To wax or shave (or neither); this common debate has long divided popular opinion. Because waxing removes hairs from the root, it’s undoubtedly a more effective method that keeps the area hair-free for a good while afterward. But if you’ve tried waxing in the past and found it painful, it may have put you off repeating the process.
If you’d like the results waxing provides but not the pain: we’ve got a few top tips to help reduce the pain when using a waxing kit for yourself or a salon client:
Use the best wax for the area
There are two main types of wax: hard wax and soft wax. If you’re waxing an area with coarse, thick hair like the upper lip or underarms, this can be a slightly less painful option than using soft, strip wax.
However, if you’re waxing a larger surface area and want the waxing process to be over and done quicker, soft wax is usually the method of choice.
And if you haven’t waxed in a while or if this is your first time, always do a patch test 24 hours beforehand to ensure you know you won’t have a negative reaction!
Preparing the skin before you wax can help reduce the pain. Exfoliate and moisturise the day before if it’s not already part of your skin-care routine. Exfoliation removes any dead skin cells and helps prevent in-grown hairs. This will improve your experience of waxing overall.
You should do this 24 hours before you wax (not any closer to the time as you don’t want to risk making the skin more susceptible to tearing)
There’s one caveat to be aware of: avoid using retinol, AHAs or BHAs on the area before you wax, as these can increase the skin’s sensitivity.
Apply the wax in the right direction
When you’re spreading the wax on your skin, always make sure you apply it in the direction that the hair is growing. And when removing wax strips, make sure you take them off in the opposite direction.
Hold the skin taut
Hold the skin taut when applying wax. This means that removing the hairs will be easier because the pores will have been expanded to improve the wax grip.
Apply a soothing post-wax product
You shouldn’t experience pain after a wax. To soothe the skin, find a calming antiseptic cream, E45 or aloe vera gel. Use it for at least 3 days after your wax.
Give the exfoliation a break for a few days while your skin rests, but do keep the area hydrated with a good moisturiser.
Don’t sunbathe or do intensive exercise too close to waxing.
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun in the days leading up to and following your wax. Waxing over a sunburn is a definite no-go and be wary of the fact that your sun will be more wary to sun exposure just after your wax.
Intensive exercise after is a wax is also a bad idea. Sweat can easily enter the pores straight after a wax, increasing the chances of folliculitis (infected hair follicles) and pimples.
Waxing can be painful but there’s no denying the longer-lasting result it brings about. If you want to wax but feel a bit confident, it’s good to know that there are lots of tips and tricks to make it more