I started waxing when I was 18. My first experience was getting my legs and bikini area done (my most notoriously sensitive areas for razor burn). I was a little nervous to say the least, and I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to pain. Would I cry? How would my skin react? Did I go to the right place? All these questions are normal for anyone getting waxed for the first time, especially outside the home.
My first advice is to get waxed at a spa before you try this at home, but home waxing can be done. Some women have mothers or girlfriends who have shown them how to do this, but I had to learn the hard way and on my own.
I’ve now been waxing for over 4 years and I’ve gotten waxes done in multiple different cities/towns. This is some advice I wish someone would have told me before going. Not all bad, just what I should expect and what I should be looking for.
The price I should pay
The price of a wax will depend on the city you’re in and the area you’re getting done. Let’s say you’re getting legs done… this should cost you anywhere from $50 - $70. A Brazilian (the front pubic area, between your thighs and the butt pad area), will cost you anywhere from $55 - $90. Something simple like underarms… maybe $20. The more expensive and luxurious the spa, the more expensive the procedure… sometimes! This is why I would recommend doing your research. Ask friends, look on yelp and google reviews in your area. Look up the “best spas in _____” and then check out their website to see if they offer waxing. I would not recommend getting waxing done at locations that offer a cheaper price than these. One time I got an upper lip wax for $10, and it wasn’t bad, but be careful if you see leg waxing for $30. It may not be the most sanitary or the most efficient (I’ve been to some of those places!)
Deciding what I want done and what it’s like
Before you go in, decide what you want done. Upper lips can be quick and easy, but there is redness there for about 2-12 hours afterwards (kinda depends on your body), so if you’re thinking about going out afterwards… think again. Eyebrows are the same way, and I do my eyebrows all the time. If you do these areas you may also see bumps appear. They’re not really pimples, but rather just the skin being irritated… put some ointment on it and leave them be. If you want your legs done, they can take about 30-40 min depending on who is doing the waxing. Brazilian takes a while (around the same time as your legs) and can be quite painful! I will say, the Brazilian can be quick depending on where you go and how much hair you have down there. Australian spas are known for their super quick Brazilian waxes.
Pain level of each location
Ok, so this is obviously the scariest part about waxing. No one wants a cosmetic procedure to be painful… but the beauty industry knows pain well! From a flick on the wrist, to putting your hand over an open flame… I’m going to rank each area for you. Keep in mind, each person is a little different and the sensation you feel might be painful, but just unique to the practice of waxing. It is somewhat hard to compare anything to the pain felt when waxing. It’s literally your hair being ripped out of your skin, right? How does one describe that pain? So here’s my attempt:
- Eyebrows: 4/hand over flame
- Upper lip: 5/hand over flame
- Ankles: 8/hand over flame
- Rest of legs 6-7/hand over flame
- Armpits: 5/hand over flame
- Sideburns: 7/hand over flame
- Bikini Line: 8/hand over flame
- Brazilian front pubic area: 7/hand over flame
- Brazilian in between: 9/hand over flame (this hurts like hell!)
- Brazilian behind: 4/hand over flame
In my opinion this pain of waxing is bearable. No one is pulling out your fingernails or drilling into your knee cap! I have yet to cry during a waxing session, but some people do. Just depends on you really. Keep in mind the pain is super quick and it helps a lot when they apply pressure with their hand over the area they just waxed. You could even ask your beautician to do this if they don’t.
So let’s talk more about the Brazilian…. The nitty gritty details of the Brazilian! So this area is very sensitive and extremely painful… I don’t know anyone who likes getting this done. So soldier, here’s how Operation Bare *cat emoji* is going to go. You’re going to walk in and get everything else waxed (if you’re getting your legs waxed, those will be done first.) They will sometimes start at your bikini line, or sometimes they start with your butt pad. There have been 3 ways that I’ve gotten a Brazilian. The first is to have you lying down on your back and they’ll spread your legs and do the front pubic area. They might just keep you there and lift one leg at a time while they get your butt area. Secondly, they may have you hold your knees up to your chest while they do it (which is the most comfortable position in my opinion). The last way they could do is by having you get on your hands and knees on the table and let them do their thing (I find this to be kinda awkward, but hey, whatever works!)
Pro Tip: If your hair is really long in this area, it will hurt more. I would make sure the hair is about a rice grain length or a little longer. Therefore, you might need to shave a week or two in advance if this is your first time. The more you do this procedure and keep up with maintenance, the easier and less painful it will be (by less painful, I don’t mean by a lot, but it will be noticeable).
What wax the spa is using
When it comes to Brazilians, underarm or bikini line (the course hair), the spa should be using hard wax for these regions because it picks up the hair better. The spa should also be using some sort of talcum powder on your legs so that the skin isn’t lifted along with your hair. For places like your legs and your upper lip, they will use a soft wax as your hair isn’t so difficult to remove.
What you should bring to the spa
What you should wear when you go to the spa depends on what you’re getting done. If you’re getting Brazilian or legs, wear sweatpants. If you’re getting underarms, it probably doesn’t matter. The thing with wearing a dress is that you’ve got to walk in there with hairy legs, so sweatpants are generally loose enough to not bother the freshly waxed skin.
How to handle your skin after a wax
Once you come home after a wax, let your skin just chill. Don’t put any creams on for a couple hours. Then if you do, try to use Vitamin E cream/ Aloe Vera or some sort of soft moisturizer that will make your skin feel comfortable and smooth.
After a day or two, exfoliate with body sugar/salt. Keep rubbing until your skin is a light pink and this will ensure the dead skin at the top is being removed allowing the ability for your hair to grow back again through the top layer. You get ingrowns if your hair isn’t able to break through the top layer of your skin and starts curling back on itself, so you want to make sure the top layer isn’t too calloused and there isn’t a bunch of dead skin in the way – exfoliating helps with this.
What to expect after
Once you’re waxed, you’ll notice you get about a week and a bit of hairless legs. Then around the 2nd week you’ll start seeing a bit of stubble. By the third /fourth week your hair is coming back in and you need to start considering going in for another appointment. Again, this really depends on how quickly your hair grows back in.
Waxing is definetley an option I would at least try if you’ve never used this form of hair removal before. You might really like it! I found it great for special occasions, but on a regular basis, this procedure can add up really quickly!
Comment below if you have any questions or you’ve got more to add!
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