Bath & Body, New York, Spas & SalonsTips for First Timers

Let me just start off by confessing that up until last week, I had never had a bikini wax. A few weeks back TDO editor Carolyn recommended I give Shobha a try. Because I will be going back to Nashville in a few weeks, where summer life seems to involve wearing a bathing suit constantly, I decided it was time to give the waxing gig a shot.  So I put away my razor and shaving cream and tried to pump myself up for the big day.

Prior to the referral to Shobha, I had always justified why I didn’t wax.

1. Pain – The thought of having that hair violently ripped out was enough to make me run the other way. Of my friends who had the procedure done, only one girl went back. The others said it hurt so bad they actually cried.

2. Embarrassment – Does anyone really like to be completely naked in front of a stranger? This factor coupled with the pain percentage was more than off-putting for a girl like me.

3. Hygiene – I had heard about so many spas that practiced shoddy hygiene. Wax not stored properly, double dipping, unsanitary spa conditions, and more sufficiently scared me away.

4. Cost – An old fashioned razor could do the trick at half the cost, never mind the unsightly side effects.

Upon walking into Shobha in Soho, I still had all those preoccupations dominating my mind. However, the brightly painted walls and Indian themed decorations created a space with such a positive vibe. The music playing throughout the spa soothed my racing heart and the friendly staff put me at ease while I waited.  When my specialist, Rachana arrived and greeted me warmly, I could tell immediately that she was a seasoned pro.

When it was time for the big show, I confided in Rachana that this was my first ever bikini wax .  She told me it would be quick and easy, but also that it would hurt (some areas more than others) and urged me to relax and get lost in the worldly music. The private room the bikini wax was performed in was spotless and comfortable. All of the equipment was fresh and Rachana told me Shobha has a strict “no double-dipping” policy, so I didn’t have to worry about gross germs in this time of high stress.

I took a big breath as she began and in just 10 minutes, my first wax was over! I was then shown the awesome “after-bikini wax” kits full of treatments to provide extra comfort and to maintain the effects. I left with the Shobha Beach Bag Must-Haves, a cute summer kit of the necessities for a busy outdoor day. This pack contains a Shobha Sanitizer, perfect for your purse or picnic basket, a talc-free powder for absorbing unwanted moisture (ideal for a long day by the water), a Shobha exfoliating cloth to maintain your  bikini wax effects, and an ingrown relief lotion to prevent bumps.

Though getting a bikini wax will never be fun, I didn’t feel as embarrassed or in pain as I had expected. Shobha proved to be a great environment for a first timer like me and I will be sure to visit again. Plus I can now ditch the old-school razor and enjoy 4 -5 weeks of unfettered freedom!

For all you first-timers out there like me, here are a few tips to make your waxng experience a little more bearable:

1. Research, research, research – Figure out exactly what you want done down below (there are many options for your grooming preference) then find spas in your area that offer the service. Remember to read not only the spa website, but also outside user reviews. To be frank, the cheapest places are usually  inexpensive for a reason. For a delicate area that deserves the extra TLC, it’s safer to go mid range to high range.

2. Visit – Check out the spa you have chosen prior to your visit. Most spas will offer a complimentary patch test for first time waxers to make sure the procedure cooperates with their skin.

3. Be comfy – On the big day, ditch the tight jeans and heels and opt for something roomier. I recommend that pair of sports sweats you swore you’d never wear in public.

4. Relax – If your nerves start to get the best of you as you are lying on the table, remind yourself that in just 10 minutes you will be finished and ready to start your hair free few weeks. Take some big breaths, focus on your surroundings, and let go of the anxiety.

5. Treat yourself – Afterward, take yourself out for a little treat. Buy yourself that cupcake you’ve been craving, or that iced drink that has been calling your name. Why not try some therapy shopping? You deserve it!



  1. Kathy  |  23 June 2009 at 11:47 AM

    As a bikini waxing virgin, I found this article incredibly helpful–thank you! I have been trying to work up the nerve to get it done this summer, and I think I will now, especially since I am going to be moving to Nashville in August! I was just there last weekend to find an apartment, and it was H-O-T!

  2. Sara  |  23 June 2009 at 12:36 PM

    tip #6. treat yourself to a nice glass of wine BEFORE the waxing appointment so slightly dull the pain!

    was this a full brazilian wax or just bikini? i got a brazilian once and it really wasn’t AS bad as i thought, but was certainly painful. i wasn’t too thrilled with it, though. it seemed like a lot of hairs “broke” rather than were waxed completely with the root. does this happen with everyone or did i get a bad job?

    boston recommendations would be fabulous!

  3. jennifer  |  23 June 2009 at 12:54 PM

    hi sara (from boston)!

    unfortunately, we don’t have any personal recommendations for waxing in boston, but just wanted to take a few moments to respond to your other questions.

    -sarah of tdo – did get a brazilian.
    -if your technician is not using the proper technique during the removal process, waxing can result in broken hairs rather than complete removal from the root. another important note to keep in mind is that if you have been a frequent shaver previously (even if you have let your hair grow for a few weeks before your sugaring or waxing treatment), shaving can cause hair re-growth to be uneven, in which some hairs can be too short to be removed with wax or sugaring gel & may result in the appearance of stubble after your first treatment. ideally, all of your hairs should lay flat on your skin to achieve the best results; so some of these shorter hairs may not be removed with wax or sugaring gel the first time. so have some patience & let those shorter stubbles grow (no shaving between treatments!) so that your second treatment will have even smoother results!

    feel free to check out our tips page for more helpful info:

    take care,

    brand director

  4. Stefania  |  23 June 2009 at 12:58 PM

    I used to get my entire legs, armpits, bikini line, and arms waxed. We used to go to a woman who had a “salon” on the side of her house- my mom, sister and me would all get done! The woman was clean, and the results were great but it was still to expensive for us. Now I epilate (with an epilator which has a bunch of tiny tweezers that rotate) my arms and legs and shave the bikini area. I love epilating- results are like waxing, but there is no stickiness and you don’t have to wait for the hair to be a certain length, but the shaving does not last nearly long enough. And epilating is not an option for the private bits.

  5. Intern Sarah  |  23 June 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Glad to see the comments on this post! And thanks Jennifer (our lovelt Shobha expert) for answering those ?s
    To Kathy, try Tiba in Nashville-I love them! Good luck!

  6. Intern Sarah  |  23 June 2009 at 1:48 PM

    *never had a bikini wax at Tiba, though I am sure they are great (heard from friends)*

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