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Waxing: The honest truth!

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Ok... so we all think we know what waxing feels like, what the therapist will do and how much it hurts. Do you? Really?

The number of times I have had people in the salon saying that their friends have told them it will be excruciating agony, I lose count. When asked if their friends have ever had anything waxed before, the answer is always the same. NO! So how do they know what is involved or what the sensation is like?

There are a few rules to being waxing and a few myths to dispel... so that’s what I hope I can do in this article.

• Most importantly, waxing is a way of pulling hair from the hair follicle – it is not going to be pain free. It also shouldn’t be excruciating!If it is, then you may want to try another experienced therapist or try another technique for hair removal.

• Also, the hair growth does NOT grow back thicker, stronger, and darker or anything else abnormal to your own hair growth! If it did no one would ever wax anything!! In fact, with continuous waxing the hairs are encouraged to become sparser and grow slower.

• There are various ways to wax hairs and the most commonly found are strip/warm waxing or non strip/hot waxing. Other forms of hair removal are available, but that is another article!

• What’s the difference?

 As the names suggest one is removed with a strip of paper or fabric and the other is removed by pulling the wax itself. Strip waxing is quick and ideal for large areas like the legs, chest and back. For extreme / intimate areas and facial areas it is often recommended to use non strip / hot wax as it is more comfortable and leaves less of a reaction which is great for the face! This is down to personal choice though, so try them both and make your own decision.

Ok, let’s look at the most commonly asked questions:

• Why get waxed?

For many reasons – including hygiene, fashion and improved love life!

• Who gets waxed?

Women and men of a wide age range are now regulars in the beauty salon and they come from all professions. There is no stereotypical client. If you don’t like the hair – remove it!

• How long should the hair be before waxing?

It should be NO shorter than a grain of rice. So for most people this is around 2 weeks from the last shave or depilation. But again, others may find it is a little over a week! If you are having extreme/intimate waxing then it is advisable to trim very long hairs prior to the appointment.

• How often should waxing be done?

It is usually recommended that repeat appointments are made about 4 weeks apart for the first 4 appointments. You often find after that you may be able to leave slightly longer between appointments, but remember everyone is different and some people have a quicker hair growth than others, so don’t compare yourself to friends.

• How long will the results last?

Again, Everyone is different, although in most cases you will see a minimal regrowth during the first 3 weeks and then a noticeable increase after that. Again, continued waxing will promote slower regrowth over time.

• What happens in a treatment?

The area to be waxed needs to be clean but not moisturised, as the wax will slide over the barrier it has created. The area to be waxed needs to be uncovered. Don’t be shy, an experienced therapist has seen it all before and is a professional. Please be aware that the wax is warm, but it shouldn’t be too hot – please inform the therapist if it feels too hot as the temperature may need to be adjusted for your treatment again, everyone is different, therefore, each treatment is different! The wax is applied using either a disposable wooden spatula, metal spatula or a tube of wax with disposable applicator. Once applied a fabric or paper strip is applied, rubbed down and then removed, quickly and proficiently. The hairs will be on the wax strip. This is continued over the entire area and then a soothing lotion or oil is applied.

• What is extreme / intimate waxing?

This term is often used for the more daring bikini line waxes that are available now. They come in all sorts of varieties and have many names. The most common you have probably heard of are the Brazilian and the Hollywood. So what do they remove? A Brazilian leaves just a thin strip of hair on the pubic mound and all hair from the labia is removed and also following round to the butt crack. A Hollywood is the removal of all hair, front and back. There are other variations including the LA Strip, G String or Thong, High Leg and Playboy. If you’re not sure always ask BEFORE the therapist starts as we can’t put the hair back once it’s removed!

• To have extreme / intimate waxing, do I need to bare all?

In a nutshell – yes. Most therapists will ask you to remove clothing from the waist down, so you’ll need to leave your modesty at the door. You really can’t work around bits of fabric and it all gets a bit messy! It’s a little like trying to have your hair done with your hat on!

• Is male waxing different to female waxing?

For the majority of male waxing it is carried out in exactly the same way. This includes chest, back, underarms, forearms, top of the arms and legs. If you are wanting male extreme / intimate waxing then a specialist waxer MUST be found. The technique is different to doing female extreme / intimate waxing. If an untrained therapist attempts male waxing with the wrong techniques the injuries can be severe, from ripped skin to severe bruising. Please ensure you find a professional male waxer.

• What do I need to do after the treatment?

For 24 hrs after you’ve been waxed, avoid sun, deodorant, really hot showers / baths, chlorinated pools, solariums, spas and saunas as these will irritate the skin. Remember that your skin will now have open hair follicles and be open to picking up airborne bacteria – the most common way to pick up an after wax reaction – so keep the area covered for 24 hours. Use a dry brush, exfoliator or body scrub after two days, then two or three times a week after that. Keep your skin moisturised well. There are many good after wax creams available that help with reducing ingrown hairs and reducing hair growth – ask your therapist.

The main piece of advice I would give to anyone is to check that their therapist is qualified, experienced and actually does the wax treatment you want. There are many stories of clients asking for a Brazilian and getting a basic knicker line wax because the therapist isn’t comfortable or trained to go any higher!

So with summer on it’s way (we hope!) and waxing becoming more popular than ever, why not take the plunge and give it a try! You never know, you may even enjoy it!

Coming soon to Absolute Beauty

Non-Strip Wax for female extreme waxing.

Trained by Kim Lawless, Wax Queen.