If you want to avoid razor burns, ingrown hairs and breakouts caused by shaving, getting a bikini wax might be your best bet.
Although a bikini wax can be painful depending on your pain tolerance, comfortability and previous experience, it’s part of an aesthetician’s duty to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Ivanna Bran, a licensed aesthetician and full body specialist at Intuitive Beauty By IV, told HuffPost.
“There’s many things you can do to physically and mentally prepare yourself for a wax,” Bran said. “Ask your technician to explain the process beforehand, wear loose clothing to your appointment, and take deep breaths and try to relax during the waxing process.”
In addition to what you can do to prepare yourself before waxing, there are a few steps you should avoid beforehand to make your experience as pain-free as possible and avoid infections, according to aestheticians.
You might think shaving will make hair removal easier. However, it makes it harder for any wax to stick onto hai, and pulls the skin instead, making it more painful.
As a result, it’s incredibly important not to shave before a wax appointment, Jenna Leigh Kapitan, an aesthetician and owner of Jenna Leigh Skin, told HuffPost. “To wax — there has to be hair there! Otherwise, there is no hair to pull out from the skin.”
If you’re in between waxes or it’s your first time, you should wait two to six weeks before booking a waxing appointment or wait until the hair is around a fourth of an inch long. “I always tell my clients the best way to know if you’re ready to book your waxing appointment and that your hair is long enough is to physically take your fingers and pinch and pull the hair,” Kapitan said.
Although you shouldn’t shave before an appointment, there are other things you can do to prepare for a wax that might help with pain management and help things run more smoothly.
“Taking a warm shower the night before your appointment and gently exfoliating the area will help rid the area and skin of any dead skin cell build-up and help the wax work smoother,” Kapitan said. “Moisturiding the area with an aloe-based moisturiser the night before is also a great tip.”
Don’t Apply Numbing Creams, Lotions Or Oils
Although numbing creams reduce discomfort by slightly numbing the skin, these typically must be completely washed off before a wax. Additionally, before trying any numbing creams, you should ensure you’re not allergic or have any adverse reactions to creams. If you are allergic to ingredients in numbing creams, an allergic reaction can show up a day or two after your wax.
It’s also important that you don’t apply any lotion or oil to your body before a wax. Your skin must be completely dry when wax is applied, which is why your aesthetician might use baby powder to get a better grip.
Generally, an aesthetician will clean up your bikini area before a wax, but it’s important to avoid any additional moisture on the skin that causes the wax not to grip the hairs correctly.
Kapitan said that if you’re looking for something to increase your pain threshold, pain management can be helpful. “Taking an ibuprofen about 20 minutes before your appointment will help immensely,” she added.
Don’t Drink Coffee Or Alcohol
Although you might think to grab a coffee or drink with any caffeine to energise you, staying away from caffeinated beverages right before your wax appointment can help you avoid pain and anxiety. Similarly, drinking alcohol will not help you be more relaxed. Generally, you should avoid alcoholic drinks 24 hours before an appointment, Alicia Bolds, a licensed aesthetician at Bee’s House of Esthetics, told HuffPost.
Caffeine increases energy, alertness, wakefulness and reactions. In this case, the benefits of caffeine might work against you. As a result of increased concentration, alertness and reaction, you might be more focused on the pain you might experience during a wax, especially if it’s your first time. As a result of a decreased pain threshold, drinking caffeine will keep you sensitised, Kapitan said.
Additionally, drinking too much caffeine might produce more negative effects, including tension, nervousness, irritability, nausea, palpitations and restlessness— all the feelings you’d like to avoid before and during a wax.
Similarly, you might think that drinking alcohol before waxing might calm your nerves, but it can affect how your body reacts during and after a wax, Bolds said. “Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it thins your blood. Thinning of the blood can cause excess bleeding, especially if you’re a first-timer.”
Don’t Wear Tight Clothing
You don’t want to go into a wax appointment wearing anything tight, especially in the summer when it’s hot and humid.
“Think of a dress, skirt or sweatpants,” Kapitan said. “This is to make sure your skin doesn’t have direct contact with clothing after the wax is completed. After the wax is completed, you’ll want to stay away from anything that will cause heat, sweat or friction in the area for 24 to 48 hours.”
Loose clothing can prevent bacterial growth, breakouts and ingrown hairs around the waxed area that can rub on tight clothing before and after a wax.
Don’t Go In With A Sunburn
You might be looking to get a wax during the summer, but it’s important that your skin isn’t irritated, peeling or dehydrated before a wax to prevent further infection.
Preparation before a wax goes beyond a couple of days prior to waxing. Since wax removes a layer of dead skin along with hair, using sunscreen to prevent sunburns before your appointment is essential for a pain-free experience, Bold said.
“Getting sunburned while waxing will cause damage to your skin and you may have to use medication and ointments to treat it,” Bold said. “If you’re planning to get a wax, be sure to avoid going to the beach or pool. Salt water and chlorine getting into your skin will cause more irritation for at least 24 to 48 hours.”
Generally, before a wax, skin health should be your main priority.