Wax On, Wax Off
Do we need to talk about this? We do? Okay.
I consider myself a feminist. I have nothing against body hair on other women. I think Julia Robert's fuzzy auburn armpits are cute. I even tried being all boho-hippie hirsute myself when I was in my early twenties, because all the cool girls were doing it. I couldn't hack it, and soon went running back to my Daisy razor. Where my own body hair is concerned, I am hopelessly bourgouis.
If you knew how much time I spend involved in the removal and management of hair, we probably couldn't be friends anymore. I have tried nearly every depilation method it is possible to perform in one's bathroom, including the infamous Epilady. Trust me, for the bikini area, waxing is the way to go.
This is a maintenance task most of us would prefer to leave to the professionals, me included, but a salon wax is ungodly expensive. Without exception, all my girlfriends are astonished to learn that it can be done inexpensively and effectively at home (yes, this is the kind of thing we talk about when we get together). The secret is in the product. Bypass all the drugstore crap, and go to your local beauty supply outlet for the professional grade wax. This kit from Gigi cost about 20 bucks at Sally's, and includes plenty of pre- and post-wax lotions, applicators and muslin strips. I've used my kit for about six applications, though I did purchase a packet of additional muslin for a few dollars about halfway through the jar of wax.
You will also want to have a dedicated electric hair-trimmer, especially if you plan to go Brazilian. The one you bought to give your kids bowl cuts when they were toddlers will do just fine, assuming you have come to your senses and now bring them to an accredited stylist. Trim everything to one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch. Actually, even if are a shave-outside-the-triangle kind of girl, this is a good way to keep everything inside the triangle tidy. If you're into tidy.
As for the actual waxing, just follow the instructions that came with the kit. You might want to pop an ibuprofen or two an hour beforehand, depending on your sensitivity and personal pain threshold.
Which brings me to the most frequently asked question of all time: does it hurt?
Hell, yes. Especially the first time. But we're women. We can handle it. And it only hurts for a minute. I can assure you it is a billion times less painful than childbirth; a thousand times less painful than getting your bellybutton pierced.
Second most frequently asked question: how long does it last?
At least two weeks, with a bit of an awkward growing-out stage around the third, which you have to put up with until the growth is long enough for the wax to grip.
Third most frequently asked question: do you go Brazilian?
None of your bees wax.