Bikini waxing is the epilation of body hair in and around the pubic region, commonly by women, by the use of wax. With certain styles of women's swimwear, pubic hair may become visible around the crotch area of a swimsuit. Visible pubic hair is widely culturally disapproved of and considered to be embarrassing, and so is at times removed.[1] However, some people also remove pubic hair that is not exposed, for aesthetic or other reasons.

The term bikini line is the imaginary line in a woman's pubic region that delineates that part which would normally be covered by the bottom part of a swimsuit. In the context of waxing, it is generally understood to describe any pubic hair visible beyond the boundaries of a swimsuit.[1] Epilation is usually also performed on the upper leg.[2]

Pubic hair can be removed in a number of ways, including waxing, shaving, sugaring or using chemical depilatory creams. Hair that is not removed may be trimmed. While mainly associated with women, men at times also remove pubic hair.[3]


History Modifica

In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries.[4] In Islam, this is known as an act of Fitrah. Evidence of pubic hair removal in ancient India dates back to 4000 to 3000 BC.[5] According to the ethnologist F. Fawcett, writing in 1901, he had observed the removal of body hair, including pubic hair about the vulva, as a custom of women from the Hindu Nair caste.[6]

The removal of pubic hair by Western women became more common when bathing suits became abbreviated, starting in 1945.[1] Changes in lingerie styles have also encouraged the removal of pubic hair throughout the years.[2]


Bikini waxing may be classified into several basic styles[2] [7][8] which may have differing names.[9]

  • American waxing is the removal of only the pubic hair that is exposed by a swimsuit, depending on the style of the swimsuit. For a bikini, it would be hair at the top of the thighs and under the navel. It is also known as a basic bikini wax,[2] [7][8] or a bikini line wax.
  • The Landing StripFrench waxing leaves a vertical strip in front (sometimes called a landing strip), two to three finger-widths long just above the vulva, and 4 cm (1½ inches) wide. It is also known as a partial Brazilian wax.[2] [7][9] Hair of the peri-anal area and labia may be removed. Removal of hair from these areas is also known as the Playboy wax[8] or G-waxing. The landing strip wax has become popular with models who must wear garments of an extreme narrowness in the crotch region.
  • Brazilian waxing is the most known of bikini waxes, and involves the removal of all hair in the pelvic area, front and back, while sometimes leaving a thin strip of hair on the pubis.[2][7][8][9][10] It can be used by those who wear thong bikinis.[11] It is a form of bikini waxing, and involves the complete removal of hair from the buttocks and adjacent to the anus, perineum and vulva (labia majora and mons pubis).[12][13] If a thin vertical strip of hair is left, it may be called a landing strip. Brazilian waxing is also known as a full Brazilian wax, full Bikini wax, Hollywood wax or the Sphinx.[2][8][9] The Sphinx variety involves the complete removal of all hair in the pelvic region. The name is derived from that of a naked breed of cat from Canada. The smooth-skinned, hairless Sphynx cat was a genetic oddity discovered in Toronto in 1966. Some salons refer to the Sphynx as the Hollywood.
  • Some women trim, but keep hair on their labia, while removing the pubic hair on the mons pubis.

Other stylesModifica

Anthropologist Desmond Morris has identified other waxing styles:[14]

  • The Bikini Line: This is the least extreme form. All pubic hair covered by the bikini is left in place. Only straggling hairs on either side are removed, so that none is visible when a bikini with high-cut sides is being worn.
  • The Full Bikini: Only a small amount of hair is left, on the Mound of Venus (the mons pubis)
  • The European: All pubic hair is removed "except for a small patch on the mound".
  • The Triangle: All pubic hair is removed except for a sharply trimmed triangle with the central, lower point aimed at the top of the genitals. It has been described as "an arrowhead pointing the way to pleasure".
  • The Moustache: Everything is removed except for a wide, rectangular patch just above the hood at the top of the genital slit. This is sometimes called "The Hitler's Moustache", sometimes "Chaplin's Moustache".
  • The Heart: The main pubic tuft is shaped into a heart symbol and may be dyed pink. This is a popular style for St. Valentine's Day, presented as an erotic surprise to a sexual partner.
  • The Landing Strip: A cultivated pubic hair pattern in which the hair is trimmed to a narrow vertical strip or rectangle, and all other pubic hair is removed. The landing strip starts from anywhere between the natural pubic hairline to within two inches from the top of the vulva, and ends just above the clitoris.
  • The Playboy Strip: Everything is removed except for a long, narrow rectangle of hair, 4 cm (1½ inches) wide.

