Summer is around the corner which means it’s time to focus on body hair removal. There are many ways to remove body hair, but this article will focus on waxing. Waxing can be performed on any part of the face or body, with the exception of the head. When done regularly, you can expect to be hair free from 2-3 weeks after a wax, with regrowth typically being thinner and sparser the more you wax.
What happens during a hair removal treatment?
The area is first cleansed. A warm wax is then applied in strips to the area of hair removal and quickly pulled off to remove the hair from the hair follicle. There are many different types of waxes, but they fall into two different categories – hard or soft wax. With hard wax, an oil is applied to the skin so that the wax is easier to remove. The wax is allowed to harden, and then pulled off. Hard wax is usually used for coarse hair. Soft wax does not harden. It is applied to a cleansed area and a strip of fabric is pressed onto the wax and pulled off quickly. This wax is generally used for fine to medium hair and large areas of the body. After all of the hair is removed from the area being waxed, the area is cleansed again, and a soothing gel, such as aloe, is applied.
How to prepare for a hair removal treatment
My guidelines for the best hair removal results are:
- Do not shave, wax or tweeze for four weeks prior to a wax. This allows all of the hairs to be out and long enough to be waxed. I have a lot of clients argue that their hair grows very fast and will be long enough after two weeks. This might be the case, but they also will have hairs right below the surface, ready to pop out, so they will likely have stubble or regrowth soon after their wax. By letting hair grow for four weeks, most people will have no hair above the surface for two to three weeks – plenty of time to enjoy a vacation without having to shave.
- Use a light exfoliant on the area to be waxed. This can be a granular scrub or mild loofah. By doing this, you will be getting rid of the dead skin buildup in the area so hairs will pop out easier and there will be less irritation and chance for ingrown hairs.
- Skin should not be exposed to direct sunlight or a tanning bed for at least 24 hours prior to waxing.
- Try to relax – yes pulling hair out of your body by the roots does hurt, but if done correctly, the pain in minimal and it is over as soon as the wax is pulled off. When people are tense, tired, experiencing PMS or ill they experience more pain. If you come in for a wax feeling well, with a relaxed attitude, it is over quickly, with very little discomfort.
- Many clients ask about OTC pain relievers or numbing creams. It has been my experience that neither really help that much, but if it makes you feel more comfortable you can do that.
Who should not have hair removal
- People on Accutane and Differen
- Retin A users should discontinue using in the area to be waxed for five days prior to waxing
- Coumadin and Warfarin users can be easily bruised
- People undergoing cancer treatments
- People with an active herpes outbreak
- Sunburned skin
- Waxing cannot be done over open lesions
Follow up care
- Keep the area clean and bacteria free for 24 hours after hair removal
- Wear loose fitting clothes the day of your wax.
- Do not tan for 24 hours after hair removal
- Do not swim in a chlorinated pool, spa or sauna for 24 hours
- Avoid lotions, other than aloe vera for 12 hours
- Avoid touching the area to reduce bacteria
- Avoid sweating or friction in the waxed area for 12 hours
- Follow any other after care provided – if you typically experience ingrown hairs, a product like Tend Skin may be recommended to prevent them.
- After three days, begin gently exfoliating the area to prevent ingrown hairs
While there seems to be a lot of do’s and dont’s, by the time people are checking out from their appointment, they don’t feel like anything has been done. For most people, once the wax has been pulled out, there is no discomfort. Dare to be bare this summer.