Whether you shave, sugar, thread or epilate, one thing is given: you definitely want its effects to last. That is why waxing is one of my favourite ways to remove fuzz, because it keeps me smooth and stubble free for weeks. However, there are weeks when I find myself rushing and have no time to book a treatment, let alone wait for my turn at the salon or spa. I used to turn to my trusty old razor, but I learned to do a DIY wax job instead.
If you are in the same situation, you may want to do the same thing. Although a little bit painful, waxing keeps you stubble free for weeks without the risk of getting nicks or razor burns. Going DIY saves you time and cash, which is great if you are always on the go or want to save some extra money.
What you should know, however, is that the process is a far cry from your razor-in-the-shower routine. It takes a little bit of technique and skill, so you don’t end up frustrated with dried-up hard wax that won’t come off no matter how hard you pull. To help you achieve smooth skin, here are some “do”s and “don’t”s to keep in mind before, during and after the wax.
Before The Wax
Do start with your legs, especially if it is your first time. Doing legs first gives you a good view of everything. Do not, under all circumstances, start with the bikini line. It’s not a good place to experiment with, trust me.
Do know how to handle the pain. I like to slather on tooth numbing cream at least an hour before waxing, as it helps to ease the pain. You can also take aspirin at least 30 minutes prior to the procedure. Another thing I recommend is to avoid drinking coffee and smoking. Caffeine and nicotine heightens your sensations and makes you more receptive to pain.
Don’t moisturize your skin prior to waxing. Wax works best on clean, clear and dry skin. Wash and soap the area well, dry it and soak up excess oil and moisture with baby powder.
Do keep your pores open by showering or washing with warm water. Having your pores open makes pulling hair out from the root easier and less painful.
Do exfoliate the skin before waxing, since it helps remove dead skin cells, dirt and grime. I get best results when I exfoliate and take a warm shower before waxing.
Do wait for hair to grow before waxing. Hair should be around 4mm – no matter where it is on your body. This length is enough for the wax to hold on too, but not too long as it may cause breakage and more pain.
Don’t pull at the same area more than three times as doing so will increase the risk of irritation and ingrown hair.
After The Wax
Don’t forget to apply pressure to help with the pain. Press on the area with your hand for a couple of seconds immediately after waxing. The pressure and the coolness of your hand will feel soothing and lovely.
Do avoid heat for at least two days after waxing. Taking a quick hot shower is fine, but make sure to stay away from strenuous or long exercises, hot baths, saunas, Jacuzzis and hot yoga. These sources of heat can burn your skin and irritate the waxed area even further.
Do take care of the area after waxing, which means that you should keep the area clean for the next 12 to 24 hours. You can use a soothing cream, antiseptic or anti-bump solution on the area right after waxing to reduce the chances of developing ingrown hair. You can then get back your normal exfoliating and moisturizing routine within the next few days after waxing.
Don’t shave. If you find yourself between wax sessions and do not have enough hair growth for a DIY treatment, you may be tempted to shave instead. Experts recommend that you avoid shaving as it encourages thick hair growth. In the event that you really need to remove hair, try using hair removal cream or an epilator instead.
Some Things To Remember
Don’t expect the same results as a professional job. After all, it’s called a professional job because it is done by people who are trained to do what they do. Waxing is their job and they do it day in and day out. They know what to do with those little stubbles that won’t come off after several strips, which they usually remove by threading or pulling. So while you may be able to immediately do away with fuzz, don’t stress if you miss some spots or can’t get to every nook and cranny.
Lastly, when in doubt, leave the difficult stuff to the professionals. You may want to try something on your bikini line or wax your whole legs, but it’s best to leave the tricky areas to the professional. Sure, you can do some work on your legs and do a little bit of maintenance on the underarms and the bikini areas, but you may want to leave eyebrow shaping, mustache waxing, Vajazzles and Brazilians to the experts.