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how to prepare for waxing

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Here are some tips to help you choose a waxer and get the most out of your waxing experience

choose your waxer carefully

Your first tip is to look for someone who does a lot of waxing. You want the best you can find. Try to find someone who actually specializes in waxing, rather than does it as a sideline to other beauty services. The more waxing someone does, the better they get at it. Therefore, you want someone with as much experience as possible. Ask them how long they have been waxing

choose your products carefully

hard wax

There are two basic types of waxed used in a salon -- hard wax and soft wax (or strip wax). It will be to your benefit to know the difference between these two types of waxes.

I think a hard wax is far superior to a soft wax for removing hair from the most delicate areas on the body, such as between the legs. A soft wax (also called strip wax) is more appropriate for tougher parts of the body like the legs, the back, and the stomach.

It is called hard wax because the wax becomes hard when it sets up on your skin. This type of wax goes on thick, not thin and dries quickly. When the wax hardens, which only takes a few seconds, it shrinks around the individual hairs and holds tight to them. Then the wax is removed with a quick tug, and the hair comes out with it. No cloth strip is used. This is an important distinction between hard wax and soft wax. Soft wax always needs a cloth strip to remove it. Hard wax does not.

Hard wax is the most gentle on your skin. When you are waxing your most delicate parts, such as when getting a Brazilian, you definitely want a hard wax used. If you are booking a service for the first time, ask the waxer if they use a hard wax for the Brazilian or bikini service. If they don't, you might want to keep looking. Hard wax really is better for Brazilians.

That's not to say there isn't a place in the waxing studio for soft waxes that use cloth strips. For large areas like arms, legs, and the back a soft wax is the only logical choice. It can be spread thinly across a large area, thus allowing the waxer to work more quickly. These areas of the body are generally tough enough to handle the extra irritation that soft waxes cause.

I prefer a soft wax that is water soluble, which means that any wax residue can be easily removed before you put your clothes back on. If you've ever stuck to your jeans after a wax you'll know what I mean. Ask your waxer if the product they use is water soluble. If it isn't, ask them how you should remove any wax that may be left behind. A n experienced waxer will be knowledgeable about this question. An inexperienced waxer may stumble.

before your appointment . . .

Prepare Yourself

Some people like to take a couple of Advil or Tylenol before their waxing visit or even a stiff drink to help avoid discomfort. I find that with the proper waxing techniques this is not really necessary. If you know that you tend to produce redness or inflammation easily, you might instead try taking an anti-histamine before waxing to help prevent temporary inflammation.

Freshen Up
If scheduling prevents you from showering before you come, you should freshen up in a bathroom before starting. You can also ask the waxer for a baby wipe to clean up before starting, and they will really appreciate your thoughtfulness. This will help prevent you from worrying about unpleasant odors.

Eat before you come
If your blood sugar is low then any discomfort will seem more exaggerated. This is true in all situations, not just waxing. So have a quick snack before your appointment to give yourself the energy your body needs

Don't Trim Your Hair!
Even if you think your hair is so long it can be braided, resist the temptation to trim your hair before the appointment. Let the waxer make that call. You may find some waxers who disagree with my position, but I think they would agree that there is nothing worse than having someone show up and their hair is too short for the wax to grab onto. The longer your hair is the easier the removal process will be.

at your appointment . . .

Get Comfortable
Depending upon what kind of waxing you want done, you may have to remove some of your clothes. As an experienced waxer, I am completely comfortable with all forms of undress and will help you to feel comfortable too. Ask for an extra towel if you are feeling too exposed.

If you have any hidden piercings, be sure to tell your waxer before you start. It's good to know about those things. If you know exactly what it is you want in terms of hair removal, tell your waxer before they get started. If you are particular about your brow shape, for example, be sure and say so. If you know your skin reacts a certain way, speak up. Every time! Good communication makes a much easier job.

Remember to Breathe!
I'm convinced that the most painful wax pull you will ever experience is the one that happens while you are holding your breath in nervous anticipation.

breatheCorrect breathing is a simple technique that really makes a difference. Just before your waxer takes a pull, take a deep breath in through your nose. As the wax strip is being pulled, exhale with force through your mouth. The body simply cannot be tense while you are exhaling. Don't hold your breath. Focus on exhaling.

The difference in pain when you remember to breathe is remarkable. Try it!

after your appointment . . .

Post-waxing Irritation

It is normal to have a bit of redness after waxing. Using quality waxes helps to minimize this, but the heat causes a certain amount of redness on its own. This should disappear within a matter of hours. Apply a warm washcloth to the area or apply Lavender essential oil to help relieve any irritation.

Because of this post-waxing irritation which almost always occurs, do NOT get waxed on the same day you are attending a big event. Getting your brows done two hours before your awards dinner is not a good idea. Getting a Brazilian wax on the same day you plan a hot tub date is not that good of an idea either.

Be sure to tell your waxer about any post-waxing irritation that concerns you.

Keep it Clean

The hair follicles remain open for up to 12 hours after waxing. That's plenty of time for surface bacteria to get lodged in there if the skin isn't kept clean.

  • Don't apply deodorant for the rest of the day after underarm waxing.

  • Don't apply any heavy moisturizers or oils to the skin for the next couple of days. Keep the pores clean and open.

  • Don't go tanning the same day as getting waxed. Your skin will burn more easily on the day you get waxed and you may get hyperpigmentation (brown blotches from the sun).

  • Don't get waxed if you already have a sunburn. Really. Trust me. It hurts.

copyright 2014, JUDY ZIFKA, waxer extraordinaire

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If you have never been waxed before, it's easy to be nervous if you don't know what's going to happen.


Take a few minutes to read this article so you will be more confident and comfortable at your appointment.