Waxing 101 and Why You May Want To Try It

Aimee Werner

Posted on July 19 2020

In this day and age, hair removal has become a staple in self-care and one of the more popular ways to remove body hair is undoubtedly waxing. If you’ve ever tried waxing, you’ll know it will probably never be pain-free, but the results are hard to argue with. Many of us have seen ads for popular big name salons or studios, such as European Wax Center or maybe a locally owned boutique that provides waxing services, maybe you’re curious about using an at home kit. If waxing is something that intrigues you, you can prepare yourself with helpful information on what waxing entails, and we’re here to give you all the information you need to know about waxing and what it does to your body.

Types of Waxing

With the many different types of wax available, knowing which body wax to choose for which part can be confusing. We’ve broken down the different types of body wax that correlates with what body part you want waxed: soft, hard, and sugar.

Soft wax, also called strip waxing, is typically used on larger areas of the body, like your arms and legs. It is applied directly onto the skin by using a wooden stick or a roller. A strip of cloth is then put over the applied wax and pulled off, removing the hair. Soft waxes get to the tiny, fine hair strands that you can’t really see, leaving you with smooth skin.

Hard wax is typically used for smaller, more sensitive areas like upper lips, underarms and bikini areas. This wax is usually applied warm, directly onto the skin, then given some time to cool down and then harden. When hardened, the wax is then pulled off in the opposite direct of the hair growth. One of the main benefits of hard wax is that they only bind to the hair, never the skin. Because of this, the process tends to be less painful than soft body wax and can be applied multiple times, with no damage to your skin.

Sugar wax is typically made from sugar, lemon and hot water. (Yes, you read that right!) Sugar wax pulls the root of the hair out of the skin, like both soft and hard wax, but in this case it's made with natural ingredients, which makes this ideal for those with sensitive skin. Similar to hard wax, sugar wax doesn’t stick to your skin and can be applied and removed multiple times without causing any skin irritation. Sugar wax can be used on basically any part of the body and is a more natural substitute to other types of wax. One thing to note if you’re considering a sugar wax is that you should probably let your hair grow at least a quarter of an inch long for the wax to stick to the hair for removal. 


When and Where You Wax Can Have Different Experiences

For those considering a bikini wax, remember that skin is extra sensitive in the few days before and during your menstrual cycle, so be sure to schedule your appointment around that if you want to avoid any unnecessary pain. As a general rule, alcohol and excessive caffeine right around waxing time can lead to a bad time because both can cause pore constriction, which would make waxing much more painful than it should be. It’s always a good idea to exfoliate your skin a day or two before your waxing to clear away dead skin cells around the hair follicles. A little self-care goes a long way prior to waxing!

Consider exfoliating your skin with a sugar scrub or our exfoliating body wash before your waxing appointment. You’ll want to use something gentle, since we want to make sure your skin doesn’t get broken or damaged before you attempt to remove any hair. During the day of your appointment, just use a loofah and hot water to clear away dead skin and open up your pores.

Are you really worried about whether or not your first waxing trip will hurt? It’s been proven that taking something like ibuprofen an hour before can help with minimizing the pain—reason being that an anti-inflammatory can dull the pain and even help calm your skin. Trust us when we say that prepping for a wax can go a long way and leave you with a not so painful, even relaxing, waxing experience.


Waxing Will Leave Your Skin A Bit Vulnerable

Wherever you may be waxing, redness and mild irritation can last anywhere from a few minutes to a day or two. In order to minimize this irritation, we suggest avoiding tanning, swimming, working out and any kind of harsh skincare routines for at least 24 to 48 hours. This gives your hair follicles enough time to close and your skin to recover. 

No matter what you do, you can’t avoid the dreaded ingrown hair. Your likelihood of getting ingrown hairs is a lot lower when you wax and much higher with shaving, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen with waxing,  unfortunately. However, there are ways to lower your chances of having ingrown hairs with the right skincare lotion or serum. Whish’s Flawless Post Wax & Shave Ingrown Hair Serum is an all-natural ingrown hair serum that repairs bumps, and “strawberry skin”. It’s clinically proven to reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs and other minor imperfections. This serum banishes those ugly bumps and ingrown hairs, as well as restores your skin’s suppleness and weakens hair follicles, inhibiting future growth. 


Waxing vs Shaving: Which is Better?

Now this is the million-dollar question. This is a very divided issue because both methods have its pros and cons. We’ve delved into the world of shaving and really it just depends on what you prefer. 

Shaving can be quick and easy. Sure, your razor is in the shower ready for you to use it. While shaving can be easy and convenient, the hairs do grow back quicker than you would waxing. If you wax, hair is usually gone for weeks at a time. Why’s that, you ask? That’s because waxing removes hair at the root, and when it grows back, the tip of the hair naturally tapered so regrowth is softer and less noticeable.

When you’re ready to dive into waxing, just remember that you have several options to consider. Be mindful of what you want waxed and the steps to make this a simple and pain-free of an experience as possible. If you’re considering having a specialist do the waxing for you, make sure you do some research and visit a reputable specialist who knows what they’re doing as this will result in happy smiles and smooth skin.