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'Knickers off?' - 7 questions every woman has had about going to the beauticians

“How naked do I have to get?” and other worries, answered.

EVERY WOMAN KNOWS that if you’re versed in salon etiquette, going to the beauticians/hairdressers can be a bit of a minefield.

How naked do I get? What the hell is a Californian wax? Here are a few of the most pressing questions, answered. 

What do all the bikini waxing options mean?

waxing-diagram Waxing Waxing

Staring down a list of waxing options can be daunting. All of them mean ripping hair off your private parts. But how much hair?

Here’s a quick explainer of the more common ones.

  • Bikini: Removes just the hair around your knicker line. 
  • Californian: You’re left with a vertical strip of hair about two inches wide, and a waxed bum.
  • Brazilian: Everything goes (bum, labia, etc) except for a little triangle or vertical strip of hair at the front.
  • Hollywood: EVERYTHING goes. Everything.

How naked do I have to get for (a) a down there wax?

Carrie-Sex-And-The-City-Wax Stellar Stellar

It depends. For your bog-standard bikini wax, you’re grand to leave your undies on, so long as the therapist can get at the hair.

For everything else, you’ll have to take ‘em off. And you will probably have to flip over and get on your knees at some point too, so the therapist can get, er…everything.

(b) A spray tan?

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Very. To get the best tan, you should probably only be wearing the paper knickers provided, which some women choose to leave off too.

You can wear an old bra/bikini if you want, but be aware you will end up with white patches.

(c) A massage?

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It’s up to you. Some people wear their underwear, others prefer to go starkers – you’ll probably get draped in towels anyway, so you won’t feel exposed.

For a facial or shoulder massage, you’ll be asked to take off your top and pop under the covers (you can leave your bra on).

Should I tell the hairdresser if they’re pulling the head off me?

A certain amount of pain is involved in almost every beauty treatment, but you do NOT have to sit and grimace while someone tears strips out of your scalp.

For the good of your health, tell the hairdresser – you can’t enjoy your new hair through gritted teeth and tears in your eyes. Maybe don’t scream “YOU’RE PULLING THE HEAD OFF ME!” though.

What should I do if I hate, hate, HATE what they’ve done to me?

Instagram / wilmielaine Instagram / wilmielaine / wilmielaine

TELL THEM. This is essential. Don’t squeak “It’s fine, thank you” and run out of the salon. Most therapists/stylists will only be too happy to fix it for you, which is much better than rushing home to hack off your fringe/draw on new eyebrows yourself.

Should I tip my therapist/stylist?

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This is where things can get tricky. Though many therapists don’t expect it, more and more women are now choosing to tip in salons. If you want to do it, here’s a quick guide:

  • Nails: €2-€3 is a generally accepted tip for a manicure or pedicure 
  • Waxing: Tipping between €5-€10 seems like a just reward for a delicate job.
  • Massage/facial: Again, €5 is a good tip for a masseuse or facialist.
  • Hair: This interesting study from found that Dublin hairdressers generally expect to be tipped €5+, while hairdressers in the country either find tipping embarrassing, or will accept €2-€5. Some people also like to tip the hair washer a separate, smaller amount.

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