DO'S AND DONT'S WAXING
1. Come prepared.
"Like brushing your teeth before you go to the dentist, come to your waxing appointment with clean, dry skin. And for best results, skip the lotion the day of your wax."
2. ...And come hairy.
"Stop shaving two to three weeks before you plan to get waxed. Your hair needs to be long enough to lie flat on your skin, which is approximately a quarter-inch long. If you're a 'shaver,' the tendency is for the hairs to grow back unevenly, since we can all miss a few patches here and there. The longer you wait after your last shave, the more you will reduce the chance of stubble after your wax. (This happens when hairs that are too short get waxed and aren't able to be effectively removed from the root.)"
3. If you're getting a bikini wax, make sure you're not on your period (or PMSing, for that matter):
"Generally, it is best to get a bikini treatment at least a few days before or after your period; the closer you get to your actual period, the more sensitive your body becomes and your immune system is lowered."
4. Take the edge off.
"If you tend to have a very low threshold for pain, try popping an Advil or Tylenol about 20 minutes before your treatment. If you find that you just get a little anxious, a nice glass of wine could do the trick. But, please note: Moderation is key, as alcohol thins the blood."
5. 48 hours of rest is best.
"For optimally smooth skin, allow your skin the time it needs after your wax. Avoid the 4 S's for the first couple of days: Sun, Sauna/Steam Room, Synthetics, and Sex. Here's why:
No Sun: During a waxing service, the top layers of your skin can be removed in the process, which can heighten your sensitivity to the sun and increase your chances of sunburn.
No Sauna/Steam Room: It's best to avoid extreme heat post treatment. Waxing can heat up the body, so cool it down afterward with a cold compress instead of a scalding hot shower.
No Synthetics: Wear looser clothing and natural fabrics, like cotton, so that skin can breathe easy as it calms down post treatment. Also, you may want to shy away from thongs to prevent added irritation after a freshly waxed bikini.
No Sex: This one may seem counterintuitive, but medical experts recommend abstaining from sexual activity for the first 48 hours after any type of bikini wax. This time period is when your body is most susceptible to outside bacteria that can potentially cause an infection, not to mention more sensitivity (and not the sexy kind)."
6. Get SET for your smoothest skin ever.
"Post-wax, remember the acronym SET, which stands for Soothe, Exfoliate, Treat.
Soothe: For the first two days post wax, if you experience irritation or prolonged redness, try applying a cold compress or a topical treatment. Also, be mindful to keep the area clean.
Exfoliate: Like brushing your teeth to prevent cavities, exfoliating on a daily basis is essential for helping to prevent ingrown hairs. After hair removal, dead upper layers of skin can build up and trap hairs. When these trapped hairs can't grow out, they grow back in, resulting in ugly bumps, which can be the early sign of ingrown hairs. For daily prevention, simply replace your washcloth with an exfoliating cloth and use in the shower with your favorite body wash.
Treat: As much as we try to prevent them, ingrowns can still happen as a result of tight clothing (e.g., leggings), the texture of your hair, and/or your skin type. Apply a topical exfoliating product daily after you get out of the shower (when your skin is most absorbent for soaking up product). Use it once a day for mild to moderate ingrowns, or twice a day for more severe and stubborn ones."
7. Keep at it.
"Schedule your waxing appointments about a month apart, exfoliate between visits, and don't shave for the best results! If you get your routine down pat, you'll find your waxes to also be less painful since the hair is typically at its ideal growth between weeks three and five. If you wait longer, the hair is longer and tends to make the removal process more intense."