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We’re not going to sugarcoat this: Bikini waxes suck. Besides being painful and somewhat temporary, they also raise a handful of embarrassing questions you might be too shy to ask your waxer. That’s why we researched some of the most common (and uncomfortable) queries and got the answers you need before you hit the beach.

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1. It’s been a while since I last waxed (or shaved). Should I trim beforehand?
Nope. If you’re worried about grossing out the technician, know that he or she literally does this for a living and is in no way offended by the sight of an unkempt bikini area. Also, if you trim ahead of time, you risk cutting things too short, which could lead to ingrown hairs. 

2. Speaking of ingrown hairs…they’re the worst. Is there any way to avoid them?
Those buggers are a possibility anytime you remove hair, and unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to avoid them. That being said, be sure to space your waxing sessions far enough apart that you give the hair time to grow back. When hairs shorter than a quarter of an inch are waxed, they tend to break in half instead of being removed by the roots--hence, unsightly irritations. As much as you want to keep your area immaculate at all times, it’s really best to be patient.

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3. Is there anything I can do to make it hurt less?
Fortunately, yes. Thirty minutes before your appointment, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil or Motrin. Also, never get waxed less than five days before your period, since your skin is extra sensitive then.

4. What about getting waxed during my period? Is that a no-go?
Actually, it’s not, as long as you’re wearing a tampon. You might not want to, though, since your skin will still be sensitive. The best time to get waxed, pain-wise, is three to four days after your period.

5. Why is my skin super-itchy after a wax?
This happens if the technician used a synthetic wax. Try to avoid those altogether by seeking out salons and spas that work with only natural products.

RELATED: The New Hair Removal Technique Everyone’s Talking About

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Universal Pictures

6. At the risk of TMI, will the technician wax my butt?
Only if you’re getting a Brazilian wax or if you specifically ask the technician to go there. During an appointment don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want and how tolerant (or intolerant) you are of pain. We’re not saying you have to make small talk with your waxer, but it’s best for everyone to keep open lines of communication. Again, it’s their job.

7. Is there any way to extend the length of a particularly successful wax?
Yes! According to licensed aesthetician Eva Hendrick, heat stimulates hair growth, so for at least 24 hours after waxing, it’s best to avoid hot baths, heavy exercise and tight clothes.

RELATED: All the Types of Hair Removal, Ranked

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