If a person has never been waxed before, or has not been waxed for a long time, it may be necessary to trim the pubic hair using scissors or an electric razor prior to waxing.[4][5] A patch test is recommended, usually on the upper thigh, to test for allergies or skin sensitivities to the ingredients in the wax. Sometimes a hair growth inhibitor is applied after waxing, which slows the regrowth of hair if applied daily for an extended period of time.[3]

It is common to apply an antiseptic cleaner and powder to the area prior to waxing. Wax is applied with a spatula in the direction of hair growth the size of a strip about 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) long. When the wax is set but still pliable, the wax strips are pulled away against the direction of hair growth while keeping the skin taut. The strip is ideally pulled off as swiftly as possible.[4]

The pubic area is one of the most sensitive areas in the body and during the procedure special attention must be paid to avoid irritation.[citation needed] Pain directly resulting from the procedure can be slight or severe and can continue from several seconds to several minutes. Some people experience less pain during subsequent treatments. It can be helpful to take a mild anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) an hour or so before waxing to reduce potential pain from the waxing.[6] Products such as topical anesthetics are available to lessen the pain involved.[3] A bikini wax during pregnancy is generally more painful, due to increased sensitivity.[7] The type of wax used for bikini lines is often made from a mixture of beeswax and tall oil rather than the more common synthetic waxes used for waxing regular leg hair. Beeswax is considered stronger and more effective at removing the thicker and coarser pubic hair.[8]