While the urge to shave or trim just before an appointment is real – don’t. Step away from the scissors. If you want your hair ripped out from the root (trust us, you do) you’ll need to have a minimum of 3-4 weeks’ growth from your last wax, or 2-3 weeks from your last shave. If you’re not used to measuring your bodily hair (fair enough), don’t fret – your therapist will trim it down if it’s a little on the long side, before getting to work with the wax.
Depending on what and where, you can expect to be trotting out silky smooth in well under an hour. Small areas, such as underarms, can be done and dusted in as little as 5 mins. For a full Hollywood or Brazilian wax, an appointment will take around 30 minutes, depending on the length. Full legs will also take around 30 mins. If you’re after an intimate wax, but are strapped for time (or it’s a lunch break situ) choose the standard bikini wax. This one removes stragglers and neatens up around the edges, so set aside around 15 minutes, and you’ll still have time to grab a sandwich.
When it comes to legs, arms, and underarms – it's pretty self-explanatory: half-leg covers the knees and below, full leg covers your thighs too (etc., etc.). Intimate waxing, though, can seem a bit of a minefield in terms of 'styles'. From au naturel to all gone – there’s a ‘look’ for everyone. Ultimately, whatever style you feel comfortable with (or whether to wax or not at all), is up to you. If you are landscaping, here’s the rundown of styles: The Hollywood is all off, front and back; A Brazilian leaves a single strip of hair down the front-mid section; the standard bikini wax removes stray hairs peeping out the knicker line; the Californian goes a bit further into the bikini line. And breathe. That age-old mantra ‘you do you’ stands; your body, your decision.
If you're opting for legs or arms, you'll only have to expose the area in question – so it's worth considering this in your choice of clothing. If you're going full intimate, you will need to strip down a little more – but don't worry. Here's what will go down so you know exactly what to expect.
Firstly, your therapist will leave you in privacy to undress from the waist down. Don’t worry about the birthday suit, if you’re not feeling comfortable, remember – your therapist is only concerned with doing a good job, not passing judgement. But, if you’d rather stay covered, ask for a pair of disposable pants, and they’ll work around. Post-wax, for the comfort of your nether regions, we’d suggest wearing the biggest, most comfortable cotton pants you own. Gladly. Loose-fitting clothing helps ease post-wax irritation.
Hot wax? How hot? Sugar? Okay, let’s clarify – hot wax is traditionally used for the bikini area because it minimises ingrown hairs, breakage, and, supposedly, pain – the heat opens up the hair follicles. Strip wax is also used on the bikini area, but is best for quick wax areas, like legs or underarms. If you’re prone to sensitive skin, then sugaring could be the answer you’re looking for: its three organic ingredients – lemon juice, water and sugar – are gentle on the skin (FYI, it’s a little more specialist, so you’ll need to book a ‘sugaring’ appointment if that’s what you’re after).
There are a few pre and post wax dos and don’ts, but above all else, leave the fake tan alone for 24 hours. Straight after a wax, your hair follicles are wide open, so you’ll fill them right up with that bottled glow if you whip the mitt out. Save that fake-sunning (and, therefore your follicles) until the next day. To make sure you don’t further aggravate freshly waxed skin, avoid hot baths, showers, steam and anything else that gets your temperature up. Yes, that includes your HIT class; sweaty skin and super tight Lycra are not your friends post-wax, so head home a chill. Got to love a real excuse.
Trying to shave around a baby bump isn’t easy, so a professional wax is a totally safe, contortion-free option. Or you could leave your hair to grow. Also fine. If you do opt for a wax, remember that your skin will be more sensitive than usual (more blood flowing to that area, and extra hormones in the bod), so if you’re not showing yet, let your therapist know you’re pregnant. At the end, ask for a soothing lotion to help calm any post-wax swelling or redness. Just let your therapist know what’s comfortable position-wise, and they’ll get you (and your plus one) neatened up in no time.
Yes you can! It’s worth remembering though, like during pregnancy, you’re more sensitive to pain during your period (see reasons above). A painkiller or two (doctor approved) half an hour before your appointment will help with that. Your therapist won’t mind if you have a tampon in during your wax, but it’s good idea to let them know and insert a fresh one just before your appointment. Your body temperature rises during your period, so if you’re feeling a little sticky, your therapist will happily dole out a wipe.
It’ll depend where you book, but on average in London, for a Hollywood or Brazilian, you can pay about £30-£40. If that sounds like a lot, think economies of scale i.e. a wax will keep you hair free for up to four weeks and save you a lot of valuable time, should you choose to get rid of hair. For a bikini wax, you’re looking at a little less, on average £20. Full legs can be around £20-£40, and arms between £10-£20.Book a wax
Everything you ever wanted to know about waxing, answered
So, you fancy a wax? Whether you’re a first-time waxer or a seasoned pro, it can be a daunting experience – but don’t fret. Sure, a stranger is about to get pretty up close and personal, and might even see you in the buff (depending on what you’re waxing, of course). Honestly, though, they’ve seen it all before (and there’s no judgement around these parts). If that’s not enough to allay your fears, this will: our answers to the most FAWQs (frequently asked wax queries). Practical tips to minimise stress, so instead of tensing up while on the salon bed, you can muse on what you’ll do tonight.
By Danielle Petch
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