Brazilian waxingModifica


Some claim the origin of the concept Brazilian hairless privates date back to a letter written by Pêro Vaz de Caminha documenting Pedro Álvares Cabral's voyage to Brazil in 1500 AD, which says: "...suas vergonhas tão altas e tão çarradinhas e tão limpas das cabeleiras que de as nós muito bem olharmos não tínhamos nenhuma vergonha" (English translation: "their private parts were so exposed, so healthy and so hairless, that looking upon them we felt no shame").[15]


Brazilian waxing is more controversial than other types of waxing.[16][17] Like all waxing, it can be a physically painful experience during and after waxing,[12][17][18][19] which some believe can become more unpleasant if receiving cunnilingus from a bearded partner.[17] [19] American actress-model Lisa Barbuscia commented on her negative first experience at getting a Brazilian at a Los Angeles salon popular with porn stars: "It was so painful I collapsed. I only fainted, but I was nearly carted off to hospital and I have vowed never to try it again."[20] However, the Brazilian's continued popularity speaks against such experiences being universal. Some critics of the procedure believe that Brazilian waxing can contribute to making an adult woman look underage, claiming that this may be one reason for its popularity in the pornographic industry.[10][16][19] The look has also been called perverted[21], as well as suggested to be unnatural by Christina Valhouli of Salon.[10][12][17] [22] There is also a health risk involved if it is not done properly, as well as a risk of infection if done on a person with a weakened immune system.[23]

Waxing technique Modifica

File:Ceretta a calo inguinale.jpg

Warm wax is applied to hair and covered with small strips of cloth. When the wax sufficiently hardens, the cloth is pulled off quickly to remove hair up from the roots. Some discomfort is associated with the procedure. Generally discomfort lasts fewer than five days.[24] Different salons use different names for common types of waxing, for example referring to a Brazilian with a "landing strip" as a "Mohican".[25] It can be done on oneself with a home kit. It is possible to get a bikini wax during pregnancy, but due to increased sensitivity it generally is more painful.[26]

American waxing Modifica

The bikini or similar undergarment worn by the client is tucked in and covered with paper towel. A small applicator may be used on both sides of the bikini area to create a clean and even line. Using an antiseptic cleaner and covering the area with powder after the cleaner dries up is standard. Wax is applied with a large spatula in the direction of hair growth, which is downwards. It is applied in strip 2 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long up to the femoral ridge. Since the hair on the pubis is coarse and grows horizontally and inward, a second application wax is often required. Then all the wax strips are pulled away when the wax is set but still pliable. It is pulled against the direction of hair growth while keeping the skin taut. The pulling ideally is done as swiftly as possible. The last part of the waxing is done with the patient lifting her legs so the hair near the table can be worked on. A normal American waxing job takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.[2]Template:Rp

French waxing Modifica

It follows mostly the procedures of an American waxing, with special cleaning and powdering of areas to be waxed. Gloves are mandatory. To create the "landing strip" (a line of hair) practitioners and clients prefer either of the two positions: lying face up or lying face down. Sometimes hard wax is used, though strip wax works as effectively.[2]Template:Rp

Material Modifica

The wax used is often a mixture of natural beeswax and tall oil rather than the more common synthetic waxes used for regular leg waxing.[27] It is felt that beeswax is stronger, and more effective at removing the thicker, coarser pubic hairs. Many products are available to lessen the pain involved, such as topical anesthetics. Sometimes a hair inhibitor is applied, which slows the regrowth of hair and may halt regrowth completely. The results can last up to two months.[28]


The pubic area is one of the most sensitive areas in the body, and special attention must be paid to avoid irritation. Over time hair becomes weaker and grows more slowly leading to less frequent waxing.[29] If the client has never been waxed before, or has not been waxed for a long time, it may be necessary to trim the hair down first using scissors or an electric razor.[2] [30] A patch test is necessary, usually at the uppermost part of the thigh, to test that the client is not allergic to wax or the skin doesn't overreact. Since the mucous membrane of the vulva is the most sensitive of the bikini area, it is usually better left to the last part of the process. Oil based lotions or creams are always to be avoided, while oatmeal based powders are best for soothing the skin after waxing. Sometimes bumps or in-grown hair can result. Isolated hairs can be removed by using tweezers or by electrolysis.[30] Waxing can be performed privately in the home, or by a cosmetologist.

The pain involved with this procedure can be slight or severe and can continue from several seconds to several minutes. Some people experience less pain during subsequent treatments. It can be helpful for a bikini wax recipient to take a mild anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen) an hour or so before waxing to reduce potential pain from the waxing.[31]

The medical community has also seen a recent increase in folliculitis, or infection around the hair follicle, in women who wax or shave their bikini areas.[32] Some of these infections can develop into more serious abscesses that require incision with a scalpel, drainage of the abscess, and antibiotics. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of folliculitis.

