EVERYTHING You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Waxing (…But Were Too Uncomfortable to Ask)!

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I am a waxer…both personally and professionally.  I began with getting bikini waxes when I was 18 years old and I never looked back!  Today I wax my bikini, my legs and my underarms.  And yes…I do ALL of my own waxing!  Waxing is a HUGE element of my business at Balance Day Spa.  For the past 11 years, I have  spent much of my time waxing both women and men (sorry boys…I do not do bikini waxing of any type for men…this is a personal choice).  In fact, Brazilian Bikini Waxing is my specialty!  As a result of this, I frequently have people contact me with their waxing-related questions.  One of the reasons that I began this blog was to disseminate much of the misinformation out there.  Today, I am going to answer my most frequently asked waxing questions for you:

  1. How long does my hair need to be before I can get waxed?  Typically, I reccomend close to 1/2″ of hair growth (or waiting a minimum of 3-4 weeks after your last shave).  Many people will read advice on-line which tells them that they need only 1/4″ of hair growth; however, I feel that in order to insure a good, clean wax it is better to have closer to 1/2″.
  2. How long will my waxing results last?  There are a number of variables involved in answering this question and therefore it is impossible to give a “one-size-fits-all” answer; results do vary from individual to individual.  With that said, I typically reccomend that my clients plan to space out their appointments between 4-6 weeks (this time frame allows for re-growth).  Please note: if you have never waxed before you should know that your hair grows back in completely differently when you get waxed than it does when you shave.  When you shave, you are cutting off all of your hair at the surface of your skin and you are leaving it with a blunt edge.  Because of this, when your hair grows back in it will grow in all at once…it may be thick, coarse or itchy.  Conversly when you wax you are uprooting each individual hair.  Because of this each hair follicle needs to re-grow a brand new hair; therefore, your hair will grow back in much more finely and sparsely.  Typically, waxing re-growth is far less itchy than shaving re-growth.
  3. Will my waxing hurt?  Yes…your initial appointment probably will hurt a bit.  You are applying warm wax to your skin and ripping your hair out out the root…it is not going to tickle.  With that said, there are a number of variables which can affect your level of discomfort, including: the quality of the wax used (stay clear of inexpensive waxes, such as ‘Honey Wax’, as they are unneccassarily rough on the skin), the experience/skill level of the practitioner (no one wants to receive a Brazilian Bikini Wax from someone just out of esthetics school…trust me), where you are in your monthly cycle (being waxed just before or during your menstrual cycle will often be less comfortable for you), etc.  Many clients swear by popping an ibuprofen approximately 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment.  Also, as you continue to wax over time, the entire process becomes more comfortable; this is because your hair is finer, softer and has a weaker root.
  4. What is a “normal” reaction to waxing…will I be red or bumpy afterwards?  This depends on the individual; however, it is not atypical to be red and/or bumpy following your waxing.  It is also fairly common to be a bit swollen or puffy.  Typically these results can last anywhere from several hours to several days.  Sometimes clients will also develop small pustules/whiteheads…these can be treated with a little witch hazel or Tend Skin.  Because of these potential reactions, it is usually a good idea to plan to be waxed several days prior to when you need to be in a bathing suit or otherwise.  Please note: while some minor bruising can occasionally occur, you should NOT be seriously bruised, burnt or have your skin torn as a result of waxing.
  5. Following my waxing, do I have to wait any period of time before engaging in physical activity?  Everyone is different; however, I typically reccomend waiting 24-hours before having any type of friction in the area (whether it be from intimacy or from exercise).
  6. Is there any specific type of after-care for my waxing?  If they are uncomfortable following a bikini waxing, many clients will benefit from going home and throwing on some loose-fitting pants sans panties.  Also, a light sprinkling of baby powder can help to prevent the chafing of raw skin.  If you are prone to ingrown hairs then you may wish to use an after-waxing solution such as Tend Skin (I LOVE this product and sell it at Balance Day Spa).  Be sure to wait a full 24-hours after your wax before applyling.  Apply your product by soaking a cotton pad in the solution and applying to the entire area 2 times daily.  You may also want to consider doing a gentle weekly exfoliation of the affected area…this can be done by using a simple drugstore-brand ‘Apricot Scrub’ in a circular motion over the affected area while in the shower.
  7. Can I be waxed during my period?  This is a question whose answer will vary based upon your chosen establishment and practitioner.  Personally, I have no qualms about waxing any of my clients during menstruation; however, I do require that clients put in a brand new tampon upon their arrival at my spa.  I have a very, very large clientele and if I needed to reschedule every client who was menstruating, then my business would never work.  Understand that not all practitioners are comfortable with this.  Because of this, I do reccomend discussing this with your chosen waxing establishment at the time of booking, especially if you have an upcoming vacation or honeymoon.
  8. Can I be waxed during my pregnancy?  So long as your OB/GYN clears you for waxing then this should not be an issue.  Be sure to speak with your doctor PRIOR to being waxed.  Although waxing is typically safe during pregnancy, there are certain conditions (i.e.- Placenta Previa) where it may not be advisable.  Your OB/GYN will be able to make this determination for you.  Please note: as your pregnancy progresses you will become increasingly pain sensitive to waxing.  Therefore, if you plan to wax during your pregnancy I would suggest doing so at regular intervals from the beginning (ideally, no one wants to experience their first-ever Brazilian Bikini Wax at 9 months pregnant)!  ***Typically if you deliver vaginally, then your doctor will want you to wait 6 weeks, following delivery, before you begin waxing again.  Generally if you deliver via C-Section, then the wait is 12 weeks; be sure to receive clearance from your OB/GYN PRIOR to resuming your waxing.
  9. Are there any “red flags” that I should be on the lookout for?  ABSOLUTELY!  It is EXTREMELY important that your chosen waxing establishment is clean and professional.  The waxing table should be draped in clean paper.  When doing any type of body waxing, especially bikini waxing, your esthetician should wear new gloves.  When performing ANY type of bikini waxing, your esthetician should NEVER double-dip a stick…EVER!  If you feel uncomfortable at any point with the level of cleanliness or professionalism in a waxing establishment, you should leave…immediately.  As  a general “rule of thumb”, you should not bargain shop when looking for your waxer.  From someone who has been very successful in this business for a very long time now…no truly good waxer should ever have the need to be participating in any internet marketing deals for their services; they should be very busy all on their own.  Also, I do realize the allure of the convenience and low-pricing of a walk-in-type salon.  Unfortunately many, not all…but many, of these salons do not adhere to appropriate sanitary practices…personally you could not pay me enough to be waxed in this type of setting.  It may sound extreme, but remember that it is your health…double-dipping during a bikini wax can lead to the transmission of any number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including HPV and Herpes.  Do your research…talk to friends, take the time to read reviews and call up a prospective establishment with any questions that you may have (a good spa should always be happy to answer all of your questions).  Lastly, trust your gut…if you do not feel comfortable with a practitioner or an establishment then you should absolutely go elsewhere.
  10. Will I LOVE my results?  If it is done properly by an experienced practitioner then, yes…absolutely!
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