Some of us remove unwanted hair every day, while some of us remove unwanted hair when we want to show a little more skin or clean up a little bit for an event. If you’re like me, you probably began removing unwanted hair at puberty using a razor and shaving cream, but chances are if this is you and most likely why you’re reading this post is you’re probably tired of wondering, “Did I remember to shave today?”
There are so many options for removing unwanted hair and it can be overwhelming when deciding which is best from you. If you’re like me, you probably started roaming the drug store aisles as a teenager looking for hair removal alternatives to shaving. Most likely, you realized you don’t have the strength to wax yourself and those other products just don’t work.
So, you keep on looking and stumble upon laser hair removal and waxing options. Though, we understand laser hair removal is not in everyone’s budget or will fit everyone’s lifestyle (however, it’s something we highly suggest looking into if your budget or lifestyle ever shifts to allow you to do so if you’re looking for longer lasting results), that’s where the second most cost-effective option comes in, known as waxing.
If you’ve never had a wax and are interested in incorporating it into your wellness routine or simply want to learn more, then stay with me here. I sat down with AgeLess SPA’s nail and skin manager to give you four things you should know before your first or next wax.
First, you have some homework to do
Yes, I said homework, but have no fear – it’s not calculus or anything (unless you’re into that then props to you). Prior to your wax appointment, hair growth on the area you want waxed should be about ¼- ½ “ long. You will typically see this length about two weeks after shaving, so plan accordingly and book a few weeks out in advance so the wax can catch the hair you want removed.
Additionally, it’s important to exfoliate a couple days prior to your appointment to help with ingrown hairs and decrease the amount of bacteria and dead skin cells in the desired wax area.
Lastly, it’s important to avoid retinoids and glycolic acids a week in advance because it thins the skin and makes the skin more prone to lifting (yes, we know, it may be hard to live without your IMAGE Skincare MD Retinol Cream for that long, but you can do it).
Second, your service provider will typically choose the right wax for you
I found this quite insightful as I never really knew the difference between hard and soft wax. Many service providers have a preference for the type of wax they use and with good reason. Our nail and skin manager prefers to use a lavender wax because lavender it’s soothing to the skin, making it a great option for sensitive skin and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. However, hard wax is great for sensitive skin and shorter coarse hair but doesn’t work well for fine hair (peach fuzz).
Third, let’s talk about the appointments after your initial appointment
You’re going to feel like a new person, maybe even like a beautiful naked mole rat (but in a good way), and feel liberated knowing you don’t have to worry about your unwanted hair growing back in an instant. However, it’s important to note results vary for each individual, but you will typically be ready for your next wax within four to six weeks. It all depends on the regrowth time and if you resisted the urge to use your razor during this time.
Fourth, you should know the maintenance that comes with waxing (aka more homework)
Think of this homework as an assignment you would get for summer break, like a book essay, prior to the new school year, but way easier and less stressful. After your wax, you will need to avoid sun exposure 24-48 hours, so plan accordingly if you’re heading to a sunny place. You will also need to wear sunscreen since freshly waxed skin is more likely to burn (but we know you’re already doing that anyway, right?).
Wax maintenance can easily fit into your schedule and self-care routine a couple times a week. You will need to exfoliate one to two times per week or use a topical product to prevent ingrown hairs (this varies on the individual, though), but it’s important to wait 24-48 hours to exfoliate as it will irritate your skin. If you don’t have a skincare routine already, it may be time to start making time for it. For example, my longer self-care routine involves more than just the daily cleansing and moisturizing. Every Sunday and Wednesday evening while I sip on some tea and unwind from the day, I do a more elaborate skin care routine, which involves exfoliating, use a masque, serums and retinol creams to maintain a nice glow.
It’s important to make the maintenance process fun and something you enjoy doing. Even though, its referred to as “homework” above, make this the homework you enjoy doing. Find an effective exfoliant you look forward to using because of the smell and the way it makes your skin feel. Also, find an effective moisturizer that makes your soul and skin happy when you use it, as this will need to be used after each exfoliation. If you’re interested in a more elaborate skin care routine like mine, one of our estheticians can consult you on what would work best for your skin and lifestyle. Remember, do what works for you and your skin.
When the time starts to roll around for your next wax, remember to complete the steps mentioned in the homework section above prior to any wax appointment.
Now, you’re ready for a wax!
There’s a good chance you didn’t realize you needed to do these things for a wax; I know I sure didn’t. I went years without knowing and dealing with ingrown hairs until I came to AgeLess SPA and was consulted by its educated team. However, this knowledge definitely made a difference in the way I take care of my skin, especially now that I am a regular when it comes to waxing.
– Rebecca Howe, Marketing Specialist