When it comes to waxing, especially bikini waxing, you have to go to a professional. If you try it at home and end up with a horrendous yet hilarious experience, you only have yourself to blame. But even at salons there are vastly different methods used, so I suggest going somewhere that specializes in waxing, rather than to a full-service salon or spa that only does it as a side gig. WAX in Los Angeles (there are two locations – one on Melrose and another recently opened in Santa Monica, which is where I went) is, of course, all about waxing, and they know what they’re doing. First off, the salon is beautiful. Even for the toughest of us, getting a wax isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world, so having a soothing and comfortable environment can really help. I once went to a highly recommended waxing lady and while she did a great job, I’m never going back. Why? Because she rents out a small space inside of a beauty store, and even though it was clean, I felt like I was doing something illicit by going to a hidden back room. Being as relaxed as possible makes the entire process much easier and more enjoyable (not that it can actually be enjoyable but it can definitely be better), so now I take into account all aspects of the experience.
I’ve been getting waxed for years, but this new salon is the only place I’ve been to that sticks to just waxing. They had amenities like GiGi‘s anesthetic numbing spray (on Amazon for $7.25) laid out for me beforehand, as well as some towels to cover up with and baby wipes to make me feel cleaner. The private room had an ottoman to keep all of my things on, and since taking off everything below the waist is not an easy proposition by any means, it was comforting to have a special place for my belongings. It made me feel like it was all meant to be! Painted powder blue, the space itself is very soothing and inviting. It’s simple, but there are girly little details that I appreciated. Another first for me was that two different types of wax were used, each for a specific area and type of hair. There was the regular soft wax, which was ripped off with a piece of muslin. This was for finer hair in areas with skin that’s not so sensitive (it’s all sensitive but some areas more so than others). The downside is that you feel the pain of the hair coming out and the pain your skin feels. A hard wax was used for the touchy areas with hair that’s coarse enough to grip to the wax. It goes on as a liquid then solidifies when cooled, which is when the waxer can grab an edge and rip it off. The benefit with this is that you only feel the pain of the hair being pulled off and not a sensation against the skin. The have it all planned out like a science.
And WAX knows that how you treat the area after your appointment is just as important, so they sell Crystal Peel’s microdermabrasion exfoliating soap (on Amazon for $22) to use on the waxed area to prevent ingrown hairs. The bar is a great exfoliator (I even scrub my legs before shaving). Use it lightly, though, because it’s coarse like sandpaper. This salon is quite a drive for me, but I gladly do it because they take every precaution to make things as painless as possible. Plus, even though they go above and beyond, the prices are comparable to other waxes, especially considering the attention to detail you get here. Try it out and let me know how you fare. A bikini wax is $35 and a Brazilian is $55. Call (310) 581-2800 to schedule an appointment at WAX Santa Monica.