WAXING 101

Want to know about waxing?

I’ve been waxing my bits since 2010. Eight years of visiting various salons every 7 – 8 weeks (I’m blessed / cursed with slow-growing hair). That’s about eight waxes a year – or about 64 since I started. And because of that, truth be told, I consider myself an expert on the subject.

A strong advocate for the manicured front garden, I’ve shared a lot of advice with curious friends over the years. Here it is in all its glory, to help you on your way to achieving a Waxed Wonderland. Sorry. I’m having far too much fun here.

Prep

Rule number one: don’t get waxed the day before that big date, beach day or bikini photoshoot or whatever. You’ll be a red, swollen mess. Get waxed a good couple of days beforehand to allow everything to chill the fuck out.

When choosing where you go to get waxed, do your research and don’t ever choose the cheapest. I’ve seen intimate waxes cost from £15 – £50+ – and you truly get what you pay for. Cheaper ones tend to be less experienced waxers sticking strip wax in any old place and basically ripping your skin off before sending you out into the street traumatised. I’ve been seriously bruised and burnt over the years by shit waxers, so I’m asking you to not make the same mistake.

More expensive waxers will use higher quality wax, will use a proper technique including pressing down on the area they’ve just waxed (it’s kind of like rubbing a bruised elbow – don’t know why, but it works). They’ll also use talc to ease the waxing process, and calming oils or sprays afterwards. One time, a premium waxer spent a good 20 minutes down there with a pair of tweezers to truly ensure she’d done her job. Top marks!

In terms of prepping the actual area ahead of time – just be clean and make sure the hair is a good few mm long, for the wax to grip. It doesn’t hurt to exfoliate as well, to help with any ingrown hairs.

Hot wax vs strip wax

You’ll often be given the option between the strip and hot wax. Strip wax is where wax is applied to the area with a bamboo stick, a piece of paper is applied to the wax, and then the whole lot is ripped off. Hot wax is pretty much the same, except it’s usually a higher quality wax, and we skip the paper – the wax is applied and then removed by hand from your body. To make things extra confusing – the strip wax is also hot. All wax should be hot. Whatever.

In terms of advice, if you’re just beginning, I’d say go for hot wax. It’s slightly less painful for some reason, and I find it’s more accurate when removing all those annoying tiny hairs. It is a little more expensive, though – you’ll find lower range salons don’t even do it, so avoid those ones.

The process

If you’re a massive prude, you’ll just have to get over it. It’s truly intimate and there’s no room for embarrassment. You’ll meet the waxer and will be fully exposed within about two minutes. They don’t even buy you a drink for the pleasure.

No but seriously – they literally don’t care.

She’ll probably ask you to lie down with your legs like a frog – you know, like you’re doing some kind of weird backwards breaststroke – and go from there. If it’s a good wax, she should get everywhere -and I mean EVERYWHERE that you haven’t specifically asked that she leave, i.e. if you’re getting a Brazilian.

The first time, you will probably be nervous and yes, it will hurt. It’s over quickly though, and it shouldn’t be unbearable, especially if the waxer is experienced. Rest assured, it will only get easier. I don’t even flinch anymore and regularly phone friends during a session to chat shite.

The whole thing should take about 10-15 minutes, or maybe a little longer if you’ve particularly dark or thick hair.

Aftermath

Unless you’re a waxing veteran, you might be feeling a little delicate. It’ll pass! Just avoid lace knickers and anything, erm, vigorous, for at least 24 hours.

Moisturise

I feel at my absolute sexiest when I’m sleek as a dolphin all over and this is at its optimum after a super good wax. Anywhere you’re removing hair, just slather on the moisturiser for best results. Keep it up, especially for the first few days.

DO NOT SHAVE

The worst part about waxing, for me anyway, is the awkward regrowth period you have to go through before you can get it done again. It’s awful! Patchy, itchy, annoying. I personally find hair there really ugly unless it’s extremely well maintained (as per a fresh wax), so this is doubly annoying. HOWEVER – DO NOT be tempted to shave in between waxes. It’s 100% not worth it. I don’t know the exact science behind this but it’s something about how the hair is stimulated to grow back. I have cracked a few times and shaved, and on going to get a new wax, it hurts just as much as the first time and takes longer. Avoid. The not flinching thing I mentioned earlier? That’s from following my own amazing waxing advice.

Follow the above rules and you’ll be golden. And smooth. Like some kind of golden, shiny, smooth egg.

I had a thought the other day, whilst lying in the chair of doom – if I’ve had that many waxes, at around £25 a go (yes – that’s £1,600 on waxing, I’ve spent), why not get laser treatment and get rid of it for good?

I negotiated a great deal for a package with my waxing lady! It actually works out at about the rate of six waxes (£150), and with my lack of growth, hopefully that will be the end of it FOREVER – absolute dream. Just don’t make me think about what I’ll look like at 80 with a Brazilian.

So just bear with, give me a few months and I’ll be sharing another post on what it’s like to have your clunge lasered. Super! You lucky lot.

Intrigued about my fanny? Lol, you weirdo. Have a read about menstrual cups here.

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4 Comments

  1. Antonymous
    20th April 2019 / 7:06 pm

    Wow, very sorry waxing hurt like the first time for just shaving once, usually all said that once in a while isn’t enough, let alone once at all. Thought it’s a myth that it grows back thicker. Follicle nerves (not of the shaft itself, of course, that’s another myth) are mechanoreceptor and they work, to a smaller scale, like cat whisker, registering hair dislocation, some mass loss too, which might trigger and stimulate the shaved or cut hair to grow back to the length that has been cut off :).

  2. Antonymous
    26th April 2019 / 12:40 pm

    Hi, not sure if I already commented. I thought just shaving once or twice in a while wasn’t enough to stimulate hair so that waxing hurts like the first time, have you tried waiting for it to grow back and return thinner? Or it never thins out again on its own once shaved?

    • ellainthebigcity
      Author
      26th April 2019 / 12:45 pm

      Hi, thanks for your comments!

      I’m not sure of the skin / hair science behind it, I’m afraid!

      In my experience, if I get a wax after shaving (after letting it grow back), it seems to hurt a lot more. If I get continuous waxing and let it grow back from waxing (no shaving in between), it seems to be sparser and not hurt as much! I could be wrong, but that is my own experience.

      Good luck! 🙂

      • Antonymous
        27th April 2019 / 11:08 am

        Thanks to you for your kind answer :).
        From what I read shaving inbetween might make it hurt more, depending on personal experience and sensitivity, because when a zone of the body is waxed, it takes off most of the hair, which is fully grown, along with some long albeit not yet fully grown hair, leaving a layer of thin recently shed and early regrowing hair, soft and not very visible have the tapered end, unlike shave ones. When this layer is ready for waxing, it will be even sparser than the first wax, until it matches the next sprout. When we shave this layer is even shorter and when it’s long enough for waxing again, other hair had the time to grow back, so hair seems thicker and it’s ouchier to wax!
        It’s similar to how when we shave, all or most hair is growing back and even without the tapered end anymore. Might be a reason for the incrased pain.
        Thanks again.

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