg/lower leg: Wax to just above the knees. Usually includes toes and feet if required.

    Toes and feet?? Really? Never would’ve thought of that.

    I have never tried waxing, waaaay too chicken.
    (bock bock)

  • joanne says:

    Lycon wax is great too. I find I get about a month out of a bikini wax (by then most of the hair has grown back) and about 8 days from an underarm wax. Always baffles me too when people say 6-8 weeks

  • LynnieDoll says:

    Joanne – I agree the girl I use for waxing uses Lycon and I think its fab, it doesnt hurt half as much.
    Been waxing for years and over time it does take longer for the hair to grow back and in places the hair has never grown back on me.
    I even strip wax my own legs – go me!!!

    It really does help to go to a recommended waxer, it can be seriously painful if you’ve someone inexperienced at your lady garden.

  • Acat says:

    Great post! Good timing, just had a full leg and extended bikini last night. Have been getting waxed on and off for years.
    LIsa and Nora – I find it takes 3 waxes to get the hair all growing at the same time. Hair grows in different phases so the first time you are waxed, there is hair that was too short and had been shaved. That grows v quickly and this is what gets waxed the second time. Third time should get most hair and you will get much longer out of a wax.
    Hazie – always get my toes and feet done! They have a few long dark hair and is great to get rid of it. Woulldn’t get it done if it wasn’t included! Also get my treasure trail done, fuzz free!
    Found the bottom of the legs vv painful yesterday, ouch! My bikini was surprising pain free – and I have a very low pain tolerance. It was more of a shock than pain. Still not going to venture further than the extended. Made that mistake before and ended up with a hair free bum! (COMPLETELY hair free, ring and all! Ouch) That was a shock!

    I recommend Karolina in Brazilia – she does a great job, very quick and no bruising. Even goes in with a tweezers afer wards to get stray hairs!

  • Fee says:

    tip I got from a guy who used to get his chest waxed was to take a couple of painkillers 10 mins before going in for the wax and it won’t hurt very much.
    I have been waxing for years and even do so in winter. Hair on legs is gett much lighter now I can easily doze off to sleep while I am being waxed.
    Alternatively a bottle of wine and Boots wax strips in an emergency ;-)
    The most difficult one is definitely the Californian. never had a Brazilian.

  • witchgirl26 says:

    My problem is that I seem to have a reaction to the waxes used. Have had a gazillion test patches done & reacted badly to all. Which is strange as get eyebrows waxed & not an issue!
    If there’s any recommendations of salons that I haven’t tried, I might give them a go. Until them I’m stickin to my razor & my epilator!

  • LauraLou says:

    i try to get waxed every 6 wks or so. always get a brazilian. too chicken to get my legs done. :)

    Im actually allergic to getting waxed, the motion of hairs being pulled out or the follicle. i come up with red spots the day after.

    Worth it tho!

  • Lisa says:

    @Acat thanks for that, I was worried I was some sort of freak since my waxer said I should expect to be fuzz free for up to 6 weeks.

  • LynnieDoll says:

    Fee – my friend takes a nurofen 10 minutes before her wax and swears by it.
    Note to all – never get waxed if your period is due, your skin is just so sensitive around this time, and if you normally don’t react, you can around this time, for some reason.

  • joanne says:

    Well to be honest I have been waxing my bikini line for 15 years now and yes some of the hair hasn’t grown back but I still only get a month out of the wax. Some people’s hair growth is just faster than others. When I used to shave my legs would have to so them every day, getting them lasered now

  • Hazie says:

    Acat – it’s funny the things you don’t even think of! It’s a good idea though.

  • Molly says:

    Laser for the bikini area-so so worth it!

  • reidy says:

    I love an ole Brazilian (man and wax) have been getting them for years, every 6-8 weeks.

    They hurt but not enough to put you off.

    That was until I went when I was about 5 months pregnant… Sweet baby Jesus. The pain was *UNMERCIFUL*. Like getting waxed just before your period- ten times over.

    I frequent Waxperts in DunLaoghaire and they are super fab and really relax you.

  • Aifs says:

    Lauralou – red spots? Eeek! twice as freaked out now. :( Going on hols so need it done but could just do a diy job!

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