When it comes to hair removal, you have two main options: Long term hair removal options or short-term hair removal options. Long term hair removal can include treatments such as electrolysis, laser hair removal, and intense pulsed light therapy. Unfortunately, such treatments can be expensive and often take several sessions for results. Even then, results are long term, but not permanent. Shaving is a short-term alternative, but it is time consuming and can leave your legs with bumps and cuts. Waxing provides a middle ground solution – it is an affordable hair removal treatment that isn’t permanent, but does provide longer lasting results than shaving.
What happens during the waxing process?
Waxing is a process that can be used by both men and women. When performed in a salon, the area being waxed will be cleansed with a special lotion. More sensitive areas (such as the bikini line) will be sprinkled with talc to make wax removal easier and less painful. Using a wooden spatula, wax will then be applied to the treatment area. Strips of fabric will be placed over the wax and ripped off quickly by the beautician, removing the hair from the roots. The process will be repeated until all hair is removed from the area. Once hair free, a soothing lotion (usually a tea tree solution) will be applied to ease pain and soothe the skin.
There are two different types of waxing:
- Wax is removed using a cloth strip
- This type of wax sticks to your skin, so it is better for fine hair
- Best used for legs, eyebrows, and arm hairs
- Wax stiffens on the skin, allowing for quick removal.
- It sticks to the hairs, not your skin so it is better for coarser hair
- Not quite as painful as strip waxing
- Best used for underarms, bikini line, and male waxing
Is it painful?
Waxing removes the hairs from the root, and when ripped off, it can cause stinging and pain. Fortunately, the most painful part is during strip removal, and pain should subside shortly after removed.
What are the advantages of waxing?
- Large areas of hair can be removed in a short period of time
- Hairs grow back in finer and softer
- Waxing can remove hair for periods of up to 4-6 weeks
Which parts of the body can be waxed?
Waxing can be performed on almost any area of the body. With that being said, in order for waxing to be successful, hair must be a minimum of 0.75cm long. The most common parts of the body wax is used on include the legs, the arms, the bikini line (aka the Brazilian Wax), above the lip, the eyebrows, and the back and chest (for men).
Where can you go for a waxing treatment?
Waxing treatments are available at almost any salon or spa. If you are comfortable trying it on your own, you can also find your own at-home waxing kits.
Tips for a more successful treatment
- The week after your period your skin will be extra sensitive. Avoid waxing at this time
- Have a warm bath before heading for your appointment. It will help to open up the hair follicles
- Do not have a bath during the 24 hours after treatment
- Do not use any products on your skin after waxing. Your skin will be too sensitive
- Wear loose clothing to your appointment for comfort
- In between waxing sessions, exfoliate your skin often
- Always check to make sure the salon you are going to uses hygienic practices before letting them treat you
- Avoid activities that will make you sweat following treatment (exercise, swimming, saunas, sunbathing, etc).
- If your pain threshold is low, you can take parcetamol before treatment
Are there any risks to waxing?
While waxing can be painful, the pain is usually limited to the pull of the wax and is short-lived. Side effects can include redness, skin sensitivity, and sometimes bruising. With that being said, waxing is usually considered to be a safe practice.
Always be sure to test your skin beforehand to ensure that you do not have any allergies to ingredients within the wax. Waxing may also be unsuitable for those with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Those taking certain medications or those with acne may not be good candidates for waxing. Always be sure to discuss your medical concerns with your beautician before beginning a waxing treatment.