Having a stranger rip the hair off your privates sounds more like an outdated form of torture than modern day grooming ritual, but bikini and Brazilian waxes are popular forms of hair removal, especially during the summer months. Of course, going in for your first (or even fifth) waxing can be intimidating, so we talked to two experts about what you should expect and how to prepare for your first session.

ReadVagina Glitter Isn't Safe, According To Doctors Who Warn Against High-Demand 'Passion Dust'

Know Before You Go

Before your trip to the spa, it’s best to read up on the facility. “Go somewhere where you read good reviews or based on recommendations so you don’t just walk into some random place,” advises Julia Davydov, co-founder of the Wax Club salon in New York City.

After finding a place you’re comfortable with, the next step is to prepare for the appointment. “Make sure your hair is long enough,” says Summer Vasilas, cofounder of national studio, Waxing The City. Vasilas says two weeks from your last shave or roughly half an inch is best. “Believe it or not, shorter hair can be more painful because your waxer may have to tweeze more,” she explains.

If you’re waxing for a big event, like a honeymoon in the Bahamas, Vasilas suggests going in for one to two waxes prior to your trip. “This will allow you to see how your skin reacts and what to expect afterwards,” she says. “You’ll also have better results in how long your skin will stay smooth for.  It usually takes one to three waxes to get your hair growth cycles into a routine.”

If you’re worried about the pain (and honestly, who isn’t?) both our experts recommend taking ibuprofen about 30 minutes to an hour before your session. You’ll want to avoid drinking caffeine for at least an hour before the appointment, and make sure to drink plenty of water in advance. “If you’re dehydrated then the pores are closed up and it becomes a little bit more painful for the hair to come out,” says Davydov. “It actually opens up your pores if you hydrate enough.”

ReadIs Rib Cage Bragging The New Social Media Beauty Trend?

If you’re really nervous, start off with a bikini wax before working your way up to a Brazilian wax. Finding a dedicated professional to see each time will help you build a relationship and eventually make the sessions more comfortable, too. And to really reap the benefits of waxing, Vasilas says you’ll have to break up with your razors. For the best results, you need to commit to the waxing lifestyle,” she says. "This means waxing on a regular basis every four to six weeks and don’t shave in between.” Waiting too long between appointments is a common mistake as it can set you back to the beginning.

Above all, it’s important to remain calm. If you’ve done your homework on the studio as Davydov suggests, your experience should be bearable and your waxer will patiently answer any questions. “We are here to help make you feel comfortable first, and then wax you second,” Vasilas asserts.

See Also:

Will Waxing Hurt My Genitals? 8 Of The Weirdest Waxing Questions Answered By Salon Owners

5 Popular Anti-Aging Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments: How To Pick The Right Procedure And Doctor