Are you ready for your pre-wedding waxing?

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The weeks leading up to a bride's big day are bustling with details, from seating arrangements to hairstyle run-throughs, and one other essential element: hot-wax hair removal.

Whether it's a bikini wax that leaves hair shaped like a heart or a Brazilian wax that turns skin into a bejeweled canvas (really, it happens -- Google it), there's another waxing trend that's affecting the betrothed: the guys. Grooms are getting in on the action, turning hairy chests, backs and pubic regions into neatly manscaped vistas.

Before you rush to make an appointment with the waxing expert at your local salon, however, it's a good idea to understand the options. When it comes to waxing, it's not all or nothing -- unless you've opted for a Brazilian-style wax. A Brazilian, as it is commonly called, removes hair from the entire genital area, including the skin between the buttocks. In contrast, a bikini wax typically leaves a swatch of hair, and only removes hair that would otherwise sprout near the seams of your bikini bottom.

While waxing isn't generally harmful to the genitals or other areas, there are a few cautions to consider:

  • If you apply prescription creams your skin, WebMD recommends that you may need to steer clear of waxing treatments. Skin treated with an acne-fighting Retin-A cream, for example, is more sensitive and more apt to experience damage.
  • Avoid waxing skin after prolonged sun exposure.
  • Don't wax skin affected by ongoing conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema.
  • Consider the timing. You can schedule a wax during your period, but, according to Total Beauty, surging hormones make skin more sensitive to pain.
  • After a waxing treatment, skin may swell and itch -- but don't give in to the urge to scratch. According to Best Health, doing so could cause bacterial or fungal infections.

Although a simple bikini wax to remove easy-to-reach hair may be eligible for a do-it-yourself project, leave a Brazilian to the pros. A licensed aesthetician can wax all the areas you can't quite manage; they'll also do some important prep-work, such as trimming unwanted hair to a length that makes the waxing process more effective.

Whether you're opting for a Brazilian or a bikini -- or simply want to tame your eyebrows -- don't wait until the day before your wedding to hit the salon for a wax. Instead, make your appointment four or five days before your nuptials take place; this will give your skin enough time to work through its swelling or irritation, but not enough time to regrow hair.

It's also a good idea to schedule a trial run eight weeks before your wedding. This way, you'll know how your skin will react to a waxing treatment. After all, few things would be worse than walking down the aisle sporting welt-covered, itchy skin -- especially if it's down yonder.