Step 1: Prep
Before you even touch a razor, you need to ask yourself an important and embarrassing question: how much do you have to lose? If your down-there hair is longer than a ¼ of an inch long, you need to take the scissors to those bad boys or shaving is going to be torture. Trim them down to ¼ of an inch or smaller (as small as you can get without cutting yourself) and then exfoliate the area with a gentle facial exfoliate. Rinse off.
Step 2: Shave
I personally (cringe) use my regular razor that I use to shave my legs and underarms, but if you have sensitive skin, go to the drugstore and find a razor with lots of blades and some form of extra lubrication strip. I like the Schick Intuition because you can’t get much more lubrication than a big freaking bar of soap wrapped around the blades; or try a men’s razor blade, because, whether they admit it or not, their facial skin is just a sensitive as ours is. Once you’ve picked out a good razor, cover the area with a generous layer of shaving cream or, failing that, hair conditioner (it’s just as creamy and nourishing if you’re out of shaving cream).
Schick Intuition, Gilette Fusion ProGlide Power, Skintimate Shaving Cream
I’ve read a lot of guides that tell you to shave “with the grain” (i.e. in the direction of hair growth) in order to avoid irritation. This technique does avoid irritation, but it also seems to avoid actually removing any hair whatsoever. Once again, if you’re extra sensitive, I would try this way first, but if no hair is coming off I find a side-to-side shave works best. You’re not going against the grain, per se, but you’re going enough against it to whisk the hair away and leave the area smooth.
How much or little you shave is up to you. If you’re just trying to avoid playing ‘peek-a-boo pubes’ with your bikini bottoms, slide them on to see how much you have left to shave periodically during this process.
Step 3: TreatSo you’ve finished, you’ve got a silky hair free bikini line, but if you’re like me, you’re thinking “how long until I have 15 little mosquito bites down there that look worse than the actual hair?” Bikini bumps are usually ingrown hairs and they happen more frequently down there because the skin is so thin and sensitive. To avoid this, add a little baby powder as soon as your done and dried off, this prevent moisture and friction from irritating the skin. There are creams and lotions out there, like Bikini Zone, that claim to prevent irritation after shaving or waxing your bikini line, but I’ve never tried them (can’t find them!). Please leave a comment if you have, and let me know if/how well they work!
Johnson’s Baby Powder, Bikini Zone
If, even with prevention (the good razor and exfoliation should help), you still get a bikini bump or two, treat them with a little acne cream that contains salicylic acid. It will help reduce the redness and help the ingrown hair heal more quickly.