If you’re anything like us, before a holiday, you’re thinking about how many beauty treatments you can justify rather than yknow, getting any currency changed up or making sure your passport’s up to date. A wax before you jet off will mean you don’t need to worry about packing a razor, but do make sure you wax a minimum of 24 hours before you spray tan. If you wax too closely to your tanning appointment, the hair follicles won’t have time to close properly, and you’ll be left with a polka dot effect – not cute. If you can wait 48 hours, even better, but to be on the safe side, have a (brief!) cold shower before tanning just to give your pores a chance to close.
If you’re thinking, ‘No problem! I’ll just tan before I wax’ – well, not so fast. Waxing spray-tanned skin will result in what we like to call ‘the zebra effect’ – because you’ll look stripey. The wax will not only pull out hairs; it’ll also remove some of top layer of your skin. Meaning that beautiful tan you just had painstakingly applied is coming right off. Wax, wait, tan is the Treatwell mantra. Follow it, thank us later.
If you do find bikini waxing especially painful (a word of advice from a waxing veteran: it really does get less painful over time as the hairs grow back much weaker and patchier, trust us), then try and avoid booking a wax just before your period. Of course, sometimes there will be diary clashes, but in the days leading up to your period, your whole pelvic area will be much more tender. Minimise the sensitivity by booking at least a week ahead of your cycle – plus, that day or two before your period is prime Netflix-and-a-hot-chocolate time if you ask us.
There’s nothing like a good steam or sauna session to sweat it all out. Your limbs feel more lithe, muscle tension melts away and your pores are squeaky-clean. There’s no better way to de-stress in our book, but sadly, your best bet is to avoid them both for a good 24 hours after waxing. First off, the heat will only aggravate any post-wax irritation and redness, and also, the opening of your pores will only leave you more open to infections and ingrown hairs. Same goes for hot baths, too – give the area time to recover before cranking up the heat.
If you’re really anxious about the pain, or can’t wait to wax until after your period, plenty of seasoned waxers recommend taking some ibuprofen or paracetamol an hour or so before going under the strip to dull the discomfort a little. This could be especially helpful on extra-sensitive areas like your bikini line or underarms. Give it a go and see if it helps you.
Exfoliating is key to making sure you keep ingrown hairs at bay. Just don’t jump straight in with an aggressive scrub for a couple of days – give your skin about two to three days after a wax before you start exfoliating, and even then, do it gently. On intimate areas, we love Malin + Goetz’s Ingrown Hair Cream, which has a blend of exfoliating acids to minimise bacterial infection and slough off dead skin, or just use a good salt scrub on the rest of your body.
That being said, if you’re taking any other medications, ‘fess up to your waxer. Certain prescription drugs like steroids and anti-acne medicine Roaccutane thin the skin, meaning waxing can be a big no-no. When the skin is weaker, waxing can be too aggressive and cause a lot more discomfort and bleeding, so make sure to talk to your therapist beforehand and check for any interactions.
If it’s your first-ever wax, or you’ve not waxed for a while, we can understand the temptation to trim. You think that the hairs are too long, that your therapist will be shocked and that you should be embarrassed…Well, we’re here to tell you that’s not the case at all. Firstly, your waxer will have seen it all, and will be totally unfazed by however hairy the situation, and secondly, if you trim, you run the risk of the hair actually then being too short to wax. Frustrating. If it really is too long, your waxer might give it a quick trim to minimise discomfort for you, but on the whole, it’s better to have hair too long than too short.
Great, you’ve had your wax and you’re feeling silky-smooth and ready to hit the beach! Except – hold your horses. Chlorine in the pool and sunscreen can both irritate the open hair follicles. We’d never advocate sunbathing without the proper protection, so until 24 hours have passed, keep it dry and shady to avoid the risk of infection.
A glass or two of red to ease your nerves might sound like a great idea pre-wax, but actually alcohol, and caffeine for that matter, having those kinds of stimulants in your system can make your skin even more sensitive. So that’s no coffee, boozy brunches or Red Bull before your wax – got it?
Look at you gym bunny, raring to head off to HIIT class! Except, you should probably give the gym a miss after waxing. Doctor’s orders. Hitting the gym immediately after a wax is a bad idea on a few fronts: firstly, wearing super-tight clothes will cause too much friction on the area, leading to extra redness and possibly ingrown hairs, and secondly, because getting hot and sweaty is just asking for a bacterial infection. A day should be enough time to let your skin recover before heading to spin class, but try and keep wearing loose-fitting clothes on the affected area as much as possible.
The 11 biggest waxing mistakes you’re about to make
Forget what all those teen makeover movies would have you believe – waxing is not going to leave you tomato red for a week, nor will you resemble Edward Munch’s ‘The Scream’ throughout. Sure, it can be a little bit more painful in er, certain areas, but as long as you’re with a skilled technician, a good wax will be speedy, precise and only briefly uncomfortable at worst. Plus, a couple of seconds of ‘youch’ for weeks of super-soft, hairless skin? That’s a trade-off we’re willing to make.
However, in order to guarantee maximum smoothness and minimal discomfort, there are a few rules of thumb to follow. For example, you can actually time your wax to ensure it’s not too squirm-inducing, and you can arrange it around your other pre-holiday beauty appointments to make sure you avoid any ‘oops’ moments. Take it from us – waxing really can be smooth sailing if you know what you’re doing…
By Daniela Morosini
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With intimate waxing bookings increasing in popularity year after year, it's become a bit of a growth industry for salons (excuse the pun). But - especially for first-time waxing clients - there can be a lot of questions that your customers are just too embarrassed to ask - and that can hold them back from booking. So, for therapists looking to capitalise on the growing popularity of hair removal treatments across both genders, it's incredibly important that you're answering those questions your customers have to put them at ease well before they arrive at the salon, either on your website,…Read more
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I admit, waxing can hurt like a you-know-what, but aside from a choc ice on a hot summer's day, not much beats that silky skin feeling. Whether you’re fresh to the wax bed, or a seasoned hair remover, knowing how to ease the ‘ouch’ is always a bonus. We’ve got hacks by the bucketload – well, 8 to be precise – that’ll leave your skin ready for a-waxing’. Deep breathe (more on that later), here’s the steps to try before your next appointment. By Rachel SpeddingRead more