You can get a wax on your period (just use a tampon), it will just hurt a bit more. In the days leading up to your period, your whole pelvic area is much more tender and will feel more sensitive. Booking at least a week ahead of your cycle is prime time. If there is a diary clash you can’t avoid, don’t worry too much, a painkiller can work wonders (more about that later).
Your hair should be about a quarter-of-an-inch long for waxing. No shorter and no longer. If it’s a little on the long side, your therapist can give it a quick trim beforehand. If you DIY it, you’ll probably end up cutting it too short (it’s more difficult than it looks). If it’s because you feel embarrassed, remember your therapist will be totally unfazed. Besides, you’re literally there for a wax – they know what’s coming.
A glass of wine en route to the salon sounds like the perfect remedy for first-wax nerves, but it’s actually a bad idea. The stimulants in alcohol (and caffeine, for that matter) can actually make your skin feel more sensitive. Don’t worry, you won’t need the dutch courage once you’ve nailed these steps.
If you’re taking any medications, ‘fess up to your therapist and check they’re safe. Some prescription drugs – like steroids and anti-acne medicine, Roaccutane – thin the skin which means waxing is a big no-no. When the skin is weaker, waxing can be too aggressive and cause a lot more discomfort and bleeding. And nobody wants that.
If you know you’re sensitive and will struggle with the pain (or can’t wait until your period has passed), take some ibuprofen or paracetamol an hour or so before your appointment. It won’t numb the area completely, but it will make it a little more comfortable. Worth a try.
‘At least’ being the operative part of that sentence. If you tan too soon after waxing (or shaving), your hair follicles won’t have time to close properly. Basically, you’ll be left with little black dots covering your skin (it’s called ‘strawberry skin’). If you can wait 48 hours, even better. Just to be on the safe side, finish your shower with a blast of cold water to close your pores.
Waxing after your spray tan is out of the question – waxing removes the top layer of skin, so your tan wouldn’t survive. In fact, whichever method of hair removal you opt for after tanning, some of the tan will be removed during the process. If you’re going au natural, brilliant. If you’re not, waxing is a good bet because you’ll remain smooth for the duration of your tan.
Avoid the beach and the pool for 48 hours after your wax. Chlorine and sand can irritate your skin, especially when the pores are still open. You want to stick to the shade too. Your skin will be more susceptible to sun damage after waxing because the top layer has been removed. If you’re going on holiday, book your wax for a couple of days before you leave so you can hit the beach straight away, no problem.
There’s nothing like a bath when you need to relax (goodbye muscle tension), but it’s best to steer clear for 24 hours after your wax appointment. The heat will aggravate any post-wax irritation and redness, it will dry out your skin and open up your pores (a shortcut to ingrown hairs). Same goes for the steam room – you know, in case you’re fancy like that.
Raring for a gym class? Props to you, but you should sit this one out – just for a day or two. Super-tight clothes (yoga pants, guilty as charged) will cause too much friction, leading to extra redness and ingrown hairs. Plus, getting hot and sweaty is just asking for a bacterial infection. Stick to loose-fitting clothes for a few days, even at the gym.
Not only should you scrub before your wax, but exfoliating is also the key to keeping ingrown hairs at bay. Don’t jump straight in the day after your wax though. Give your skin two to three after before you start using a scrub – and even then, do it gently. Look for scrubs that contain acids, this will help with any bumps. Using a mitt is a good way to use less product too.
The 11 biggest waxing mistakes you’re about to make
It’s pretty hot right now, which means some of us will be booking our pre-hol wax (or let’s be real: pre-staycation wax) soon. Contrary to popular opinion, waxing isn’t actually that bad – you just need to make sure the conditions are right. Think of it like this, say you went out for a picnic (bear with us), it started raining and you forgot the crisps, you probably wouldn’t enjoy the picnic. Well, waxing is like that but instead of checking the weather and remembering the snacks, you need to time your appointment and steer clear of alcohol beforehand. Here are the waxing mistakes you should avoid.
By Beth Ludolf
Ever wondered what’s going on inside the head of your therapist? While we’re not mind-readers (yet – we’re honing our skills on that crystal ball), we do know a thing or two about waxing. Here are six things we reckon your therapist wishes you knew that would make your visit – quite literally – smoother.Read more
So you’re a first time waxer? Alright, chill. Sure, a stranger is about to see you in the buff, but they’ve seen it all before (and there’s no judgement round these parts). If that’s not enough to allay your fears, this will: our answers to the most FAWQs (frequently asked wax queries). Practical tips to minimise stress, so instead of tensing up while on the salon bed, you can muse on what you’ll do tonight.Read more
Au naturel, some on, some off, when it comes to bikini waxing, it’s really up to you. The problem? Figuring out which style is which. Brazilian, French, Hollywood; sounds more like a trip overseas than hair-removal. Time to cut down on the confusion, with a bikini wax encyclopedia – courtesy of us. Think of this are your go-to guide, so if you are shifting the hair, you know just what to expect (and what to ask for). By Rachel SpeddingRead more