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 Should I Expect in Getting a Brazilian Wax?
By far the most vulnerable of waxing experiences is the brazilian or bikini wax. I assure you I have done hundreds of these waxing services and have seen it all.
Your service will begin with a short consultation and consent form. We will discuss your waxing history and what your expectation is of the service. I will then step out of the room to leave you to disrobe.
For a bikini wax, you may leave your underwear on if you desire and I will place protective paper over it to keep the wax from getting on it. If you want an extended bikini wax or a brazilian, you will need to disrobe from the waist down and you may cover yourself with the towel provided if you chose. There are always baby wipes available to cleanse yourself with during this time if desired.
I will knock on the door to ensure you are ready for me. I will get my supplies situated so that I may move quickly during the service and I will then put on gloves for both of our protection. I also NEVER double dip and ensure safety and sanitation standards are always in place. I will do a once over with baby wipes to ensure sanitation during the waxing service. I will then apply a light layer of oil to the area to be waxed to protect the skin from the wax adhering to firmly.
I will have you bend your knees and then open your legs to a frog position first. The wax is then applied to the edge of the pubic hair (typically on the leg), working my way in. It is my technique to use soft wax (the type that is removed with the strip) on the leg/fundal mound area and then to switch to hard wax (which does not require the use of a strip to remove) for the labial area. Hard wax is typically gentler on the more sensitive area but it can take longer to harden enough to be removed so I may be waxing other areas or tweezing strays while the hard wax hardens.
Once I've removed all the hair from the bottom of the tummy, sides of the pubic area and down the labia, I will ask you to check to ensure every hair is gone that you wanted gone (sometimes the lighting and my angle can mask hairs. This is your opportunity to double check my work so you don't go home with a tuft I missed.
I will then have you bring one knee to your chest while leaving the other leg in the frog position to get the bottom side of the bum. You will then roll onto your side, facing away from me and bring one knee up to your chest. I will ask you to place your hand on your bum and lift to help me keep the skin taut. Soft or hard wax will be used to remove the remaining hair. I will then apply wax remover to the back, have you turn back over and apply wax remover with a new towelette. I then cover you back up with a towel and leave you more wax remover for any areas that might still feel sticky. I will leave the room for you to get dressed and ask you to open the door when you are dressed.
If you have issues with ingrowns, hyperpigmentation or are sensitive to brazilian waxes, a variety of products are available for home care between appointments. Brazilian waxes last anywhere from 3-6 weeks and can last longer over prolonged waxing. Please do not shave or tweeze between appointments as we want to get all the hair on the same growth cycle as well as thin out and soften the hair.
***I aim to remove every hair down there. If you would like any hair left or would prefer me not to tweeze or extract any ingrowns, please inform me prior to the service. Please contact me with any further questions regarding this service.
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