Earlier this year, I signed on as a European Wax Center customer (more on why in another post). And that’s the extent of our relationship, they know nothing about my blog – to them, I’m just a paying customer. Some would have you believe that waxing is totally painless…and I’d call that, “some,” a bunch of cruel liars. The first experience was brutal – which, from what I understand, is fairly common if you were previously a shaver. I had looked up advice on preparing for waxing, but nothing I read properly set my expectations: the first time sucked.
Hair grows in cycles, going in as a former-shaver probably means there’s a greater density of hairs – meaning more hairs closer together. That first experience can suck because SO much is being pulled out so close together. In some cases, the length required for waxing can cause the hairs to lay over top each other; so instead of coming out cleanly, they can tug on each other. Ow. Future visits are at least 80% better, if not more. Not only is the hair sparser because of how growth cycles work, but your skin grows accustomed to the process.
Here are some tips on preparing for waxing that makes the whole process suck less.
This isn’t rocket science. Pretty much any form of hair removal benefits from exfoliation. This isn’t just for immediately prior-to-treatment, however. Getting the dead, upper-layers of skin out of the way reduces the barrier unwanted hair is coaxed
ripped out from. Ongoing exfoliation between appointments reduces the likelihood of uncomfortable, unsightly ingrown hairs.
You can pursue physical (scrubs), chemical (serums, wipes – so think AHAs and BHAs), or enzymatic (fruit peels) to help you along with this. Aim to exfoliate once every other day and work up from there if needed.
Note: If you go with a scrub or chemical exfoliation route, my esthetician suggests not using them within the 48 hour window before your appointment. She explained that scrubs, by their very nature, irritate the skin and chemical exfoliants can still be, “working,” for up to 48 hours. Enzyme-based ones, she says, are fine to use up until immediately before. Personally, I live on the edge a bit and will go up to 24 hours prior. It hasn’t been an issue, but it is crucial that you really know your skin. If you’re unsure, absolutely listen to your esthetician or doctor over me, some schmuck on the internet. If you choose not to follow their advice, you’re doing so at your own risk (I’m not a dermatologist or esthetician).