Give any man or woman an option to choose between waxing their body hair and… just about anything else, and you are likely to find that most of them will pick anything to avoid the “pain” of hair removal.
This aversion to waxing often comes from misinformation about what happens when you get waxed, and unfortunately, it keeps a lot of people who would prefer smooth, hair-free skin from getting waxed.
There is nothing wrong with shaving your body hair as-needed in your home, but if you are looking for long-lasting, smooth results that simply cannot be duplicated by shaving, you should consider getting waxed.
What makes waxing so different than other types of hair removal?
Waxing is one of the most common forms of hair removal, and it involves using a soft wax (also called “strip” wax) or a hard wax (also called stripless wax) to remove hair. The wax is either warmed or used cold, spread on the chosen hair to be removed in the direction of the hair’s growth. With a soft wax, a strip of cloth or paper is placed on top of the wax as a grip. With a hard wax, no strip is required for removal. When the paper or hard wax is removed, it is pulled off the skin in the opposite direction of the hair growth, removing the hair follicle from the root.
Unlike other hair removal systems like shaving or depilatory creams, which removes the hair only at the surface, and laser hair or electrolysis hair removal, which removes hair from the root in very costly, time-consuming procedures, waxing is a reasonably priced, effective, and long-lasting form of hair removal that is the choice method for millions of Americans.
If you are interested in having your body hair waxed for the first time or even for the hundredth time, use these tips to make the process as easy and painless as possible both during and afterward.
If possible, be sure that you won’t have any serious skin reactions by consulting with your doctor or dermatologist beforehand, and, if need be, having an allergy test done to be certain that your skin will not react adversely to the wax. It is not common for these reactions to occur, but those with particularly sensitive skin may want to consult a doctor first.
Call a Professional
Home waxing kits are available at any local drugstore or cosmetics store, but these do not typically provide the user with the true smooth skin they are promised on the package. This is because proper waxing takes training and lots of experience to get it right.
Thankfully, estheticians like the ones here at Cloud 9 are highly trained and know the process of successful, smooth waxing inside and out. There’s also the benefit of having a professional on hand to help you wax those areas that are hard to reach and extremely sensitive.
Get Your Skin Ready
For a few days before your appointment, exfoliate your skin before it is waxed. This will help slough off the dead skin cells from the skin and allow all of the hairs to be present on the surface of the skin before waxing. Refrain from any type of UV exposure (sunlight or tanning beds) as this can overly sensitize the skin and lead to peeling or blistering.
If you are planning on waxing your bikini area, legs, back, arms, shoulders, or chest, it is required that the hair has at least 10 days of growth (or ¼ inch long) before your appointment time. Hair that is too short will prevent the wax from properly gripping the hair, resulting in a patchy or unsuccessful waxing.
Before Your Visit…
Avoid major irritation triggers like caffeine, exercise, alcohol consumption before your waxing appointment. It is a good idea to drink plenty of water and take an ibuprofen beforehand to help ease any post-waxing inflammation that may occur.
Talk to Your Esthetician
Your esthetician should know everything there is to know about the area, skin issues or recent irritations, contraindications to certain medications, and types of skin care used to best determine and protect you from potential harm from waxing.
Some medications have known contra indication reactions to waxing including antibiotics, Tetracycline, and Accutane. Some prescription skin care products and retinoids, abrasive or irritating scrubs, and recently sunburned/tanned skin (even from a tanning bed) can create adverse waxing results.
Disclose all relevant medications and skin treatments to your esthetician before you get waxed, and never be worried about asking questions. There are no questions that an esthetician has not heard before, so ask away!
Prepare for Pain (but Don’t Dwell on It!)
Yes, waxing can be somewhat painful, especially if it is your first time experiencing this type of pain. Just like most types of superficial pain, waxing pain is all relative – that is, it is only as painful as you perceive it to be. For those with moderate pain thresholds and higher, the sensation of waxing may be jarring at first, but it certainly not painful enough to cease moving on with the rest of the session. For anyone who has a very low pain threshold, know that once you experience a wax pull, the rest of the session’s sensations will be similar to that first one, so you can find comfort in knowing the type of pain to expect.
Instead of focusing on the potential pain of waxing, remember that it is only temporary discomfort and sooner than you think, your session will be over and you will have smooth, pain-free skin to show for it.
After Your Visit…
Always follow your esthetician’s instructions for post-waxing care. Most people choose to wax every 4 to 6 weeks. Keeping skin exfoliated, well-hydrated, and moisturized between waxing appointments to achieve healthy, smooth skin and prevent ingrown hairs.
It is recommended that you do not shave between waxing appointments. We caution our clients to avoid too-tight clothing like spandex and tights for 24 after waxing to prevent irritation.