See alsoModifica


  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 Heinz Tschachler, Maureen Devine, Michael Draxlbauer; The EmBodyment of American Culture; pp 61–62; LIT Verlag, Berlin-Hamburg-Münster; 2003; ISBN 3825867625.
  2. 2,0 2,1 2,2 2,3 2,4 2,5 2,6 2,7 2,8 2,9 Helen Bickmore; Milady's Hair Removal Techniques: A Comprehensive Manual; Thomson Delmar Learning; 2003; ISBN 1401815553
  3. Barker, Olivia The male resistance to waxing is melting away in USA Today, August 23, 2005
  4. Kutty, Ahmad (13/Sep/2005) Islamic Ruling on Waxing Unwanted Hair Retrieved March 29, 2006
  5. April Masini, Think & Date Like a Man, page 49, Date Out Of Your League, 2005, ISBN 0595374662
  6. F. Fawcett. Nâyars of Malabar. Asian Educational Services. p. 195. ISBN 9788120601710. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  7. 7,0 7,1 7,2 7,3 Different types of bikini wax and application techniques, Essortment; Retrieved: 28 December 2007
  8. 8,0 8,1 8,2 8,3 8,4 Brazilian bikini wax, Brazilian Bikinis; Retrieved: 28 December 2007
  9. 9,0 9,1 9,2 9,3 Salinger, Eve (2005). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pleasing Your Woman. New York: Alpha Books/Penguin Group. pp. 196. ISBN 1-59257-464-5. 
  10. 10,0 10,1 10,2 Boston Women's Health Book Collective (2005). Our Bodies Ourselves. New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. p. 4. ISBN 0-7432-5611-5. 
  12. 12,0 12,1 12,2 Valhouli, Christina (September 3, 1999). "Faster Pussycat, Wax! Wax!,". Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  13. Blue, Violet (2002). The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus. San Francisco, California USA: Cleis Press. pp. 66. ISBN 1-57344-144-9. 
  14. Desmond Morris, The Naked Woman, page 199, Macmillan, 2007, ISBN 0312338538.
  15. M. Elizabeth Ginway, Brazilian Science Fiction, page 56, Bucknell University Press, 2004, ISBN 083875564X.
  16. 16,0 16,1 Kirsch, Melissa (2006). The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything. New York: Workman Publishing. pp. 424. ISBN 0-7611-3579-0. 
  17. 17,0 17,1 17,2 17,3 Joannides, Paul (2006). Guide to Getting It On. Waldport, Oregon, USA: Goofy Foot Press. ISBN 1-885535-69-4. 
  18. Blue, Violet (2002). The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus. San Francisco, California USA: Cleis Press. pp. 67. ISBN 1-57344-144-9. 
  19. 19,0 19,1 19,2 Godson, Suzi (2005). Sexploration: An Edgy Encyclopedia of Everything Sexual. Berkeley, California USA: Amorata Press. ISBN 1-56975-505-1. 
  20. «», April 14, p. 39. UK newspaper; also described in her advice book for young women Lifestyle Essentials.
  21. Symons, Mitchell (2007). Where Do Nudists Keep Their Hankies. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-0-06-113407-4. 
  22. Feldman, David (1987). Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 146. ISBN 0-06-074092-2. 
  23. Tweed, Katherine. «Woman Almost Dies After Bikini Wax». Fox News, July 11, 2007. URL consultato in data 2007-07-31.
  24. Hilda Hutcherson, Pleasure, page 190, Perigee, 2006, ISBN 0399532862
  25. Jane Hiscock & Frances Lovett, Beauty Therapy, page 330, Heinemann, 2004, ISBN 0435451022
  26. Linda Murray, Leah Hennen & Jim Scott, The Babycenter Essential Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, page 576, Rodale, 2005, ISBN 1594862117
  27. Susan Cressy & Margaret Rennie, Beauty Therapy Fact File, page 293, Heinemann, 2004, ISBN 0435451421
  28. Ian Denchasy, Art of Oral Sex: Bring Your Partner to New Heights of Pleasure, page 30, Quiver, 2007, ISBN 1592332900
  29. "Bikini and Brazilian Waxing Tips - Hair Removal Facts at". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  30. 30,0 30,1 Lia Schorr, Shari Miller Sims & Shari Sims, SalonOvations' Advanced Skin Care Handbook, pages 94–95, Cengage Learning, 1994, ISBN 1562530453
  31. Michael J. Klag, Johns Hopkins Family Health Book, page 769, HarperCollins, 1999, ISBN 0062701495
  32. Barbara Hackley, Jan M. Kriebs & Mary Ellen Rousseau, Primary Care of Women: A Guide for Midwives and Women's Health Providers, page 833, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2006, ISBN 0763716502

External linksModifica