Let 'er rip! (But not too hard.)
October 21, 2008 9:07 PM   Subscribe

I've decided to keep my cooch reasonably trimmed after a recent bikini wax, but I don't want to shave and I don't want to pay $30 every month. What can I do?

I don't have anything complicated, just a regular wax that doesn't bush out from under a swimsuit. I am a bigger chick, and so certain parts chafe a bit. Neither I nor my partner really care about being all trimmed up, but I thought I'd try it for a while, especially since I want to swim more often and, um, get eaten out in a slightly neater fashion.

Has anybody done waxing or Nair or whatever at home? I'm used to the pain of a wax, but I've never done it myself and worry about doing it wrong and causing more trouble. (My last waxer was really overzealous, ow.) How often should I do this? What are the best ways to keep exfoliated and/or reduce ingrowns between removals? Yes, I know about Tend Skin or similar immediately afterwards to reduce bumps.

Anonymous because nobody needs to know how my girlparts are tended, thankyouverymuch.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Not a chick, but I hear that Nair can cause some nasty burning and shouldn't be used... down there.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:17 PM on October 21, 2008

Not a chick, but I KNOW that Nair WILL cause some nasty burning and shouldn't be used... down there, but YMMV.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:21 PM on October 21, 2008

I've never tried waxing, doesn't really appeal to me at all. I usually just shave the parts you mentioned, that show in a bathing suit, and then I use clippers to keep the rest neat and tidy.
posted by purpletangerine at 9:31 PM on October 21, 2008

I just, just - had my second laser hair removal session for the bikini line. I LOVE IT. I always shaved and had ingrowns and chafing with certain clothes and this has solved ALL those problems.

Yes it's expensive, but I don't have to worry about it and even with just two sessions there is a noticeable difference. Make sure you do research on the different types of lasers to see which is best for your skin. The one I'm getting is a Cool Glide - I have dark hair and medium-dark skin tone. And you never have to wax again.

Note though you can't do laser and wax. You have to wait at least six weeks and only shave during the treatment.

I honestly wonder what took me so long...
posted by urbanette at 9:37 PM on October 21, 2008

You want one of these. It says its for men, but I know women that use it.
posted by ChazB at 9:45 PM on October 21, 2008

Sorry, you want this link specifically.
posted by ChazB at 9:46 PM on October 21, 2008

A good electric razor could be your solution.

They also sell a little $10 one in pharmacies that is usually used for light touchups, like trimming eyebrows and sideburns and whatnot. Those work well for other personal grooming and don't give any kind of razor burn.
posted by lockle at 9:51 PM on October 21, 2008

Do you want to keep it 'reasonably trimmed' or actually bare? I use my little Remington lady shaver every week or two - with no attachments it takes the hair to a little less than a quarter of an inch, short enough to be neat, but not stubbly. It takes a couple of minutes. I do use a razor for the more sensitive areas that I want completely bare.

Personal Nair anectdote: raised terrible welts on me (bikini line area) after leaving on for less than the time recommended.
posted by frobozz at 9:51 PM on October 21, 2008

I am a chick, and I gave myself partial thickness burns in the pubic region using Nair. I followed the instructions to the letter on the bottle, and the moment I started to feel discomfort, I washed it off. Nevertheless, I spent the next two weeks at home, naked from the waist down, changing dressings on a coochie chemical burn. DO NOT RECOMMEND.

However, I do recommend a plain old pair of barber's clippers. You don't get bicced smooth with them, but it keeps everything trimmed and neat. And when you do keep yourself trimmed down, if you feel like going completely smooth, it goes much more quickly, and I've experienced fewer razor bumps and other irritations if I start out clipped.
posted by headspace at 10:25 PM on October 21, 2008

If you're going to do a home wax, the Sally Hansen brand (especially the white chocolate stuff) is the only kind I've tried that doesn't hurt a lot. Seriously. I've tried brands that are triple or quadruple the price but they've all been really painful. (Note: I would not recommend the white chocolate stuff normally, because the smell grosses me out...but, well, no pain is no pain.)

As for ingrown hairs, I read once in Vice magazine (here, actually: the "VICE GUIDE TO BECOMING A WHORE IN 2004", superclassy) that using deodorant will stop ingrown hairs. And it's absolutely true: it does. I don't know why more people don't know this. I almost consider a public service to mention it to anybody when the subject comes up. So, try it! Seriously!
posted by timoni at 10:29 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

I have heard from several manscaping enthusiast guys that a product called Magic Shave does not burn like Nair does. Apparently its found in the "ethnic hair products" section at drugstores. I haven't tried it myself, YMMV, do a skin test first.
posted by Joh at 10:31 PM on October 21, 2008

The OP said it was a regular bikini wax, NOT a Brazilian. There's a huge difference when it comes to Nair. Nair makes a bikini version, and I've never had a problem using it on the bikini line - i.e. not anywhere near the vulva! And if you're not ultra bushy, sometimes you can maintain a hair free bikini line for quite a while by plucking as hairs grow back in. Beware of ingrowns, though.
posted by peep at 10:46 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nair also makes waxing strips. When I want a regular bikini wax I do it entirely myself with these. If you've been waxing for a while your hair will be finer and will come out with much less pain.

