A bikini or Brazilian wax doesn’t sound like a walk in the park. In fact, for many people, it sounds like torture. Have you seen “The 40-Year-Old Virgin?” Yikes. That whole waxing scene could only be made worse if it took place in more sensitive areas of the body. Scheduling a wax means being ready to face your fears, a true sign of bravery.
One of the best ways to face your fears and to alleviate any pain is to be prepared. There are risks and inconveniences associated with waxes, so it’s best to know just how to handle those before stepping into the salon or laying on the table. Here are nine things to know that will take the fear (or some of it) out of your first bikini wax.
There needs to be hair down there.
Remember, you’re doing this to avoid shaving. Shaving beforehand not only defeats the purpose, but it can also make the waxing experience longer, more painful, and more difficult.
According to Good Housekeeping, your hair should be about 1/4 of an inch long so that your waxer can adequately grasp it and remove it.
If you want, you can trim, but just make sure that you don’t go overboard.
Take some Ibuprofen along with you.
Whether or not you have a high pain tolerance, it’s best to come prepared. Ibuprofen, Advil, or other over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease the soreness and shock of the wax, especially for first-timers.
BuzzFeed recommends that you take medicine about 30 minutes before your wax.
If you prefer spirits over supplements, many wax studios offer champagne or wine to guests in order to calm their nerves.
You’ll want to wear a loose pair of sweatpants or joggers.
Most likely, you’re going to be sore afterward, especially if it’s your first time. The only thing worse than this general soreness is putting on a tight pair of leggings or jeans on top of that. In fact, wearing a pair of skinny jeans can actually cause a rash.
“Waxing opens your pores and makes the area more sensitive than usual,” Imani Faris, the owner of Washington D.C.’s Beauty and the Beast, told Woman’s Day.
If you can, go commando under the sweats. If not, just try wearing a pair of loose-fitting underwear in order to avoid any sweat or oils getting trapped in your open pores.
Don’t forget to exfoliate.
You’re going to need to lightly exfoliate a day or two before your wax. This doesn’t mean scrubbing at your downstairs with excessive force, but it does mean softly using a gentle scrub to help minimize the amount of dead skin, oil, or clogged pores.
According to the Bella Sante Day Spa, a rough washcloth is ideal, but remember that exfoliating can leave the skin sensitive, so be careful.
Skip the lotion before and after your wax.
Now, you might think that the key to a successful wax is using lotion at every step of the way. Moisture seems like the key to healing any painful, open pores. This is partially correct, but don’t bust out your favorite lotions quite yet.
Before a wax, you can moisturize, but don’t do it too close to your appointment. As Gurl.com points out, that will only make the hairs harder for your waxer to grasp and create a tough barrier between your hairs and the wax itself. Lotion up the night before as opposed to the day of.
After your appointment, it might seem as though the soothing nature of lotion is the perfect cure to the soreness and redness down there. Nope. Nope. Nope. Heavy lotions will only clog your pores, making them inflamed and irritated. According to Allure, it’s best to keep it light and natural as opposed to creamy and thick.
You won’t be able to work out for a day or two.
If you’re the kind of person who needs to work out every day or who has workouts scheduled, it might be best to rearrange your plans before your wax. Sorry, gym lovers, but hitting the treadmill or breaking a sweat is a pretty bad thing to do after a wax.
“For bikini waxing, it’s best to wait at anywhere from 24 to 48 hours before you start working out” Holly Green, owner of Norabloom Botanicals & Beauty Lounge, told Women’s Health. “Brazilian treatments for example, can be hard on the skin, so it’s wise to give skin a break for a short period of time … To help speed up the healing process, use cool stones, ice packs, and aloe gel, as they close up the open follicles and reduce swelling.”
Things might look a little off the next day.
Let’s be blunt here: it may or may not look red, swollen, and bumpy. Know that this is normal and you shouldn’t be freaking out or regretting your decision.
According to Glamour, the best way to get things back to normal is to follow the proper aftercare routine. This means skipping the gym, saying no to spray tans, avoiding the sun, and lightly exfoliating about 48 hours later.
If you’re thinking of hitting the beach or having sex that day, it’s best to just say no. Both activities increase the risk of infection. Also, you’re probably not going to feel (or look) up to either of those things.
Yes, you should tip.
In most salon situations, it’s best to tip the normal 15% to 20%. In the case of a wax, it’s best to think big and tip up.
Cosmopolitan recommends tipping your waxer after 3% more than you would another customer service professional. Think 18% to 23% of the total cost. This person has just done a pretty big service and they deserve every penny.
And yes, it’ll hurt.
You’re probably wondering about the pain level of waxing. Is it exaggerated? Does it really hurt that bad?
Unfortunately, it hurts. Luckily, it tends to be at its worst the first time.
One Cosmo writer said that it hurt as much as her first tattoo. Personally, I found that it didn’t hurt as bad in certain areas as it did in others. Your pain tolerance is a personal thing, so it may be a breeze (uh, lucky you!) or it could be excruciating.
One of the best ways to alleviate some pain is to look into the salon, checking out reviews on Yelp or Google. If customers mention a good sense of bedside manner or that the waxers communicate then that might help ease you along, especially your first time.
Categories: Beauty Advise