How to get a regularly clean-looking bikni line?
July 25, 2006 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I am a woman with thick dark hair and very pale skin and I'm looking for the best way to get a clean-looking shave on my bikini line.

Not only do I end up with the stereotypical red bumps and ingrown hairs (gross, I know), but because my skin is so pale you can still see the dark hair residing just under the skin, which from a distance makes it look like I didn't shave at all.

I have tried bikini waxing and this works pretty well, but since you have to let the hair grow back to a certain length before waxing again, it forces me to have a couple of weeks where I am not able to go out in a bathing suit.

I've thought about trying an epilator, but I hear they are very painful. So I am looking for some advice on a good way to keep my bikini line neat! thank you :)
posted by inatizzy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Perhaps you could try bleaching in-between waxing or epilating? I wouldn't recommend shaving at all because the hair shaft will most likely show even below the skin. You might also look into laser hair removal or electrolysis.
posted by mezzanayne at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2006


laser hair removal rocks.
posted by j at 2:46 PM on July 25, 2006


Magic Shaving Powder. Messy, but it works.
posted by amber_dale at 3:02 PM on July 25, 2006


My old roommate also had laser hair removal and she couldn't stop raving about it. I know the cost can be prohibitive, but just wanted to throw that out there as an option that may be worth saving up for.
posted by like_neon at 3:04 PM on July 25, 2006


but because my skin is so pale you can still see the dark hair residing just under the skin, which from a distance makes it look like I didn't shave at all.

I have the same problem, only on my legs! I was actually going to post a question this week about the same thing! (I obviously don't have any answers though)
posted by necessitas at 3:21 PM on July 25, 2006


There's a product called Tend Skin that can really help with the ingrowns.

Epilators do hurt a lot. I can stand it on my legs, but bikini line? I'd be afraid.

I've had electrolysis and laser. Electrolysis is permanent... when it works. I had the back-of-neck hairline done three times, and the technician said, "It's working -- I can see small areas of baldness. It's all about percentages." I took that to mean that once a hair is gone, it's gone for good, but that each treatment destroys only a small percentage of hairs. It's not intensely painful, but it is slow: one hair at a time.

Laser worked great for me. Like electrolysis, it's effective only on hairs that are actively growing. (Hair grows for a while, then goes dormant for a while, then falls out on its own.) It's most effective on hair that's regrowing right after being falling out or being plucked out. To really get your money's worth using either of these methods, wax the area, and then go for removal 8-10 weeks later when the new hair has emerged. On the body, it stings but doesn't hurt a lot. It's illegal for lazer hair removal providers to claim that laser removes hair permanently -- but three years later, mine is still gone.

Your coloring -fair skin and dark hair - is said to be "ideal" for laser hair removal.

A lot of women get the bikini area waxed. This is a lot more painful the first time it's done, because the hairs are very firmly anchored. But if you do it every couple of months, it's not so bad. Even at its worst, the pain is over quickly.
posted by wryly at 3:39 PM on July 25, 2006


electrolysis. i can't stress it enough. it's painful, but it's permanent (the pain i imagine it feels the same as getting a tattoo). maybe $50 for a half-hour, and you'd need quite a few sessions, but you will never have to think of taking care of the hair again in your life (some regrowth may occur, so you might have to re-zap the hair before the root is totally killed).
posted by naxosaxur at 3:44 PM on July 25, 2006


Tend Skin works great for these issues. The active ingredient in it is salicylic acid.

Here's a recipe for a relatively crude homemade version.

(Warning: it smells like vinegar and if you put it on freshly shaved/waxed areas it stings like a mo fo. Eventually your nervous system won't feel it as a sting but it takes a few times to build up to that level. Also do not use if you are allergic to aspirin. And, finally, IANAD. I am just sharing something that has worked for me.)

1) Crush 18 tablets of uncoated aspirin (I buy mine at the Dollar Store)

2) Dissolve these in 5.5 oz of 70% rubbing alcohol

3) Crush 8 tablets of uncoated aspirin

4) Dissolve these in 2.5 oz of witch hazel

5) Combine the rubbing alcohol and witch hazel solutions. Some settling of aspirin may occur, just shake it well before you use it.

(Bonus use: if you have oily, resistant facial skin like mine, it works great to keep pores clear. YMMV)
posted by Soda-Da at 4:27 PM on July 25, 2006 [10 favorites]


Makes sense, Soda-Da. Asprin is salicylic acid in some form or other.
posted by necessitas at 5:12 PM on July 25, 2006


Tend Skin works great for these issues

Tend Skin doesn't work particularly well at the Lurking Dark Hairs Beneath the Skin factor, however.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:11 PM on July 25, 2006


BikiniZone for the bumps.

And have you thought about fake tanning for the lurking dark hairs? They make daily lotions that help you build a tan gradually. I've used the Jergens ones and they're very subtle.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:20 PM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Board shorts work for me. Looks ok to swim in, and no one has to know the real reason you are wearing them.

wife of 445supermag
posted by 445supermag at 9:41 PM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the advice, everyone!

I've thought about electrolysis/laser removal but the cost is fairly prohibitive, plus I'm worried about bad side effects.

For those who have done either one, is it worth the cost? I hear there are usually stray hairs (but I guess I could just pluck those?), and that the results from laser are supposedly not permanent. I think that electrolysis is permanent, right?

I am nervous to use an epilator, given how much people say it hurts, but it may be my best choice - it isn't expensive, i won't risk really damaging myself, i don't have to let my hair grow as long, and it will solve the problem of my hair follicle showing through my skin.

p.s. regarding self-tanning - I'm skeptical that it would hide the hair unless I made my self *really* dark. (I'm very pale.) I have tried it once or twice on my body, but the color was too orange and I had trouble applying it evenly. I have started using Aveeno's self-tanning moisturizer, which is more subtle than a real self-tanner, and I like the results but isn't enough to hide my hair. :(
posted by inatizzy at 1:33 PM on July 27, 2006


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