New pubic hair trend revealed – waxing experts bikini line secrets
You’ve admired your friend’s latest hair colour, you’ve asked your sister where her new lipstick is from and you’ve quizzed your fresh-faced workmate on her skincare secrets.
However there’s one area of female grooming where you’re rather less likely to swap tips, styling inspirations and (god forbid!) compliments, and that’s the bit below the belt.
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz have professed their love for pubes, and Vogue recently proclaimed ‘the bush is back’ but it it really? It’s tricky to know for sure when the topic of lady garden pruning remains taboo for so many.
‘Millennials will chat openly about their bikini line, but many of our older clients would never talk to their friends about what they’re doing down there,’ says Michaela Pak from Strip Wax Bar. ‘They often ask us what’s fashionable because they have no idea.’
Whether you’re confused by bikini lines options, or just curious to know what styles other women are sporting down there, here are the questions you might not dare to ask your mates.
What are my different style options down below?
There are plenty of variations, but here’s your basic style menu. All three can be achieved by waxing, shaving or laser.
The Hollywood: when all hair is removed, top, bottom and everything in between. (Think Barbie, basically.)
The Brazilian: when some hair is left ‘up top’, and all the hair from the labia and bottom is removed. There are various options for the hair that’s left, from a thin strip to a triangle or even a love heart.
The classic bikini: when excess hair is removed at the sides, so nothing peeks out of underwear. How far in you go depends on your swimwear or underwear style. The remaining hair is trimmed, although the labia area is left alone.
Are there any trends in bikini line grooming?
Oh yes. Right now, the UK’s salons are seeing a resurgence of the lady garden, according to Chloe Scriminger from Ministry Of Waxing.
‘We’re noticing it’s becoming very popular to retain hair on the top and also more of it. There’s a definite trend towards a slim triangle shape rather than a skinny landing strip,’ she reveals.
Do bikini line styles vary with age?
Definitely. Although the ‘bush is back’ trend is having some influence, around 70% of Strip’s 20-something clientele still goes for the Hollywood, says Michaela.
Women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are more likely to leave some hair up top, says Michaela. This group also tends to go for a Brazilian and have their labia waxed.
The most conservative group are those 60+, who Chloe estimates make up about 10-15% of Ministry Of Waxing’s clientele. ‘More of those ladies will go for a classic bikini wax, removing hair from the sides so there’s nothing peeking out of underwear, rather than having a Hollywood or Brazilian. They definitely still want to be neat and trimmed though.’
Do women switch up their bikini line style?
Not that often. 70% of women stick to the same style while only 30% like to try something different from time to time, according to research from Venus.
However, it’s quite common for ladies to switch from bare to bush when they become mums, according to Chloe. ‘Women often say they don’t want their daughters to think there’s something wrong with pubic hair when they go through puberty,’ she explains.
For this reason Strip now offers a ‘laser wax’ specifically designed to let Hollywood fans keep their style options open.
‘We laser a high bikini line but only wax the hair in the middle so that way women can grow it back in the future,’ says Michela. It’s certainly easier than opting for a pubic hair transplant (and yes, such a service does exist at clinics like Harley Street’s DHI Global.)
How much does a bikini wax hurt?
Obviously you are ripping hair out of a sensitive area so a wax isn’t going to be entirely pleasant. However, the idea of it tends to be far worse than the reality, says Michaela. ‘We use a technique where clients breathe out when we pull the wax off, which really helps.’
The most eye-watering of all hair removal options is the Hollywood. ‘The very top of the labia is the most uncomfortable area to wax or laser,’ says Chloe. ‘Our therapists are experts who know how make it as painless as possible, but everyone’s threshold is different.’
Interestingly, your experience might depend partially on your hair colour. Redheads tend to have thicker, more wiry hair which means waxing can be more uncomfortable, says Chloe. ‘It’s the same for women whose pubic hair has gone grey and more coarse.’
How does it feel to be 100% bare?
A Hollywood will definitely make you feel different downstairs. ‘Most women love how smooth and clean they feel. However when you have a wee, it won’t always come out straight and some people decide they just don’t like that feeling of having no hair on their labia,’ says Chloe.
How long should my hair be before I wax?
Don’t worry your hair is too long, as a therapist will always trim a bush down to make waxing more comfortable. Having hair that’s too short is the real problem, says Chloe. ‘The shortest length we can wax is 6mm, which is at least 10 days after a shave.’
Can’t I do an intimate wax at home?
Honestly? It’s not something to attempt DIY. ‘We only use hot wax on the bikini line for the reason it sticks only to hair and not the skin,’ says Chloe. ‘We’ve seen many people who’ve tried to do it at home with a cold wax strip. They’ll come in with it still attached because they’ve tried ripping it off and it’s stuck or they just can’t bring themselves to do it.’ In short: if you’re tackling that area yourself, use a razor.
Won’t it be embarrassing to see a professional?
There’s no reason to be shy. ‘It’s hair we’re focused on, it doesn’t matter to us where it’s growing from,’ says Chloe.
Women often fret about hygiene, but there’s really no need she adds. ‘It’s common to worry we smell unpleasant down there, but honestly that’s not true, it’s a very natural odour.’
‘Clients always get hygiene wipes to use before waxes, and every therapist will wear a face mask because when she’s waxing that area she will get pretty close. The mask is actually to stop germs from the therapist getting into the client’s open hair follicles but it’s also very reassuring for the clients.’
What if I look a bit funny down there?
Honestly, you don’t! So don’t worry, says Chloe. ‘Women always asks us, ‘Am I normal down there?’ and the truth is, everyone is unique – and there’s not a vagina we can’t wax. No shape is harder to get a good result on.’
What are the latest ways to groom my bikini zone?
Venus Bikini Precision Trimmer, £22.49
Use the trimmer for neat edges without irritation, and the 5mm comb for a perfect pube trim.
WooWoo, £3.75-£9.95 at Superdrug and WooWoo
A new intimate range with everything from wipes and post-shave soothing balm to a labia lifting gel and anal lightening cream. Lawks.
Fibra DFA laser (treatments from £394 for six)
Very effective and totally pain free, says our smooth and impressed tester who’s trialling it at Primas Medi-Spa.
OK, ultimate cringe. What about getting my bum waxed?
Salons know women might find this pretty embarrassing, so it’s usually done at the end of a Brazilian – by which time there are few secrets left anyway. ‘You don’t have to get on all fours,’ reassures Chloe. ‘You just lie on your stomach, separate your legs and hold your bum cheeks apart to get a nice stretch. We can get everything from that position.’
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