Bikini season is in full swing, and for those looking to get rid of unwanted hair the lowyou have the choice.
From shaving, laser and waxing to popular new methods like sugaring off, it can be a bit daunting to figure out what’s best for you.
It’s also important to point out that while there are many hair removal techniques to choose from, there are also pros and cons to consider for each.
“Good Morning America” reached out to several experts for information on some of the best pubic hair removal techniques, how to prepare, aftercare and more.
How to prepare
When it comes to prepping before most hair removal methods, a board-certified dermatologist Dr Sherry LH Maragh noted the following:
– Make sure the skin is healthy and free of open sores, scabs or rashes.
– The skin should be freshly cleansed and free of all make-up, lotions, creams and self-tanning products.
– Avoid using harsh or abrasive scrubs or exfoliators 24-48 hours before treatment.
– Avoid using over-the-counter products containing retinol or prescription medications containing retinoids for three to five days before waxing.
– If you are preparing for laser hair removal, you must stop using hair removal creams, waxing, shaving, tweezing, sugaring or waxing four weeks before your treatment. Hair may be clipped low with scissors or lightly trimmed with a razor 24-48 hours prior to treatment being careful not to irritate the skin.
Best Bikini Waxing Options
Shaving: This method involves using a razor blade to cut the pubic hair in the bikini area.
Experts agree that shaving is still one of the most convenient forms of hair removal, but it has some downsides. “Burn-ins and folliculitis are most common with shaving, as the hairs themselves are simply cut down to the epidermis,” says a board-certified dermatologist and Flawless partner. Dr. Rita V. Linkner says “GMA”.
She added that “shaving in the direction of the hair is the best shaving hygiene”.
Waxing: Waxing involves using a sticky soft or hard wax to adhere to body hair and pull the hair out of the follicle.
“Waxing is a more permanent way to remove hair than shaving because hair is forcefully removed from the root itself,” Linkner said.
Although the result may be different for everyone, Linkner also warned that waxing can cause skin reactions.
Laser hair removal: During this process, a trained professional uses a laser beam to vaporize the hair. The American Academy of Dermatology says it causes small plumes of smoke that smell like sulfur and may involve multiple sessions depending on the desired result or if you prefer to remove your hair permanently.
“Laser is the most permanent way of hair removal,” Linkner said. “If you’re dark in color and have dark hair, it’s best to see a board-certified dermatologist for your hair removal, as the right amount of energy needs to be delivered while keeping the skin safe.”
Sugaring: This organic alternative uses a sugar paste, usually made from lemon, sugar, and water, to remove hair by pressing it against the grain and then pulling against the grain.
“The benefits of sugar are that it’s less painful than regular wax because it attaches to the hair rather than the skin, and it creates less skin irritation,” said Liz Kennedy, esthetician and founder of Beauty. Magnet, to “GMA”.
Depending on the growth cycle of your natural hair, experts agree that results may vary for any of the above methods.
Maintenance tips and best practices
Kennedy said it’s best to keep the area free of tight clothing day and night to reduce potential irritation.
“A few days after, I like to take a little lactic acid to exfoliate the area because it’s the mildest acid that helps soften and exfoliate the skin,” she added.
Kennedy’s go-to choice of products for exfoliation is República Sugar Body Scrub because it “exfoliates while softening”.
Maragh also shared several aftercare tips to keep in mind, including treating any inflamed skin with a gentle anti-inflammatory cream such as an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream, with or without aloe.
She also recommended avoiding direct sun exposure on the bikini area where the hair was tweezed or applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect the skin from irritation.
Additionally, Maragh says that depending on the irritation caused by your hair removal method, you should avoid sweating and rigorous exercise for two to four hours.