Waxing is one of the most popular forms of hair removal. Effective, easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive, it can give you weeks of hairless skin. This is perfect if you’d rather ditch other more frequent hair removal techniques for a trip away. Or, it might be that your skin doesn’t react well to shaving and epilating.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to wax, there may be a few questions hovering in your mind before that first salon visit. It is a method with big plus points, but it’s worth knowing what to expect first-time round. So, here’s the truth about waxing in a nutshell.

Preparing for your first wax

You will need to do a bit of prep before you have your first wax. Don’t worry, that doesn’t involve anything too strenuous or technical. It’s more about getting the most from your treatment by approaching it the right way.

Firstly, don’t take a bath or shower immediately before your wax. This can soften your hairs which makes them harder to pull out. Instead, leave a few hours between your shower and wax appointment. Secondly, make sure you’ve given your hair time to grow to a good length. Experts tend to agree that around ½ an inch of hair will give the best results.

What happens in the room

This will depend on the area of the body being waxed. If it’s your bikini line, you’ll be asked to strip your bottom layers, and paper knickers will be provided. For your legs, you’ll just need to take your dress, skirt or trousers off. Underarms will mean stripping your top layer, usually down to your bra.

Once you’re ready, you’ll be asked to lie on the beautician’s table and get comfy. The more relaxed you are, the easier the process will be. It will be painful the first time, but any waxing pro will tell you that this does decrease over time. If you’d like to be fully prepared, try taking a paracetamol before you go for your appointment.

The warm wax will then be applied to your skin, and usually a waxing strip will be placed over the area being worked on and removed quickly. After waxing the entire area, your beautician will sweep on a post-wax balm to soothe your skin.

Ingrowing hairs

Ingrowing hairs are a possibility with waxing. On future visits, your beautician may gently remove these with tweezers during the treatment. There are ways to keep ingrowing hairs in check between visits though, which should be every 4-5 weeks.

Products like Skin Doctors’ Ingrow Go are designed to purify pores and gently exfoliate the skin. It’s also important to wear loose-fitting clothing to allow your skin to breathe post-wax and try to avoid activities that will make you perspire heavily.

Taking care of your skin post-wax

Exfoliating and moisturising the skin will cleanse and soothe your skin between treatments. But give your time some time to recover, especially before exfoliating.

Generally, leaving it a couple of days after your appointment before exfoliating is the best advice. And opt for gentle scrubs, like Inecto Natural’s Coconut Body Scrub which are designed to buff away dead skin and impurities without causing irritation. For moisturisers, try soothing post-wax products like DECLÉOR’s Aroma Epil Expert Post Wax Cream.