Let’s Talk About How Much Waxing Hurts
No one would dispute that waxing hurts, yet it’s one of the most efficient hair removal techniques with effects that last for three to eight weeks! Bikini and Brazilian waxes cause moderate to severe discomfort, according to over 80% of women. Why does something so common hurt so much?
When the wax strip is pulled off, it removes hair by the follicle beneath skin level. This triggers inflammation and activates pain nerves. Some areas with sensitive skin and dense nerve endings (ahem…bikini zone!) feel this more intensely. Pain tolerance varies too – what leaves your BFF screaming could be a breeze for you.
Your Skin Prep Playbook to Minimize Discomfort
Waxing works best when your skin is properly prepped. Exfoliating and hydrating skin regularly can mean less ouch! Here’s your game plan:
Time it Right
Schedule appointments 1-2 weeks after your period. Hormone changes make skin extra sensitive during menstruation, upping the pain scale. For similar reasons, avoid waxing if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Exfoliate Away Dead Skin
Gently scrubbing 1-2 days before removes dead cells so wax adheres mostly to hair not skin. Just don’t overdo it to avoid irritation! Loofahs, sugar scrubs, even a warm shower work.
Let Hair Grow In
Hair that’s too short won’t come out cleanly. Aim for 1/4 inch length. At the same time, don’t let it get so long that the wax can’t grip closer to the follicle. Finding the Goldilocks sweet spot takes some trial and error.
Drink lots of water and nix alcohol and caffeine for 2 days pre-wax. Well-hydrated skin is more pliable, less prone to redness and ingrowns. Dehydration tightens pores, making hair removal more painful.
Take OTC Pain Relievers
Pop an ibuprofen an hour before your appointment to dial down inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin work too. Check with your doctor first if pregnant, breastfeeding or have medical conditions.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Skip skin products with retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) a few days before. These increase skin’s sensitivity.
Be Wax-Smart During Your Session
You prepped your skin, now it’s time for the main event! Here are tips to make things smoother while waxing is happening:
Hard Wax for Sensitive Zones
Hard wax doesn’t stick to skin as much as soft wax. With smaller surface area, it hurts less on swimsuit zones and facial hair. The tradeoff is needing to apply multiple thin layers so hair is fully encapsulated.
Wax that’s too hot causes burns and skin lifting that feels like fire! Be sure your technician double checks the temperature is warm not scalding. Cold wax won’t remove hair properly either.
Breathe Through the Pain
As wax is applied, try deep breathing with long exhales. Tensing up intensifies the sting! Distract yourself by chatting with your aesthetician or playing games on your phone.
It Gets Better
First-timers have more intense pain but it lessens over time. After 2-3 waxing sessions, your body acclimates to the sensations. Hair also grows back finer and sparser. Stay consistent for best results!
Leave it to the Experts
Waxing at home seems easy from YouTube videos but risks skin damage if you DIY. Plus, aestheticians have tricks to minimize discomfort most novices don’t know. Trust their expertise!
Continue the TLC After Your Appointment
You made it through your wax in (mostly) one piece! Extend the self-care with proper after treatment:
Use lukewarm water to cleanse skin once home. Avoid hot showers or baths that irritate. Exfoliating washcloths are too harsh right now. Pat dry instead of rubbing.
Soothe and Hydrate
Slather on aloe-based gel and a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer. This calms inflammation and prevents dryness that emphasises stubble as hairs regrow.
Wear Loose Clothes
Tight waistbands, leggings or undergarments create friction against tender skin. Let waxed areas breathe for 24 hours before athletic activities too.
Avoid Heat and UV Exposure
Post-wax skin needs pampering! Skip saunas, steam rooms or hot tubs for 48 hours which may cause bacteria buildup. Protect fresh skin with SPF 30 too if heading outside.
It takes 4-6 waxing sessions for hair to get on the same growth cycle. Once it does, you’ll have less regrowth and pain between appointments!
Feel Confident and Fabulous
While waxing has its painful moments, don’t let that stop you from smooth, stubble-free skin! Now that you know how to play hurt-free offense before and defense after waxing, you can be beach beautiful all season. Just take a few precautions and the rest is smooth sailing – until your next wax anyway!