10 Things Waxers Won't Tell You
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Wax On1 of 11
By Meghan Rabbitt for Woman's Day
You'd think that the woman who sees you at your most vulnerable—you know, when you're bottomless and spread eagle—would be totally forthcoming with you. Not so. The woman wielding the wax stick may neglect to mention how to minimize pain or inwardly chuckle when you let too much time go by between appointments. Keep reading for tips to make getting smooth go more smoothly.
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Rush Hour2 of 11
Unlike facials, massages and manicures, treatments you want to last and last, waxing appointments are intentionally fast-paced. "I'm not trying to be rude," says Imani Faris, owner of Beauty and the Beast, a waxing boutique in Washington, DC. "Getting waxed—no matter how skilled the waxer—isn't pain-free, so we want to make it go quickly for you."
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Patchy Work3 of 11
If you wax a large body part, there's a good chance that every single hair won't be removed "because of the volume of hair that has to come out," Faris says. Speak up if you see a missed patch, but stay hydrated to up the chances of waxing success, recommends Marie Smith, manager and head waxer at Ten 20 Waxing Salon in Boulder, CO. "When you're dehydrated, your pores hold onto hair for dear life and snap when that wax strip is pulled off rather than coming out at the root," she explains.
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Training Day4 of 11
At waxing boutiques, odds are all estheticians are trained. But at a hair salon, chances are higher of getting someone who isn't as experienced—or even certified. "While there are laws requiring estheticians have a license, some salons have anyone do a quick wax," admits Kat, a hairstylist in Long Island, NY. If your waxer is out and you land a fill-in, ask her, 'How long have you been waxing?' to get quality results, Smith suggests.
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Come Clean5 of 11
"A stuffy or runny nose is distracting when I'm waxing someone's brows or lip," says Kat, so blow your nose beforehand. And use the baby wipe on the table before your bikini wax, recommends Smith. "While you may think you got a good wipe after you last went to the bathroom, there could be some leftover toilet paper—or worse." Smith also recommends showing up for a bikini wax freshly showered—and not for your waxer's sake. "If you're sweaty, the wax is less likely to stick, so it'll take longer,” she says. "Worse, sweat can raise the wax's temperature and burn you."
Waiting Game6 of 11
Since no one looks forward to getting waxed, most people want to sneak an appointment into their day, which means lunchtime and early evening are prime times. "When we get busy, it's easy to get behind—which means you're going to wait a while," says Faris. The best time to schedule an appointment? Mid-morning, mid-afternoon, weekends and Mondays. "Since you're red and sensitive a day or two after a bikini wax, many women go on Wednesday or Thursday so they're good for the weekend," she says.
Great Pains7 of 11
Don't wait too long between appointments. "The longer you go, the more hair you'll have and the thicker it'll be," says Faris. "It's going to hurt more and take longer." And don't schedule a wax during the week before your period, says Faris. "The pain is worse and hair growth tends to increase then—so your wax job won't last as long." Lastly, consider scheduling first-thing-in-the-morning appointments. "Anticipation is the worst part of getting waxed," says Smith, "so if you're squeamish, you don't want to dread an appointment all day long."
Bad Jeans8 of 11
"Waxing opens your pores and makes the area more sensitive than usual," says Faris. Wearing too-tight pants afterward can cause a rash, so dress in your baggiest pants and go commando if you feel comfortable doing so. At the very least, wear extra-loose pajama bottoms and skip undies while you sleep after your bikini wax.
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Blood Work9 of 11
Since each hair follicle is connected to a little blood vessel, you may see a blood droplet when hair is ripped out, says Smith. This is more likely to happen in tight-pore areas, such as your underarms or around the labia if you're getting a Brazilian. You're also more likely to bleed if you're a waxing virgin. "When the hair has never been pulled before, it can resist coming out," says Faris. To avoid this, gently exfoliate before getting waxed; it'll loosen hairs from follicles so wax can grab them more easily.
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Oh, Man10 of 11
"Men are coming in for Brazilians in record numbers," says Smith. And the next time you bust out your Lamaze breathing when you're lying on the table, just think how much coarser most men's pubic hair is—and know that getting waxed hurts more for them than for us. "How do men react to the pain compared to women? They're big babies!" confesses Faris.
Hot in Here11 of 11
You know that pot of hot wax sitting in the room? Most estheticians trust it's the right temp rather than checking it throughout the day. "We have to keep wax at a certain temperature to keep out bacteria," explains Smith, but, admits Kat, "I've seen women get burned." If you're worried, mention it to your esthetician, suggests Smith. Ask for a little wax on top of your hand, so you can feel how warm it is before it's slathered on other parts.