Bikini Wax: What You Need to Know

Bikini Wax vs. Brazilian Wax

Once you opt for waxing, there's still another decision to make: How much hair do you want to get rid of? There are many variations on bikini waxes and Brazilian waxes, which are distinguished by the amount of hair they eliminate -- and require varying degrees of exposure in front of your aesthetician.

For the most unabashed out there, a full Brazilian wax is an option. This type of bikini wax, also known as a "Sphynx," bare waxing or Hollywood waxing, will leave you completely hairless from belly button to buttocks. During a full Brazilian wax, you will have to be naked from the waist down, and maneuver into various positions so the aesthetician can reach every hair in your pubic area. Beware of asking for a full Brazilian if this process sounds unappealing to you [source: University of California, Santa Barbara].

During a modified Brazilian wax, you will still have to be naked from the waist down, but the technician will leave a thin strip of hair at the top of your vagina. This is also known as a "landing strip." If you're going for a more natural look, you could request a small triangle of hair instead.

A natural wax removes hair anywhere it might be seen while you're in a swimsuit and also from your buttocks. Finally, a simple bikini wax, which can be done with your panties on, only removes hairs that grow outside the lines of your bikini bottoms.

In order to get exactly what you bargained for, be sure to explain what you want taken off and what you want left, since not every salon uses the same terminology for the different styles of waxing.

If you've taken the plunge and made a waxing appointment, you may be wondering how to prepare for it. Keep reading to find out what you can do in advance to minimize pain and maximize results.