Regardless of whether you’re a first-timer or even a seasoned client, when it comes to waxing, you’re guaranteed to have some questions. If you’ve never had your hair stripped from your body, you’re bound to be equal parts curious and cautious about what to expect before booking your first appointment. If you’re a waxing regular, you probably still wonder about the real rules and best practices for prep and post-wax maintenance. Even though it’s common practice, so much about the hair-removal practice is still shrouded in mystery. With so many conflicting dos and don’ts for waxing, it can be hard to sift through to find the facts. Here is everything you’ve wanted to know about waxing.
Length Is Key
For the best waxing experience, the length of hair is key. This is especially important for first-timers, who in a way are going into the process blind. For maximum results, it is ideal to grow hair out to at least one-eighth of an inch before going in for your first wax. Depending on where you’re getting waxed, you can either trim hair the day before or shave far enough in advance so that hair grows to this optimum length for your appointment date. Once you’ve begun waxing, book your appointments in conjunction with your hair growth, typically every three-to-five weeks.
Never Shave Before Waxes
The biggest mistake sees even the most seasoned clients making is shaving before waxes. This seems like a quick fix for stubble, but shaving only removes hair at skin level, so it reappears in one to four days, and over time the skin itself becomes course. The detriments of shaving are countless, especially if you’re trying to reap the benefits of waxing. With regular waxing and no shaving, hair will eventually become finer and grow more slowly, increasing your time before waxes and reducing the appearance of hair.
If you shave before your appointments, by continually cutting the hair, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth, encouraging the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser, and fuller, resulting in more hair growing from each pore. Furthermore, every time you shave your risk getting nicks, cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hairs, aggravating skin and increasing its sensitivity and risk of infection.
Moisturize and Exfoliate
How you take care of your skin before and after waxing has a tremendous impact on the results. Exfoliating and moisturizing are a must. Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure healthy, hydrated skin. Hydration is also key, especially in winter when hair is dry and more likely to break when waxing. Breakage causes hair to grow back faster and thicker, so you want to keep skin hydrated and healthy at all times. Exfoliating is just as important.
By exfoliating with a gentle scrub, you are removing dead skin and helping to prevent ingrown hairs in the process. If you do experience ingrown hairs, try a roll-on gel formulated with powerful exfoliants that enhance penetration for a quick response to those pesky bumps.
Do Your Homework
Before making an appointment for the first time or at a new place, it’s pertinent to read reviews and do your homework to determine the right waxing formula for your skin and your needs. There are several formulas out there but the most popular is the hard wax removed without strips. which is ideal for all types of skin or all areas of the body.
All Waxes Are Not Created Equal
As detailed above, there are several wax options to consider and all are not created equal. Hard waxes are offered at many spas.
Timing Is Everything
Keeping the correct timing between waxes ensures the best results and can also help with planning for specific events. First, it’s important that you maintain your routine waxing schedule year-round. Even if winter months have you worrying less about leg hair, if you take a hiatus while you’re bundled up you’ll be reversing your progress come spring and have to start all over again. Second, if you’re scheduling waxing appointments to coincide with particular times you’ll need to be hairless. If you’re planning a winter or holiday getaway, it’s best to come in for a waxing service as close to your trip as possible—ideally 2 to 3 days before leaving, continuing that, this ensures your skin will continue to look and feel great for your entire vacay as the grow-back period is typically between 4 to 8 weeks.
Don’t Forget SPF
Your skin is extra sensitive after a wax, so it’s even more important that you make sure to lather up with sunscreen (something you should be practicing whether or not you’re waxing). Using sun protection is always recommended year-round, and it is especially important during the first 24 hours after waxing to avoid redness and irritation. Just because the sun isn’t out, doesn’t mean it’s okay to skimp on the sunscreen. People often forget about sunscreen in the winter, but your skin is just as vulnerable to a burn even when the temperatures drop.