An Expert Guide To Intimate Waxing & The Best Methods To Try Now

ILLUSTRATED BY OLIVIA SANTNER.
Dear Daniela,

I’ve never tried waxing my intimate area for fear of it being excruciatingly painful, weirdly clinical and leaving me red raw and sore. However, shaving is a bit of a drag and I hate the stubbly regrowth. Have I left it too late to try? What should I even ask for? And what's the best waxing method?

Chloe, 30
I’m afraid to tell you that there really is no perfect hair removal method. Shaving might be the cheapest but as you pointed out, it’s labour-intensive and the regrowth can be uncomfortable. Devotees of laser hair removal will be quick to point out that it’s cheaper in the long run, which it may well be. But you need a lot of cash upfront to pay for it, it takes many sessions over a number of months to be hair-free for good, and I know plenty of women who diligently lasered in their 20s only for the hair to come roaring back due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy later in life.
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You don’t need me to tell you that you don’t have to remove your body hair. Be as hairy as you want as much or as little of the time as you want. Anyone who claims it’s 'unladylike' or 'unattractive' is a prize tool and not worthy of treading the same ground as you. Besides, who said you had to be attractive all the time?
But you clearly do want to remove some of your hair, and that’s cool. I can help you with that. Facts: A bikini wax is removing what would otherwise be visible when you’re wearing a bikini. A Brazilian wax is everything off save a little strip of hair. A Hollywood is everything off. Both a Brazilian and a Hollywood will probably involve you either turning onto your front or holding your legs up briefly so the back of you can also be waxed. It’s pretty undignified but if you have a good waxer, you really will stop feeling that way fairly quickly. A good waxer will be professional, unflappable and friendly, and they will see so many bottomless women every single day that what you’re working with down there is the least of their worries.
I’ve been getting waxed at Aveda for over five years, always with Vanya Volovse. "For intimate waxing, the most gentle on the skin is a type of wax known as hot or hard wax," said Vanya. "It’s made of plant or beeswax and hardly anything else." Typically, the hard wax is melted and applied to the skin in order to remove hair. After it has dried, the wax is peeled off. Vanya continued: "It doesn’t have any negative effects on the skin and it’s very efficient at pulling the hair out." 
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If a beautician comes at you with strip wax for an intimate wax, don’t let them come any closer. Cold wax (which you can buy in strips which are then pressed to the skin and peeled off) is better suited to the softer, finer hairs you might find on your legs. "I maybe use cold wax once or twice a year," added Vanya, saying that she only uses it intimately if a client has exceptionally fine hair.
Then there's soft waxing, which many beauty therapists rate for intimate hair removal. Again, the wax is melted and applied to the skin, then covered with a muslin cloth. As the cloth is pulled away, the hair is removed.
As hot wax is sometimes made with beeswax, it’s not always suitable for vegans. Enter: sugaring. "Sugaring is an ancient Middle Eastern type of hair removal," explained Vanya. "You make a ball of warm sugar and then roll it over the area you want to remove the hair from." Sugaring is enjoying a resurgence in popularity with vegan customers but if you’re not vegan, there’s not a great deal of benefit to seeking it out. The results are mostly the same and it’s harder to find salons that offer it, especially outside London.
If you do go for a wax, remember to avoid hot water and steam for at least 12 hours but ideally 24 (I usually go in the evening, then have a cool shower the following morning), and wear loose-fitting clothes afterwards to prevent irritation. "The best aftercare is common sense," said Vanya. "Be gentle with the skin, maybe some chemical-free moisturiser like aloe vera gel if skin feels itchy."
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Waxing like this is best done every four weeks or so – the longer you leave it beyond that point, the more painful it may be as the hair is longer. You can always take a couple of paracetamol beforehand if you’re worried about the ouch factor. Honestly, find the right waxer and it’s not so arduous. I’m not going to say it’s painless, but sessions with Vanya are incredibly speedy and the part that does hurt is over in the blink of an eye – you should never come away sore. It takes under 10 minutes, and you’re smooth for weeks. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it works for me. Maybe it’ll work for you, too!
Good luck,
Daniela
Got a question for our resident beauty columnist Daniela Morosini? No problem, qualm or dilemma is too big, small or niche. Email deardaniela@refinery29.uk, including your name and age for a chance to have your question answered. All letters to 'Dear Daniela' become the property of Refinery29 and will be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical correctness.

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