9 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Waxed
Getting waxed doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. It’s simply a matter of prepping yourself beforehand both mentally and physically, so you can get the best results possible. If you’re thinking about getting something waxed, no matter the body part you’re going for — be it your back, arms, chest, or eyebrows — you’ll want to do a few things before and after it happens.
1. Ease your mind, you’re not alone
You’re not alone in wanting to get waxed. “There’s no question that I’ve seen a surge in men coming in for waxing by at least 25 percent in just the last year,” says Lidia Tivichi, a clinical esthetician who specializes in men’s grooming and founder of Maris Dusan Spa in New York City, to Men’s Fitness. Another reason for the surge in manscape waxing is actually more obvious than you’d think: Many men have been more open to the idea of getting waxed because the women in their lives have encouraged them “to clean up,” says Tivichi.
2. Do not go drunk or tipsy
If you think that going for your wax appointment tipsy or drunk will ease the pain, you would be incorrect. In fact, it actually tightens your pores, which can lead to an extra painful wax experience, says Uni K Wax founder Noemi Grupenmager to the Huffington Post. As an extra piece of advice, Grupenmager also advises against shaving in between waxes. If you’re going to be spending all that money for a wax, shaving out of laziness can reverse all the benefits from waxing, including that smooth skin that comes from the hair being ripped out by the root.
3. Make sure your hair is the right length
In order for the wax to grip the hair, it needs to be right length — not too short that it defeats the purpose of it and not too long (which can make it more painful). Ideally, make sure your hair is ¼-inch long, says waxer and lead aesthetician Leyda Quintero of Bliss Spa Soho.
4. Exfoliate and prepare your skin
Getting your skin ready for the actual physical pull of the wax is incredibly important because there’s going to be a lot of ripping and pulling that can cause irritation. GQ recommends you start with washing your skin with a ph-balanced soap like Cetaphil’s 3-in-1 Active Antibacterial Bar, which will rid your skin of any germs so there’s no problem with the wax. Afterward, you’ll need to exfoliate to rid your skin of dead skin cells that can clog your pores and also cause ingrowns with a salicylic acid scrub, like this one from Jack Black. Finish with a moisturizer, and you’re ready to visit your waxer.
5. Take an ibuprofen
A better alternative to a shot of tequila before your wax to ease the pain? Pop an Advil right before your appointment or your choice pain reliever. Quintero tells Well & Good that you should do “anything that will make the skin less inflamed” because you’re going to need it.
6. Consider what you wear there
Take it from Steve Carell when he got his chest waxed in The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Don’t wear a light shirt that’s bound to show some post-wax blood. Sure, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you may want to wear looser-fitting and darker clothing, because your skin may feel sensitive and irritated after the wax.
7. Avoid working out before and after
There’s only one time when working out is discouraged, and it’s before and after you have a wax. “[Sweat] may interfere with the wax adhering to the hair. Working out right after may cause an adverse reaction to your freshly waxed skin. We recommend waiting 24 to 48 hours [before hitting] the gym, especially if you are new to waxing. You want to keep the area clean to avoid irritation,” says Melanie Gilliland, European Wax Center’s chief wax expert and educator and a licensed esthetician, to the Huffington Post.
8. Soothe irritation
If you find that your skin is irritated, apply a 1% hydrocortisone cream to any red areas, which will help to calm inflammation, reduce redness, and soothe itchiness. The yank of the wax strip can cause the roots to inflame your skin. “Since coarse and thick hairs are more stubborn to remove, you’ll probably experience more redness in areas where they grow,” says dermatologist Lydia Evans to Real Simple.
9. Don’t forget to schedule your next wax appointment
Hair removal expert Naomi Torres recommends that you wax every two to four weeks after your first appointment for at least a couple of times afterward. As time goes on, the time in between waxes will depend on how noticeable your hair is as it grows back in. Torres says the average time between appointments can be anywhere between three to eight weeks.