March 3, 2014

8 Facts About Wax

While I'm an Adult Acne and Rosacea Skincare Specialist, I also perform waxing services at my location in Chicago. Brazilian and bikini waxes are very popular at my facial and waxing studio, but over the years, I have actually realized that many women don't really know much about the waxing and hair growth process, even those who have been waxing for years! 

With winter coming to an end and many people looking forward to their sunny Spring Break vacations this month, you might want to take these waxing facts into consideration before your next appointment. And if you're new to waxing, these pointers will help you have a much more manageable appointment. 

Make sure to follow these tips for an easier (and less painful!) waxing experience.

        Your waxing cycle (and that other cycle)...
  1. I recommend that you get your waxes done every 3 weeks. Why 3 weeks?  Because hair grows in different stages. When waxing is done every 3 weeks, the hairs are not allowed to finish their growth cycles and they start to catch up with each other in growth, making your hair take longer to start growing/showing again.  And, isn't that why you’re waxing in the first place?

  2. Because of the differing stages of hair growth, waxing hurts less on a regular schedule since there isn't as much hair to take. (This is the reason why it seems like waxing causes hair to get thinner.) Your hair doesn't actually get thinner -- there’s just less hair growing at a single time. Plus, with waxing, your hair follicle will grow back tapered, and not blunt like with shaving, so it looks thinner. Myths and slight pain aside, it’s a very worthwhile process.
  3. Your skin can be more sensitive from 5 days before to 5 days after your period.  However, there is absolutely NO reason to cancel your appointment if you've gotten your period!  Waiting a week or more, and therefore having more hair to wax, can hurt more than the slight increase in sensitivity during menstruation. 

    Let’s put it this way – if you've been to estheticians at salons who've told you not to come in for your appointment when you’re getting or have gotten your period, it’s either because they’re making more of the pain than is necessary or they’re grossed out. If they’re grossed out, they’re in the wroooong business!  Having said that, if you are especially sensitive during menstruation, like you have such bad PMS that you’re in bed or you don’t wear tampons, try to schedule your appointments around your ovulation time and get your wax done every  4 weeks.

    What to know before your appointment...
  4. The hair needs to be at least half an inch (half the length of your thumbnail) to be long enough for waxing.  There are those who say a quarter inch is sufficient, but waxing at this length can actually hurt more.
  5. If hair is the proper length BUT you've been shaving, it might hurt a bit more as all the hairs are blunt. Stop shaving at least 2 to 2-1/2 weeks before getting waxed. After 1 or 2 more times, the hairs will all be tapered, so it won’t hurt as much.
  6. You may have heard to take a pain reliever before your appointment, but keep a few things in mind: Aspirin and Ibuprofen work by thinning the blood, which can result in an increased chance of bleeding during your first wax, along with increased redness in the waxed area every time.  Most of my waxing clients who have taken a pain reliever swear by Ibuprofen. It’s entirely up to you. (If you’re more comfortable taking Tylenol, you’ll be fine either way.)  Take your pain reliever one half hour before your appointment.
  7. Exfoliating every time you shower with exfoliating gloves will allow the hair to slide more easily out of the follicle, which will get you a better result.
  8. Moisturizer is not necessary before waxing on most body parts, especially when it comes to the bikini line. Your perspiration really provides enough moisture there.  However, moisturizer is not a bad idea for legs and forearms, and it’s actually very helpful for the knees. Sometimes your body skin can be so dry that the wax sticks to the skin and it won’t come off easily. Using moisturizer the morning of your leg or arm waxing appointment actually makes the waxing process easier.

If you're prone to ingrown hairs, have sensitive body skin, or body breakout issues, make sure to check out my webshop for products that can help treat and prevent any further problems! You can learn more about how to properly exfoliate your body at AcneWhispererTV.  I hope these tips can help you have the best waxing experience at your next appointment, and a worry-free vacation!