You may need to do some tweezing cleanup for stubborn hairs but if you experiment with the heat of the wax you can get it just right. Use a blow dryer or electric wall heater. Use baby powder beforehand and the provided oil towlettes or some other kind of oil on the area afterward to reduce the stickiness.

For ingrowns use tend skin for the first couple of days and then use a sugar scrub every other day as the hairs grow out.

I do NOT recommend these strips on your most delicate parts. The wax is too sticky and it's impossible to get the angles right. They work best on the bikini area exactly as you have described.
posted by hot little pancake at 11:30 PM on October 21, 2008

I have heard from several manscaping enthusiast guys that a product called Magic Shave does not burn like Nair does. Apparently its found in the "ethnic hair products" section at drugstores.

I would not do this.

I'm an ethnic guy, have used Magic Shave and avoid it now because it mostly certain can burn if you leave it on too long. There's nothing like a chemical burn to turn you off to a product. Plus, it smells awful.

You'd have to be insane to put that stuff anywhere near your genitals.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 AM on October 22, 2008

+1for clippers. No pain, no chemical burns, no razor burn, no ingrowing hairs, no problem.
posted by Lebannen at 5:22 AM on October 22, 2008

I use the waxing strips and they are really, really easy to use. After the first two or three times you wax, it gets much less painful. I just did it the other day and it took about 10 minutes to do my bikini line. (I don't go for the full Brazilian).
posted by sutel at 5:50 AM on October 22, 2008

You want the Sally Hansen wax strip kit. Clear plastic pre-waxed strips that you warm between your hands -- magic. Beware the Sally Hansen "No Heat Gel" kit with pre-waxed pink paper strips. Those things are ineffective and painful.
posted by junkbox at 6:04 AM on October 22, 2008

I have used Nair "down there" with no problems. I prefer Bikini Zone's products becaues they're specifically made for the area. Both Nair and Bikini Zone had excellent results and no side effects. I used Bikini Zone's after-shave pads instead of Tend Skin (much cheaper for the same results).

I have also had salon waxes (bikini and Brazilian) and wound up bruised, bloody, and in serious pain more than once (from more than one place). The ingrowns were worse than just shaving. No thanks!

I am now undergoing laser hair removal and it's the best thing EVER. The pain is substantially less than waxing (which I would never, ever do at home) with no awful side effects and the results are phenomenally better. I just had my third treatment, but I saw dramatic results after the first one.

For the hair you purposely leave behind, you can trim with a regular pair of scissors (go slowly so you don't accidentally snip your bits), then wash with some conditioner to make it a little less pokey.
posted by purplecurlygirl at 6:26 AM on October 22, 2008

If you decide to go the waxing route, just make sure you read all the instructions carefully about which direction to apply and remove, etc. I'm a big fan of waxing but doing the bikini area at home is a real pain. Oh, and try to avoid waxing around the time of your period - for whatever reason you'll end up with a lot more bruising and pain at that time of the month.

For shaving, I agree with ChazB that the bodygroom is a great product for taking care of your bikini area. I love being able to use it in the shower and it gets a pretty close shave.
posted by thejanna at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2008

I've never had success with home waxing. And Nair has never worked on me, either. (Maybe I have super strong hair. And I'm talking about on regular body parts, not just "down there".)

You say you want to keep reasonably trimmed. Do you own an electric trimmer/clipper? Those will keep things nice and tight down there without shaving *or* waxing. (Though I think you have to do something on the, ya know, interior leg part, and for that area I shave, so I can't help you there. But it just takes 2 seconds and some baby oil keeps it nice and smooth.)

On preview, others have said the same thing, but whatever.
posted by iguanapolitico at 7:19 AM on October 22, 2008

Never never never never NEVER NEVER use TendSkin down there. There will be tears. Possible doubling over. Always regret.

If I were a Bond villain, TendSkin on freshly shaven party bits is what I would use as torture.
posted by spec80 at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2008

I use a Wahl clipper (originally meant for beards and sideburns). It came with different attachments so you can decide if you want to go down to the skin or be neatly landscaped. Works great and it's idiot-proof. It also tickles your ladyparts, which can be fun. ;)
posted by desjardins at 9:49 AM on October 22, 2008

As a guy I use the male version of this. By far the best shave I've ever experienced. One of the few products, along w/things like Rainex or Ozium, that I can recommend wholeheartedly.
posted by subajestad at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2008

I haven't tried this on my bikini area yet, but I've used "sugaring" on eyebrows and legs and it's sooo much less painful and just as effective as wax. Plus something about the natural ingredients and how it washes off so easily makes me feel better about putting it on sensitive areas. Personally I've been using a brand called moom and I really like it alot. It seems expensive, but goes a pretty long way once you get the hang of it. Plus the strips are reusable, you just have to soak the solution out of them.
posted by Raichle at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2008

RE: the TendSkin and tears + regret + doubling over... the key to avoiding this is to only use it on dry skin, not anywhere wet.
posted by NikitaNikita at 2:42 PM on October 22, 2008

Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, try an epilator. (e.g., this one). Tips: take an NSAID in advance; use some baby powder on the area beforehand; make sure skin is held taught; exfoliate in the shower with a washcloth or fancier rough wash-thing between epilations. It doesn't not hurt, but if you're just doing the edges it shouldn't be too bad. (Epilators also work well to replicate the results a complete wax of the entire region.)
posted by sentient at 11:56 AM on November 10, 2008

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