2018 · beauty

truth or bare: getting waxed

Earlier today, I took off my big girl panties and hopped on an esthetician’s bed and had my first ever Brazilian wax and, honestly, it really wasn’t bad.

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As a woman in today’s society, hair removal has almost always been a part of my life. I can still remember begging my mother to let me shave my legs in grade six when I was the only girl who didn’t. Since the first time I removed the hair from my knee down, the hair removal process has only gotten trickier: my hair, after 18+ years of shaving, is coarser than it once was, and my legs are long, my bikini line is sensitive, and shaving every day is annoying AF.

Hair removal is a pretty personal thing, from method preference to even feeling shame or embarrassment about how much (or little) body hair you have. The day we booked our trip to Florida was the day I decided I’d try my best to push all the horror stories of agony I’d heard out of my mind and get waxed – after years of shaving, using Nair, and dealing with razor bumps.

In the days and weeks leading up to my appointment, my anxiety grew almost as fast as my hair. (See also: I have never gone a full month without shaving. It was a struggle.) I chatted with friends who told me everything from It’s really not that bad to It’s worse than childbirth. To say I was a wreck the morning of my appointment would be an understatement.

Fortunately, it was all for nought and I’ve already happily rebooked an appointment in four weeks’ time with the same pro – Jessica H at WAXON Wax Bar in Halifax. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. If you’re thinking of getting waxed – no matter what part of your body – here are my best tips for making it as smooth (PUN INTENDED) as possible.

How to prep for your first wax:

  • Research before you book! Look for a reputable salon in your area, and/or ask for recommendations from friends.
  • Call the salon and ask any questions before you book as well. Waxing your body requires a certain hair length, so you can’t book today for wax tomorrow if your hair hasn’t grown out enough! Find out what the requirements are first, otherwise you risk a wasted trip which you may need to pay for.
  • Two Days Before: 
    • If you visit tanning salons or are tanning outdoors, time to stop! A sunburn = you can’t wax.
    • Exfoliate the area well, and moisturize your skin. Exfoliating will help remove any dead skin holding your hair in place, making it easier to remove, and moisturizing, similarly, helps with hair release. Plus both of these practices help your skin look and feel better anyway!
  • The Day Of:
    • Have a warm or hot shower or bath before your appointment to wash the area, but also open your pores. This, again, helps with hair removal.
    • Gently exfoliate (think: a warm facecloth) the area.
    • 30-45 minutes before your appointment, pop a couple of your preferred painkillers (I use Tylenol) and drink a nice big glass of water. Well-hydrated skin = happier skin.
    • If you plan to use a numbing cream, apply 20-25 minutes before your appointment.
    • Wear cotton panties and loose pants (or a dress) to avoid anything rubbing your freshly waxed skin. No one likes irritation!

What to expect:

  • You might feel uncomfortable being undressed in front of a stranger. Fortunately, after all my cervical dysplasia nonsense and having a baby, having someone stare at my lady parts just ain’t no thang anymore. Remember: Estheticians are professionals who do this every. single. day. Your hair situation is nothing they haven’t seen before.
  • Nervousness, particularly if it’s your first time. Your esthetician should explain the process to you, and will work with you to manage your nerves, pain tolerance, and meet your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Delightfully warm wax! The wax actually feels very nice when it’s applied. The removal is quick and, though not painless, it shouldn’t be terribly painful. Your esthetician may press his or her hand against the area the wax was removed from to help soothe the pain. I promise, it doesn’t linger.
  • Tenderness, redness, and a few spots. My esthetician warned me I’d be a little tender and experience a few spots – that’s normal. Since she was actually amazing, I’m pleased to have very little of any of these.
  • Hair-free bod! Need I say more?

Aprés Wax:

  • Before you leave, be sure to ask your esthetician about aftercare. WAXON has its own products which were recommended to me to help ward off ingrown hairs. I grabbed the lemonrazz loofah scrub as well as the PrinceReigns serum. The loofah smells AMAZING and the serum feels really, really good on your skin and can conveniently also be used post-shave!
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid sex, working out, tight clothing, and hot baths or showers for at least 24 hours to allow your skin to heal.
  • Wear loose clothing or go bare, if you so choose, to avoid friction and irritation that can cause bumps and soreness.
  • Actually follow the aftercare instructions you were given – the pros know! Exfoliate your skin 24 hours after your wax, and three times a week after that to stay ingrown-hair free.

So, tell me: What’s your preferred hair removal?

(Oh, and btw, this post is not sponsored and I am in no way affiliated with WAXON Wax Bar – I’m just a very happy, hair-free client.)

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