The Bare Truth
WAXING - FAQ's
Does Waxing Hurt?
Depending on the area being waxed (which affects the coarseness of the hair) and your sensitivity level, pain associated with waxing is relatively mild and temporary for most clients. Painful waxing experiences typically come from improper application and removal of the wax resulting in tugging of the hair and pulling, bruising or lifting of the skin. Ouch! An experienced waxer, such as myself, removes the wax strip (for soft wax) in a parallel motion to the skin's surface thus resulting in the hair being lifted out of the pore and leaving the skin in place. A waxer should NEVER lift up on the wax strip when removing. This is what causes most damage and pain to the skin. Hard wax is a better alternative for more sensitive areas as it does not adhere to the skin, and is gentler during removal.
Generally, most clients are sensitive where there are the most nerve endings and that is typically the upper lip and the fundal mound of the pubic bone. I often apply pressure to the more sensitive areas after removing the wax as this tricks the nerves and calms them immediately. Numbing cream is also available for purchase for those who are overly sensitive to the pain sometimes associated with waxing. See the Brazilian FAQ if you have further questions in regards to a Brazilian wax.
Am I A Candidate For Waxing?
If you fall within any of the following categories, you would not make a good candidate for waxing
(also called contraindications):
-Use of prescription strength exfoliating (or acne) products (i.e. Retin-A, Accutane, Tazorac, Differin Gel, Tretinoin, etc). Please stop the use of topical products Retin-A at least 10 days prior to your waxing service (although it is preferred you not have used the product in at least 3 months) . Accutane or other ingest-able exfoliating medications requires 6 months-1 year of a break between to your last dose and your waxing service. These products thin the skin and thus it is HIGHLY LIKELY you will lift skin and then scab if wax is applied and you have not informed your service provider of your medication use.
-Topical or oral antibiotic use, mild exfoliating products (AHAs or BHAs), and Retinols can all cause the skin to thin thus making you vulnerable to lifting and sensitivity. Please disclose any use of these products to your service provider.
-Recent chemical peel or microdermabrasion of any kind. Please allow 7 days between a mild chemical peel (glycolic, lactic, etc.) has occured or 7 days after your peeling has stopped for mid-level to deep penetrating peels (TCA, Jessner, Salicylic, etc).
-Recent sunburn or prolonged exposure to the sun/tanning bed. Please allow for 7 days once the redness and peeling has stopped if your burn was severe enough.
-Visible skin trauma including but not limited to: burns, scabs, open wounds, infections, lesions, sores, dry or scaly and flaking skin, herpes outbreak, moles or raised skin, post surgical scarring less than 6 months old or severe acne. Please allow the skin to heal and clear before seeking a waxing service.
-Diabetics or those undergoing cancer treatment. These two conditions often affect your body's ability to heal from any damage or trauma and thus should be avoided.
What is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Wax?
Soft wax is applied in a thin layer in the direction of the hair growth and removed with a muslin or pellon strip in the opposite direction of the skin. It is typically used in areas needing shaping or precision removal like the brows/lip and is used for speed waxing large areas like the legs, arms, back, and stomach.
Hard wax is applied in a thick layer in all directions to matte the hair to the wax and then begins to harden, capturing the hair in the wax. It is then removed by quickly peeling it away from the skin. Because hard wax does not adhere to the skin like soft wax does, it is found to be much gentler and less painful than soft wax on sensitive areas. It does take longer to use as you have to wait for it to dry. Hard wax does not always remove the downy soft hair and thus is ideal for using on areas of the face or men's brows where you do not want a "line of demarcation". It is also ideal for areas with coarse, thick hair like underarms and bikini/brazilian.
***Waxing should not be performed if you have particularly sensitive skin, because it pulls off a couple of layers of skin cells along with the hair. Waxing can cause tenderness and swelling. In addition, some medications will cause the skin to react badly to waxing. Don’t wax if you’re taking Retin-A, Accutane, or any type of acne prescription.
–Associated Skin Care Professionals